Sunday, January 07, 2007
Sunday Spotlight on Barbara McMahon
This week at The Pink Heart Society we are proud to bring you, under our famous spotlight, Award Winning author Barbara McMahon!!!
"It’s been an amazing twenty something years that I’ve been writing for Harlequin Mills & Boon. I started when I was working full time at an outside job, moved to writing full time in 1992 and have loved every moment. In 1994 we moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to the mountains and have lived life just like I would write about in a book. With more time to write, I’ve been able to branch out into different lines within Harlequin, writing for Romance and Silhouette Romance, Desire, Silhouette Special Editions and now SuperRomance. Still a couple of lines I haven’t tried, but who knows what the future will hold?
My writing time is pretty fixed. I write four mornings a week for 5 or 6 hours, then have the afternoon to do other things, like research, or errands. Fridays I volunteer at our local animal shelter. Weekends are free for family and friends. I don’t read much when writing, not wanting to be influenced by other writers, but between books, I read voraciously--books I’ve been buying all along and saving up for the between-books-reading-marathon."
Where do you get the inspiration for your books from?
I seem to get ideas for books from everywhere. One book I wrote had a hero who was a widower with two little girls and I got that idea from seeing a father at a county fair with two little toddlers. Another idea from a Lacey J. Dalton song, sometimes from things I see, or hear about, or ideas just pop into my mind.
What makes you mad?
Injustice. Especially things like the elderly being taken advantage of, or ball players making $18 Million when teachers make so little, or that a young mother is killed and murderers live for years--long after their victims have died.
What’s the most romantic thing that has ever happened to you?
A honeymoon at Las Brisas Resort in Acapulco, each room had a view of the bay, and an individual swimming pool, room service and floating flowers on the pool water. The weather was beautiful the entire time we were there and it was the perfect, romantic honeymoon.
What characteristics in a hero makes you drool?
If you weren’t a writer what would you be?
Probably still be stuck in the corporate world where I used to be a VP of Administration--contracts, HR, shipping & receiving--how romantic, n’est pas?
What do you do to relax and wind down?
Read, read and read. Also play with my dogs.
How do you get out of a writing rut?
Take an “artist day” a la Julia Cameron (The Artist’s Way). I live in the gold country of California, so roaming around gold rush towns is fun for the history, and all the cute little shops. I love sitting on the porch of an old gold rush era home that is now a coffee house, sipping a latte and people watching.
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
Right where I do. I love the Sierra Nevada mountains of California. It’s rural, peaceful, and beautiful. Coolish in summer, and snow in winter, and totally wonderful year-round.
Who would you most like to give a hug to for a fabulous book you’ve read?
Almost too many to list in a day. I really enjoy reading all kind of books and have many that are favorites. Probably Jayne Ann Krentz is my very favoritest.
What music do you listen to when writing?
The same CD I’ve listened to for more than 12 years--day in and day out. Once I pop it into the player, it’s as if I zone out and get right into the story. I’m very much like Pavlov’s dog. It’s 101 All Time Favorite Classics. The 1812 Overture is my favorite, I usually play that several times in a row.
Tell us a secret nobody knows about you?
I tried to think of something but each thought that came to mind I’d think of someone who would know it. Unless I danced in a gossamer dress in the meadow in the moonlight alone, everything has a connection with someone. So perhaps my secret is I’d love to dance in a gossamer dress in the meadow in the moonlight, but never have.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
Too awful to share!
What have you had to celebrate in the last year?
The birth of a new grandson in April. Contracts from my publishers, good news on sales, and another year of good health and happiness with family and friends.
What’s beside your computer when you’re writing?
Clutter. It piles up and up until the book is finished. Then I take a day to go through everything and clear the desk. It always looks great for about a week, then the paper piles start again.
If you could kiss anyone in the world who would it be?
I’d love to say my Mom, but she’s no longer in this world, so I guess I’d have to say my husband, or maybe my kids or grand kids. I’ve never really had a crush on a famous person so don’t really see myself in that kind of situation. But I wouldn’t mind Captain Jack Sparrow!
What are you working on now?
I’m in the midst of two books, which I try not to do. One is a book for Mills & Boon about a sheikh in the desert and the other is a cowboy book for Super Romance set in Wyoming, one of my favorite states. If I didn’t love California, I’d probably move to Wyoming.
Barbara's latest release is for the Romance line, as part of The Brides Of Bella Lucia series - The Nanny And The Sheikh is out in North America, Canada, the UK and Ireland now!! Barbara tells us: "I’ve done several books with sheikh’s as hero, but this was the first set on the Persian Gulf and the research was terrific. I liked my heroine in this book and was glad to see she more than enjoyed her visit to the sheikh’s country."
To learn more why not visit Barbara's website or the Dishing With The Diva's Blog where she blogs every couple of weeks...