I’m interviewing Lynn Lovegreen today about her book, Fools Gold and why she loves writing historical romance.
My first attempt at a novel was in draft form, and I was learning more about my craft. At a writing conference, an editor told me I was an English teacher, and “could do better” than to write romance.
She advised me to write something dark and gritty, which is 180 degrees from my style. I left the conference thinking, I’ll show her, “I’ll write the best romance ever. And I thought of the premise for Fools Gold on the way home”. There are so many dramatic events in Skagway in 1898, it was a logical choice for a Gold Rush romance.
2. What draws you to writing historical romance?
I love history and I love romance, so it was natural for me to combine the two. It seems that all my main characters are ladies who meet the perfect man for them. I like capturing the giddy feeling of a budding romance. And the history of Alaska is full of drama, a great setting for fiction. Writing historical romance allows me to sneak in a little history to educate my readers in an entertaining way.
I should also add that my characters are young, coming of age or newly independent. My books are Young Adult/New Adult, so that adds another dimension to my writing.
3. What was your favorite part of writing Quicksilver to Gold?
My husband and I went to Nome as part of my research. Seeing Wyatt Earp’s business card for the Dexter Saloon was a big highlight for me, and the staff at the Carrie M. McClain Memorial Museum were very helpful. I had a lot of fun on that trip. And of course, details of Wyatt and Josie Earp and other bits of Nome history found their way into the book, and made it stronger.
4. You’ve released two books this year already. What’s next for you?
There are two more books in the Gold Rush series. Golden Days (set in Fairbanks in 1906) will be released this winter, and Gold Nuggets (set in Kantishna in 1916) will be released around the end of the year.
5. Do you find that the plot or the characters come to you first when writing?
The characters. I usually start with the setting in mind, for example Nome in Quicksilver to Gold. Then I imagine characters who might live there, and they come to life for me. I spend many hours of prewriting (brainstorming and researching) to make my characters well-rounded and historically accurate, and that leads me to the plot when I know what my characters would do in a certain situation.
6. Best advice you have for aspiring writers?
Persevere! Keep writing and perfecting your craft. And don’t take the first no (or the first forty nos, in my case) as a reason to quit. You never know which opportunity will become your path for publication, so keep working at it.
About Lynn Lovegreen
Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. She taught English for 20 years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and family, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club. Her young adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters. See her website at lynnlovegreen.com. You can also find her on Facebook, Tumblr, and Pinterest.