In Memory of Aimee Thurlo

Julie Miller

1) What's your new book about?

It's a fish out of water story. My country-wise sheriff teams up with a highly educated, cool as ice urbanite to solve a rape/murder in Kansas City. It.s also a second chance at love story, since both Boone and Kate have been burned by love before. KANSAS CITY COWBOY is the second book in my The Precinct: Task Force miniseries.

Here's the blurb:
For small-town sheriff Boone Harrison, the investigation into a serial rapist turned killer is painfully personal. Boone's priority is to find the coward who murdered his sister. But to accomplish that, he'll have to work with Dr. Kate Kilpatrick, a secretive woman whose striking beauty and kind heart just may be the lawman's undoing. Forensic psychologist Kate Kilpatrick was wrong about Sheriff Harrison. He's smarter and more resourceful than she'd given him credit for.and entirely too attractive. In their combined grief, Kate finds something she didn't even know she needed: protection. Because when the Rose Red Rapist sets his sights on Kate, she'll need more than the power of the badge to save her. She'll need her very own cowboy.

2) How do you balance your work and your life?

Balance? What's that? It's a matter of prioritizing and learning to say no. I do make a point of setting up rewards - maybe watching the Olympics or a favorite tv show, going out with friends, traveling with my hubby and son, etc. - to encourage me to meet my work goals. I keep a master calendar and schedule my writing and real life demands all in one place. If I don't write it down, chances are I won't remember to do it - especially around deadline time.

3) What's your writing process-- do you work from outlines or do you prefer off-the-cuff?

I'm somewhere in the middle. I used to be a real seat-of-the-pants writer, but now I'm slightly more structured. My friend Delores Fossen calls me a "cooker". I think of a theme to my stories, and possibly get the idea for a scene or two. Plus, I do a lot of thinking about my characters before I start writing, and have discovered that, if I remain true to them, I can trust the plot will follow. But when I try to outline or create a story board, then I feel like I've already told the story and the creativity just isn't there.

4) What advice would you give a new writer wanting to break in?

Read a lot of the line or publisher you want to be a part of-that's usually the best way to internalize the tone and pacing of what the editors are looking for. I'm an English teacher in my other life, so the mechanics aren't an issue for me-but if you're strong in storytelling, but not in the basics of grammar, then I'd recommend a refresher course at a community college. Finally, write a COMPLETE manuscript. There's no other way to learn how to plot a full manuscript, develop characters and relationships over several pages, build conflicts, etc. until you've gone through the entire process. And I believe writers learn something from every manuscript they produce, whether it winds up selling or not.

5) Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. I've never had a shortage of ideas. Now time to write them all? That's another story.

6) Who are your favorite authors?

I'm on a Julie Kagawa Iron Fey kick right now. I read a lot of young adult, in general, (comes from my teaching background, I believe, where I learned early on to keep up with whatever's hot/current so I can recommend books to the teens I teach and know what interested in). I read a lot of romantic suspense, too-Dana Marton, Suzanne Brockmann, Cindy Gerard, Jessica Andersen, Kylie Brant, and on and on...

7) Is there anything you'd like to tell your readers?

After KANSAS CITY COWBOY, there will be a gap between the releases of my The Precinct: Task Force books because I needed to take a break to write part of a holiday anthology for December 2012, called THREE COWBOYS, a project I did with Dana Marton and Paula Graves. Three cowboy brothers come home to Texas to search for the kidnapped sister they never knew they had, and rediscover the loves they'd left behind. So, apologies for the gap in releases, but rest assured, the remaining Task Force books will be out in 2013 (March, June, Sept and Dec). And I hope you'll celebrate the holidays with THREE COWBOYS. And thanks for loving my books!

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