23 & 24 August 2018

 

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European Lesfic Literary Conference

Author Spotlight – Miranda MacLeod

 
 

Miranda MacLeod Author Photograph ELLCon 2018

Meet US-based Lesbian Fiction Author Miranda MacLeod

Our reviewer Valden had this to say about Miranda MacLeod’s books:
 
I have read most of Miranda’s books, and there are a couple of things that come over in all her books. Firstly, and most importantly, her sense of humour. Whether it is in the storyline or the banter, conversation or chat between her characters, it always comes through. Some of her stories, in their twists and turns, are perhaps not what you would expect, but they are wondrous stories and make what follows pure tongue-in-cheek. How does she think of these things?
The other thing that comes through in all her books is her interpretation of the characters. Their journey through the stories are sometimes what make the stories – her characters often do not do what is expected or, sometimes, do not learn from past behaviour. If you have not read any of her books, go find one and see how far you get before succumbing to laughter.

 

Stockholm Syndrome by Miranda MacLeod, ELLCon18 spotlight
Letters to Cupid by Miranda MacLeod, book cover, ELLCon18 spotlight

 
Miranda MacLeod has signed paperbacks of Letters to Cupid (just released) and Stockholm Syndrome to giveaway to two lucky readers. The draw is open to readers worldwide.

For a chance to enter the draw, answer this question: What chocolate or chocolate dessert would you use to tempt Cupid?

and tell us which draw you want to be entered for, or if you wish to be entered in the draw for both books.

Giveaway ends Sunday, 17 June, 3 pm UTC.


 

We spoke to Miranda MacLeod about her books and her writing plans for the future.

 

(a) Tell us something interesting about your last published book. 

My favorite television show growing up was Scarecrow and Mrs. King. It had humor, and Kate Jackson, and sexual tension, and adventure, and Kate Jackson… Need I say more?
When I came up with the idea for Stockholm Syndrome, which is this totally not-based-on-reality story about how Russia is trying to stealthily destroy western democracy by rigging elections and infiltrating politics, I was inspired in part by the dumpster fire of international news in 2017, but I also wanted readers to get that same feeling with the story that I got watching Lee and Amanda battle the bad guys during the Reagan era.
So, I wrote a romantic spy caper. With lesbians. And Russians. And a savvy office temp with a penchant for saving the day and leaving the seasoned spy all hot and bothered in the process. There’s something for everyone. And it’s set in Sweden, which is one of the best places on earth. And yes, I named my main characters Leigh and Amanda, because I’m an 80’s kid who still loves Scarecrow and Mrs. King.

 

(b) What got you into writing? 

I have been making up stories forever. At recess in elementary school, while the other kids were playing sports on the playground, I was writing a play, which my friend Jenny and I would rehearse daily. I don’t remember what it was about now, but I know it was epic. I was the one that English teachers always assumed would become an English teacher.
But for a long time, fiction writing took a back seat. I went to graduate school and wrote research papers. I worked in marketing and wrote ad copy. It was only as my fortieth birthday loomed that I started to think about how I had always “meant to” write a book, and if I didn’t do it soon, I probably never would. And so, I started brushing up on writing craft, and then I settled in for NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month for those who don’t know) in November 2015, and by February 2016, I had my first book, Telling Lies Online, ready to publish. Then I kept going.

 

(c)  Can you tell us about your writing style? How do you decide on plots and characters? Are you a planner or a pantser?

I describe my writing as a cross between a classic 90’s era romcom and Hallmark channel for lesbians. They’re what it would have been like if Hollywood had ever been smart enough to cast Meg Ryan and Sandra Bullock as romantic leads opposite one another in the same movie.

As for process, I like to procrastinate for a really long time and then write in a caffeine-fuelled fugue state. Maybe “like” is not the right word, but apparently after seven books, that’s my process and I’m just going to have to roll with it. The plots often pop into my head when I am out for a walk, usually in the form of “wouldn’t it be funny if…”. Sometimes that’s all I have for a while. Wouldn’t it be funny if two American women who were polar opposites booked a lesbian singles cruise in Europe, but got the dates wrong because of how we write them differently, and they ended up as the only two single lesbians on the ship? Wouldn’t it be funny if a woman’s big-fat-Greek family accidentally thought her new hired handywoman was her fiancé, and then her dying grandmother left them her estate on a Greek island, but they could only inherit it if they were actually married?

Eventually, I sit down and outline them more thoroughly, and they turn into books, but I like to leave myself enough room to be creative as I go, so my outlines are vague and fluid. Those examples are both real books, by the way. One turned into Waltzing on the Danube. The other is Accidental Honeymoon, which is still just an outline but should come out next summer and I’m sure will turn out to be a total surprise to me by the time it’s done.

 

(d) If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything differently? 

I would have started the whole thing sooner, and I would have moved into a cave with no internet right before the 2016 election, because that whole disaster took six months off my writing time, if not at least six months off my life.

 

(e) What is next for you? What is your next project?

I am days away from wrapping up my next book, Letters to Cupid. It’s a romantic comedy set in a small Tuscan village, where an American celebrity chef is hiding out from a tabloid scandal that is threatening her career. She meets a beautiful local woman and sparks fly. Did I mention the chef is on a low carb diet? And that the local woman owns a chocolate shop? Oh, there’s also a magical fountain that plays the role of a very devious matchmaker. By the time this interview is out, the book will be published, so I hope readers will check it out!
 


VALDEN’s REVIEW of STOCKHOLM SYNDROME 

Stockholm Syndrome by Miranda MacLeod, ELLCon18 spotlight
 
Leigh is a government secret agent, who starts the book locked in the boot of a car which has crashed. As we join her, she is suffering from a bang on the head and struggling with the smell of gasoline. She manages to find a phone and dials the rescue number of her agency.
Amanda is a temp working nights in the call centre attached to a public radio station. She has always wanted to be a ‘kick-ass spy’, and her Aunt has encouraged her by giving her gifts such as books and courses that could further this. She receives the call from Amanda who did not remember the correct number, and at this moment the story takes off. There is humour, suspense and romance. Oh, enjoy!

 

Letters to Cupid by Miranda MacLeod, book cover, ELLCon18 spotlight

An American celebrity chef and an Italian chocolate maker cook up a magical recipe for true love.
In a tiny village in the hills of Tuscany is a statue of Cupid with the power to grant the deepest desires of the heart to all who ask. The village is home to single mother Valentina and her struggling chocolate shop. All she’s ever wanted was to fit in, determined to provide a quiet, normal life for herself and her daughter. She works hard to keep it together, asking for nothing…especially not Cupid’s help.
American celebrity chef Andie is avoiding a tabloid scandal by hiding in a remote hillside village. With nothing to do but worry and wait, she spends her time by flirting with a local chocolate maker who’s as irresistible as the sweets she sells. She’s shocked by the discovery that her heart longs for much more than a temporary distraction, but even if she can convince the reluctant Valentina to give her a chance, how can she balance a relationship in Italy with a career in the States?
When it comes to realizing their deepest desires, it just might take an act of divine intervention for these two women to find their future together!

 
 

Miranda MacLeod is a writer of contemporary romantic comedy. Her characters are unique and quirky, and you can’t help but fall in love with them. The stories themselves have twists and turns that you cannot see coming, and adds to the sense of adventure of the book.

You can get in touch with Miranda via her website: mirandamacleod.com or via Facebook: MirandaMacleodWrites.

You can buy Miranda MacLeod’s books on Amazon (Amazon Universal Link for Miranda MacLeod).