MLB: Hot chocolate, no whip, no marshmallows. I’m a purist about my hot chocolate.
Rae: Thanks so much for hanging out with me today.
MLB: Thanks for having me.
MLB: I was just wandering around the house doing my usual, “how long can I avoid it before I start writing” thing. An RWA board member calls and, since I wasn’t quite awake yet, I may have appeared a touch blasé about it. “Oh, that’s great. Thank you very much.” It was only after I hung up that it struck that this was indeed a very cool moment. I wanted to call back the poor board member and be a bit more enthusiastic for her benefit.
Rae: For those who are not familiar with your work can you tell us a little bit about your books. You have written over 40!
MLB: I’m a bit of a lunatic about series…I love them! I’m best known for my military romantic suspense series (that’s plural). “The Night Stalkers,” “Firehawks,” and my latest, “Delta Force” are all going concerns with more books coming in each on. I have a complete “Angelo’s Hearth” contemporary romance series set in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the world of food, fashion, and sailboats. I just launched a four-book contemp. rom. set in the small Oregon Coast town of Eagle Cove. I also have a fantasy series “Deities Anonymous” and a foodie thriller series “Dead Chef” going as well. Did I mention that I love series?
Rae: Which series can we expect to see more of?
MLB: What’s immediate?
- June: A new Night Stalkers’ romance, tentatively titled: Roy’s Independence Day.
- June: Longing for Eagle Cove -the third installment in my small-town Oregon romances.
- July: Keepsake for Eagle Cove -the conclusion of the 4-book series
- August: Heart Strike -the next book in my RITA-finalist Delta Force series
- From the 14th-20th of every month: a free short story on my website at www.mlbuchman.com
Rae: What was the motivation to jump out of an airplane? I admire anyone who can throw themselves out of a plane! What job have you not had that you’d like to try?
MLB: The hardest thing about jumping out of a plane (which a friend talked me into doing) was that I’ve also been a pilot. It was against all of my instincts to jump out of a perfectly safe plane. Now, as I believe in attacking what I fear rather than letting it control me, I freaked out the jumpmaster a bit when I threw myself out of the plane on “1” while he was counting to “3.” Of course once I hit the air, it was pure adrenal joy! As to a different job? I’d love to fly as a pilot for a job, but I’m a bit colorblind. I’d love to work as a chef, if I was way younger and much more masochistic. A professional sailor I think would be about the best life other than being a writer. In a different life, I’d be writing this on my fifty-foot sloop bobbing in the South Pacific seas.
Rae: Where do you draw your inspiration?
MLB: Inspiration comes from everything, even from my own writing. The more I write, the more ideas I have. “Hey, that little side thing there is such a cool idea for my next novel…”
Rae: Do you get to travel to any fun places in the name of research?
MLB: As to research, I have just completed a major research trip as a writer. I’ve had the idea for a contemporary romance series idea set in Italy since forever. We just spent two weeks in Italy researching setting, culture, and (oooh yeah!) food. Then my wife wanted to go on a knitting cruise through the North Sea (Denmark, Norway, Shetlands, Scotland) which is ringing a whole other set of writer’s bells for me. Can’t wait to write that either!
Rae: Can you tell us when and where you will be in the upcoming months?
MLB: Having just come back from spending the month of May in Italy and the North Sea, I’ll be hitting a couple of conferences next. In July I’ll be attending the Romance Writer’s of America National Conference in San Diego where my Delta Force romantic suspense Target Engaged is a finalist for the RITA. I will also be attending the writer’s only conference called NINC in September. I’ll be teaching at a few professional workshops here on the Oregon coast over the winter. Other than that, I intend to be curled up with my writing computer.
Rae: Congratulations again and I’ll be watching the #RITAGHs award ceremony via computer this summer.
****** 8 Tantalizing Tidbits ******
1. Rae: What is a must read book and why?
MLB: Susan Wiggs The Charm School. Like Eloisa James, that woman just makes me laugh while telling a great story!
2. Rae: What is one place that I should see if I visit your hometown?
MLB: The beach. Seriously. The Oregon Coast is a line of small towns filled with tourist shops and motels that sit empty half the year and are packed to the gills the other half. But the beach faces between 5 & 10,000 miles of the Pacific (depending on which direction you look) and it is an ever-changing wonder. Most people visit and think, “Sand. Ocean.” But I have walked it almost daily for over three years and it is never twice the same, not even minute to minute.
3. Rae: What is one thing readers would be surprised to know about you?
MLB: One?!? I spent 18 months riding my bicycle around the world (mostly solo). I call it my Mid-Life Crisis on Wheels. Also, I’m was a private pilot, a Taekwondo black belt, and I quilt whenever I get a chance.
(a bridge in France: “A somewhat more idyllic moment crossing a bridge in France. There is a baguette sticking up out of my bike bag.
rtw-japan: “At the northernmost point in Japan, in the near-freezing rain and 40kmph winds while bicycling around the world.”
4. Rae: Hard Rock or Classical? Favorite Band or Artist?
MLB: Yes. I was raised on Broadway musicals, folk, and rock. I spent years studying operatic vocal production and found jazz in a small nightclub in Budapest in my 30s. I listen to all of them while writing. Favorite artist? I love so many, but Barbara Thompson’s Songs From the Center of the Earth album is a stunner. It is just her jazz sax and an ancient cathedral. My kid provides much of my playlist and my newest favorite there is Avicii.
5. Rae: If you had an all expenses paid trip anywhere in the world for research, where would you go?
MLB: I’m a pretty cheap date, as is my wife. I’d love to cross the Australian Outback again (though not on a bicycle this time). Or rent a small caravan (what we call an RV) and putter around New Zealand for a couple of months. Actually, I’d love to winter over at the South Pole. I screwed up an opportunity to go there as a researcher when I was twenty and I’ve always regretted it. A month aboard the International Space Station would also be very high on my bucket list.
6. Rae: What is your favorite movie of all time and why?
MLB: Notting Hill. I’ve always been a total mush of a guy, and that one just rings all of my bells, even better than the Keira Knightley Pride and Prejudice. It’s right up there with my rather expansive collection of “B” science fiction movies headed by Forbidden Plant and When Worlds Collide.
7. Would you rather see a movie in the theatre or at home on DVD and why?
MLB: Both. First in theater for its grand, expansive quality, then at home (if it was good enough) for the details and the dialog (I’m hard of hearing and I hate missing even a word of what the writers and the actors did).
8. Rae: Do you love to cook or go out to eat?
MLB: I love to cook. I don’t have enough time to get really good, between my old corporate job and becoming a full-time writer three years ago, but I do love to cook.
Thanks again for hanging out! Time for another Latte 🙂
Happy Reading Dear Readers.
Happy Writing M.L!
To find out who wins the 2016 RITA in each category head over to Romance Writers of America on July 16 at 8PM PT. Winners will be announced and be sure to follow #RITAGH and #RWA16 for all the news that night!
In the meantime check out for yourself why this book is a finalist. Get your copy here:
Target Engaged (Delta Force)
-$0.99. Don’t miss this sale!
M.L. Buchman has over 40 novels in print. His military romantic suspense books have been named Barnes & Noble and NPR “Top 5 of the year” and twice Booklist “Top 10 of the Year,” placing two titles on their “Top 101 Romances of the Last 10 Years” list. He has been nominated for the Reviewer’s Choice Award for “Top 10 Romantic Suspense of 2014” by RT Book Reviews and is a 2016 RWA RITA finalist. In addition to romance, he also writes thrillers, fantasy, and science fiction.
In among his career as a corporate project manager he has: rebuilt and single-handed a fifty-foot sailboat, both flown and jumped out of airplanes, designed and built two houses, and bicycled solo around the world.
He is now making his living as a full-time writer on the Oregon Coast with his beloved wife and is constantly amazed at what you can do with a degree in Geophysics. You may keep up with his writing and receive exclusive content by subscribing to his newsletter at www.mlbuchman.com.