Linda Lael Miller is a multiple New York Times #1 Best Selling author for her westerns, contemporary and historical. Her first book was published in 1983 by Pocket Books. Since then, she has published over 100 books. She has written paranormal, suspense, and regular contemporary, but her love is western romance. In 2007, the Romance Writers of America awarded her the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award. You can find visit her at her website, her Facebook Fan Page, and on Twitter.

PonyTails (PT): What inspired you to write Big Sky Country?

Linda Lael Miller (LLM): Many things. The setting, the fictional town of Parable, Montana, is patterned after my mom’s hometown, Choteau. I love writing about cowboys, and Montana is definitely cowboy-central.

PT: What were your go to resources while creating this novel?

LLM: I do a sort of ongoing research—I consult a friend who’s an expert on rodeos, for instance. Most of my stories, though, are pure imagination. I try to get things right, but I’m much more interested in giving the reader an emotional experience and a little vacation from the real world.

PT: What inspires you when you’re writing?

LLM: Music—especially country. I knew Johnny Cash and his lovely wife June Carter Cash personally, so of course “Jackson” gets the creative juices flowing for sure. Randy Travis is another favorite, and so is Marty Robbins. Something about their music energizes me, big-time, and starts the pictures unrolling in my brain.

PT: What is your daily routine as a writer?

LLM: I’m an early riser, and I spent the first little while feeding critters, letting them in and out, drinking coffee, and writing my Morning Pages, ala Julia Cameron. I start writing around nine a.m. and always finish by two or three in the afternoon. Creatively, I’m definitely a morning person.

PT: If you were a writer entering the industry today, what is the most important advice you’d give yourself?

LLM: Write, mainly—you’d be surprised at how many people don’t get that part. Believe in yourself and don’t quit—rejection is a vital part of the process, and all success is built on a series of failures. Be willing to write badly until you can write well, because it takes a long time to develop your voice and style.

Thank you to Linda for visiting PonyTails! I hope you come back to visit when Big Sky Mountain releases.

As a special treat, Linda has given us an excerpt of Big Sky Country. Also, if you go to the blog tour homepage, you can enter to win some great prizes!


Given that he’d run into Maggie at his mom’s Curly-Burly hair Salon just the day before, where she’d been having a trim and a touch-up, he figured the question was a rhetorical one, a sort of conversational filler.

“She’s fine,” Slade said. By then, he’d gotten over the urge to commit fratricide and gone back to mulling the thing that had been bothering him ever since the formidable Ms. Landers had called him at home that morning and asked him to stop by her office on his way to work.

The meeting had to be about the old man’s last will and testament, though Maggie hadn’t said so over the phone. All she’d been willing to give up was, “This won’t take long, Slade, and believe me, it’s in your best interests to be there.”

Hutch’s presence made sense, since he was the legitimate son, the golden boy, groomed since birth to become the master of all he surveyed even as, mother-less from the age of twelve, he ran wild. Slade himself, on the other hand, was the outsider—born on the proverbial wrong side of the blanket.

About Big Sky Country:

The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father…until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn’t sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody—including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen, whom Slade has never forgotten.

But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect, plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter, Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she’s responsible only for her own actions—such as her effect on this lawman’s guarded heart.

If you click the book image it will take you to my review of Big Sky Country.

Big Sky Country is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions.