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Music Monday- Conquest of the Heart

Just another Music Monday (try to not get Manic Monday stuck in your head…).

Today let’s welcome Michele Stegman to the blog to discuss Conquest of the Heart!

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I don’t really listen to music when I write. If the radio happens to be on, I “tune” it out. Music is so powerful, that it becomes a distraction for me. But I do love music, especially classical music and opera, Rachmaninoff, Chopin, Mussorgsky, Puccini, etc. I also love movie sound tracks such as Last of the Mohicans, Pirates of the Carribean, and Dances With Wolves. But my favorite way to enjoy music is to play the piano.

Sometimes I will stay up late and play the piano into the night, until 1:00 or 2:00 a.m. It seems such a personal time for me, alone with my piano and my music. And here I am living in a log cabin way out in the woods, with no neighbors nearby. I can’t even see the road from my cabin. And when my husband is at work, I am here by myself. But those nighttime hours are still special.

When I was a child, my first album was Nutcracker Suite. Sure, I liked popular music, too, and listened to it with friends, but classical music was what I really enjoyed, even in grade school.

Now, classical music is still my very favorite, but as the pianist for my church, I am appreciating anew the music I grew up with in church. I especially love finding new arrangements of hymns.

So how do I use music to help me write? Music has rhythm, of course, and so does writing. In the best music, there is a growing tension and then a release that is similar to writing those climatic scenes. I also find inspiration when I listen to grand, sweeping music. I can “see” what is happening when the music plays. And sometimes, that inspires scenes and ideas for new books. I just don’t listen while I write!

I’m working on a western romance set in Texas in 1869. It’s about a man who isn’t as bad as he thinks he is, but who still needs redemption and forgiveness, mainly from himself.

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Conquest of the Heart

Her people conquered his country.

In 1067 England, Madeline, a Norman, wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she is falling in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?

Now she must conquer his heart.

Ranulf wants to marry the girl next door. What he gets, by order of the king, is a lush, strong Norman woman who just might be a spy reporting his every move. He wants her in every way a man can possibly want a woman. But can he trust his heart to a woman who might have been sent to root out the struggle for freedom his people are engaged in? How can they overcome the distrust they feel to find love?

Buy it at: Amazon and Mythical Press

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Posted in Article, Articles

Meet the Writer Wednesday- Michele Stegman

Learn about the different ways writers tap into their inspiration by asking them! Every Wednesday we meet a new author and discuss style, projects, and methods with them.

Today let’s welcome Michele Stegman!

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What writing quote means the most to you?

“I don’t wait for mood. You accomplish nothing if you do that. Your mind must know it has got to get down to work.” –Pearl Buck

When you’re settling down to write, what sparks the inspiration for you?

When I am reading a history book and a scene strikes me as interesting, my mind starts spinning off into “what if’s.”

        The book I am currently working on, however, was inspired by a little sign in Texas as I drove across a bridge. It said, “Cibolo Creek,” and I thought it would make a great book title and I started wondering what could have happened at Cibolo Creek. Now I’m writing the story I came up with.

With your characters, are there any you feel particularly close to, or that you could write about endlessly?

There is one character I put into all my books–my husband. In one way or another, he is the inspiration for all my heroes. Ranulf, in Conquest of the Heart, is the hero most closely modeled on my husband.

If you were to take a dream vacation, where would you go?

I would love to return to England for an extended stay. I have always been an Anglophile and would love the opportunity to live in England for a while and leisurely explore the country.

Do you have a project you’re really excited about right now?

I have started writing Cibolo Creek, a Western set in 1869. It was an unsettled time with a lot of outlaws and tensions from the Civil War. It is about a good man who has gone so far astray he feels he is beyond redemption. And now he must impersonate a preacher to catch the outlaw he has crossed too many times. The heroine is just the right person to bring him back to a life he long feared was lost to him.

What shows do you tune into when you’re not writing?

I watch too much TV! I like documentaries, Criminal Minds, Grimm, Blue Bloods, and…

How about books–any recommendations?

I have read most of Jo Beverley’s books but decided to reread her Rogue books, but in order this time, just for fun. They can be read in any order.

What’s your astrological sign?

Aries.

Hooray for fellow Aries! So, when you’re reading a book, are there any dealbreakers? Anything that drives you nuts?

I love reading series books, but only if they can be read in any order and there are no cliffhangers at the end. To me, the story in each book should be resolved by the end of the book. That is an unwritten contract between author and reader. I hate to get to the end of a book and find that the story is not resolved. To find out what happens, I would have to read the next book. Just on principle, I refuse to read any more of that author’s books. I feel I have been tricked and the author is using this just to try to force readers to buy their next book.

        An example of a very good series is Jo Beverley’s Rogue series. The books are connected, many of the same characters can be found in all the books, but each book stands alone. The ending of each book leaves you satisfied, but definitely wanting to read another of the books.

Where can readers find you?

Facebook

Author Page

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Her people conquered his country. How can they overcome the distrust they feel to find love?

In 1067 England, Madeline, a Norman, wants a big, brash, never-defeated-in-battle, Norman knight. What she gets, by order of the king, is a wiry Saxon who once studied for the priesthood instead of warfare. But is this gentle man she is falling in love with entangled in the rebellion now sweeping the land?

Ranulf wants to marry the girl next door. What he gets, by order of the king, is a lush, strong Norman woman who just might be a spy reporting his every move. He wants her in every way a man can possibly want a woman. But can he trust his heart to a woman who might have been sent to root out the struggle for freedom his people are engaged in?

Buy it here: Amazon, Smashwords

Thanks for joining us on Meet the Writer Wednesday! Join us next week to meet a new author!