Rosanne Bittner is an award-winning novelist who is highly acclaimed for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—from Canada to Mexico, Missouri to California—and are often based on personal visits to each setting. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons.
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Hello fellow “chicks!” Rosanne Bittner here, answering your questions in response to my September book DESPERATE HEARTS from Sourcebooks. It’s available in print and as an e-book as are many of my backlist titles now through Sourcebooks, Diversion Books and Amazon.
First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
DESPERATE HEARTS is my 59th published novel since I was first sold in 1982. That book was SWEET PRAIRIE PASSION, the first of a 7-book series about the settling of Colorado and its affect on the Cheyenne Indians. The series is a fabulous love story that takes a couple from when they first meet on the Oregon Trail all the way close to the end of the 19th century, through children and grandchildren and the realistic telling of what life was like for our early pioneers. After over 30 years the books are still selling and many readers declare them their favorite books of all time!
I have a deep passion for American history, especially Native American history and America’s Old West. My books are full of real events and locations, and I have visited every location in my many stories, from Ohio and the French and Indian wars all the way across America to California and the gold rush. I love the magnificent western landscape and all the exciting things that happened in the settling of this country. Combined with all that in my books are some wonderful love stories and great sex that just rounds off some great stories!
Did you always want to be a writer?
When I think back on it, yes, I always wanted to write. I wrote my first poem in 2d grade, my first little story in 4th grade, and I wrote tons of poems over the years until I read THE PROUD BREED by Celeste de Blasis and knew I wanted to write a fabulous generational love story like the one in that book. I started my SAVAGE DESTINY series and never looked back.
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
You asked if I’m a pantster or a plotter? I’m a little of both, but mostly a pantster. I always know what the book will be about and where it will be located, and I must have a working title that I love before I start writing. I always know how it will begin and how it will end, but I am a pantster when it gets to taking my characters from A to B. I get totally involved in the story and I know that it will just naturally take care of itself. I never worry about how I will solve this or that situation, because my stories flow like natural life, and everything always works out.
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas come from a vivid imagination and tons of research. I am always, always planning and plotting not just the “next” book but 3-4 others. My brain never stops working!
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
Describe my newest book in 140 characters or less? If you’re talking about my September title DESPERATE HEARTS, it would be:
“Handsome Montana vigilante falls for a mysterious newcomer to Alder Gulch, only to learn she’s wanted for murder! Does he take her to his bed? Or arrest her?”
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
My favorite stories to read are really well-written and well-researched westerns, but I sometimes read a mystery just for something different. It takes a lot to interest me and keep the pages turning. I’m really particular. A favorite book I read not long ago is DEATH ON TOUR – a really, really fun murder mystery that takes place when the heroine goes on a group tour of Egypt. The author is Janice Hamrick.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
To this day I have two favorite books. One I read at the age of 14 and it made me want to write about pioneers and write a love story. It was A LANTERN IN HER HAND by Bess Streeter Aldrich. It’s a really beautiful story. And again, my more adult book would be THE PROUD BREED.
What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Hardest scenes for me to write? None. I love my stories and the characters and I love to “live” with them as I write, so it all happens naturally and I have very little trouble with any particular scene. I guess the only hard thing is when the hero or heroine gets in trouble and I have to get them “out” of trouble without making the help or escape seem too common, like the hero just conveniently shooting everyone and not getting hurt. That’s not realistic. And you want every “save” scene in every book to be different.
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
If I could have dinner with any three authors, they would be Louis L’Amour (if only he were still alive) – Janelle Taylor (because I know her so well and she and I have had similar careers, starting with writing Indian romance for Kensington Publishing back in the 80’s) – and probably Steven King, just to see what makes him tick. I don’t even read his books, but he has to be a very interesting man.
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Am I working on anything right now? OF COURSE! I never STOP working! I just finished a sequel to OUTLAW HEARTS called DO NOT FORSAKE ME. OUTLAW HEARTS will be reissued next June and the sequel will come out the following month. It’s 575 pages! I love the story – one of passionate, enduring love and also redemption and forgiveness, with lots of wild action and a great story about a close-knit family headed by a reformed outlaw. As soon as I sent in DO NOT FORSAKE ME, I started a new synopsis for what will be my first contemporary Native American story. After that I have three more synopses in mind and then I’ll wait to see what sells. By then my editor should have edits ready for DO NOT FORSAKE ME and I’ll have to return to that book and work on the re-writes.
I believe most readers, above all else, want to read a really, really memorable love story. Am I right?
Thanks, everybody, for your kind support! Visit my web site at www.rosannebittner.com – my blog at www.rosannebittner.blogspot.com – and visit me on Facebook and Twitter. I am all over the internet, and all my books are listed with Amazon. Enjoy!
Elizabeth Wainwright is on the run. Accused of a murder she didn’t commit, she has no choice but to cut ties with her old life and flee West. The last thing she wants is attention, but when her stagecoach is attacked, she suddenly finds herself under the fierce protection of one of Montana’s famed vigilantes…whether she likes it or not.
Lawman Mitch Brady is sworn to uphold justice. He’s never met a man he’s feared, and he’s never met a woman more desperately in need of his help. Something’s shaken the secretive Elizabeth, but as he gets to know the beautiful city belle, he finds the only thing he wants more than her safety…is her trust. Elizabeth longs to give herself to Mitch, but when her past finally catches up with her, can she truly trust her life to the vigilante who’s stolen her heart?
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