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Please join me in welcoming guest author Joan Bird to the blog today. Tumbleweed Heights is Joan’s first published novel. Please make Joan feel welcome on the blog today by leaving your questions and comments for her in the comments section following this post. 

About Joan Bird

Joan Bird has been telling stories for years. In her first incarnation she was a singer/song writer with a rock band (yes, her Fender guitars are awesome), then she started writing books, mostly for herself.

Joan’s storytelling is legendary amongst her family and friends. For years she’s been including short stories with her holiday greetings each December and for years her friends and family have been encouraging her to write a book. Little did they know she had a storehouse of novels just waiting to be read by more than just her mailing list.

A couple of years ago she began working on polishing the stories she had already written, which sparked new ideas that led to writing more novels. Tumbleweed Heights is her first published book, but there are more on the way and she can’t wait for you to read them.

Her latest book is the contemporary romance, Tumbleweed Heights.


About Tumbleweed Heights

Moving to Briarwood, Colorado had not been in Gilly Casey’s original life plan. Sure, she’d dreamed of owning a horse ranch, but as kind of a part-time gig, in Topanga Canyon maybe. But the best laid plans of this high-powered L.A. attorney turn to dust when more than her bar card is threatened. Fleeing to a life she had never imagined quickly becomes a cat and mouse game just to stay alive.

Luke Hudson’s road to Briarwood was no less bumpy. Hiding from his own demons, he’s no longer able to float below the radar when he recognizes the feisty Miz Casey is in more trouble than she’ll admit. Donning the hero mantle years after he’d shed that skin, Luke realizes that rescuing Gilly might just save him, too.

With so many secrets between them, does love stand a chance? When the past trains its loaded gun on them, truth may not be enough to safeguard Gilly and Luke.


Joan Bird About Inspiration:

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

I’m not sure, certainly not for Tumbleweed Heights. One thing though, is I’ll see something -a place, a person- and this visual becomes a character or a place that needs a character, in my head.

Other times, an opening line pulls up out of nowhere. Sits there idling in my brain like a car at a red light compelling me to write it down. It’s the old ‘dark and stormy night’ inspiration. I let descriptive prose take me to a character then my character lands me in a story. When this method is my spark, I usually return to the opening and change it up since it’s likely more seed than actual plot, but by then my characters are friends and they straighten me out. I do tend to over kill on backstory with this method, but cut and paste is a most remarkable tool.

Maybe I have a heroine in mind, but I have no idea what her conflict will be. A hero, and I have to find his angst. In that sense, the characters themselves become my inspiration.

With Tumbleweed, I had Gilly on the page and though I’d decided she landed in the fictional Briarwood because she’d run from something in her past, I had no clue what she was escaping. Dang, she wasn’t even a just-about-disbarred lawyer in the beginning. And Luke? Poor man was on the lamb from a bad marriage but it didn’t fit him. He’s too true-blue and a sensitive guy. I know quite a few of those, by the way. His trauma had to be significant enough to drive him from a successful medical practice and the career he loved, halfway across the country to a backwards berg. A child dying on his operating table did the trick.

Even when this approach is the kick-off, at some point experiences of my life, people that have crossed my path, enter in and flush out the tale. Then I sprinkle in all those dreams I had as a little girl and presto-change-o, it comes together.


Joan’s Links:

Amazon Kindle Store | Smashwords | Burroughs Publishing Group

10 Responses to Guest Author Joan Bird Talks About Her Debut Novel Tumbleweed Heights

  • Joan bird says:

    call me remiss…I have been devoured by my…faith commitments …giving up champagne for Lent …see I meant to touch base long ago…that long ago…I have put His Perfect Submissive on my list…an intriguing title that one…

    As to heroes bent on revenge your point is so well taken…In fact my writing mentor (weekly group—-25 pages no matter what —convinced me on the edit…hero boy has to change something to manage the revenge thing or he will be despised not loved (can’t have that)…so just rewrote that…now our heroine needs there’s that…thanks for your contribution to my writer’s head…j birf

    • Joan Bird says:

      I hope you do read it Wilma. I loved writing it and I’m looking for feedback. This is my first published child so it’s a little scary. Thanks for the note.

      • Laurie Sanders says:

        The first book is always a little scary. Come to think of it, I’m not sure it gets any better with subsequent books. I think there is always a feeling of sending the book out into the cold cruel world to stand on its own two feet. It’s always a little scary.

    • Joan Bird says:

      Thanks for the note, and gosh my apologies for not responding sooner. If my car went as fast as my life I’d be seeing checkered flags at Indy.

      I don’t know that I understood what ‘character driven’ really meant until I finished a book. In looking back it was like, WOW, would you look at that. It’s was their idea.

      Peace Out- JB

  • Laurie Sanders says:

    Hi Again Joan,

    I have to be away for part of the day today so I thought I’d leave some of my questions for you before I leave.

    I love the idea of including short stories in your Christmas letters. I think that’s a great idea!

    Your bio mentions that you have a stockpile of finished novels that you’ve completed over the years that you are working on releasing. This story is a romantic suspense. Are most of your stories romantic suspense? What other genres or sub-genres do you write? Do you have a favorite genre or sub-genre to read? To write?

    Who are some of the romantic suspense authors who inspire you as an author?

    • Joan Bird says:

      So sorry for the delay in responding to your challenging follow-up. To be honest, I didn’t even ‘get’ there were ‘genres’ in Romance until I entered a contest a few years ago. I just write and then try to place my square head into sometimes round holes.

      The current finished book is a historical set in the region of my California roots, Gold Rush Country and Sacramento. It does have some suspense, it’s a romance but you got me on the official genre except historical. Kidnapped Heart. A hero with a past that drives him to revenge, an educated but naive heroine who’d rather swim near naked in hidden streams after tearing across the valley floor on her stallion than fill her mother’s mandates of ‘mariage and socializing’. There’s betrayal and redemption and trust. Bad guys, blizzards…no rats or snakes in this one though.

      As to author’s I still enjoy Mary Higgens Clark, her earlier work enthralled me, and Mary Stewart. (I know that rather dates me but there it is).

      My ‘child’ is an inspirational. Ordinary Miracles. It’s on the cutting room floor at the moment and therein lies the rub. It apparently fails the ‘inspirational’ test as to a proper fit. We’ll see what happens with that.

      Thanks again for your time and effort with the interview. Once I got over the ‘fear’ of it, I really started having fun with these.

      Peace Out, J Bird

      • Laurie Sanders says:

        It sounds like you’ve been very busy.

        Kidnapped Heart sounds great–maybe because I am drawn to the setting…Gold Rush Country and Sacramento. It’s not where my roots are. Mine are all in the Midwest…Iowa. My husband however grew up in California and spent a lot of time near Sacramento. He’s shared tidbits which make it feel like I have a connection to the area.

        I do like revenge stories too…though I think they are problematic. Taking revenge without coming off as not heroic…therein lies the rub. When the author is able to pull that off it makes for a delightful…tense…story.

        There are certain benchmarks that readers of certain sub-genres expect…though I think as we blend more genres together (erotic, paranormal, romantic suspense for example OR historical, inspirational, romantic suspense) the lines between sub-genres become more blurred. I think the blurring of the sub-genres allows readers to enjoy a story that maybe doesn’t fit in one sub-genre that maybe straddles two or three genres.

        I can relate to the need to get over the “fear” of interviews to have fun with it.

        I did a blog tour for my own book His Perfect Submissive, written under my pen name Alyssa Aaron, a year or so ago. It was an interesting experience…one that was a little scary but also a lot of fun.

        I hope you’re way into the land of fun with the interviews and blog posts by now. Conversing with readers and authors is generally fun. :)

  • Laurie Sanders says:

    Welcome to the blog Joan. I hope you have a good visit on the blog today.

    Romantic suspense is one of my favorite sub-genres to read. I very much like stories in which the hero or heroine or both have to flee the bad guys.

    Can you tell us a little about what kind of trouble Gilly has found herself in?

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