Happy New Year and welcome back to the blog all my lovely readers for what I am hoping will be another wonderful year for books.
I’m kicking off the year with a new episode of my feature on writing romance, and I’m delighted to welcome back to the blog, romance author, Mick Arnold, to tell us what he writes and why he writes it.
Tell me a bit about the type of books you write and where you are in your publishing journey.
I started off writing pure romance or, to be more precise, women’s fiction as my very first novel to be published was, The Season for Love. This was set on the run up to Christmas and thought with a small American publishing house, it did provide me with that important first on the publishing ladder. I’ve since moved sideways into writing WW2 historical sagas, though the romance element in them is very important and central to the stories.
Don’t let it slip, but I’m a very romantic husband however, I only began reading romance when my wife passed me a book and said, ‘read that’! I did then the next morning, I found myself at my ancient laptop tapping away without knowing what was coming out. That’s how my very first and unpublished book came about. I then heard about the Romantic Novelist’s Association and was lucky enough to join. Being around these wonderful people inspired me to carry on and it seemed natural, at the time, to write romance.
What inspires your stories?
It can be anything. I’ve lots of ideas for stories inspired by songs I’ve heard on the radio, which I haven’t written yet, but also by things that I read and watch on the television. It’s always handy therefore to have a notepad by my side, as I’ve absolutely no memory.
Who are your favourite romance authors, past and/or present?
OMG, are you trying to get me into trouble? I know an awful lot of great authors now, the majority of whom are romance authors. However, if I’m going to be pushed, I particularly adore the novels of Sue Moorcroft and Bella Osborne. Sue makes me laugh, cry and question life in general, often at the same time as she’s not afraid to use sensitive subject matter. Bella is quite a new, yet established author whose style is more traditional romance. She has a beautiful way of brightening up my days when I read her books. Jill Mansell has great twisty, turvy plots that I always wonder how she comes up with! I’ll finish with TA Williams. He always takes me on a wonderful journey around the world!
If you had to pick one romance novel for me to read, which one would you recommend?
Though I can keep coming back to read Sue’s books at any time, I would have to say it’s Jill Mansell’s utterly brilliant, moving novel, Three Amazing Things About You. It’s a tale of a girl who has Cystic Fibrosis and though sad, in all the right places, is also so funny and so moving! I’ve said many a time that this book needs to be made into a movie.
Hallie has a secret. She’s in love. He’s perfect for her in every way, but he’s seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren’t going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn’t have long to live. Time is running out…
Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won’t be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends – let alone anything more.
Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she’s afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong.
THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she’s about to be given new lungs. But whose?
Which romantic hero or heroine would you choose to spend your perfect romantic weekend with? Where would you go and what would you do?
Tricky. Should I say that I’ve never read Jane Austen? I’m not certain I won’t be drummed out of the RNA if this gets out, but it’s true. I don’t suppose I can get away with saying, my Lady Wife? If I can, it would have to be having Walt Disney World to ourselves for the weekend. Crowds are such a bind and neither of us are much for beaches. There’s nothing like riding Space Mountain!
I would never have had you down as a fellow Disney World devotee! The things you learn in this game. What is your favourite thing about being a member of the RNA? What do you think you have gained from membership?
Oh, the friendship and support! Without a doubt, I don’t believe I would have got published so soon if I hadn’t become a member of this wonderful organisation. I had a bad time health wise over the last couple of years and was taken care of so well at the 2019 convention because people were so worried about me. You cannot buy friendship and support like that.
What one piece of advice or tip would you give to new writers starting out in the romance genre?
I don’t think it matters what genre you want to write in, it would be the same. Read in the genre you want to write and keep writing. Persistence is the name of the game where writing is concerned. Not many people manage to get a deal with the first thing you write. Also, make sure that you are prepared for rejection; you need a backbone to write. I know that’s not one piece, but my editor tells me off for long sentences, and it’s now a habit.
Tell us about your most recent novel.
This, my second published novel is called, A Wing and a Prayer and is the first in a series called, ‘Broken Wings’. These are set in World War 2 United Kingdom and is actually an historical saga, though with a strong thread of romance running through it for my lead characters. However, it is also a mystery and has the billing on the cover of – The Air Transport Auxiliary Mystery Club! I stumbled into this genre as whilst recovering from my illness, I’d tried to pick up my writing, but couldn’t get going, then an author friend advised me to try something different and I happened to be watching a documentary called, The Spitfire Girls. I then did some research and before I really knew what was happening, I’d the general gist of a story fleshed out. Book 2 is with my editor and I’m nearly halfway through the third, my first Christmas book!
When Betty Palmer’s sister dies under suspicious circumstances whilst landing her Tiger Moth, Betty and three other women pilots of the Air Transport Auxiliary in WWII England unite to discover who killed her and why.
Estranged from her family, Penny Blake wants simply to belong. American Doris Winter, running from a personal tragedy, yearns for a new start. Naturally shy Mary Whitworth-Baines struggles to fit in. Together though, they are a force to be reckoned with as they face the mystery that confronts them.
Against the backdrop of war, when ties of friendship are exceptionally strong, they strive to unravel the puzzle’s complex threads, risking their lives as they seek justice for Betty’s sister.
You can buy a copy of A Wing and a Prayer here.
About the Author
Mick is a hopeless romantic who was born in England and spent fifteen years roaming around the world in the pay of HM Queen Elisabeth II in the Royal Air Force before putting down roots and realizing how much he missed the travel. This he’s replaced somewhat with his writing, including reviewing books and supporting fellow saga and romance authors in promoting their novels.
He’s the proud keeper of two Romanian Were-Cats, is mad on the music of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, and enjoys the theatre and loving his Manchester-United-supporting wife.
Finally, Mick is a full member of the Romantic Novelists Association. A Wing and a Prayer will be his second published novel, and he is very proud to be welcomed into The Rose Garden.
Connect with Mick:
Facebook: M W Arnold Author