Can you pinpoint a life-changing experience? Mine was on a camping trip. We were in our RV, unable to go outside because of a snowstorm. I was stuck with kids, dogs, a husband, a sister-in-law; there was nothing to do but twiddle my thumbs … until sis unearthed Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers. We took turns reading aloud to each other. At page 150, the weather warmed and everybody went fishing–except me. You couldn’t drag me away from that book. I quit reading at 3 am when my flashlight went dead.
I was officially a romance reader and I had a whole new world to explore!
I was surprised that SSL’s post-Civil War history was based on fact. A bigger surprise was that I, a history hater, loved the historical detail and craved more. I couldn’t wait to see if the bookstore had more of the same. A hundred plus historical romance novels later, I got a new craving: to write, which wasn’t too surprising since I come from a family of writers. My mom wrote confessions, my brother-in-law co-wrote a sports tell-all book, my brother, Gerald Clarke, writes NYT Best-selling biographies (Capote & Get Happy), and grandpa, I’m told, wrote bad checks!
My writing goal was to give readers what Rosemary had given me: a joyfully painless history lesson wrapped in an emotional, action-packed story.
I hope you’ll agree that I accomplished that goal in The Peacemaker, The Seeker and The Healer, all belonging to the Warriors of the Wind series. The Peacemaker was first published with NAL as Fires of Heaven and The Seeker as Embrace the Wind. Now, they are being offered as e-books. The Healer, a June 2012 e-book, is brand new and continues the series.
It was the Oscar-winning actor, Jack Palance, playing an educated Apache warrior in the movie Arrowhead, who first got me interested in Apaches. Years later I became good friends with Jack and a host of Western actors (For more info: http://www.chelleykitzmiller.com)
The Warriors of the Wind series is based on the struggles between the Apache and the white man. I tried to present the problems, views and emotions from both sides. Each of the heroes is driven to bring peace to the Arizona Territory with a minimum loss of life. Their efforts are complicated by feisty heroines who have their own problems such as an abusive father, racial prejudice and supernatural power.
For each of the characters love comes unexpectedly. While writing their stories, I often felt guilty for giving them so much pain—all in the name of love. But because I am a romantic, I trusted my characters to find creative ways to get past the obstacles and find happiness in each other’s arms.
Because I am a huge animal lover, I try to include at least one animal in each book to lighten things up. Animals are such fun to work with, even the fictional ones. Next to my husband of many years and my writing, animals are my great love. I generally have 15-18 dogs and 4-9 cats and kittens living at my house on any given day. Most are fosters and will eventually be adopted through the rescue I began: Have A Heart Humane Society: http://www.haveahearthumanesociety.org.
I invite you to visit my website to read some of the reviews praising my books and to learn more about me and what my plans are for the future. Writing is a joy for me and I hope to continue for many years to come.
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