|Photo: John Hall Photography
The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is the author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. Raised in Northport, Wash., the self-confessed barn goddess now lives in Spokane, Wash. Miller finances the Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women, awarded to women seeking to improve their lot in life through education. Miller's newest book, Big Sky Wedding, is the latest and fifth title in her Big Sky series (Harlequin Mira, August 27, 2013).
On your nightstand now:
The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Akashic Record by Dr. Synthia Andrews and Colin Andrews; A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny; and The Lotus and the Lily by Janet Conner. As you can see, my reading tastes are eclectic! I love to read fiction, but I devour books on spirituality, with an emphasis on Christianity.
Favorite book when you were a child:
Wow, that's a hard one--there were so many that I loved! Katherine by Anya Seton was a big favorite, along with Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House books--those were so vivid to me--and, of course, Margaret Mitchell's Gone with the Wind and Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre.
Your top five authors:
Dorothy Dunnett, author of the Lymond Chronicles and The House of Niccolo; David McCullough, who writes the best histories ever; Mary Higgins Clark; Joy Fielding; Larry McMurtry.
Book you've faked reading:
The Odyssey. I mean, really. Sometimes, all you need is a copy of the Cliffs Notes! The Return of the Native by Thomas Hardy bored me silly in high school, but I think I actually waded through it.
Books you're an evangelist for:
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and The Lotus and the Lily by Janet Conner.
Book you've bought for the cover:
Too many to list. When I'm looking for a new author, I scan them all. Covers capture my attention first, of course.
Book that changed your life:
Can I list more than one? The Message: The Bible Written in Contemporary Language; The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale; The Magic of Believing by Claude Bristol; Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.
Favorite line from a book:
"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." --from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Book you most want to read again for the first time:
The Game of Kings by Dorothy Dunnett, and all the books that followed. The plots are multilayered, the dialogue is brilliant, and Francis Crawford (Lymond), is tied with Rhett Butler for all-time favorite hero.
Has the Great American Novel already been written and, if so, what is it?
In my humble opinion, Larry McMurtry's amazing Lonesome Dove deserves this title, hands down.