Lynn Lovegreen grew up in Alaska, and still lives there. She taught for twenty years before retiring to make more time for writing. She enjoys her friends and family, reading, and hitting targets with a cowboy action shooting club. Her young adult/new adult historical romances are set in the Alaska Gold Rush, a great time for drama, romance, and independent characters.
Raised in Alaska you have a deep understanding of her uniqueness and history. How does time and place play a role in your Gold Rush series? Alaska is a special place, so I use the beautiful scenery, the exceptional locations, and the dramatic historical events to enrich my stories. The Gold Rush period was a time of independent characters taking control of their lives, especially for women, who could often do more in Alaska than they might back home, so I show that in my characters. To show an example of how I tie all that together, in Golden Days you see how cold Fairbanks gets in the winter, the Chena River taking out the bridge every spring, and I use the scandal involving the town’s founder and mayor, E. T. Barnette, as a plot twist that complicates Elizabeth’s plan to go to art school.
Are the books related or stand alone? Can I say both? ☺ There is a different main character in each, and you can read them as stand alone books. But the main character in the first is a supporting character in the next and so on, so you can read them as a series too. If you want to read them in that way, Worth Her Weight in Gold is the prequel novella. Then the novels are in order: Fools Gold, Quicksilver to Gold, and Golden Days. (The last one, Gold Nuggets, will be released in 2015.)
Did you have an interesting experience in the research of this book? For Golden Days, I did a lot of reading and such, but the most interesting experience was going to Fairbanks to do some research on site. One day, I went to Pioneer Park and saw the Wickersham House. (Judge Wickersham was an important person in Alaska history, and a minor character in the book.) While there, I explained what I was doing. The docent got very excited, showed me some cool details of the house, and gave me leads on other places to research. That was fun, to see someone as enthusiastic about the history as I am.
What makes the book uniquely yours? Probably the combination of young adult, Alaska history, and romance. I know authors who do some of those elements, but not all of them. I combine my passion for romance, teens, history, and my home in all my writing.
Do you have a favorite historical character by another author? Oh, that’s a tough question. I have a lot of favorites, but the one that comes to mind is Hattie in Kirby Larson’s Hattie Big Sky and Hattie Ever After. I love her spunk and her compassion for others.
What is the one question you wish an interviewer would ask you? Oooh, what a great question! ☺ What advice would I give to teen readers? When you’re having a rough time, have faith that things will change. Your life will get better, and you’ll become the adult you were meant to be. Just be yourself and hang in there.
Do you write other genres? Not so far. I am enjoying what I’m doing right now. But maybe a new idea will pop into my head down the road.
This interview also appeared in the January 2015 issue of The Book Breeze.