Go to Homepage   Patricia McLinn - Continued

 

…that instead of my historical ideas being set in the Colonial or Revolutionary War era, which I've studied for years, stories from the American West have grabbed my imagination, requiring research from scratch.  

Crescent Blues: Can we expect more historicals in the future? 

Patricia McLinn: I certainly hope so. I have quite a few more ideas, including one with my editor at Harlequin Historicals right now. Maybe if everyone clapped their hands, The Virtuous Jezebel would get to live, just like Tinkerbell. 

Crescent Blues: Can you tell us something about The Children of the Far Hills, the series premiering in late 1999? Where is the series set? 

Patricia McLinn: The series is set on a fictional Wyoming cattle ranch that sweeps from the sides of the Big Horn Mountains east. Far Hills Ranch was established in the early 1880s by a ruthless man name Charles Susland.  

In building his ranching empire, Susland cast aside an Indian wife and their children in order to marry a wealthy white woman who he hoped would give him sons to create a dynasty. When his dying Indian wife begged him to save the last of their children, Susland turned his back, and earned Leaping Star's curse on him and Far Hills.  

Over the generations, as money failed to cushion the Suslands from disease, madness and tragedy, the legend of the curse has grown. But the legend also says the curse can be lifted... with the help of true love. Except, time is running out.... 

Now, the remaining descendants of Charles Susland represent the last chance to lift the three elements of the curse under the legend -- being alone, being homeless and being lost. But to do that, and to lift the curse, they must find a love true enough to right Charles Susland's wrongs. 

The series opens with Charles' great-great-granddaughter Kendra Jenner and Daniel Delligatti. They touched each other's hearts when they though they might die, and in the process created a son, but is that enough to build a life on? Book two centers on Kendra's cousin and another Susland descendant, Col. John "Grif" Griffin Jr. Once the best of friends, Grif and Ellyn Sinclair need forgiveness to reconcile -- and courage to explore the emotions they've hidden from each other and themselves for so long. 

The third element of the curse falls to Far Hills Ranch foreman Luke Chandler and newcomer Rebecca Dahlgren. They are opposites in every way but two -- their mutual attraction and the separate secrets from the past that threaten their future.  

Crescent Blues: This too will be something of a departure, dealing with legends and righting "old wrongs." Are western legends an area you'd like to explore further? 

Patricia McLinn: I do like the idea of having the past echo in the present. Not only the individual characters' pasts, but their families' pasts and the region's past. The past is the flow of water carving out the riverbed of the present. We can change the course of the river, but it takes a concerted effort or a natural upheaval or both.  

That's when books usually happen -- when characters are trying to change the course of their lives that the past had set out for them. As for legends, whether I've heard them or they come out of my head, they certainly are a wonderful springboard for that ever-changing leap of "what if."  

Jean Marie Ward