Monday 23 April 2018

Author Spotlight - Melanie Milburne

Breathless in the Bush is thrilled to introduce Award-winning and USA Best-selling Modern Romance author, Melanie Milburne.

A prolific writer and proud member of Romance Writers of Australia, and Ambassador for Australian Childhood Foundation, you can contact her on Twitter:, on Facebook:, and through her website:

Where are you at this moment and what is on your writing desk?

I am at our beach house on the east coast of Tasmania where an echidna waddles outside my window, dolphins swim in the ocean and the black and yellow cockatoos make a raucous noise as they fly past. And just the other day, a scarlet-breasted robin perched on the corner of the balcony near my office and a sea eagle drifted past. On my desk are my laptop and stand, my story notes and a collection of pens as well as a bottle of dog treats for my three poodles. I put them through some tricks when I need a break from my story.

What is the hardest part of your writing process? Starting a novel or finishing it?

Starting is easiest for me. I would have written three times as many books by now if I only had to start them. Ha ha. 😀 Finishing is always hard for me. In fact, I think it's getting harder.

What inspired the story idea behind Blackmailed into the Marriage Bed?

A couple of years ago I read Andrew Solomon's amazing book called Far from the Tree, a lengthy tome about the experience of parents who have children they didn't expect to have, such as with disabilities, or gay or transgender or with mental illness such as schizophrenia. One of the chapters was on children born out of rape. It made me think of what it would be like to know you were not conceived out of a loving union but out of a brutal crime and how that would make you feel about yourself. Thus my heroine Ailsa was created.

This is your 76th book. How have you changed as a writer over the course of so many books?

I'm certainly not as fast as I was in the beginning of my career. I could literally churn out novels like a conveyor belt! I've done a lot of professional development over the last few years and it has slowed me down a lot, but that's overall a good thing. I no longer head hop (changing points of view within a scene) and I spend more time thinking about my choice of words and phrases and getting rid of cliches where I can.

What are you currently working on at the moment?

I have just finished a Wedding-themed duet and I will spend a couple of weeks reading and thinking about my next story. I don't rush in too quickly these days; I find it helps me to allow my subconscious time to play.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Writing is a craft and anyone with a modicum of talent can learn how to do it better. Writers need to read but they also need to write as often as they can. It's like physical exercise - the more you do, the stronger and fitter you get.

Tell us a little about Blackmailed into the Marriage Bed...

Ailsa is estranged from her husband Vinn Gagliardi because he wanted children and she didn't. But with his beloved grandfather facing do-or-die transplant surgery, Vinn is determined to get Ailsa back into a temporary reunion until his grandfather is out of danger. Ailsa had never told Vinn about her dark secret, but the temptation of being back in his arms is too overwhelming to resist!

What do you love to love?

I love to love my husband and two sons who have always believed in and stood by me.

What do you love to laugh at?

I love to laugh at my three miniature poodles Polly, Lily and Gonzo who are so intelligent and entertaining and do about twenty tricks apiece and still counting!

What do you love to learn?

I love to learn about the craft of writing and enjoy making each book better than the last if I can.


  1. Hi Melanie. I loved your post. 76 books and counting. That's a great achievement. Congratulations. And how lucky are you living surrounded by beautiful scenery and wildlife that is sure to inspire you.

  2. Wow, 76 books! What an accomplishment! Blackmailed into the Marriage Bed sounds like a great read.
    I have yet to get to Tasmania, but I love the sound of your Tassie wilderness. One of these days.

  3. Hi Melanie. I've been a fan of yours for years. I love how you deal with serious issues in your stories in sensitive and thought provoking ways. And I agree - there is always so much to learn and ways to improve. I am slow at the start and quick at the end! Penelope

  4. Hi Melanie

    Woohoo on 76 books I just finished reading it what a fabulous story I love your heroes and heroines and how you bring them together through ups and downs, the places to take me too and the happy sighs when we get to the HEA
    Thank you for the wonderful stories and I look foward to maby more

    Have Fun


  5. Hi Melanie. Welcome to the Breathless Blog. I loved that after 76 books you feel you are still learning and still improving with every book. Your puppies are adorable and your beach house sounds divine. Looking forward to many more books.

  6. Melanie, your 76 books just blows me away, congratulations! It sounds so idyllic where you live, how wonderful and inspirational. Your puppies look adorable. I'm just about to read your latest book, how exciting. Love the way inspiration popped into your head for the heroine.

  7. Hi Melanie, thanks for sharing such valuable insights into your writing life. It's fascinating to learn about the writing processes of another author.

  8. Lovely to have you on the blog Melanie and to hear what you are up to. I have many of your titles on my shelf but sadly not all 76. Must've missed a few aling the way. :( x


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