Miller, Linda Lael

Miller, Linda Lael (1949–)

(pop culture)

Linda Lael Miller, a popular writer of romance literature, was born Linda Lael in Spokane, Washington. She married shortly after high school and worked as a clerk-typist for a number of years before becoming a writer of women’s books. Her first book, Fletcher’s Woman, appeared in 1983. She found a growing readership and produced more than twenty romance novels by the end of the decade. Her 1987 book, Wanton Angel, won the Romantic Times Award for the Most Sensual Historical Romance Book of the Year.

In the wake of Anne Rice‘s success, which proved that books about vampires could find a readership among fans of romance novels, Miller produced her first vampire novel, Forever and the Night. It became one of the first books on the subject to be marketed as a romance title. A best-seller, it told the story of Aidan Tremayne, a handsome twenty-two-year-old young man with black hair and blue eyes. In 1782 he began an affair with a woman named Lisette who turned out to be an ancient female vampire from Atlantis. During one of their love-making sessions, she bit him and then shared her blood with him. He became an undead creature, but unlike most vampires he was tortured by the remnant of humanity that remained alive in him. He later moved to Connecticut and there in the modern world met Neely Wallace, a woman that a gypsy predicted would be either his salvation or ultimate damnation. He also had a sister Mauve, who was turned into a vampire.

Forever and the Night concentrated on the story of Tremayne and Wallace, but in the wake of its success, subsequent novels developed the accounts of Mauve and the other vampires with whom they were associated. While Miller’s was by no means the first gothic romance novel (a tradition that dates at least as far back as author Florence Marryat in the 1890s), the response to Miller’s book led to a flurry of vampire romance novels that has continued to the present. She has not returned to the vampire theme since her four novels in the mid-1990s.

Sources:

Miller, Linda Lael. Forever and the Night. New York: Berkley Books, 1993. 338 pp.
———. For All Eternity. New York: Berkley Books, 1994. 341 pp.
———. Time without End. New York: Berkley Books, 1995. 357 pp.
———. Tonight and Always. New York: Berkley Books, 1996. 339 pp.