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The expert is in to answer your questions

Lee McClain will take your questions about anything writing and publishing related at the April 24, 2021, meeting of DARA.

Lee Tobin McClain, PhD, boasts a long and varied writing career, as well as serving as a full-time professor at the oldest genre-fiction MFA program in the country. At DARA's April 24 meeting, she'll answer your questions about writing, publishing, the writer’s life… almost anything you want to ask her. Nothing’s taboo! Here’s some suggested topics:

  • being hybrid

  • turning rejected manuscripts into indie moneymakers

  • heat levels and why anyone would want to write sweet romance

  • writing for the inspirational market

  • writing category vs mainstream romance

  • essential qualities needed to succeed long-term

  • importance of reading for writer

  • marketing (she says she’s not an expert, but we all have to do it, so…)

Randee will be collecting questions in advance so we can keep the ball rolling while we have Lee online. Please send them to her at by April 23. You’ll also have time to ask questions live during the meeting.

About Lee McClain

Lee Tobin McClain grew up as a happily-nerdy kid in Columbus, Ohio. Checking out stacks of library books, taking long walks with her sister and their dachshund, and devouring chocolate ice cream were her primary activities—that, and a lot of daydreaming.

Lee never thought she could become an author—that was for exotic, important people, not everyday girls from the Midwest. So instead, she found a book-centered career as a graduate student in literature and then as an English professor. One year when the teaching job fell through, she tried her hand at romance fiction—and her writing habit was launched.

After getting a professor job at Seton Hill University, Lee helped to start the only graduate program in North America specializing in popular fiction—mysteries, YA novels, fantasy, and, of course, romance. Seton Hill's MFA in Writing Popular Fiction has grown into a lively, crazy, successful enterprise, and Lee still loves teaching in it.

In 2002, Lee and her then-husband travelled to China to adopt their daughter, Grace–the best decision she ever made. Grace is now a college student majoring in English, which makes Lee very happy!

In 2014, Lee was thrilled to get “the call” and learn that her first inspirational romance, Engaged to the Single Mom, would be published by Harlequin’s Love Inspired line of books. That same year, she began independently publishing the stories she’d been writing for years: the Sacred Bond series of Christian romances, and the Sacred Bond Guardians series of romantic suspense novels. In February 2016, she achieved a lifelong dream when her second novel for Harlequin, His Secret Child, hit the Publishers’ Weekly bestseller list. In 2017, she reached another personal milestone when she contracted with HQN to write longer, more complex contemporary romance novels.

Nowadays, Lee spends her time writing love stories—for Love Inspired, HQN, and independently—as well as teaching writing and taking adorable pictures of her goofy goldendoodle and her aptly-named cat, Trouble. For more information about Lee, visit her website at


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