Thanks, Linda, for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?
Hi, Alana. Thanks for having me. Northeastern Oklahoma is a far cry from your corner of the world, so I appreciate you letting me travel all this way for a visit.
I’m a degreed accountant and am happy to say I no longer go to the dreaded day job. That piece of paper doesn’t help me with my writing, but it does come in handy when keeping up with my sales info. I lived with spreadsheets for so long that I now use them when doing my character profiles, where I’ve submitted my manuscripts, contests I’ve entered, etc.
Tell us about your new book!
GRAVE SECRETS is my debut novel. Here’s a blurb:
When Sara Adams’ infant daughter is abducted, she moves heaven and earth to find her. But six months later, time is running out and Sara turns to the one man she shouldn’t—insurance investigator Morgan Daniels. Dangerously attractive, he’s a threat to more than just her heart, and if she isn’t careful, he’ll unearth secrets better left buried.
Proving Sara murdered her husband is Morgan’s top priority. Helping her find her child is the perfect opportunity to get the proof he needs. But when he starts to think of her as a woman rather than a suspect, she slips under his armor. He can’t trust her. Worse, he can’t trust himself around her.
All evidence points to Sara as a murderer, but Morgan’s gut tells him the evidence is wrong. Is his obsession with her blinding him to the facts? Or is the real murderer still out there…stalking Sara?
What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?
This book is the result of a plotting workshop several years ago. We all thought the storyline was a good one and that the story needed to be written. I held my breath, waiting for someone else to speak up. Everyone else shook their heads, saying it wasn’t their cup of tea, so I jammed my hand into the air, going ooh-ooh… MINE!
How would you best describe your books?
Suspenseful with romance thrown in on the side. I’d always thought my books were more romance, but since my recent release, the feedback I’m getting tells me it’s more of a mystery. Hmm. Maybe I should rethink what I write.
What is your favorite genre to write? To read?
I’m a romantic at heart and I’ve tried writing straight romance, but it always turns into a suspense. Guess I just like the drama. LOL I love to read several different subgenre’s of romance but the suspense pulls me the most. If I’m reading a non-romance book, it’s usually a mystery, with a Stephen King or Dean Koontz book thrown in every now and then.
Me, too! What would you write if you could write anything you wanted to write?
More than likely it would be suspense. Or mystery. But I’m also fascinated with Women’s Fiction. Maybe I’ll give that a shot one of these days. There are snippets of stories floating around in my head, waiting for me to listen and write them down.
What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?
My first fascination with the written word was when I was four and my older brother showed off what he’d written in school that day. I thought, I want to do that. However, I didn’t get serious about my writing until much later in life. And what do I like most about writing? Um, writing the words, “The End”. LOL That gives me a major rush.
What do you love most about writing and what do you not like?
I love sitting down and writing a really good scene, seeing the characters come to life and having them connect with the readers. I hate the middle of the story. I usually know exactly how the story begins and ends before I go very far with it, but that sagging middle eats my lunch every time.
Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?
I belong to Romance Writers of America, Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. and Tulsa NightWriters. Each of these groups gives me something different and have helped me along the way.
Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?
I love music. However, if I’m listening to it, I’m singing along with it and not getting into my characters heads. i.e. I like the house silent while I’m writing.
Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?
I have excellent critique partners that kick my rear from time to time. I truly feel that if you don’t have critique partners whom you can trust, you’re hosed. They’re good at keeping me on track, finding the little things that are wrong with my story, do line edits as well as fixing the big picture issues. I’d be lost without them!
Tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books did you write before selling one?
I’ve completed three manuscripts and GRAVE SECRTETS was the third. I took the long way around, meaning I learned the craft (after a rocky start), but then didn’t push to publish. I wasn’t ready to deal with the business end of this industry, continue to write and still go to a stressful day job all at the same time. Each person has to move at their own pace. I can honestly say my pace was more like a turtle.
How did you find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?
I’d heard about The Wild Rose Press from a couple of friends who also published with them. Then in 2011, I met Rhonda Penders, the editor-in-chief, at a conference, pitched my story and the rest is history. With an epub, you don’t get a call, you get an email. Which worked fine for me. I didn’t have to sound coherent when I initially got the news. lol
What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?
One of my favorite things about GRAVE SECRETS is I introduced an older couple who lived on a farm. I wasn’t sure why I put that in there at the time, and one of my critique partners told me it wasn’t needed (too many characters, I guess), but my gut told me to keep it. Later in the book, that couple played a pivotal role. Didn’t really see it coming until I actually wrote it.
What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?
I’m currently working on a novella with several other ladies, polishing another manuscript and plotting the sequel to GS. My next book signing will be on August 25th at Steve’s Sundries in Tulsa and I’ll be also be at a book festive at the Bartlesville, OK public library on September 15th. Anyone in the area is more than welcome to come out and say hi.
What would you like to tell readers?
Don’t give up. Whatever your dream, whatever your passion, whatever your age, give yourself permission to go for it. It’s never too late to try. I didn’t get serious about my writing until I was 50 years old. Now here I am, living my dream and loving it! You can, too!!
I’ll be giving away a digital copy of my book at the end of my blog tour so leave a comment.
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