I've been asked this question many times and never quite know how to answer. Some of my characters are somewhat like me. Some, not at all. Sometimes I write a story addressing doubts and fears of a younger me. Other times, the problem is one I've only observed. So I guess I could say sometimes I put some of myself into my characters, but most times very little.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Writing wise or otherwise? If you want otherwise, I'd have to say adopting 10 kids (on top of four homemade ones.) They were kids from 1 year to 14 years with baggage. What was I thinking???
I salute you for that. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I always made up stories in my head usually at bedtime. I thought everyone put themselves to sleep that way. But it wasn't until I was much older that I considered writing the stories down. For a fuller story of how this came about see the BIO section on my website.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I read a lot of non-fiction for research. I especially enjoy first-hand accounts and journals. For fiction, I read across the board. I love Robin Lee Hatcher, Elizabeth Berg, Harlan Coben, Linda Lael Miller, to name a few.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I write both contemporary and historical for Heartsong Presents. I write for Love Inspired Historicals. I also wrote and self published a book on tuberculosis in the 30s and 40s based on first-hand experiences. I called it Touched By The White Plague. I did this to honor my mother who spent time in a sanatorium.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I'm not sure I always do. :-) One thing I learned when I had a large family to care for was to say no to lots of good things from Sunday school teacher to bake sale organizer. It was good practice for saying no to things that distract from my writing. My family takes up most of my 'free' time so I volunteer very little. I also need time to organize my thoughts each day which I do in a journal followed by a time of Bible reading and prayer. This small habit is my lifeline to sanity.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
With great difficulty. It took me nine months to settle on names for my babies and all of a sudden I'm expected to come up with names for a hero and heroine and a cast of secondary characters in a matter of days? I do a lot of brainstorming using name books, real estate ads (they list their agents—great resource), telephone directories, etc. I make long lists. I whine and complain a lot but finding the RIGHT name is essential for me. It has to feel right.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Surviving raising 14 kids??? No, I think getting published with 2 publishers is something I am proud of and which I give glory to God for.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
I'd be a cat because they are cute and cuddly yet independent. Just like me??? :-)
What is your favorite food?
Grapes, without a doubt. I'm seriously addicted. (Excuse me a moment while I go get a handful.)
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
In the beginning or early stages? It was learning my process. What worked for me in discovering character and story and getting it on page. I took a lot of courses and tried a lot of things before I 'created' a mix that works for me. I'm sure my process will continue to grow and evolve.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Read lots. Take lots of courses. Get feedback even if it hurts and above all, persevere.
Montana Weddings is a collection of three contemporary stories set in Montana. An interesting tidbit about that is the first one was originally set in Calgary, Alberta, with the indoor Devonian gardens and high-rise office buildings. I had the privilege of doing a research trip into Montana to discover the local attractions so I hope the stories carry a thread of authenticity and local color.
My story in Montana Mistletoe was contemporary, too. How can readers find you on the Internet?
You'll find me at www.lindaford.org
My blog is connected to my website and I update that weekly so be sure and visit.
Thanks for the chance to visit with you.
And thank you, Linda, for spending this time with us.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy of Montana Weddings. Then go check out Linda's web site and blog.