We're welcoming Linda Windsor back to the blog with her latest - For Pete's Sake. I read this book a little while ago and LOVED it!!
I keep being tugged back to historicals. And not just any historicals, but those that reveal the witness of the first century Christians in Britain. The historical information and this witness, which I discovered while researching my Fires of Gleannmara Irish Celtic series, helped bring my daughter back to Christ after she’d been stalked and assaulted in college, turned against God in anger, and became involved in Wicca. There is such a need for Christians to possess the historical knowledge of the church and what it was up against, knowledge beyond Scripture (which modern unbelievers too often discount in its entirety) in order to effectively witness to family and friends who are into New Age.
At some point, I may even write a nonfiction book- this mother’s journey and what I learned that finally reached my lost daughter. Or simply a nonfiction compilation of historical data that, combined with Scripture, will enable us to witness more effectively. God’s still working on me with regards to these. I’ll know when the time is right.
Of course I say all this, while hopefully keeping my contemporary readers in books too. But that’s God’s decision.
I've loved your historicals, too, so bring them on. Tell us a little about your family.
I have the most wonderful family in the world! When Jim died, I was blessed that my adult son and daughter were still at home. Blessed, but worried. I wanted my thirty-somethings to have someone special like I had.
January of this year, my daughter was married. Make that: she FINALLY got married. Her wedding date floated from September 2007 to January 2008. I should write a book. WEDDINGS ON THE GO :-). And with her marriage, I got instant grandchildren—a little boy (5) and a little girl (7). They are the cutest, most intelligent, charming children ever! And that’s my unbiased opinion.
Their father is saved and even going into youth ministry, at the least. Perhaps more. So, am I blessed? You bet. God has brought my baby the long way back home since she strayed in her early college years.
And now my son has someone special in his life. God does answer prayer. He simply hasn’t synchronized His watch to mine :-). My mom lives with me and is a joy. We have ups and downs with health, but all in all, it’s a hands-down blessing. And a year ago, an old friend of mine and Jim’s, re-entered my life. He is a good friend and companion. It remains to be seen where that will go, but for now, that is enough.
Of course, my mom, comic that she is, said with all this nonsense going on, she’s wondering if she should go on the pill. She thinks it’s in the water. LOL! And people wonder where I get my wacky sense of humor.
Has your writing changed your reading habits? If so, how?
Boy, has it! I am so much more particular about what I read now because…SIGH…I start to edit it. And because I am so busy with nonfiction research and writing improvement books, time to read for pleasure comes last. So I have developed a rule of thumb. If said book will keep me on my elliptical for my full workout or more, I’ll finish it. Hey, it kills two birds with one stone. Time is of essence here. :-)
What are you working on right now?
I am working on the proposal for books 3 and 4 of my Piper Cove Chronicles. SWEET NOTHINS is shy Jan’s story. A girl with low self-esteem, who always wants the kind of guy she shouldn’t have, finally gets her head on straight and throws off the yoke of humiliation and verbal abuse—all the while dodging thugs who…don’t want to give it away :-). Readers will cheer for this insecure girl gone wild, once she discovers her worthiness in God’s eye.
Lastly will come sassy Sue Ann’s turnaround in MERCY ME! This bosom buddy is based on Designing Women’s Suzanne—self-centered, outrageous, money-obsessed, but with a big heart that hurts big too. Especially when she finds out her late husband left her his three kids by another woman. Thank goodness there’s a youth minister to help this bad girl put things into a constructive perspective and maybe put her broken heart back together.
I can hardly wait for these two to come out. What outside interests do you have?
I have a music ministry. Music is still an integral part of my life, even though my partner has passed on. I can still hear his harmony when I sing. Music is what brought us together in the first place. I saw this movie called August Rush on a recent plane trip and it speaks volumes of the bond music can have between people. And Liz Curtis Higgs’ fourth Scottish highland book, Grace in Thine Eyes touched me deeply for this same reason. Liz got it so right, even if one of the characters got it so wrong in other ways. Music melds souls. It soothes mine. On St. Patty’s Day, I had friends over and we sang Irish ballads to our hearts’ content.
Yesterday, I spoke writing at a church gathering and sang about the perfect romantic hero—Jesus. He was courageous enough to stand for what He believed in. He was willing to die for those He loved. He had a soft spot for children. He wasn’t afraid to show emotion, to cry before men. He loved me when I wasn’t loveable. He always put me first, even when I was stealing His glory, thinking I’d done something on my own and not acknowledging that I was nothing without Him. Now that’s my kind of hero. I sang "Wind Beneath My Wings" to Him.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
I have no idea. I think they choose me. I usually come up with a conflict first and then find a setting to suit it. It might be somewhere I’ve been, or somewhere I’d like to learn more about. Take Ireland. I researched Ireland backwards and forwards to write the Fires of Gleanmara. A few weeks ago, my dream to go there and see the place where it all that happened came true. And it was everything I’d written and imagined.
If you could spend an evening with one historical person, who would it be and why?
My goodness, I hate this question. There are just too many to pick one. I’ll pick St. Patrick. No, wait! St. Columba. No, St. Brendan. (Now SEE what you’ve started?) Face it, all of these guys were really unique individuals. Not quite your garden-variety saints. Their human flaws endear them to me.
What is the one thing you wish you had known before you started writing novels?
That there were organizations that helped new writers learn the ropes. I stumbled my way into getting published. I made mistakes and received far more rejections than I needed to because I didn’t know any better. I thought everyone wanted a ten-pound manuscript instead of a one-ounce query/synopsis.
I wish I’d known to watch out for allowing my writing to become my god, ahead of my church and family. Keep your priorities in order. They WILL start to wag you, you keyboard-pecking pups! And the sad thing is, you won’t even see it coming, unless you are looking for it.
What new lessons is the Lord teaching you right now?
Aside from re-prioritize, re-prioritize, re-prioritize? I suppose the main one is WWJD when it comes to my time. My mom won’t be here forever. My grandchildren will grow up. So take time to smell the roses…and the stink of their black Lab pup. Lead that church small group. And if I do, God will enable me to write twice as much in half the time. I swear! It never fails.
What are the three best things you can tell other authors to do to be successful?
See questions eight and nine. Join ACFW. Enter contests for the feedback. Then take that advice only as you are led to accept it, since it is subjective. And the old standby: Read, read, read.
And with the American Christian Fiction Writers national conference coming up in September in Minneapolis, now would be a good time to join and be a part of that--especially the book signing in the Mall of America. Go to www.ACFW.com
FOR PETE’S SAKE started out to be about a tomboy willing to risk her heart and a makeover by her bosom buddies for the sake of a troubled child. (There’s a lot of me in Ellen—tomboy, Pied Piper with kids, but a horse instead of a Harley.) She’d waited on love and this felt like the real deal, but how can she compete with a femme fatale, even if Ellen were so inclined? Enter faith, friends and a matchmaking mom.
Then there’s the hero’s conflict. He’s angry at God over the loss of his wife, estranged from his son by business, and now is engaged to the wrong woman for the right reason. He owes his associate much of his success and his son needs a mother. The partner is gorgeous and aggressive like him. But he just can’t get that Harley-riding neighbor of his out of his mind.
And his son is a new person around her. Pete son is like my son. He has Aspergers Syndrome, a condition which can take the most beautiful, sensitive heart and hide it behind low frustration levels masked as anger and other anti-social behavior. It is a parent’s blessing—these kids are usually highly intelligent and incredibly loving—and nightmare. A parent knows the real child and it hurts that others too often perceive this child as an insensitive jerk.
Then came a surprise for this author—facing a major career change during midlife, not only for my heroine, but for the hero too. They both take time to (here comes that word again) re-prioritize their lives. Didn’t see that one coming. God did—not only for my plot, but for the lives of my characters as well. Only He can equip us for such a major change. It’s called a leap of faith.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
Stop by www.LindaWindsor.com and sign up for my newsletter, which comes out only when I have something to say, as opposed to a regular basis. What can I say? I’m a spontaneous sort. And definitely enter my contests for signed books and other goodies.
But the main reason to stop by is to read my apology regarding two editorial slips in WEDDING BELL BLUES, the prequel to FOR PETE’S SAKE. Some readers may not have noticed, but if I have offended even one person, that is one too many.
Lena, thank you so much for this opportunity to chat with your readers. Your generosity of sharing your readership is such a blessing to all of us inspirational writers. His Spirit truly shines in you and your wonderful writing.
May His blessings surround you always,
And thank you, Linda. It's always a pleasure to have you. I can't wait to see you in person in September.
Readers, you REALLY want to get a copy of this book. Leave a comment for a chance to win one, but if you don't win, go out and buy one. It's a wonderful read.