Today, we're featuring the debut novel of one of the women who's in the online loop connected with the critique group that meets in my home. I'm really proud of Linda.
I probably write some of myself and my own POV in my characters—but honestly, I write a lot about the people I know or meet. Observations, snippets of conversation in the coffee line at Starbucks and funny incidents right out of everyday life form the basis of much of what I do.
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
At a friend’s bachelorette party, I hired a stripper! Actually, it was a guy who kept his clothes on, but stripped a piece of wood. Not what anyone initially expected and not very exciting in some ways, but funny!
Readers, I have to tell you that Linda is a lot of fun. When did you first discover that you were a writer?
In first or second grade I decided that when I grew up I was going to be an author. I loved to read and often didn’t like the endings, so I decided I would write books with the kind of endings I wanted.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I enjoy an eclectic range. Of course I read a lot of the classics as a base to start with. But I favor mysteries, suspense, historicals, and even some sci-fi though I haven’t read much of it in the past few years.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I read a devotion every morning—usually something from my favorite, Streams in the Desert and then I read a chapter from the Bible. I’m in Mark right now and work my way through the Bible time and again, a chapter at a time.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Whenever we travel I bring a small notebook and pen with me and jot down any places or names, even situations I find interesting. Names in different locales are surprisingly different. Sometimes, they’re pretty amusing too. My character, “Lovita” was named from a restaurant called “Lovita’s Fish and Chick” in Washington State.
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
Helping other writers to reach their fullest potential. Really that is the greatest feeling—to partner with writers who are trying their best to answer the call God has on their life to write, but don’t know how to go about it. I love it when I see the light go on in their eyes, when they realize that their dream really is possible and attainable.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Probably a Chuppacabra! Cause I’m menopausal. Rrrrrrr!
Wow, the last two animals are sending me to the Internet to find out what they are. What is your favorite food?
Spinach and corn tamales—or really any kind of tamale. I’ve even tried a cactus tamale and it was delish!
Tell us a little about your journey to publication.
I write fiction and nonfiction. The first book I worked on was nonfiction—a great idea and finished too, but because I had no name or sales to back me up, it didn’t sell. It will one day. I believe it. Then an idea came to me one day to write a book about two overweight single friends who are growing in size and age and still looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong ways. Funny, the story just sort of wrote itself. Thoughts came pouring out of me like a bust in the Hoover Dam! The characters are so much fun—like old friends. I love writing about their lives. So far I have the first two books in the When The Fat Ladies Sing series done. I’ve only just started the third.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I have two roadblocks—email and boredom! Checking email can really become an obsession, so I have to watch that. As for boredom, when I get bored with whatever I’m writing, I erase it! If I’m bored, I know I’ve gone in the wrong direction and the reader is going to be bored too. As long as I’m engaged and excited about what I’m writing, I assume the reader will feel the same way.
What advice would you give to others who are trying to get their first book published?
Trust in the Lord. Don’t try to make it happen. And don’t give up!
What would you like to tell us about the featured book?
Misfortune Cookies comes out on November 4th through the Heartsong Presents—Mysteries Bookclub. If you’re curious about them, I’ve blogged as my characters on the Splyglass website http://spyglasslane.blogspot.com several times (just look for my posts).
Here’s the back cover blurb:
Bodaciously big beautiful women, Sue Jan Pritchard and Lovita Mae Horton are best friends who run a beauty shop/boutique in Wachita, a little town in West Texas. They share a passion for food—especially Chinese. One day, over lunch Lovita opens a fortune cookie to a sinister message: “Your father was murdered,” a clue which leads them to God, an international spy ring, and devastatingly handsome strangers. A most unlikely pair of detectives, these girlfriends crack the case wide open with style, sarcasm, and Szechuan.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
My website is www.coffeeteaandthee.org Hope you stop by and say hi!—Linda
Linda, thank you for spending this time with us.
Readers, leave a comment for a chance to win a free copy, but it will take a little while to come.
And check out Linda's web site.