Dear Readers, Linda Brooks Davis came on the writing scene a couple of years ago with an award-winning novel I was privileged to read for an endorsement. The characters were well-rounded and people with depth. Authentic scenes pulled the reader into the story. She’s had two Christmas novellas published with some of the characters of her first novel. A Christmas Measure of Love is this years addition. I loved all three of these books.
Welcome back, Linda. Why do you write the kind of books you do?
When I was growing up and my parents’ families gathered, old tales would be told and retold. Invariably, the stories involved hardship, grief, and occasional shame, but they were always set alongside joy, faith, and grit. Often a family member would say, “Someone ought to write a book about that.” As a school child of the 1950s, I knew no hardship, grief, or shame. Life was good. But my family’s stories about life in Indian Territory prior to
Oklahoma statehood and in the southern tip of Texas in the 1920s and
1930s intrigued me. I wondered even as a child if I might be that someone and
how I’d go about it.
I’m glad you did. Besides when you came to know the Lord, what is the happiest day in your life?
By far, the happiest day of my life was in the fall of 2004 when I learned my first grandchild was coming—in triplet form. When my daughter called with the news, I was in my assigned spot on the second floor of an office building, but every speck of inhibition flew out the window at the news. I jumped and, as we say in
whooped and hollered. I danced and shouted between others’ assigned spots,
announcing the unbelievable news to each astounded individual: My daughter’s
expecting triplets! When the occupants of the first floor of that particular
office building showed up wondering what in the world was going on upstairs, I
realized for the first time I might have overdone it a bit. Thankfully, my
co-workers understood and shared my joy.
How has being published changed your life?
When I won the Jerry Jenkins Operation First Novel Award in January, 2015, I was almost as astounded as that “day at the office” in 2004. But when the excitement settled, I realized I felt vulnerable. And responsible for handling myself in a way that would honor the Lord—and Jerry Jenkins.
When I received the ACFW Carol Award in August, 2016, the Lord separated me from my vulnerability—and inhibitions—as far as the east is from the west. That night was the time of my life. I’m 71 years old, and no single event, other than the news I was to be a grandmother three times over in one fell swoop, has affected me with such joy as that one.
That said … Being a published author has enlarged my circle of acquaintances and friends. I love this aspect of being published more than anything.
What are you reading right now?
Dare I admit I read something other than Christian fiction? I love legal, John Grisham-type suspense, but other than a handful of Christian authors like Randy Singer and Robert Whitlow, whose books I’ve been known to read twice, there aren’t many to choose from in the Christian market. I recently finished Loving Luther by Allison Pittman and was completely mesmerized by Allison’s depiction of the life of Katarina von Bora—Martin Luther’s wife.
What is your current work in progress?
I’m nearing completion of my second full-length novel. It’s set in 1914 and follows the life of one of the secondary characters in The Calling of Ella McFarland, which is set in 1905. A sequel to Ella’s story in novella form—A Christmas to Remember, which is set in 1908—released in 2016. A prequel to my current work in progress, also in novella form—A Christmas Measure of Love, which is set in 1910—released in October of this year.
What would be your dream vacation?
If I possessed unlimited resources, I would travel around the world to find where my ancestors lived and loved, died, and are buried. Those sites would include
Eastern Europe, Switzerland, Germany,
Ireland, England, and France.
How do you choose your settings for each book?
The settings for my books thus far have sprung from my family’s old stories, but my imagination plays a huge role. For example, from The Calling of Ella McFarland and both novellas that follow, as well as my current novel in progress,
Rock Creek, Needham,
and surrounding communities, Broadview, the cottage in the woods, and the
McFarland farm are all imaginary. These environs develop as I imagine the lives
of the characters.
What are your hobbies, besides writing and reading?
I love genealogy and my grandchildren. My love for both knows no limits. I also enjoy painting pottery—nothing serious, mind you. I’m not an artist. I just enjoy the peace that surrounds me when I’m painting a piece of pottery. Invariably, it’s something for a family member, which could be why I love it so.
I also love Bible study. I love theology and biblical history and apologetic reasoning.
What is your most difficult writing obstacle, and how do you overcome it?
Keeping my world in balance is my greatest challenge. I know it’s not good for me to concentrate on research, writing, and social media so much that I neglect other, more important aspects of life, but when I’m “on a roll,” it’s very difficult to shut it down.
What advice would you give to a beginning author?
Know why you’re writing. If you’re pursuing writing for accolades or remuneration, you might want to consider another field.
Tell us about the featured book.
A Christmas Measure of Love springs from words spoken by the character Lily in The Calling of Ella McFarland: Ma says love can’t be earned. Love’s immeasurability is the heart of this Christmas novella.
Lily, a girl on the cusp of womanhood has learned to stand as erect as her starched collar. Ma, a woman at the nadir of her life, is as bent as a shepherd’s crook. Joined by blood and separated by circumstance nine years prior, mother and daughter reunite.
What will Lily and Ma find in the old shack where their sweat and tears once mingled? It’s Christmas 1910, and Lily’s in for a Yuletide surprise she hasn’t reckoned for.
Please give us the first page of the book for my readers.
Other girls measure their heights, waistlines, and bosoms. I measure my scars. And wonder why my pa never loved me.
Eighteen years old today, I’m perched alone on a parlor settee reserved for the birthday girl. Adelaide Fitzgerald, my benefactor, has invited
’s socially elite to celebrate at
Broadview, her grand estate on the banks of Rock Creek. Glover County, Oklahoma
Trouble is, when these precisely coiffed young women were girls romping at garden parties, I was toiling in a cotton field across the way.
These party guests boast fathers who are bankers and lawyers and doctors. But I can claim naught but Walter Sloat for my pa—a scoundrel, a criminal, a former sharecropper who never lifted a hand in the fields. He expected Ma and me to do his share of the crop tending and accept his abuse when we returned home.
How can readers find you on the Internet?
To purchase The Calling of Ella McFarland: http://amzn.to/2ixn4pe
To purchase A Christmas to Remember: http://amzn.to/2yxAk8h
To purchase A Christmas Measure of Love: http://amzn.to/2j3vwjK
Thank you, Linda, for sharing this heart-warming novella with me and my blog readers.
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