As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with 4 adult children and 2 granddaughters, Linda now writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor from her home in the southern California mountains.
Linda's question to answer to be entered in this week's drawing: Which of the mentioned inventions do you feel is essential to your life? (Hint: Answers can be found in day one of our interview.)
Please leave your comment with your email address in the form of name[at]domain[dot]com to qualify for
an ebook version of Linda's novel, The Ring That Binds.
What do you consider the best resources for historical research?
I like reading first-hand accounts of those who lived through certain events or books that quote heavily from such journals. In my research library are several written by women who emigrated by wagon train or who homesteaded. I have a habit of buying books in museum gift shops because many are written by university professors with a love for the topic, or published by a university press which vets the historical accuracy. On occasion, one small tidbit of local lore has created a story idea.
What or who inspired you to write inspirational fiction? How does that keep you plodding ahead with your writing each day?
The term “inspirational” applies to my writing in a general way. I write stories where characters follow a moral code but I don’t specifically label that as following a faith path or living by a creed more than The Golden Rule. In every story, one of the characters must grapple with a major choice or decision and act in an honorable way.
What helps you maintain productivity as a writer? And what do you find most challenging about the business of being an author?
I like using publisher calls for submissions as the first step in my plotting process. These give a theme, genre, word count, and deadline. Although I may only have a 50% success rate with completing the story by the deadline, I have secured publishing contracts with many. I like to write stories that encompass a short time span, which is usually a word count of 25,000 or less. So I complete more stories than some authors. This past year, I have been lucky enough to have 9 titles release but with that joy comes the work of promoting each one—a huge challenge.
Do you feel you are more of a character driven or plot driven writer? How do you think it comes across in your writing?
By definition the romance genre is character driven. I aim to construct my stories so that one or both of the main characters must make a change in his or her thinking in the course of the story. They have to accomplish a task or make a choice that they were not ready to or capable of at the beginning. Often, this is an internal acceptance about self or an event in the past that heals a wound and allows that character to move forward in establishing a relationship.
Would you like to share about what you are working on now?
I have started a story that features The Ring That Binds. Promotional responsibilities and my freelance editing have pulled at my time and I’ve not yet made much progress. The setting is two years later and Danel is a bit envious of brother Mikel’s happy family life. Working in the store is necessary for Danel’s livelihood but his real love is growing fruits. He has a small orchard of apple and pear trees and grape vines, and has been more successful cultivating plants than friendships. The heroine, Colette, is from a French wine-producing family who is traveling in America with her brother to find healthy root stock to take back to replace plants in their vineyard destroyed by an aphid infestation. The conflict that must be overcome is the perceived economic differences but their love of viticulture draws them close.
Do you have any last words of wisdom to share with aspiring authors?
For most writers, putting their characters into strong conflict is tough. If you can construct a believable conflict that keeps the characters at odds philosophically for the majority of the story, even as they start to admire and then care for the other person, you have taken a big step toward being a success. The reader must engage emotionally in this conflict and worry that the characters won’t end up together in the final few pages. That’s the key—write with enough sensory details and deep point of view to make the reader need to know how the conflict will be resolved.
Thank you, Linda, for joining us at Novel PASTimes. It has been a privilege to interview you.
Where to find Linda Carroll-Bradd on the world wide web: