Welcome one and all! Grab a beverage of choice, something sweet and sinful. No-no, not the men. What’s the matter with you? You know the hands-on rules… The guest gets first pick! 😉 Take a comfy seat for another, or a first, spin in the Round Pen.
Please show Linda some real Ranch love!
Before I get to the nosy 5-3-4 part of this interview, tell us a bit about you.
My writing area at the moment is a corner of the couch in my living room. What does your writing space look like?
I have a nook upstairs in our 2-story 750 s.f. mountain cabin that has built-it shelving to my right (the back sides slant cuz they run with the pitch of the roof). To my left is a sunlight that looks uphill into the forest. I have one 4-shelf bookcase at my back and a couple plastic tubs that serve as filing cabinets.
For a lot of writers it’s a life-altering event coming up with titles and character names. Others it comes as naturally as breathing. Which is it for you?
Titles never come easy and often I have to write part of the story to find the right title. Choosing character names is part of my plotting process. I have The Writer’s Digest Character-Naming Book and a New Age Baby Name Book that I use because I like the names to say something about who the character is at his or her core.
What advice would you offer aspiring and new writers?
My process has always been to work with a critique group of some type. When I was unpublished, I counted on others with more experience for lots of the story formation—meaning I’d take pages to group and ask “does this work in a sweet (or historical or paranormal) romance?” After my first few titles, I counted on writer friends who were good at boosting the conflict then the craft issues was digging deep for the emotion. Now, I’m part of a plot group that helps with brainstorming plots/series. My advice is that no matter where you are along the publishing path, you need to show your story to trusted people who will offer good critique.
The constant shift of the industry makes me often scratch my head and ask ‘what next?’ So, what do you think it takes to be a successful author at the moment?
Being successful means you need to establish a recognizable brand for yourself (sum up in a tagline what you write and that’s your brand) and be good and consistent at a couple of types of social media. Put out quality product. Each and every one of your titles may be the first time a reader discovers you and the work must shine.
Who would you like to meet in the publishing industry- dead or alive- and why?
Probably Jane Austen because she wrote a couple of my favorite novels. She is the epitome of a bright mind finding a way to have her say when society rules forbade just that in other avenues.
It’s time for 3 in 1! I’ll ask the questions and you answer them in one word. 😆
Favorite animal? Fox
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter? Fall
Favorite food? Lasagna
Interesting choice for the fave animal, Linda. Well done! 🙂
Okay, Flash four. Ready?
What are you working on now?
A western historical novella, Entwined Hearts, that is a sequel to The Ring That Binds. 1888 Aspen is the locale for the story of a gentle man of Basque descent who is more comfortable with growing fruits and grapes than dealing with women. A Frenchwoman and her brother arrive to strike a deal for the acquisition of grape stock to save their vineyard that was almost wiped out by the aphid infestation.
What are you sharing today?
The title I’m sharing is Capturing The Marshal’s Heart, a sensual western historical.
BLURB: Ex-fancy lady Jazzy Morgan is heading west for a new life. A fateful stagecoach ride puts her high on US Marshal Slade Thomas’s suspect list for a bank robbery. No matter that both have strong reasons to resist, they share a night of passion. The next day when the female stage passengers are kidnapped, Slade must choose between his duty and his lady.
Slade pressed the satchel into a corner of the rack on the roof, then opened the door and scanned the dim interior—an elderly gentleman, a young boy, and four women of varying ages. Being the last one to board left him with a middle seat. He removed his hat, hunched his shoulders, and stepped up into the crowded stage. As he maneuvered backwards into the space, he kicked the gentleman’s cane and jostled against the knee of a woman dressed in red. “Beg your pardon, folks.”
He wedged himself onto the backward-facing cushion, tucked his boots close to the seat, and balanced his hat on his knee. Stagecoaches were not built for men with long legs. He glanced up and saw his actions were the focus of the other passengers’ attention. With a start, he realized both women on the opposite bench were of average size, had no distinguishable facial marks, blue eyes, and light brown hair.
Just like the wanted poster.
A voice called to the horses and the stagecoach jerked into motion. People on the sides grabbed at the walls to steady themselves.
Great, he’d been lucky enough to get the lumpiest seat he’d ever sat on.
A tug against his right thigh drew his attention. He turned and something tickled his cheek.
The feather on the top of the woman’s black hat bobbed into his sight. She leaned left against the side wall, using both hands to pull on her skirts. “Excuse me, sir. My skirt is surely trapped.” She pressed a hand against his thigh and shoved. “Can you move your as—can you assist me?”
He froze. Surely, he’d heard her wrong. As his mind scrambled to make sense of her words, his leg heated through his trousers under her touch. He’d definitely been without female company for too long. With one hand flattened against the door-frame over the head of the passenger on his other side and the other tugging on the overhead strap, he easily lifted his hips, until she’d gathered her skirts off the cracked leather seat.
“Thank you kindly, sir.”
He eased down to the bench and turned to his right. Out of habit, Slade reached toward his forehead to touch the brim of his hat.
The woman dressed in green gazed up at him with a smile across her shapely lips.
As he opened his mouth to speak, he scanned her face. “You’re—” Light brown hair, no distinguishing marks. Exasperation stole his words. Average size and blue eyes—blue as a summer sky. Damn, not a third one. And why did her assessing gaze have to be in the prettiest face he’d seen in months.
Where can we find you and your books?
If historical romance is a genre you read, I’d appreciate having you add the title to your Want To Read list on Goodreads. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18336317-capturing-the-marshal-s-heart
Where will you be next?
On Thursday, September 12, I will have my monthly post on Authors By Moonlight blog
Tell Sherri and the girls I said hi! Thank you so much for playing along, Linda! Wishing you much luck with your book and writing. I hope you’ll come visit again one day.