Monday, 11 April 2011
STEPH: I'd like to welcome author, Linda Swift to the Author Spotlight this week. Linda will be talking about her latest Desert Breeze release, Summer Love. I don't know much about Summer Love. What's it about?
LINDA: Summer Love is a story about a woman whose husband, in his mid-life crisis, leaves her to "find himself." Now divorced from Quent, Paula has to make a new life for herself. She enrolls in a large university to prepare to teach. Here she meets Derek, an ex-U.S. Navy officer back in school for the same purpose. And in this book, Paula who has tried to be a good wife, mother, and daughter finally learns to focus on herself and what she wants. So the larger theme of the book is about self-actualization and becoming all you can be.
STEPH: Where did the inspiration for the novel come from?
LINDA: I saw a lot of that happening when couples reached mid-life. You know they say you should write what you know, and I've been married to the same man forever, but I think I can relate to the EMOTIONS an abandoned wife would feel. A divorced teacher I worked with told me I should have asked "some of us" what it's like but I wasn't writing a nonfiction article, I was writing fiction and I wanted it to be my words.
STEPH: Where is set? How important is the setting to the novel?
LINDA: The story takes place in one summer at a large southern university. And the whole story revolves around the setting.
STEPH: Did you have to do a lot of research?
LINDA: A whole summer of it! This is a case in point where I really did write what I knew. But the plot was entirely fiction. I wasn't Paula and there was no Derek. But because I really did spend a summer at the university in the book, I'm sure there was some speculation about this.
STEPH: How long did it take you to write?
LINDA: I had five chapters finished when I submitted it to Zebra/Kensington after an invitation from a Zebra editor I met at a conference. When the book was accepted, I got busy fast and finished the story in a few months. I also had an agent, acquired from the same conference, and he proofed and made suggestions as I went along. Which was a good thing since the Zebra editor did nothing.
STEPH: Cast the movie. Who are the leads?
LINDA: In my dreams. Sharon Stone would be Paula. And Kevin Costner would be Derek. Of course, if Paul Newman were alive, he'd be the hero as Derek had "Paul Newman eyes."
STEPH: What's your writing space like?
LINDA: My husband and I divide time between a condo in Florida and a patio home in Kentucky. In both homes I have my computer, printer and other needed materials in the guest bedroom. But this works fine because when we have guests, I'm not writing anyway. I don't have filing cabinets as I've always detested them. I put stuff in closets and drawers and when working, use the bed to lay out material I'm using. I call this my "open files" and they are at my fingertips for easy access.
STEPH: Do you have an ebook reader? If so, which one?
LINDA: I have a Kindle, just bought in November. I like it for reading on the sofa in the evenings but still read some books online. The Kindle is like my car, I can start and stop it, put in gas, but when something else needs attention, I call my husband. I admit I'm technically challenged.
STEPH: What was the last book you read?
LINDA: I've just read "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World." My hairdresser loaned it to me because it reminded her of a poem about Mary and Martha that I have in my book, HUMANLY SPEAKING, Conversations With God. I'm also reading chapters from some of the DB authors when I have the time between promoting books out March 1 and April 1.
STEPH: For Fun: What county would you like to visit that you haven't all ready?
LINDA: I'd like to see Ireland but I'd really prefer to include that in a long visit to England, Wales, and Scotland to "revisit" places I enjoyed while living there and would like to see again.
Linda's book, Summer Love is now avail with Desert Breeze.