Today we have a special treat! I'm having fellow Ohioan Linda Robertson on my blog today as just one stop on her blog tour!
Here's my interview with her:
What is your name? Do you use a pen name (if so, why?)?
Hi everyone! I’m Linda Robertson. I do not use a pen name, but I have a few ideas for one if I ever decide to try one on.
Tell me a bit about yourself:
I am a mother of four boys who, in addition to writing novels, plays guitar in a rock-n-roll band that plays cover tunes from the 70’s-through today and some original songs. I have a big Rottweiler mix named for Bela Lugosi. I’ve been a graphic designer, a realtor, and a cashier everywhere from a convenience store, a gas station, smaller chain retail stores, to big mall chain stores. Currently, I tend bar two nights a week.
What type of genre do you write?
I write the Persephone Alcmedi series which is UF. I am working on two other unrelated novels which are also UF, and a super-sneaky collaboration novel that might be a bit more mainstream.
What genre to you personally read?
I’m all over the place. I love UF/Fantasy/Sci-Fi. I like research non-fiction titles, action adventure, and the occasional western.
Tell me about your latest?
SHATTERED CIRCLE is the 6th instalment in the Persephone Alcmedi series from Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books. The vampire hierarchy has taken the haven from Menessos, and transitioning it into Goliath's rule--and the plotting of the Shabubbitu--strains their relationship to the breaking point. The waerewolves are losing their den as the local Department of Transportation intends to seize it and tear it down to make way for the new highway (I placed them in a real building in Cleveland that ODOT has truly taken and torn down for their I-90 project...). As if that isn't enough for Johnny to deal with, his new assistant, Aurelia, shows herself to be a serious threat to all he holds dear. Seph’s beloved foster daughter, Beverley, has been playing with a magical artifact that’s far more dangerous than she realizes. Our heroine, named for the goddess best known for being abducted, summons help from a mystical being so potent that even vampires fear him . . . and the cost of his aid may be more than she’s willing to pay. So...Seph, Johnny, and Menessos are facing threats from all sides—and a few from within. These forces may cement their tenuous supernatural union, or shatter it forever....
What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?
I was a member of the Writer’s Digest book club and I came across this book by Donald Maass. I ended up getting the workbook that went with it and attending a seminar he gave a hundred and seventy-five miles away from my home. He sparked my passion for the art of a good story. A little over ten years later, he became my agent. Can you say perseverance?
Is there a particular book that changed or affected your life in a big way?
SWORD DANCER by Jennifer Roberson was the first book I ever read where the female lead was truly a swordswoman who could handle herself, had an honourable motive, and wasn’t out to get laid. She had principles. I respected her. But back then such a book could only be told from the male lead’s point of view. Ms. Roberson was slick in getting that story told. I still adore it today. After reading it I went in search of more and came up empty. That sent me down the path of writing my own stories.
Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Only that everyone, every day has choices to make about who they are, what they believe, and whether or not they will stand up and take responsibility for themselves and their own future.
What challenges have you faced in your writing career?
Time, mostly. I have a family, so trying to find the right balance of work week hours vs. productive writing hours, and still have enough to get all the bills paid. I’m either fighting to find time or make time…or giving too much. Knowing when enough is enough for one day is also a challenge.
What has been your best moment as a writer?
The day my first copies of my first book arrived in the mail was the same day my college diploma arrived. I got to stand in front of all four of my boys that evening and show them what I had accomplished. Non-traditional student, determined writer dream-come-true. Inside the cover of VICIOUS CIRCLE, the dedication is partially to my boys: “See? Dreams can come true with hard work and perseverance.”
Who is your author idol?
I don’t really have an author idol. I have several authors who I’ve met and respect very much, but none of them are idols.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
I’m all over them in small ways. I’m the try-to-do-the-right-thing-no-matter-what part of Persephone. I’m the rock-n-roll goofball part of Johnny. I’m the big-obscure-word-loving part of Menessos. I’m the flannel-shirt-over-thermal-underwear part of Beau. I give them all a bit of my likes, my personality, my experiences. I have to. It makes them feel real.
Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?
Yes, to both. My dream of being published has come true, but I’m not set in a writing career yet. There is a lot of work before me, and I intend to do it and do it well. That’s the only way I know how to honor the dream gift given me, you know?
What does your workspace look like?
My office consists of a three-level desk beside my bed. I have a tower computer with a 19 inch screen on the top level. A laptop, a netbook, AND my iphone are generally cluttering up the main level. (Can’t have too many devices to access research.) The keyboard and mouse are housed on the roll-out lower level. I have the standard lamp, but my pencil/pen holder is a large plastic CRUZAN bucket from DragonCon that was once filled with a drink called VOODOO JUICE. It said 'serves four.' I can tell you, that is a lie. :)
On the wall is various black frames with the most important writing keys in those frames. I can look up at any time and see a reminder of how to improve my work. There are also many fleur-de-lis and peacock feathers.
Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
What do you do when you’re not writing?
I like the Ancient Aliens tv show on the History channel. Sometimes, all those boys who call me mom will still let me hang out with them and watch movies or Big Bang Theory. And they do love it when I cook them food.
What are the most important attributes to remaining sane as a writer?
Thick skin. Determination. Belief in yourself.
Did you have a moment when you realized you were meant to be a writer?
When I was eight, I wrote a 'Harlequin' romance for my mom because she read so many of them. I illustrated it and even drew the little symbol on it--if I’m remembering correctly. It was about a princess who hated skirts and dresses, who was getting married to a prince. Someone shot him at the wedding so she and all her friends went off on a spaceship to catch the bad guy, and had some pizza at a space station. Somewhere between there and my teen years where I was looking for strong female characters in SF/F and finding none, I decided to write them for myself. My senior year of high school, in a creative writing class, my teacher noticed that I had some real desire to pursue writing. He was very encouraging and took some of my stories home to read on his own time and give me some feedback. I think his encouragement, that stamp of approval coming from a non-family member, really impacted me and made me feel like I could do this.
**Fast-forward to VICIOUS CIRCLE being published…after all those years, I found that teacher on facebook and arranged a meet-up at our local bookstore, where I gave him a copy of the book. It was a great day.
What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
It's more work than you know. If your skin isn’t thick, if your ego bruises easily, or if you are trying to get into writing for any reason other than the passion you have for telling a good, compelling story, then might want to look into being a gas pump attendant or cashier. (I've done both of those as well. Neither was hard on the ego or required extra-thick skin.) However, if hard work and critical thinking isn't the complete starter-set for a whine-fest to you, if you can take criticism, and if you're going to write those darn stories no matter what anybody says or thinks, then challenge yourself and master those skills.
After this book, what is next?
I’m working on two novels unrelated to this series or each other, as well as a third novel, a super-secret collaboration. The first two are UF, while the collaboration is more mainstream. I’m VERY excited about all of these projects. I want to return to Persephone ASAP, but I need to do something else for a little while.
www.word-whores.blogspot.com I post on Wednesdays.
Where can your book be found?
My books can be purchased many, many ways! Available both as mass market paperbacks and as ebooks, you can find them at most major book store chains, your local indie store can order it in, or you can order it yourself via my publisher’s website: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Linda-Robertson/63492742 or the various on-line booksellers.
Let's all thank Linda for taking the time to answer my questions and stop by. Check out her links and leave her a comment. Let her know you saw her here! Oh, an don't forget to buy her book! LOL