Monday, November 13, 2017

FAOM: A Chat With Linda Oaks

One of the things I am looking forward to most as I do the Featured Author of the Month posts is having a chance to talk to the authors – to ask them questions about their writing, their books, their goals, and so much more. When I read a book, well okay – after I finish a book I often think to myself “I wonder what the author was thinking when they wrote this?” I cannot tell you how excited I am to be in the position of being able to actually ask that question now when it crosses my mind – or you know any of the other dozens of random questions that may come to me.

Author interviews are always interesting to me – sometimes the responses I get to questions I’ve asked are surprising. I mean that seriously, sometimes I’ll see the response and say “No way!” or “Really???? Wow.” Other times I read the authors responses and I end up thinking to myself that this person (regardless of their being an author I’m interested in) could be my new best friend! LOL. But really, to me, interviews offer an intriguing glimpse into the minds and lives of the authors featured in them. Linda’s interview was no different and you know, that’s a good thing.

I had to start, as I very frequently do, by asking Linda why or how she decided to become an author. It’s an important question – the answer could be deep, could be silly, or somewhere in between, but all things considered can offer significant insight. From there, well let’s just say my questions, like the possible answers to that first very important question, ran from deep to silly, and back again. Now without further ado, I think this is a great time to share with you the interview that I had with this month’s FAOM Linda Oaks.

 On Writing and the Day-to-Day

[LDF] Why (or how) did you decide to be a writer?

[Linda] From an early age, I've always loved to read. In high school and college, I loved to write poetry and songs. Since I loved to read (love is too mild of a word for my relationship with reading. lol.), I always wanted to try my hand at writing a novel. After the birth of my second child, I decided to pursue that goal. Unfortunately, I didn't finish that book, but a few years later, I completed my first manuscript. It's never been published though along with several others that are still tucked away on a USB flash drive. Chasing Rainbows is actually the third book I wrote, and it took years to reach publication. I always like to think of it as "the little book that could" and one day, it finally did. In June 2015, Blue Tulip Publishing took a chance on my story and published my first novel, Chasing Rainbows. It was one of the happiest days of my life. 

[LDF] When you started writing what was your goal?

[Linda] When I started writing, my goal was to prove to myself that I could actually write a novel. 

[LDF] What does a typical writing day look like for you?

[Linda] A typical writing day for me can consist of as little as two hours or up to eight hours of writing time, of course with constant interruptions. LOL. I'm also a wife and a mother. 

[LDF] Do you write every day?       

[Linda] I try to if possible. 

[LDF] Do you have a daily goal when writing?  

[Linda] No, I don't set a daily writing goal for myself. It's too much pressure. I'm content with a few paragraphs or ten pages because at least I know that I wrote something for the day and that one paragraph may inspire ten pages of manuscript the next day. 

[LDF] Do you listen to music while you’re writing?      

[Linda] I listen to music before or during writing breaks because it's difficult for me to concentrate. I like being able to hear my own self think. 

[LDF] Do you make/use playlists to help keep you inspired or focused on the story or scenes you’re writing?

[Linda] Yes, I do. I usually have a playlist for each book. Music is a big part of my writing experience even though I don't listen to it as I actually write. I know, I'm weird. lol. 

On Silly Things, Wishes & Dreams

[LDF] Do you have a process you have to follow, items you have to have with you, or other “superstitious” or good luck type of things that help you while writing?

[Linda] No, not really besides having a couple cups of coffee with lots of hazelnut creamer before I start writing for the day. 

[LDF] When you’re writing do you drink coffee, tea, water, soda, wine?

[Linda] See the previous question. lol. No, I drink a lot (I mean a lot) of coffee, diet Dr. Pepper and water. 

[LDF] When you were a kid what did you want to be when you grew up?

[Linda] A veterinarian, of course. I love animals. I think most little kids want to grow up to become veterinarians. 

[LDF] If you could go anywhere in the world on an all-expenses paid vacation, where would you want to go?

[Linda] That is a tough question. I can't think of anyplace right off. Maybe somewhere tropical or oh wait, Ireland. I'd love to go Ireland. 

[LDF] If someone gifted you $1,000,000 tomorrow, name three things you would do with it?

[Linda] This is a tough question. It's really hard to narrow it down to three, but I'll try.

1.  Call my husband and tell him he could quit his job. 
2.  Pay off bills and set up nice nest eggs for my children. 
3.  Help my family and friends. 

On The Chasing Series and The Future
[LDF] There are 4 books in your series to date; do you have plans for more? 

[Linda] I'm not certain at the moment. After writing, the forth book, Fighting For A Chance, I considered that to be the end of the series. Characters can be fickle. Initially, I never set out to write a series, but the characters from Chasing Rainbows gave me no other choice. I'm not ruling it out, and I don't want to get anyone's hopes up, if they were actually hoping for another book, but we'll just have to wait and see. 

[LDF] Which of your books was your favorite to write so far? 

[Linda] I loved writing all four books in The Chasing Series. 

[LDF] Which book did you least like writing?

[Linda] None. 

[LDF] Of all the characters you’ve written so far, who is your favorite?

[Linda] It would have to be Nate from The Way Home. He was such a challenge for me. This was the first book I wrote from a male point of view. He was a complex character; a man who had known only loss until his path crossed with one feisty waitress who turned his world upside down. 

[LDF] So far the books you’ve published are all part of a single series, do you have plans for anything else?

[Linda] I do, a standalone. 

[LDF] So what’s next?

[Linda] I'm so glad you asked. I have a new novel releasing in 2018 with Painted Hearts Publishing. It's a second chance romance with lots of heart and heat. I'm really excited about this book. I can't wait for readers to meet these characters. 

😍 😍 😍 😍 😍

Now here I am, after our interview and thinking about all I learned…

I too drink way too much coffee, especially while working and writing. I too would love to go to Ireland if I could go anywhere in the world all expenses paid. I think it’s pretty incredible that her journey to writing a novel began simply because she wanted to prove she could. That she kept at it until she published gives me hope for myself. And you know, as I’m working my way through Finding Forever Linda has me looking forward The Way Home and her Nate, and for her new project outside of The Chasing series.

So, yeah, apparently I have another like-minded lady on my list of possible BFF’s, and another author on my list of folks to keep my eye on in the future.

What did you find most interesting from Linda’s interview?

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