Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sporlight Interview with Linda Swift and Giveaway

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Linda Swift divides her time between her native state of Kentucky and Florida. She is an award winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. She has worked in public education as a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist. These days she enjoys dancing and Tai Chi.

Her first books were published by Kensington. She currently has available six ebooks (two in print),one short story and a book of prose poems. She has two books of fiction, a Haiku collection, and three short stories to be released later in 2011. Linda's latest books are TO THOSE WHO WAIT, contemporary mainstream, Whiskey Creek Press; and SUMMER LOVE, Desert Breeze Publishing. Watch for announcements of later books by visiting her website at www.lindaswift.net.

Get a FREE Book!


Linda will be giving away one copy of SUMMER LOVE,in e-book format, to a lucky winner. To be entered in the drawing, just post a comment. Please be sure to include your email address in the comment so I can contact you should you be the winner. You do not have to be a follower to win though I do appreciate it.   
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Laurie:  What was one of the most surprising things you learned while writing your books?

Linda:  I was most surprised to learn in the process of writing that characters can "come alive" and take charge of their words and actions. It is an amazing thing when it happens and the plot often goes in a different direction than I had intended. I remember one despicable character who was supposed to have a minor role in the story but he kept asserting himself and he turned out to be a major character who was unforgettable.  His short story is being published this year and the editors have asked me to write a sequel to let readers know what happened after Jake Elrod married the school librarian.

Laurie:  That’s so cool!  Sounds like he is a particularly intriguing creation.  I can’t wait to read his story.  Who are your books published with?

Linda:  Currently, I have books available with The Wild Rose Press, Awe-Struck/Mundania, Willow Moon Publishing, Whiskey Creek Press, and Desert Breeze Publishing. Other work will also be released by Champagne Books and Whimsical Publications as well as Willow Moon later this year. My books are both contemporary and historical women's fiction, romance, mainstream, poetry and short stories. 

Laurie:  That’s a diverse cross-section of publishers.   About your books – are you a Plotter or Pantser?

Linda:  I am definitely a Pantser. I have a "loose" idea of the plot and characters and setting. But when I get the characters talking to each other, the story takes on a life of its own and I become mainly a recorder. I like to write a story with subplots and interesting minor characters and sometimes these people become such strong personalities that they almost overshadow the main characters.

Laurie:  Do you use a pen name?  How did you come up with it?

Linda:  Yes, Linda Swift was my maiden name and I use Swift for writing for several reasons. First, I am the only child of an only child and my branch of the family tree dies with me. My dad and paternal grandmother wrote stories so this is a kind of tribute to their genes. Second, my agent advised me to use a short name because it can be larger on the book cover and easier to remember.

Laurie: Makes sense and seems like good advice.  Do you have any other suggestions for beginning writers?

Linda:  I think the most important thing is to set your mind to being published and work toward that goal consistently. Find your own voice and try to write the stories you want to tell instead of following the current trends. Have faith in yourself. It may not be easy to reach your goal but if you work hard enough, long enough, you can achieve it. I have heard it said that three things make a successful writer. Talent, luck, and hard work. And you only need two of these to succeed.

Laurie:  I really like that particular formula for success. It sounds logical and is easy to remember. OK, moving forward, are you a morning person or a night person? How do you determine that?

Linda:  Neither. I am an afternoon person. Mornings are when I engage in creative procrastination. I will do almost anything to distract myself from working. Nights I find myself exhausted by the day's activities. But from early afternoon until about seven or eight, I am really at my best. Problem is, I like to do everything at that time, take a long walk, use the pool, read, write, visit, and even clean house. I once had a job working 3-11 and I loved it.

Laurie:  Really?  About mid-afternoon, my favorite thing to do is to take a nap. LOL.  Do you have a short excerpt you can share with us?

Linda:  Sure!  Here’s an excerpt from my contemporary romance novel Summer Love. Leave a comment below for a chance to win a free copy in e-book format.
    
The jukebox in the corner blared out an old country-western hit, the sound reverberating to make the salt and pepper shakers tremble on the tabletop.

"That one is too good to waste." Todd looked at Sharon. "Want to dance?"

When she nodded, he took another long draw from his mug and stood up, pulling her toward the tiny dance floor near the jukebox.

"Want to join them?" Derek asked Paula. She shook her head, suddenly overcome with a wave of sadness that threatened to make her cry. Quent made this kind of music and in a club somewhere a woman called Bootsie sang the love songs he played. But she had no right to him. It wasn't fair. Quent was her husband, divorce or no divorce.

Derek took her hand. "It gets better. Let the ghosts go and come dance with me."


This time Paula allowed herself to be led to the other side of the room. Derek pulled her into his arms and began moving to the music. He held her possessively close, not socially correct as Greg had done, and she could feel the hardness of his lean body as the music pulsated between them. He danced well as she had known he would, leading her effortlessly so that they moved as one. It felt good to be held in a man's arms this way. He wasn't her husband to be sure, but Quent was gone and he wasn't coming back to her. And she needed something -- someone -- to fill that void.


The song ended, and another began. Todd and Sharon moved slowly by, arms around each other, Sharon's head resting on Todd's broad shoulder. It made her heart ache to see them. Young love, raging hormones calling out to each other, fragile dreams.


"The bubble bursts too soon, doesn't it?" Derek whispered near her ear.


She nodded, tears stinging her eyes.


"I wouldn't trade places with them for the world. Not unless I could do some things a hell of a lot different."


"Me either," Paula whispered.


"You're my kind of lady," Derek said and brought her hand to his cheek then brushed her palm with his lips sending a wave of longing coursing through her veins.


No, I'm not, Paula told him silently. You are foot loose and fancy free and likely to stay that way. And I'm just a wife without a husband.

-----------end of excerpt-----------

Laurie:  That excerpt seems so believable to me.  I think it would resonate with any woman who has been divorced and wonders how she can  fill that void that seems to want to consume you.  I’m so glad you shared it with us.

Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Linda:  In my dreams! I would want to go back to England where my husband and I lived a few years ago. I would want to stay at least six months, rent a car, and explore all the places I haven't been and return to most of those I've already seen. Then for good measure, I'd take side trips to Ireland and Scotland while in the British Isles.

Laurie:  That sounds wonderful! Any other parting remarks for your readers?

Linda:  I would like to thank all who have read my work and especially the readers who have let me know how they felt about my books. I hope my characters have "lived" for them as they have for me. And I hope they remember them long after they have closed my books. Then I would feel my time and efforts writing books had been well spent.

Laurie:  Thank you so much for the chance to find out a bit about you.  I enjoyed chatting with you.  I am looking forward to stalking you and watching as new successes find you!

Linda:  It was fun, Laurie. Thanks!



Linda is a multi-published author with books, stories and poetry to her credit.  Read more about her writing and career on her website.  Blurbs for Ms. Swift's two most recent releases are provided below.  Remember to leave a comment, including your email address to enter the Giveaway.  :-)

                                   
                                    TO THOSE WHO WAIT
Leah's husband lives in a locked ward for the mentally ill. Scott and his wife live together in an empty marriage. Day after day as counselor and principal of a small town high school, Leah and Scott forge a bond of love based on respect and common goals. When Leah's son turns from star athlete to using drugs and Scot's daughter gets pregnant by the school board chairman's son, they are forced to choose between their family obligations and desire.      Contemporary Romance
Buy it in Trade Paperback To Those Who Wait


SUMMER LOVE
When Paula's husband leaves her to "find himself" after years of a good marriage, she is devastated. Adding to her hurt and anger, he joins a band and dates the band's sexy young singer. Forced to start over again in the job market, she goes back to school for a degree in Special Education.

Here she meets Derek, a retired naval officer, back in college to qualify for a second career. As Paula learns to cope in a whole new world, she is surprised to "find herself" falling in love again. And starting over proves to be better than she could have ever imagined.   Contemporary Romance
   
Buy it in Kindle format Summer Love

39 comments:

Linda Swift said...

Good morning, Laurie. Thank you so much for having me as a guest today at your beautiful website. I'm so excited to have these two new books released in March and April. And I'll have others released in May and July and three more at yet undetermined dates this year. I'm looking forward to meeting and talking with your readers today. Linda

Lee Wilson said...

Hi Linda and Laurie Thanks for the interview. Linda, I would love to win a copy of your book. Please enter me in the drawing. leewilson49@hotmail.com

Pat Dale said...

Thanks, ladies. I loved the excerpt; felt the angst and lonliness of the woman, and her assessment of the free-as-a-bird man who'd danced with her. Makes for great introspection.
Pat Dale

Linda Swift said...

Hi Lee, Thanks for stopping by. And I wish you good luck on winning. Linda

Laurie said...

Hi Lee and Pat...appreciate you both dropping by and thanks for commenting. :)

Linda Swift said...

Hello Pat. Thank you for coming by and for your nice comments. Yes, Paula was suffering but she grows in strength as the book progress and you'll be happy to know she has more than one opportunity to be happy at the end.
Linda

Celia Yeary said...

Hi, both of you--I can attest to the fact Linda is a great author--I call her a "classic author," mainly because her stories don't follow fads or the current popular genre..whatever it might be at the moment. She is her own person, does what she believes is best, but she's not always as sure of herself as I am of her!
To Those Who Wait is a very special novel, and I'm in the middle of Summer Love now, and enjoying every page.
Laurie--I love your interview questions and style. Not everyone has this ability. You've made the often-used interview in a new way.
Congratulations to both of you--Celia

B. J. Robinson said...

Sounds like a good read. If I win it, I'll read and review it. Love the title :) Blessings, BJ

M J Watson said...

I love your theory on being a successful writer: talent, hard work and luck. I think
you have all three! Joyce

Laurie said...

Hi Celia, Thanks so much for the kind comments. I'm pretty green at trying my hand at interviewing but I try to follow the golden rule and I always strive showcase an author's own, unique individuality. :)

Welcome, BJ and MJ to win I need a way to contact you...If you have contact info on your profile I will try to find it so you can be entered in the drawing at the end of the week.

Sheena Gossett said...

Sounds like a fun read. Thank

Linda Swift said...

Hi Celia, I'm sorry to be late responding to some of you. I've spent the afternoon dancing with my dh at a Spring Fling in Sarasota. It was great fun. Thank you so much for your high praise. I can't live up to that but I will keep trying. Your opinion of my work makes me want to exceed my ability. I think they call that being an over achiever, don't they? Linda

Linda Swift said...

Hi B.J. Thank you for your comments. And I would be pleased to have you review my book. Good luck on winning. Linda

Linda Swift said...

Hi Joyce. Thank you for visiting and for all of your support. And I can't take credit for the quote of what it takes to be a success. I heard that someplace a long time ago and I try to keep it in mind. If you have good luck and work hard you don't even have to have talent. Linda

Linda Swift said...

Hi Sheena. I think part of your post was lost but I do appreciate your visit to this blog today. Thank you.
Linda

Linda Swift said...

Laurie, I appreciate you for greeting all our visitors this afternoon while I was away. I'm going to break for an evening snack now, (dancing makes me hungry) and I'll check back in soon. Linda

Diane Craver said...

Sorry I'm late, Linda! I didn't realize Swift is your maiden name. That's a wonderful tribute to your parents and grandparents to use your maiden name. And your agent was right - it's an easy and catchy name to remember.

I enjoyed this excerpt of Summer Love! I wish you many sales of all your wonderful books!

Linda Swift said...

Hi Diane, thanks for visiting tonight. Yes, I owe my agent thanks for this. I was going to make up some name and I'm glad I didn't. He also said a short name can appear larger on a book cover so that's a good thing, too! And in other days when we only had to think of our books on shelves in a book store, we were advised to choose a pen name that was in the middle of the alphabet so it would appear at eye level on the shelf. Thanks goodness, that is no longer the case. And some author lists at publishers' sites use first names, some use last, and some list in order of seniority, as best I can determine. So you can't win by planning in this category!

Teresa K. said...

Linda & Laurie,

This was a wonderful interview and Linda congratulations on Summer Love.
I loved the blurb and excerpt. Being a woman of 48 I can so relate to the main characters feelings. Even after 15 yrs that my live in lover left. I still hurt.
It's something you never get over especially if he or she is your first love.
I definitely want to read this book. Thanks so much for sharing.

Teresa K.
tcwgrlup41(at)yahoo dot com

Linda Swift said...

Hi Teresa, thank you for visiting and for your nice comments. I am sorry for your pain and it is said, given enough time, all problems will take care of themselves. But how much time is enough? I guess it differs for different people and the depth of their feelings. Anyway, I wish you good things and perhaps the story of Paula will strengthen your belief in a brighter future. Linda

Laurie said...

Hi Diane and Teresa, Thanks so much for popping in!! It's so nice to see all these wonderful comments and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Anonymous said...

I would love to read this book
gardnerad@juno.com

Linda Swift said...

Hi Anonymous. Thank you for visiting and good luck on winning SUMMER LOVE. Linda

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Lovely interview and excerpt, Linda - I'm so impressed with your output!
ros_gemmell@hotmail.com

Deborrah-Debsy-Devorah said...

Hi Linda. I almost missed this. Congrats and gook luck.

Deborrah Girard

LoRee Peery said...

What a lovely cover. The excerpt pulled me right in.
Glad to know about you, Linda.
meadowlark@loreepeery.com

Linda Swift said...

Hi Rosemary, thank you for visiting and for you nice comments. Actually my output is almost at a standstill right now as I'm spending so much time editing, and promoting new releases. But there are still characters in my head waiting to have their turn. And I've begun sequels to two of my books that will be released this year.

Linda Swift said...

Hi Deborrah, I'm glad I posted the reminder today. I think a lot of people mean to visit and forget. I know I do. Good luck on winning my book.

Linda Swift said...

Hi LoRee, thank you for your compliment of my cover. I think it is beautiful, too. And thank you for your comments about the story. I hope you will read the book. Good luck on winning.

Laurie said...

Hi Rosemary, Deborrah and LoRee, :) Thanks so much for visiting. I've entered each of you for a chance to win the free book. I think Linda is amazing, also and I wish I had half the energy she has!! LOL

Laurean Brooks said...

Honestly, Laurie, I don't know which is more interesting: Linda or her book, "Summer Love." Throw my name in the hat. landtbeth@yahoo.com

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Very interesting Interview!

houstonawknight@tampabay.rr.com

Hawk

Linda Swift said...

Well, thanks, Laurie. I'll take that as a really nice compliment. Glad you got through this time to post. I know it took some effort to do so. Good luck. Linda

Linda Swift said...

Thank you for your comment, Houston, and thank you for visiting the blog. Good luck on winning.
Linda

Laurie said...

Hi Lauren Books and Hawk Thanks for coming by. Lauren Books, I heard that you some problem getting your comment accepted??? I am glad it came through and I am very sorry for the problem you encountered. Thanks again everybody!
Laurie

Laurie said...

Oh!! Of course, I meant to add. I have added you both to the pool. Good luck. I will be using Random.org early Sunday morning to select a winner from all eligible entries and then notifying the winner. It has been just great seeing all this activity on my little blog and I really appreciate having Linda as my guest this week.
Laurie

Laurie said...

The drawing results are in (I used random.org) and the WINNER of SUMMER LOVE is Anonomous. I have notified her via email. Thanks so much everyone for the wonderful comments and support and a special thank you to Linda Swift for making this all possible! XXXOOO

Houston A.W. Knight said...

Congrats to the winner!!

Hawk

Linda Swift said...

Congratulations to the winner of SUMMER LOVE. I hope you will enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
And thank you once again, Laurie, for having me as your guest. It has been a pleasure to meet so many new readers/writers and to see old friends as well. Linda