Joining me today is romance author Laura Linwood. Please sit back and enjoy her interview.
When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Writing just seems innate to me—just something I was born wanting to do. Before I could put pen to paper, I made up stories and acted them out with my stuffed animals and dolls. After I learned to read and write, I loved scribbling stories and having my friends act them out. I became a teacher and thought I’d teach by day and write by night, but the job got in the way. Too many lesson plans to write and papers to grade (not to mention laundry and scrubbing tubs!). Finally, I made writing a priority and devoted quality time to it. That made all the difference.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I rarely chew gum—unless I’m writing. Something about that process gets my creative juices flowing. The more intense the scene becomes, the harder and faster I chomp!
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I think inspiration is everywhere. I write historical romances, so many times ideas come to me when I’m researching a particular era or event. The Internet has opened up so many avenues of research. I can visit museums online, read first-person accounts, and even scan photographs or paintings. I do a lot of thinking when I walk every morning, and many plot ideas have been dreamed up while I’m pounding the pavement. I’ve even had scathingly brilliant ideas come to me while in the shower.
When did you write your first book?
I wrote my first novel in college, most of it during the summer between my sophomore and junior years. The ending came to me first, so I wrote the last chapter before anything else. That manuscript is still sitting on the top shelf of my closet! I need to pull it down some day and read through it and see if it’s truly awful or better than I remember.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Like most writers, I read voraciously in all kinds of genres. I also enjoy going to see movies or watching TV with my husband. I can’t seem to function unless I walk 4-5 miles first thing in the morning, and I also like to do yoga. I like to attend sporting events, and I’m active in my local women’s club, where my favorite group is Bookworms, my monthly book club.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That I’m not always in control! I usually have a brief, general outline to get me started and keep me going, but many times my characters seem to take over my typing fingers and do things much differently than I planned. I didn’t know that could happen, but it’s been fun, exciting, and it helps keep things fresh.
How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’ve written several books. Music For My Soul and Outlaw Muse came out in 2013. A Game of Chance was just released in January, while A Change of Plans will be out this summer. I have a few more manuscripts I’m tightening and polishing before I pitch them to my editor . . . and I’ve always got a current work-in-progress going. As far as a favorite goes? That’s liking asking a mom to reveal her favorite child. My lips are sealed on that one!
Can you tell me and your readers something about your main characters?
Jed Stone is a Civil War veteran and gambler who travels to California. He’s smart, charming, and has no idea that he was separated from his twin at birth. He’s arrested and set to hang for crimes his brother committed, all because he looks like the face on a wanted poster. He escapes before his execution and eventually meets his twin in San Francisco.
Lily Frontiere is a beautiful suffragette with a knack for accounting who happens to be the daughter of a madam who owns the most famous whorehouse in San Francisco. She had a governess and then went to boarding school back east, so she knows little to nothing about “house” life. When her dying mother gets into financial trouble, Lily must step up and try to salvage things.
Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I’m just starting my career, so I haven’t gotten many emails. I do hear from readers through my Facebook page and Twitter accounts, though. They’ll comment on cartoons I put up, books I’ve mentioned reading, or pictures from places I’ve traveled. I think it’s terrific how social media has made it so accessible for readers and authors to talk and get to know one.
What do you think makes a good story? What are your favorite book genres in writing and reading? Why?
I think believable, relatable characters make for the best stories because I like to put myself in their shoes. Romance is what I love to write, but thrillers or anything involving history are my favorite genre to read. I like authors such as Steve Berry, Brad Meltzer, David Baldacci, Stephen King, Jacqueline Winspear, and Victoria Thompson—and that only scratches the surface! I think each of these authors have great characters, interesting plots, and do a wonderful job weaving history into their books.
Now a peak at her book A Game of Chance
The knock startled her, but not half as much as the man who grabbed her. He snaked his left arm around her waist. His right hand covered her mouth.
Lily struggled as he snapped her back close against him. Through her thin, silk wrapper she felt hard chest. Her hands, locked onto his forearm, touched tension coiled tightly around muscle.
She heard Ben hollering, “Hold your horses.”
Instinctively, her gut told her the visitors below would be looking for this man.
He whispered the same into her ear, his mustache tickling as he asked, “Can you buy me some time?”
She nodded, not sure if she would or not. The stranger dropped his hand but still kept her next to him.
It surprised her when she said, “Follow me.”
More About The Author
As a child, Lauren Linwood gathered her neighborhood friends together and made up stories for them to act out, her first venture into creating memorable characters. Following her passion for history and love of learning, she became a teacher who began writing on the side to maintain her sanity in a sea of teenage hormones.
Lauren’s novels focus on two of her favorite eras, medieval times and the American Old West. History is the backdrop that places her characters in extraordinary circumstances, where their intense desire and yearning for one another grows into the deep, tender, treasured gift of love.
Lauren, a native Texan, lives in a Dallas suburb with her family. An avid reader, moviegoer, and sports fan, she manages stress by alternating yoga with five mile walks. She is thinking about starting a support group for Pinterest and House Hunters addicts.
My Amazon Books – Buy Links: