When I started this blog, one of my overriding goals was to be a voice for others. Yes, I love to write and babble on about all things travel related, but I also love to hear from others and learn from their experiences. Because of this I often offer up One Road at a Time to share their voice(s). With that being said, today I’m branching out and sharing with you a conversation I had with a friend of mine who is a published author.
I’m pretty sure most bloggers have a secret (or not so secret) yearning to write a book; to tell their story in a printed published format. Linda, although never a blogger, has been writing for years and she is celebrating the publication of her latest books. As a friend, I have watched her work through the writing process from A to Z and all the jumbled letters in between. I’ve been a very small link in her chain by offering my support as a hand-holder, copy editor, feedback giver and provider of chocolate. Because of this, I am so excited to take part in helping her launch her latest series. I put my “a work in progress” interview skills to practice and hopefully, you’ll like what you read and pick up a copy of Linda’s books.
Patti: Let’s talk books. What are the names of your new books?
Patti: Where did the name E.J. Brighton come from?
Linda: E.J. Brighton is a pen name for myself and my writing partner (for this series). I am the J for Joy—my middle name. Brighton, is a lovely place in England and having spent time in England, it was a natural choice.
Patti: How are the books selling?
Linda: Really well. We’ve received some great reviews and sales keep moving higher and higher. The books are listed on Amazon and Kindle and they can be found at Barnes & Noble and Apple.
Patti: These are not your first publications, right?
Linda: No. I have ten children’s books in print. I wrote historical fiction for Perfection Learning, an educational publisher for several years. These books are also available on Amazon under my name, Linda Baxter. The Rattlesnake Necklace was my first. The books are targeted for 3rd to 5th graders. Patti: These are the best books. When I was teaching (in Calif.) Linda came to my school dressed in character to present her stories and the children loved them.
Patti: Were you one of those kids who always wrote stories for fun?
Linda: Not really. I tried a few times when I was a kid, but I could never get my thoughts down on paper fast enough. However, I was a great day dreamer and had stories and characters living their lives in my imagination for years. Writing on the computer gave me the opportunity to dump my ideas quickly enough not to lose them. It was an amazing break though for me and from that point on, I have written many books.
Patti: How many altogether?
Linda: I am finishing my fifteenth. Gosh, that’s scary.
Patti: Will you ever run out of ideas?
Linda: I hope not, but for now I have a backlog of ideas. I am always looking for interesting ideas and situation, and unusual settings, characters, and names. Patti: I can attest to this… everywhere Linda goes, she finds a story.
Patti: What is you ultimate dream for writing?
Linda: I have a wonderful idea for a book that is set in Paris. I would love to spend time there and write at least part of the book. You know that bookstore across from Notre Dame where Hemingway used to write? Not that I will ever be Hemingway, but I would like to sit upstairs in the window and write part of my story.
Patti: What is the best part of writing?
Linda: I can get really lost in the scene. When I’m putting down fresh ideas for a new scene, I’m right in the middle of what’s happening–seeing, feeling, experiencing right along with the characters. I often lose track of time. I used to have to set a timer so I wouldn’t forget to pick up my kids from school. Royalty checks are nice too, but they are not the reason I write.
Patti: What is the hard part?
Linda: Editing is hard work and can get tiresome, but it can also be satisfying to perfect a scene and find just the right words. I love the thesaurus. Rejection is probably the toughest part about being an author. You have to grow a pretty tough skin.
Patti: What helps you through that?
Linda: My friends who are also writers understand. Even my family doesn’t really get the struggle, although they are proud of me. It’s lonely work. I belong to a critique group and they are wonderful. I also belong to Romance Writers of America. People chuckle about the name, but it’s a great group of supportive, creative people. My local chapter, Silicon Valley RWA is a lifeline for me. I have to give credit here to my husband above everyone. He has always supported me, always given me the time and space to write. He’s the best.
Patti: Are you still writing with a partner?
Linda: No. We did what we set out to do and did it well. Our books have won many prestigious contests, the Linda Howard, the Gotcha! and the Molly. We both agreed it was time to try new things.
Patti: What’s next?
Linda: I am writing a teen fiction trilogy now. I love it. An 800 year-old ghost haunts the teenage characters in the story. Patti: I have read the first draft of this book and loved it. I’m a big fan of children’s/adolescence literature.
Patti: Teen fiction? What are the challenges with that?
Linda: Writing is writing, no matter the audience. It’s still about building a good story and crafting a satisfying ending. It’s still about believable characters and situations. I guess the most challenging aspect in Young Adult would be the teen slang. My son and daughter help me with that. I am always emailing them for the latest quip. They will have top billing on my thank-you page when the books are finished.
Patti: And when will that be?
Linda: The Next Sorcerer will be coming out in the next few months, followed shortly by Vortex. Number three in the series is still in infancy. I need to do a little more day dreaming.
Patti: Looking forward to it!
Linda is not the only talented member of her family. Recently, I introduced you to Elizabeth and her amazing blog Mackin’ Cheese, remember? I love E’s blog, it is cleanly formatted and reader friendly with professional quality photos and easy to follow step-by-step instructions. Well, guess what? This is mother and daughter; Linda and Elizabeth Baxter. In just a few weeks they are taking off for the far east where Elizabeth has vowed to eat a bug or two when they visit the outdoor Chinese markets. I’m urging her to write a guest post about that experience because it is one thing I can promise you, my readers, I will never do. I try never to say never, but I think I’m pretty safe in saying that eating a bug is not gonna happen. I’m just sayin. So Elizabeth, we’re relying on you to tell us all of the juicy bug-eating details and Linda, we’ll look forward to the book that will grow out of this upcoming travel adventure!