Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Linda Wood Rondeau {Writer Wednesday}

Welcome Linda to the blog!

A little bit about Linda...
 
Winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight, LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.

Linda’s best-selling Adirondack Romance, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas and is available wherever books are sold.

These books are also available in ebook format along with her other ebooks by Helping Hands Press: I Prayed for Patience/God Gave Me Children and Days of Vines and Roses. A Christmas novella, Joy Comes to Dinsmore Street, will be released this fall and Songs in the Valley is scheduled for release in 2014 both by Helping Hands Press.

How to connect with Linda...

Check out her website
Her blogs: Full-Flavored Living, Geezer Guys and Gals, This Daily Grind
On Goodreads
Purchase her book on Amazon

Author Interview | Linda Wood Rondeau

You and Writing

Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you start writing? What has kept you writing?
...Like most writers, I've dabbled in the craft all my life. As a young girl, I loved to tell stories and loved to have my friends listen to them. I always knew someday I'd write those stories down for the world. As life happens, I grew up not believing God gave me those dreams and I wrote only as a hobbyist. I worked in human services, using my writing skills in my career, church programs, and for my own entertainment. Then on June 21, 2001 God pulled at me at said, "It's time." I quite the day job to actively pursue what I knew beyond any doubt was God's new direction in my life. I don't recommend that writers do this. For me it was necessary to leave one career in order to begin another. I began publishing short manuscripts and obtained an agent. My first book contract offer came eleven years to the date of when I received God's call. Since then, I've published a few more books with more contracts to come. In 2012, I received the Selah Award for my first novel, God's affirmation of a long journey. I continue to write, though discouragements are part of the journey, because I have more stories to tell. I am still the little girl on the school bus, who longs to tell the stories of God's grace and redemption. 

Your Writing
Do you have a favorite book?
...To date, my favorite book is Days of Vines and Roses. It has a little bit of everything and truly reflects my tagline: Out-of-the-box Christian Fiction. My heroine is a lot like me. When I first starting writing, it became an idol. I became huffed up because I was doing God's work. I think God held the reigns from success until I could learn that my writing was a privilege He gave me. It is not my life, but something I do within my life. He had to teach me to be in Him rather than do for Him. Sylvia, who has wandered from her childhood beliefs, has allowed her writing alter ego to completely possess her. She is as trapped by this malevolence as much as the evil forces within the home. I like this book because it demonstrates, though Satan will push, connive, and thwart whatever we desire for God, greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world.

Writing

Where does your inspiration come from?
...I never know what will awaken a story in me. My first published book, The Other Side of Darkness, was written to give hope and encouragement to those suffering from post traumatic stress. There are dark places in our lives, but God finds us in the darkness and leads us to His Light on the other side of those horrid places. I used a lot of my social work experience in developing my characters and drew from my court experiences as well. The town of Haven was inspired by a visit to Whitehall in the Adirondacks, a quaint small town with much history.

...Days of Vines and Roses was inspired while I was mowing my lawn. I looked at the corruption of my yard by weeds. I knew of a couple who kept a marriage afloat for convenience, not willing to admit that they still loved each other. My son lived in Connecticut at the time I wrote the book and the city of New Haven was my perfect setting. I also spoke with the author of a book on haunted houses of Connecticut. The rest evolved.

...All my books blend history to some degree with the contemporary story. In my soon to be released Christmas novella, I reconnected with a long-lost cousin. We were close as children but life got in the way and we drifted. I thought about what circumstances might come in to play to significantly impair a close relationship.

...It Really IS a Wonderful Life is inspired by my personal history. I met my husband doing Community Theater. I did direct the play It's a Wonderful Life.

...And, of course, my non-fiction book, I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children, was inspired, not only by my social work career, but how being a parent myself taught me what it means to be God's child.


You

Do you enjoy hot or cold weather better?

...I do not like the cold, Sam I am, I do not like cold at all! Never did. I was born and raised in central New York State and as a child spent my winters on the forced hot air floor radiators to keep warm. As I aged, my ability to withstand cold continued to worsen. Finally, in 2011, my lungs had it. After suffering from another bout of chronic bronchitis, my husband decided it was time for me to move to warmer climate. Nothing left to hold us to the cold Northern New York, except my husband's job. He was due to retire in eighteen months. So we took the plunge. I moved to Florida ahead of him, played Daniel Boone and blazed a new life for us in Jacksonville. He is now here with me. We don't mind the heat or the heavy rain storms. And love being able to play golf twelve months out of the year. 

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Thank you so much for the interview Linda! I love hearing a little bit about the inspiration behind each of your books. It's not often you get to hear directly from the author about specifics of their books and to me, that's always inspiring. 

If you, my dear readers, are interested in checking out Linda's latest novel, Days of Vines and Roses, here is a little sneak peek:
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When a romance writer and her estranged publisher husband attempt to reconcile, malignant forces and a pending lawsuit seem bent on keeping them apart. After fifteen years of marital disarray, Henry and Sylvia Fitzgibbons (aka Lana Longstreet) independently contemplate divorce, their relationship relegated to Henry’s infrequent visits to the Connecticut estate and their once a week meeting at Chez Phillipe’s in Manhattan. But, not yet. There is the matter of the decaying rose gardens and the thirtieth anniversary party the children are planning. Reluctantly, Henry moves in for the summer, steeled against the hauntings that torment only him. As reconciliation seems possible, the evil forces within begin to target Sylvia as well. Like the strangling vines within the rose beds, Henry and Sylvia have become victims of spiritual neglect. Their only hope remains in surrender to a power greater than the evil determined to destroy them.
 Thanks again Linda!