Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Happy 25th Anniversary--Author Interview with Linda Warren

My turn in the hot seat. Here goes:

1) How long have you been published?
About ten years.

2) What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?
Never give up! Join RWA and a chapter near you. Attend the workshops and learn all you can about the genre you want to write.

3) What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?
To me it’s developing my characters. Once I know them then I can write their story. I jot down all kinds of facts about them in a notebook; description, likes and dislikes, their goals and motivation, what kind of childhood they had, siblings, parents, education and so on until I know who my character is and what he or she wants. From there I build the conflict between my two main characters.

4) You can erase any horrible experience from your past. What will it be?
I wish I had known about RWA sooner. When I sold my first book, my editor asked if I was a member and I was like in a panic. I’d heard of RWA and thought it was for only published authors. I was afraid Harlequin wouldn’t buy my book if I said no. Yeah, I was that na├»ve. And, yes, I had a lot to learn. I’m still learning.

5) What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten?
Raw liver mixed with bananas in a blender. Yuck! I still get sick when I think of it. Now you’re probably wondering why I would even eat such a thing. I have a very good reason. At eighteen I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis. I went through every medication available and nothing helped the pain. Then a friend of my mothers told her about a lady she knew who ate raw liver and bananas daily and her pain went away. On the third day I was throwing it up so that plan went south and I went back to traditional medicine.

6) What comes first: the plot or the characters?
A scene usually. My March American, The Sheriff of Horseshoe, Texas, I created from a scene my husband and I saw as we traveled home one evening. A highway patrolman had a blonde in a red convertible sports car pulled over on the side of the road. His arm rested on the top of the windshield as he leaned in talking to her with a smile as big as Texas. I told my husband she wouldn’t be getting a ticket. The scene captured my imagination and I started creating characters. The blonde was a wealthy socialite and the patrolman became a sheriff. The whole story came together after that.

7) When you looked in the mirror this morning, what was the first thing you thought?
Oh God! I need makeup.

8) Describe your writing space.
My office looks as if Hurricane Ike passed through it and no one is bothering to clean it up. I have two computers, three printers and several filing cabinets jammed into a small space. My desk is cluttered with TBR books and folders of books I’m writing. Emails and research papers are everywhere. There’s a stack of bills that need to be paid. Bookshelves cover two walls and they are full. I need to give some away, but it’s like giving away an old friend. The best feature of my messy office is the view. When I’m stuck I can look out the French doors to the lake and see the geese and ducks splashing around or a fisherman trying to catch a fish. It’s very peaceful and has sparked my creative muse a time or two.

9) What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
When I was in school, I loved Louisa May Alcott’s books, Little Women, The Inheritance, etc. Then I started reading Harlequin romances and was hooked on the happy endings. I wanted to write a book like that. A book that gave women hope that there is such a thing as true love and happiness.

10) What are you reading now?
Brenda Novak’s new trilogy and Debbie Macomber’s Twenty Wishes. They were a gift from a very special editor and I’m enjoying them immensely.

11) Do you re-read your books once they're in print?
When I was first published, I did. Now I don’t have time.

12) How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
My September release, Texas Heir, was my 21st book. My favorite is The Christmas Cradle.

13) Tell us about your family and where you live.
I live in College Station, Texas with my husband, Billy. We live about ten miles from Smetana, Texas where I was born. Most of my family still lives there so it’s always fun to go home to the old farm and ranch where I was raised. I met my husband while I was in high school at a friend’s wedding. I thought he was the most handsome man I’d ever seen. He was on leave from the National Guard (love a man in uniform) and he and his buddies crashed the wedding. My girlfriends and I met them while they were gathered around the beer keg. Let’s say they were having a good time. My husband had a woman’s red high heel tucked into his jacket pocket. (The wedding was in December and the bridesmaid’s dresses were red.) He denies the shoe thing to this day.

14) Are you working on anything at the present you'd like to share?
As I said in March 2009 I have one of The Men Made In America books for American Romance, The Sheriff of Horseshoe, Texas. In July I start a trilogy for Super Romance, Texas Belles. The second book of the trilogy will be out in October and the third in early 2009.

15) Who's you're personal hero--past or present?
Oh, definitely the guy who had the red high heel in his pocket.

Texas Heir—September 2008


Ann Roth said...

Linda- I enjoyed reading your interview. Oh, that red high heel...

Ellen said...

Linda - I just finished reading "Texas Heir" and really enjoyed it. Being a fellow Texan I love reading books set in Texas and am really looking forward to reading your upcoming books.

Linda Warren said...

Hi Ann,
Thank you. Gotta love those dating years.

Linda Warren said...

Hi Ellen,
Bless your heart and thank you for the nice words about Texas Heir. That book absorbed me until I had Cari and Reed out of west Texas. My next book is in March 2009 and I hope you enjoy it, too.

Estella said...

I enjoyed the interview.I like learning things about the authors I read.

Linda Warren said...

Hi Estella,
Thank you. I enjoyed answering the questions and being in the hot seat. I think. Now if the hubby doesn't read it, I'll be fine.