Linda: In Journey Home Lara inherits the home where she was raised. She found success in her life professionally but felt alone and uneasy. She is being stalked, but no one believes her. She is required by the will to live in the family home for nine months. If she fails to stay for the nine months, Alan, a man she had never heard of will inherit all from her family. Alan, however, turns out to be an ally. It wasn’t until they discover the truth that Lara could feel she had completed the Journey and was finally Home.
What inspired you to write this particular story?
Linda: My daughter complained about a school assignment she had to do writing a short story. I tried to explain that would be easy if she just thought about something or someone and developed it from there. .. A young woman, perhaps with a problem. .. What kind of problems, where was she… who was she and so on. As I thought of different scenes or situations that could be used to write the short story, dozens more began to fill my thoughts. I started to write my own little short story and it did not stop for 550 pages.
Who is your most unusual/most likeable character?
Linda: My most unusual/likeable character is the friend named Donald. He is a very large, good natured, friendly sort of man who seems slow to anger and takes his time in whatever he does. What is not immediately obvious is the complexity of the man just as it often is in real life. He had seen the darker side of life and the people in it. He had felt the rage and anger and learned the control to let nothing show. He had been trained in Special Military and Government agencies that are not even listed. He had rebuilt his life to survive and stepping up to help his friends was about to open the door to feelings and memories he would have preferred to leave buried. He did not hesitate when he was needed…he was there.
How much of a story do you have in mind before you start writing it?
Linda: When I wrote the story I had a basic idea for the main character. I started writing developing the character and the other situations and characters began to work into the story. My family used to laugh at me as they would notice me sitting motionless before the keyboard staring ahead to nothing. When they asked what I was doing, I could only describe it as waiting for an idea to pop in…..and then it did.
Did you do any research for the book? If so, how did you do it? (searching Internet, magazines, other books, etc.)
Linda: With Journey Home I did as I have so often heard and used things familiar to me. The setting is or a rural area such as where I have often visited. The story line was one that I worked as I told about with the short story that was really long. I often use the public library. What I cannot find, they are ever so helpful. They have not only the books on hand, but the resources to acquire more if you need it on a particular subject and the internet. If there is a person who is especially knowledgeable about a subject I am not shy to ask.
How do you develop and differentiate your characters?
When I think of a character, I first assess who and what that character is and then their characteristics and personality. With that in mind I wonder, what is the situation at that point that would make a story. What is the problem or difficulty the character is confronting. The confrontation or challenges help to build something of interest rather than just describe who and what they are. I want to let the story help showing by what they do, say, think, and how they react. Just as I life people are each unique and different. They have individual strengths and weaknesses. Their reactions are different resulting from their very own complexities. Those things will show in the story as each has their moments.
Do you have specific techniques you use to develop the plot and stay on track?
Linda: When I first start a story I am writing as it occurs to me. I have to go back and make sure that the story and action coincide with other parts of the story and that I am consistent. I suppose I am one that writes and reviews.
Is there a message in your writing you want readers to grasp?
Linda: I have strong beliefs about family and friends and not giving up when things are difficult. I think even subconsciously those concepts will be in my writing. When I was writing this story my focus became the story, characters, and what would happen next. I cannot say that the story is to covey a special message, but the books are a message for each of us to keep trying.
What challenges did you face as you wrote this book?
Linda: Half way through I was in a horrific head on collision that was a miracle I survived. When I had recovered somewhat, I still could barely use my hands and could not type. I still had to go through another surgery and lived in constant pain.
When I was finally able to finish the story it was not professional enough for me to be satisfied. I needed more than I was able to give it. I had never had the opportunity to learn the things I needed to know or gone to college. I enrolled in the fiction writing class and the college was wonderful. They normally had certain requirements for classes. I wanted to learn and they were there to teach. I promised not to slow the class down if they would allow me to take it. I did not care if I failed….it would not hurt my grade point average…it was my grade point average. I ended up taking the next level of study that at that time was the highest available for writing fiction. I am sorry that I can not resist adding this after trying so hard in the class. I did pass. I got a 4.0 and was the only grandma in class.
What was the most difficult part about writing the book?
Linda: Editing. I wrote it so it is difficult for me to spot certain things that may be common in my speech patterns. It wasn’t easy to find things that may be unclear because they made sense to me
Do you think writing this book changed your life? How so?
Linda: I feel more confident and a sense of accomplishment. I can….I can do it.
What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
Linda: I cannot stay with a set schedule or given length of time or amount. I cannot sit at the computer for long periods or in any one place and tire easily. I have good days and then there are the others. I try my best to balance health, life and writing.
Do you prefer to write at a particular time of day?
Linda: I have written at all times even late at night. When I cannot sleep I often write.
What was the first story you remember writing?
Linda: A short story about a girl that had an experience that she later thought must have been a dream until she noticed the ring on her finger from the experience she though could never have been real.
What is the easiest part of the writing process?
Linda: When the story comes together and the words seem to have no end and I feel good.
What’s been the most surprising part of being a writer?
Linda: The whole thing has been interesting but when the proof copy of the first and this book arrived I nearly broke into tears, but they were happy tears. Surprising that it was real and seeing what had been only a dream held in my hands touched me more than I have words to say.
What, in your opinion, are the essential qualities of a good story?
Linda: Good plot, adversity, believable characters and realistic situations.
How have you marketed and promoted your work?
Linda: I have joined the Reviewer’s Roundup on Facebook and received wonderful reviews from Glenda Bixler and Fran Lewis. I would love to have more reviews and be able to post them on my page, share with my friends, and on the Fan Page. The local library had even bought the book and that felt like a compliment with their limited shelf area. I am new at this and doing my best, but have to do things as I can. I do hope that one person will tell another and they will all tell their friends. I will keep trying.
What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?
Linda: I tried…I really did and I did not give up.
Have you written any other books
Linda: I have one called Life Goes On that came out last November. I did it cover to cover too. The art work for the cover was a challenge to design as well as make into a finished product, but when I saw it I loved it.
Linda: I have a facebook fan page and regular page for Linda Nance. I have included pictures of the paintings as well as short stories under the discussion section. My books can be found at (JourneyHome) www.createspace.com/3506777 and (Life Goes On) www.createspace.com/3478911 www.createspace/LifeGoesOn and both on Amazon
Excerpt of: Journey Home