In this week's Author Spotlight, I'm pleased to welcome fellow Champagne Books author, Linda Swift.
1. Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Linda Swift and I’ve been married to the same wonderful man forever. We make our home in our native
and the West Coast of Florida. Our children live in Kentucky which makes for convenient (for us) visits as we trek back and forth between states. I’ve been a digital author since 2008. I write contemporary and historical fiction, suspense, short stories and poetry and currently have ten books and five short stories available from the publishers, Amazon, and other distributors. Two additional books and one short story will also be released this year. Nashville
2. Every author I’ve met has their own unique story of how they found their way into writing. What path led you to become an author?
I began writing poems at ten, in my teens wrote my first romance novel, later short stories for my children, then took a long hiatus while I went to college and worked in public education as a teacher, counselor and psychometrist. I began writing seriously in the 80s and had poetry, articles, and short stories published in numerous periodicals. In the early 90s I sold three romance books to Kensington, then came another hiatus as the market for mid-list authors shrank. Finally I found my niche in digital publishing and I’m living happily ever after.
3. What aspect of the writing process to you enjoy the most? What part of the process do you dread?
Creating the story on paper, watching the characters come to life is the most gratifying part of the writing process for me. Working with an editor to make the story better before publication is also a pleasure. I’ve been blessed with wonderful editors for the most part. For me, the thing I dread is writing blurbs. The reason may be that so much is riding on getting a lot said in a few words that will make the reader want to buy the book. A dry-as-toast blurb can kill even a good book. I always want to include the subplots and minor characters in a blurb and have to force myself to ignore both and focus on the H&H to the exclusion of all else.
4. Are you a plotter or a pantser in terms of your writing style? Describe your writing space.
I am most definitely a pantser. Writing down what each character prefers for breakfast and what color sox they wear seems a waste of time for me. If this information is needed, it will come out in the writing of the book. They already know these things and if I know the characters and allow them to tell their stories, this sort of trivia will appear naturally in the telling. Sometimes things appear in a story that I hadn’t expected but I’ve learned not to question it because later on the reason will be made clear. For example, in Winner Take All, Billy Ray went upstairs and found an old pair of his tennis shoes and took them downstairs. Later he put them on to go outside and that decision cost him his life, but I didn’t plan it to happen. It just did.
5. Which author has most influenced or inspired you?
Different authors at different times have influenced and inspired me, depending on my state of development. At the moment, Philippa Gregory’s books are favorite reads because she weaves real historical characters into every book and I’ve done that with a couple of short historicals myself. She, as most historical authors, uses modern dialogue and spends little time describing clothing or other period details. In this respect, I lean toward the books by Valerie Wood who does use the dialect and accent of the times written about. Perhaps because I’ve lived in the area of
where most of Valerie’s books are set and am acquainted with her, I enjoy all of her stories. Both of these authors write books that draw me into the story and don’t let me go until the last page. I usually wait to begin a book like this until I have some blocks of time to spend with them and still find myself sitting up until all hours when I should be sleeping. England
6. Of all of your published books, which one story or character is your favorite and why?
The answer to both parts of this question can be found in one book, This Time Forever, a Civil War saga. I have always been fascinated by this tragic war and life in the “old South.” This book shows the war from both North and South, black and white perspectives and weaves a story of love and honor as well as hate and depravity.
My favorite character is Philip Burke, a Yankee surgeon who becomes a prisoner of war and barters his medical skills to avoid prison. He loves his family and his fiancé and has his life all planned …until he meets Clarissa Wakefield. She is a Rebel, wife and mother, and becomes a caring and competent nurse. Philip has to make hard decisions that will hurt the people he loves and he does so with great regret. One reader said that from the first page she knew that Philip was a good man and truly good men are rare. I couldn’t ask for a better description of my favorite character.
7. Would you tell us a little about your latest book?
My latest book is also an historical. Mistress of Huntleigh Hall is the sequel to Maid of the
Midlands and the main character is the daughter of Matilda and Jondalar of the first book. This story is set in in 1605 and involves the Gunpowder Plot. One of the supporting characters is Guido Fawkes who is a cousin of Lord Talbot, elderly husband of England . Although both of these books are classified as sweet, and suitable for readers of all ages, this book deals with a few more adult issues such as an unwed pregnant secondary character. Anyone who enjoys Regencies, will like these stories which have a Regency flavor with more seriousness and in an earlier time period. Alice
8. What can readers expect in the coming months? What are you working on now?
I’m getting together a collection of five speculative short stories which have been published as ebooks for 99cents to be released soon as a print book. Then I plan to get an ebook ready for print release with a new publisher and a new cover. After that I want to put a book back together that I had to chop in half to be published as a “pure’ romance. I think the subplots add a lot to the story and I did it an injustice to cut it. Then…next year I want to write the sequel to my Civil War book, set during the Reconstruction Period that followed. I think I need a nap just talking about this!
9. What interview question have you never been asked that you’re dying to answer? Answer it.
I think I’ve been asked everything I know and answered a lot of questions with things I probably didn’t know very well. I can’t think of anything more I’m dying to tell anyone.
10. Where can you be found on the web? (web site, blogs, social network links)
I have a website at www.lindaswift.net. I have a facebook page and a twitter account, both as Linda Swift. And I’m very happy to announce an author’s page on a new blog, Once Upon A Word, Publishing by Rebecca J Vickery. Find me here: