Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Susana.
What inspired you to start writing? After years of reading romances, I thought I knew what was involved in writing one. Ha! Following several months of rough drafts, I gifted myself with a one-day class that covered the basics. The best tip from that class was the reference to Romance Writers of America. My involvement with RWA meetings, workshops and conferences taught me how to hone my skills.
How long have you been writing? This year marks twenty years, but I wasn’t published until I’d been writing (albeit part-time) for almost ten years. (see answer to advice)
What advice would you give writers just starting out? Know that at least fifty percent of writing is revision. By this I mean reorganizing (words, sentences, paragraphs, chapters) and layering. Not many writers can get the character definition, depth of emotion, plot twists, etc. included in the first draft.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? During a period of unemployment from my day job, I suffered with writer’s block. I could revise old stories but couldn’t come up with anything new. A relocation to a new state changed all that. I focused on collecting calls for submission from various publishers and wrote for six weeks solid. Those themed calls gave me a starting point for the plot, a word count and, most important, a deadline. Within a couple months, I had seven contracts in hand and the block was gone.
What comes first, the plot or the characters? Characters. I have to get acquainted with one of the protagonists before I know what type of situation will challenge him or her and who is the best archetype of character to create as an opposite. Then I can plunk them down into action and a setting and see how they react.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? A die-hard plotter who on occasion can be surprised when the characters appear to resist where I’m steering them. The few times I have tried to just sit at the computer and write, I get stalled after 3-4 chapters.
Leave a comment here with your email address for a chance to win a copy of Dipping in a Toe.
Jessa Landers has a secret crush on her teens’ swim coach. A widow for three years, she’s managing her life and enjoys her freedom—except for long, lonely evenings when she craves an attentive man.
Coach Rick Grant loves being a high school teacher and swim coach. Surrounded by families has him yearning for his own romantic connection—and his eye is on Jessa.
Will Jessa protect the balance of her family life, or take a second chance on love?
As if pulled by an invisible thread, my gaze went to the tall, fit man with the ever-present clipboard in one hand and a stopwatch in the other. Normally an adult wearing tropical-print board shorts and a faded surfboard tee-shirt looked like he clung with desperation onto his youth. Instead Rick Grant wore the attire like a medal of honor—like he’d earned the right to promote a Hawaiian surfing competition from a decade earlier.
Maybe he had. The image of his tan, lean body balancing on top of a surfboard flittered through my mind. I pictured him, thinner but still muscular, body sparkling with water droplets, wavy hair streaked with blonde highlights, outlined against a cerulean blue sky. A heartfelt sigh escaped.
Christy stopped to turn in her ascent up the metal bleachers, and cocked her head. “You okay, Jessa?”
Caught. I whirled toward the bleachers and set a foot on the lowest step. “I’m fine. Where do you want to sit?” Heat burned my cheeks and I ducked my head, pretending the need to focus on placing my wedge sandals on each step. I didn’t want the other mothers to learn about my pathetic infatuation with the swim coach.
An infatuation I kept telling myself was wrong. Didn’t I have enough to do between my paralegal job, keeping up the house, managing the kids’ activities, and arranging visits with their grandparents? How could I possibly add dating to this hectic lifestyle?
Even if by some wild chance the man in question were to show interest…
Excerpt © Linda Carroll-Bradd
All Rights Reserved, The Wild Rose Press
After years spent in the administrative support field, Linda decided to exercise another part of her brain and write a novel. She loved reading romance and figured that’s what she’d write. Easier said than done. After years of workshops and RWA chapter meetings, she finally saw her manuscripts place in contests. Twelve years after her first writing class, she sold a confession story. From that point on, she couldn’t be stopped and is always pleased when her sweet contemporary and historical stories find homes.
With interests as widespread as baking, crocheting, watching dog agility matches, and reading thrillers by Swedish authors, Linda is the mother to 4 adult children and grandmother to 2 granddaughters. She currently lives in the southern California mountains with her husband of almost 34 years and their two spoiled dogs.
Where to find Linda: