Linda Goodnight, a Winner of the CAROL as well as the RITA Award for excellence in fiction has won various other highly acclaimed awards, and her romance novels have been translated into more than a dozen languages. An avid supporter of the charity Stop Child Trafficking Now, this former nurse and teacher enjoys writing fiction that carries a message of hope and light in a sometimes dark world. Linda lives on a small farm/ranch in Oklahoma with her husband and daughter.
SKC: Welcome to A Pen for Your Thoughts, Linda. Tell us about the newest project you are working on now.
LG: I just finished up the final book in my Redemption River Series from Love Inspired. A Feb. 2012 release, the title is THE LAST BRIDGE HOME. Here’s a little blurb:
Vet assistant and pet lover, Jilly Fairmont has been in love with her neighbor, firefighter Zak Ashford since he moved in next door. But the baseball loving Zak thinks of Jilly as his buddy. When a dying woman asks Zak to adopt her three children and his world is turned upside down, Jilly is there for him. Soon, he must choose between a long held dream and the little patchwork family he’s come to love.
SKC: Sounds very interesting! What inspired you to write your Genre and do you plan to venture out from that to anything else, and if so, what?
LG: An avid reader ever since I can remember, my taste in books is wide ranging but always seemed to have some element of romance in them. As I began to write for publication, I realized that I should write what I love to read, so I do! Primarily, my books are contemporary romance, but I also love historical and women’s fiction. In the near future, I’m hoping to venture out into those arenas as well.
SKC: How disciplined are you each day with your writing, and when did you begin to take it seriously?
LG: From the moment I decided to follow my dream in the late 1990’s, I became disciplined about the writing. Today I have the luxury of writing full time so I have more time to “goof off” but when I’m under contract, I set a page goal for each day and stick to it, no matter what else comes along to distract me. The only way to have any kind of success in this business is to be goal oriented and disciplined—even when it’s more fun to do something else!
SKC: That is so true! Let's move to this subject: What is your favorite room in the house and why?
LG: Last fall we built a family room onto one side of our house. The patio doors lead out into the back yard and a big plate glass window looks out toward the barn and pasture. The room is cool and quiet, the view is awesome, and I just love being in there.
SKC: Sounds like a great place, Linda. While you are out there, or wherever you go to do this, how do you come up with the names of your heroes and heroines?
LG: It sounds weird, but my characters usually come with names. When they don’t, I have a hard time deciding. In my October release, THE CHRISTMAS CHLID, the hero is a cynical undercover cop. I struggled with his name and eventually asked my brilliant Facebook followers to make suggestions and then vote on their favorite for a character of his type. They came up with Kade McKendrick and I think they did a great job.
SKC: What do you think is one of the most important things you have learned so far since becoming a published writer?
LG: I have learned so much and continue to learn, but I think I was most surprised to find that writing is a business that requires much more than writing a good book. That was a hard lesson for an introvert!
SDC: I know exactly what you mean. Which is the most difficult for you, the beginning, middle, or the end of the story and why do you think that is?
LG: The middle. Starting books is fun and easy. There’s the initial buzz of excitement over a new project and group of characters who are pushing to have their stories told. The ending is pure joy and usually comes in a rush, too, as all the bits and pieces are wrapped up and brought to a satisfying end. But the middle requires constant effort to keep the tension up, the story flowing, and to provide the kind of twists and turns that keep readers interested. It’s also the point that I, as the author, begin to wonder what made me think I could ever write this book in the first place.
SDC: If you could meet any author in the world who would it be and what would you want to say to them?
LG: Right now, that person would be Debbie Macomber who is going through a very painful time—her beloved son died unexpectedly and tragically. If I met her today, I’d just hug her close and remind her that God holds her—and her son--in the palm of His wonderful, loving hand.
SDC: I understand you have a book to offer one of our visitors? Please fill us in and also let us know where people can find you.
LG: I’m giving away a copy of my brand new, October release, THE CHRISTMAS CHILD to one of your blog readers. Anyone who doesn’t win can pick up a copy at Walmart or anywhere books are sold, including www.amazon.com.
For more information or just to say hello, visit my website and blog at www.lindagoodnight.com or on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you so much for letting me stop by!
Thank you, too, Linda! It was great having you. Now, to our readers. Here is a question for you. Linda's book is called The Christmas Child. What is the first thing you THINK about when you enter into the Christmas SEASON! Write in, and be sure to leave your email address. I look forward to drawing your name to win Linda's book!
Congratulations to Amanda Stephan of Columbia, Tennessee! Be watching for your book.