Linda Goodnight’s interview

» Posted on Oct 23, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Linda Goodnight’s interview

If you want to be entered in the drawing for Linda’s two books, please leave a comment with an email address or email me at The drawing ends next Sunday evening.

Linda Goodnight’s interview:

1. What made you start writing?

I’ve been a bookworm since I was five years old and grew to appreciate the beauty and power of words. The writing bug hit me in high school but I didn’t do anything with it until my kids were teenagers-a period when I really had no time to write. But I did anyway.

Looking back, the catalyst was probably Sharon Sala, a romance writer from my very small hometown. When I saw that she was publishing, it occurred to me that something I had thought was impossible could really happen.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?

I started writing about 1995. My first full length book was published in January of 2001.

3. How do you handle rejections?

Early in my career when a rejection came I would be devastated. Sometimes I’d feel sorry for myself for days, thinking I’d never make it, I was no good at writing, and all those other negative thoughts. Now, I realize rejection is just part of the business. On the occasion when my editors say no, I take it in stride, go back to the drawing board and come up with a reason for them to say yes—and I console myself with chocolate, of course!

4. Why do you write?

It sounds weird, but I feel compelled to write. I just can’t seem to help it and I don’t know why.

For a long time when people asked how I come up with story ideas, I thought they were joking. Really. I’ve always had stories in my head and I just assumed everyone did. Since they apparently don’t, I have to believe story-telling is a gift from God.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?

Traveling if I had the money and doing missions work in orphanages.

6. What are you working on right now?

My work in progress is a story for my sweet traditional publisher called “The Runaway Heiress”. I’m having a lot of fun with these two very different characters—a young mother on the run and an older rancher with a bad attitude and a soft heart.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?

I think, whether they realize it or not, all writers have bits of themselves in their work. My world view, my values, even my small town roots subconsciously come through in my stories. But no, I’m an extremely private person. I don’t intentionally put myself in the stories.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.

I actually have two books out right now and another will be on shelves at the end of October.

THE COSSACK BRIDE is a novella in Barbour’s A BRIDE BY CHRISTMAS anthology featuring a feisty heroine who can’t sing a lick but loves to try and her hero Captain Jace Brackett who agrees to protect her from an evil-doer while she ‘interviews’ candidates for husband.

A TIME TO HEAL is a Love Inspired set in a small lake town where everyone knows everyone. It has lots of quirky small town characters, a troubled teenager, a sweet old cat named Queenie, as well as the hero and heroine, Kat and Seth.

Kat chose becoming a physician over everything, even love and her relationship with the Lord. Now she’s back in Wilson’s Cove, burned out and confused, only to discover that Seth Washington, the man with whom she shares a painful secret, is also back in town—and determined to stir up old memories.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?

There is a scripture that I think is perfect for writers. Basically, it says, “Do not weary in well doing, for in due season if you faint not, you will reap what you have sewn.”

In Okie talk, that means, keep on truckin’! Don’t let the set-backs get you down. Perserverence, hard work, studying the craft, and writing, writing, writing will eventually pay off.

10. How important is faith in your books?

Whether I’m writing for the inspirational market or my sweet traditional books, my faith plays a role. My relationship with Christ is who I am so it always shows up in anything I do. I never allow my characters, even in the secular market, to behave in ways that are contrary to God’s plan without facing consequences for the behavior.

11. What themes do you like to write about?

Theme is not something I ever think about or plan specifically, but in reviewing my books, healing and redemption and learning to trust God are themes that I see over and over again. So I must like to write about those issues. Either that or I’m still working through those problems myself.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?

A SEASON FOR GRACE — I love everything about this book and feel it is my best work. Having it win ACFW’s Book of the Year last fall was just very lovely icing on the cake.

The story idea came to me almost completely formed. I saw the hero, Collin Grace. I felt his pain. I knew his conflicts and his longings. From the moment this eldest brother appeared in my head, searching for his siblings after being separated during childhood, I fell in love with him. Despite the fact that he was broken and wounded in so many ways he was still strong and good and a champion for the underdog. Then when I tossed in the warm and wonderful Carano family, a wayward boy, a three-legged dog, and an animal rescue farm, I had all the elements I love to write and read about.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

Hmm. I must admit that I am not as disciplined as I was when I had a day job. Now that I’ve left teaching and have so much more time, I tend to procrastinate—and I have never been a procrastinator before. As a rule, when on deadline, I figure out how many pages per day I must write to finish with at least a week or two to spare. And then I make myself sit down and work every week day. I do not write on weekends any more. Generally, I do errands and household things in the mornings and write in the afternoons, often writing up until almost bedtime if I have to in order to make that page count. If I get finished early, I bake chocolate!

14. Tell us about winning the Rita for your Love Inspired romance.

Winning the RITA for A TOUCH OF GRACE was such an amazing honor. I’m still stunned to think it happened. I really, truly did not expect it. The inspirational category has become so big and diverse in the last few years. It now includes single title, historical, chick lit, suspense, category, and any other romantic book with a faith element. I read the books by the other finalists. They were exceptionally good stories written by exceptional authors. I am humbled and thrilled and blessed to have come home with that statue.

By the way, did you ever try to take a heavy, fifteen inch metal statue through airport security? I did. There was no way I was putting RITA in my checked luggage. She rode on my lap or at my feet all the way, thanks to some security officers at SF airport who allowed a still euphoric, pleading woman to convince them I was not going to take down a plane with my award. But RITA has had her lungs, as well as the rest of her, x-rayed.