Interview with Linda Windsor

» Posted on Jun 17, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Interview with Linda Windsor

This week I’m hosting Shannon Vannatter with White Roses, Linda Windsor with The Healers and Cara Lynn James with Love on a Dime. If you want to enter the drawings, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you
can enter is to email me at The drawings end Sunday (June 20th) evening.

Interview with Linda Windsor:

1.What made you start writing?

I’m one of those writers who was an avid reader back in the 70’s when historical romance took the market by storm. In reading some, I thought to myself that I could do better than that. So I tried. I loved it, from writing to research. But I wasn’t published back then. My marriage ended and I had to work as a single mom. No more time to write.

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

I started writing again in the late eighties after my second husband found an old manuscript and loved the story. He encouraged me to try again. I did and in 1990 I sold my first secular historical to Zebra Books. Another 15 novels followed.

3How do you handle rejections?

Better than I used to. I know now that they are part of the process and that God knows the best place for a particular work…and when that work is ready to be published. My advice is to take them as an opinion, use what you think applies if you get suggestions, and move on.

4.Why do you write?

I could say it’s for the money, but I don’t make a living at this. I’m a creative personality and this is my means of expressing that creativity.

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

I’d probably have to get a part time job. I have a degree in education. If I didn’t need the money, I’d be volunteering with my music ministry.

6.What are you working on right now?

Presently I’m working on THIEF, the second in the Brides of Alba series for David C. Cook. It’s a bit of a challenge as the hero in THIEF was the villain in HEALER.

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

Absolutely. My late hubby used to say he saw parts of my personality in my heroines. I think he was aiming at spunky and stubborn.

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

HEALER is book one of the Brides of Alba trilogy, Alba being an early name for Scotland. And this is Arthurian Scotland—and King Arthur, for that matter—as never seen before. The series focuses on three brothers, their respective brides, and how love and faith grow to enable them to survive those trying times of the Saxon invasion and the church’s desperate measures to ensure the survival of Christianity. These measures include matchmaking men and women from the Davidic bloodline passed on by royal Irish and the apostolic bloodlines established in Britain by the first century family and followers of Christ. The historic Arthur in HEALER, one of at least two arthurs (a title) and definitely the last one, is a product of such matchmaking. So is the merlin (another title) Merlin Emrys, who in this case is a documented Celtic Christian bishop and druidic scientist. In fact most of the Arthurian figures were bred and raised by the Grail Church to become warriors, kings and queens of Britain to ensure the Grail Church’s survival. Brenna and Ronan’s conflict is a result of that matchmaking gone wrong.

Forced to live most of her twenty years in hiding from both her own clan and the clan who murdered her family, Brenna of Gowys wonders how she can possibly fulfill her mother’s prophecy that the Gowys seed will divide the enemy O’Byrne’s house and bring about a peace beyond his wicked ken. Brenna’s clan remnant would have her lead them to certain death against the stronger O’Byrnes. But Brenna is a healer, not a warrior. Nor is she the shape-changing wolf-woman of the hills as she’s rumored to be by the superstitious clans; although she does have a gift with wild animals, including her pet wolf Faol.

So when Brenna witnesses the ambush and attempted murder of a warrior during the annual O’Byrne hunt to find the wolf-woman, she does what she’s called to do. She brings him into her mountain hideaway to heal him, even if he could be her enemy. All she knows is that he is not just wounded in body, but in spirit; that he’d been there as a frightened child when her family had been slain; and that she has seen a future with him. But is her faith strong enough to follow the vision, no matter where it leads?

9.Do you have any advice for other writers?

Don’t allow writing to become your God. When I was first published, I went berserk, hacking out words when I didn’t have to, beating deadlines, accepting contracts on contracts. For some reason I thought I had control now that God had helped me become published. I learned the hard way, that was not the case. No matter how well I wrote, my career was going to happen in God’s time and the longer I bucked at His timeline, the longer it took to get my next contract. Four years!

Now, I will say in my defense that I was also suffering from undiagnosed chemical depression at the time, so writing offered me a cave in which to hide from other obligations. I praise God for the depression now, because the lower I sank, the more I leaned on Him and came to know Him and what He wanted of me, rather than focusing on Linda and what she wanted. Today when I face a chemical depressive dip, I know it’s temporary and my God is there whether I feel His presence or not. I have learned I have to rest and take care of myself from that.

So, advice #2, take time for yourself and God. When the words jumble or the plot freezes, get away from it for a while and commune with nature or take a nap. God speaks to me during my twilight sleep. I think the hour of 4 AM is ungodly, but evidently He doesn’t. Let Him be your writing partner. He’s rewritten the plotted endings to several of my books and they were the better for my just stopping, doing something else less demanding of thought and/or napping/sleeping.

#3: Don’t be hesitant to ask God to help you get published, but do be willing to accept His help in His time, not yours. If you get a rejection, realize this is just a step toward your goal. They are refining. And, like footprints in the sand, if you don’t see them, you ain’t moving forward.

Okay, I’m laughing at myself now, because I’d finished the interview and had answered this question by advising aspiring writers to read bestselling books, regardless of genre, dissect them, and apply what strikes you as working for your project. I didn’t have any advice. Then on the last question, God hammered me with the above, all lessons I learned the hard way.

10.How important is faith in your books?

Since I write for a Christian publisher, faith is one of the three key conflicts reflected in a novel. (Plot and relationship conflicts are the other two.) In a secular novel, inner conflict can replace the faith conflict.

11.What themes do you like to write about?

I can’t say I have a specific theme. Forgiveness and trust are integral spiritual issues with the how and what or why being the variable. I love writing in the medieval dark age setting as opposed to other eras because this is where Christianity got its footing. There is so much to be learned from the early Christians and their witness to a pagan world, things that apply today as well, but are often neglected.

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

MAIRE, Fires of Gleannmara #1 was my fave until I finished HEALER. Now HEALER takes the excitement I had for MAIRE and adds even more to it. Through research God has taken me on a journey to the past to enable me to witness in the present, specifically to New Age believers. I credit this journey to discover my Celtic Christian heritage with my daughter’s return to Christ after she’d been stalked and assaulted in college, blamed God, and become involved in Wicca, white witchcraft. Because of this, my passion has been to continue studying this early Christianity to help me witness to New Age nonbelievers.

13. What is your writing schedule like?

At the moment, it’s in shambles due to bronchitis. I’ve coughed so hard and so often that I know I can bench press 200 lbs with these cough-toned muscles. On a more serious note, I try to write five days a week, at least four hrs a day. I might be multi-tasking, doing laundry or preparing dinner, while writing. I try to make room for my grandkids and mom whenever possible. They come ahead of writing…unless I’m behind and on a deadline. Even then, it’s God and family first. God has taught me some harsh lessons on those priorities over the years.