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Monday, April 20, 2015

Interview of Author Linda Swift

Today I'm pleased to present an interview of romance author Linda Swift. 
Latest Book: This Time Forever

To film Video Link adapted from the book above:

Linda Swift divides her time between Florida and her native state of Kentucky. In her other life she was a teacher, counselor, and psychometrist in public schools in three states. She is an award winning author of published poetry, articles, short stories, and a TV play. Her first books were published by Kensington. She currently has twelve ebooks (also in print) and nine novellas with three publishers available from Amazon and other distributors. Her Civil War saga, This Time Forever, has been compared to Gone With The Wind and the TV mini-series North and South.  The novel has twenty 5-star reviews and was awarded Top Pick status by Night Owl Reviews. Linda considers the adaptation of this book into the film, Clarissa's War, the highlight of her writing career.

Q. Your novel is being made into a TV series/movie. Who’s in your dream cast?
A: My Civil War novel, This Time Forever, actually is being made into a feature movie by an independent film company in Nashville, TN. The filming was finished in Nov. 2014, and the film, Clarissa's War, is scheduled for release this summer on VIMEO. My dream cast was realized in the actors selected from Talent Trek in Nashville. Each one fit their role just as I envisioned them when I wrote the book.

Q. What’s your writing schedule like? Do you strive for a certain amount of words each day?
A:  In a word, "versatile." At times, when trying to meet a deadline,  I have set goals of a number of words per day. I am more productive when under pressure to complete something but I lean more toward overall deadlines rather than a specific number of words completed in a certain length of time.

Q. What is the most important thing you do for your career now, as compared to when you first started writing?
A: Now I try to give my writing, and myself as a writer, more respect. I think this comes with eight years as a multi-published digital writer. For a long time, too long, I tried to fit my work into a schedule where everything else took precedence. Real writers put writing first.  I still cannot force myself to do that, but I do try not to feel guilty for giving it equal time.

Q. How much of yourself is hidden in the characters in the book?
A: I can't estimate how much, but I do believe that no one writes in a vacuum. I think our values and attitudes show in what our characters say and do. Even our bad characters are expressing what we do not believe or approve. Their sense of humor and other character traits are often our own.

Q. Of all your characters, who’s your favorite, and why?

A: This is a really difficult question but I want to answer it for my own enlightenment! I am really fond of so many of my characters, even the bad ones. But I would have to say that Phillip Burke, the main male character in This Time Forever would be my choice. Why? Because Philip is a man of high morals and sensitivity to others. He wanted his life to matter and considered his medical profession to be a "calling." He had great respect for women and would never deliberate hurt anyone but through no fault of his own, he was the cause of great hurt and heartbreak. It is his conflicting emotions and actions that make him such a complex and interesting character.

Q. How do you choose names for your characters?
A: I love naming characters. I spend a lot of time choosing names that fit the visual image I have of a character before I begin writing. I do make an effort not to have similar names in the same book.  That includes ending in the same sound, beginning with the same letter or sound, and names hard to pronounce or spell. Some names just appear in my mind, others I have to look for. I seldom if ever change a name, once chosen.

Q. Covers. Ever get one you wish you could change?
A: I've had very few unsatisfactory covers. Most of my publishers have given me access to work directly with the cover artist. With one book, the cover was overlooked until the last moment and I was given a hastily-finished cover and no recourse for change.  The book did NOT do well. And belatedly, the publisher took a look at the cover and changed it but it was too late to make much difference.

Q. What genre would you like to try writing that you haven’t yet tried?
A: I've always thought it would be fun to write a Regency.  Not the frivolous inane plots that are so predictable but a story with substance told in the Regency style.

Q. Have you ever used an incident from your real life into one of your books?
A: Yes, I have used real life incidents in several stories. One that comes to mind was my disastrous baking of a holiday turkey. I first blogged about it and the reaction was so positive that I decided to use it in a book. It is related in Full Circle when the main character tries to make a holiday dinner for her "found again" first love and his children. 

Q. How many stories are swirling around in your head? Do you keep a mental list, a computer file, or a spiral notebook filled with the ideas?
A: I'm not sure how many stories there are in my head at this moment. There is another novella related to the two just released in a Christmas Collection and Valentine Anthology. Then the sequel to This Time Forever, which may be another long book  or three short ones. I also have a sequel to my two related historical books set in 16th century England. And the story gnawing at the corners of my mind involving a mail-order groom.

Fun Stuff:
1. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Christmas, because it is a season of wonder and joy and a time when all people seem to have more love and kindness in our hearts.

2. What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I find the whole car racing scene fascinating. And I am really very shy.

3. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I flitted between a movie star, a ballerina, and a mother (the latter probably because I was an only child and longed for siblings). Well, I am a mother of two, so I guess one out of three wishes come true is not bad!

4. Favorite food.
Chocolate anything/everything.

5. Favorite happy memory.
How can I choose just one? There are different ones for different stages in my life. Marriage. Births of babies. First new car. Graduating college at 31. First book publication.

6. Favorite drink.
A strawberry-banana pina colada.

7. Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
Hot summer days, preferably with a sandy beach and Gulf breeze.

8. What is the top thing on your bucket list?
Sort out the files on my computer. I am very organized except in this one area. It drives me crazy.

9. If you could have a super power, what would it be?
The power to make the world a safer, more peaceful place.

Tell us where to find you: website(s), publisher’s page(s), blog(s), Facebook page(s), etc. List them all!

In a nation ravaged by war, lives change for all time...An antebellum mansion is transformed into a Confederate hospital when the Union Army invades Tennessee. Clarissa Wakefield remains in her home against propriety to help nurse the wounded. Philip Burke, a prisoner of war, barters his medical skill to avoid prison and is placed in charge.

As opposing armies fight for possession of Chattanooga, Philip and Clarissa wage their own personal battles. Each is committed to another, though kept apart by the endless fighting. Amid the blood and suffering, mutual attraction grows despite their best intentions. Caught in the passions of love and war, will they be faithful to their vows or listen to their hearts?

"Clarissa, my beautiful Clarissa," he whispered. "No matter how hard I fight this, I can't stop wanting you. There's never an hour you're not in my thoughts. I am obsessed by you."

She moved her hands from his chest to caress the sides of his face and he groaned with pleasure. "And I you."

He cupped her against him and she linked her arms at the back of his neck as he bent his head to take her mouth again with greater intensity. "I tell myself you are married, but it doesn't matter in what I feel. And I think you feel it too."

"Yes, oh yes," she whispered.

He held her away and looked into her eyes. "I was engaged to a fine woman. But I've told her I can't marry her now. It would be impossible when it's you I want."

"Is it she who writes you letters?" Clarissa asked curiously.

"Yes, she did, but not anymore."

"Oh, Philip, I'm so sorry."

"My father arranged an exchange for me while you were away."

Her heart plummeted and she asked sadly, "And you'll be going soon?"

"I refused it. I couldn't bear to leave you."

Joy surged through her at his words. "You did this for me?" Her voice was filled with wonder.

"I've burned all my bridges, Clarissa, because of you. I know you could never be happy in my world and now I doubt I could either. And you would be scorned here in your world if you should break your vows for me." He stopped, hesitating to say what was in his heart, then plunged on. "But we could go West when the war is over, make a new world of our own. You, me, and Robert."

Thank you for coming by! Anything else you’d like to add?
Only that I have enjoyed answering these interview questions and I appreciate the opportunity to promote my books and myself. Thank you.


Sarah J. McNeal said...

I loved your book, This Time Forever, and I am so happy for you that it was made into a film. I know that must have been so exciting for you.
I can imagine you writing a Regency. I love to read them, but I would never be brave enough to attempt writing one--all those titles. Yikes?
I was surprised to know you liked car races.
I wish you every success and happiness, Linda. You certainly deserve it.

Unknown said...

Linda--This is one of the best interviews I've read in a long time. The owner of the BlogSpot did a great job of asking the right questions, which gave you the opportunity to tell the important facts about your book.
The one thing I didn't know is about liking car races. Why didn't I know that?
Well, done.

Kaye said...

I really enjoyed this interview! So amazed by your writing talent and happy for your continued success!! Really enjoyed reading This Time Forever and can't wait to see the film version when it comes out! Congrats and Happy Writing!

Karen Michelle Nutt said...

So thrilled your book is now a film. How very exciting.

Enjoyed your interview, too and learning more about you.

Always, the best of luck.

Vicki Crum said...

Great interview, Linda. I'm so excited for you!

Linda Swift said...

Sarah, your words warm my heart. You are a dear person and I always appreciate your kind comments. And yes, one day I really do want to write that Regency.

Linda Swift said...

Celia, I was sure you would like car racing, too. Aren't we cyber sisters
in every way? Except golf. I don't play golf at all. Thanks for your comments. And yes, I loved the interviewer's questions. Not the usual run-of-the-mill topics.

Linda Swift said...

Thanks for taking time from your busy day to read and comment here, Kaye. I am grateful for your support and help as always. And I can't wait for the film version either. It won't be long now. What a thrill that will be to see those characters in my book come alive on screen.

Linda Swift said...

Thanks for stopping today, Karen. And for your nice comments. And I agree that we are just now getting acquainted since I've contributed to the VTP anthologies. And I'm looking forward to the next one soon.

Linda Swift said...

Vickie, thank you for your support. It gets lonely when you have a blog interview and there are no comments.
It is very nice to have you in our PbRJV family now. I wish you success with your books.

Cara Marsi said...

I loved This Time Forever and I can't wait to see the movie version! Great interview too!

Linda Swift said...

Hi Cara, thanks for coming by and for your kind words about This Tine Forever. I think you will like the film just as much. It has one of the most beautiful songs in it that I have ever heard. I cry every time I hear it. The title is Somebody's Darling and it is about a mother's boy dying in the Civil War. Watch for announcements of Clarissa's War this summer. I don't have a date yet.

Melissa Keir said...

Congrats on your book being made into a movie! All the best!

Linda Swift said...

Thank you, Melissa. It is a thrill to have this happen, and especially since this is my favorite of all the books I have ever written.

Laurean Brooks said...

Linda, this is a beautiful love story plus a true-to-life account of the Civil War.

I enjoyed the interview. The questions were right on. I knew this book had the potential for the makings of a wonderful moviel

Here's asking God to bless you in everything you undertake.

Linda Swift said...

Thank you, Laurie, for your kind words and your blessing for me. We o back a long way now, and I miss seeing you. I hope your life and your career are going well. Let's do catch up soon. I do enjoy those rare photos you post of that precious grandaughter. How special she is.

Stephanie Burkhart said...

Great interview with Linda! I'm very excited that your book was made into a movie and I can't wait to see it when it comes out on VIMEO.

Continued success!

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