Linda Morris is a multipublished writer of contemporary and historical romance. She writes stories with heart and heat. Her latest book, By Hook or By Crook, will be coming in spring of 2013 from the Wild Rose Press.
When she's not writing, working, or mommying, she's doing yoga, reading, working in her flower garden, or baking delicious things she probably shouldn't eat. She believes that there are two kinds of people: pie people and cake people, and she is definitely one of the former. Her years of Cubs fandom prove she has a soft spot for a lost cause. A beat-up old copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss's Ashes in the Wind that her mom bought for her at a garage sale years ago was her gateway drug into the world of romance novels. Her all-time favorite romance writers include Laura Kinsale, Patricia Gaffney, Elizabeth Delancey, and Marjorie Ferrell. Current favorites include Julie Anne Long, Erin McCarthy, and Shannon McKenna.
Places to find Linda:
First off, can you tell us a bit about you?
Thanks so much for having me here today. Something about me. Hmm. I live in central Indiana with my husband and eight-year-old son, who I often suspect is smarter than me. (Unfortunately, I think he often suspects it too.) Besides writing romance, I work full-time as a freelance editor of technology books. Freelancing pays the bills, but writing romance is way more fun.
Did you always want to be a writer?
Yes. I've been a book nerd for as long as I could remember, and I've always made up stories, even it if was just for my Barbie dolls to act out. And I always found the romance in any stories I read. I read a lot of Nancy Drew, for example, but I didn't care much for the mysteries. For me, it was all about the scenes with Ned.
What kind of writer are you? Panster or Plotter?
I'm a pantser who is becoming a little more organized about it. I used to just start out with a few characters and let it roll. All too often, it didn't. I've now started using goal/motivation/conflict charts for my characters, and that helps a lot. It gives me a loose structure to work within, but it still leaves room for improvisation.
Where do your ideas come from?
Jeez, anywhere and everywhere. Melting the Millionaire's Heart is set against the backdrop of a school for kids with special needs. My son has ADHD but does well in a traditional school. I visit a lot of blogs for help with his other behavioral issues, and I discovered that many parents of kids with special needs aren't so lucky. The story was partly inspired by their struggles to find an environment where their kids could thrive.
On the other hand, I'm currently shopping around a story with a heroine of Sicilian descent. She was Sicilian from the beginning, but while I was writing the first draft, I saw The Godfather, Parts 1 and 2, and suddenly my heroine's Sicilian ancestry became much more pronounced and central to the story. The whole subculture was so fascinating to me, I just had to incorporate more of it.
A la Twitter style, can you describe your book (or series) in 140 characters or less.
On the way to beg a rich guy for a donation to her school, special-needs teacher Kayla gets stranded in a snowstorm with a sexy stranger.
What are some of your favorite kinds of stories to read?
A happy ending is essential! When I was younger, I alternated romance with literary fiction, but as I've gotten older, I just find literary fiction too darn depressing. If it doesn't leave me with a smile on my face, I don't want to read it. I like funny contemporary romance-- Erin McCarthy has one of my favorite author voices. I read a lot of historicals too. Although I love a good Regency, I'm always on the lookout for unusual settings. Jeannie Lin is one of my favorite discoveries in that regard--I love her Asian-set historicals. Another great book I read recently was Jar of Dreams by Liz Flaherty, a small town contemporary romance/women's fiction with a lot of poignancy and a touch of humor as well.
Do you have a favorite book and if so what is it?
Maybe it's not original, but it's Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I do think that it's the sexiest book I've ever read, which is saying something. My favorite quote about that book is by author Martin Amis, who said that if that book were written today, it would have a 15-page sex scene. And it totally would!
What are the scenes that are the hardest for you to write?
Sex scenes are tough because it's just difficult to make them different and original. Emotional scenes are tough as well. I'm a fairly private person and spilling emotion out onto the page isn't something that comes easily to me. I'd rather crack wise and make people laugh. But it's something I've worked very hard at, and I'm pretty happy with the emotional scenes in Melting the Millionaire's Heart, although it did take me getting yelled at (nicely) by a critique partner and two editors before I got it all out.
If you could have dinner with any three authors, who would you choose and why?
I'm going to ignore the space-time continuum and the metaphysical realities of death here to bring the living and the dead together! Mwahahaha! Oh, yes, three authors. Sorry, the power went to my head for a minute there -- Jane Austen, Daphne Du Maurier, and Willa Cather. Their books have all had a huge influence on me at different times of my life. When I got them together, I'd probably just try to pick their brains and find out how they hell they wrote such great books. And I'd definitely do a lot more listening than talking.
Last question, are you working on anything right now?
Aside from the category romance with a Sicilian heroine that I mentioned earlier, I'm working on a follow-up to Melting the Millionaire's Heart, featuring Carolyn Hart, Kayla's best friend. Oh, the horrible things I'm doing to her!
I'm such a book nerd that one of the favorite things I always want to know about people I meet is, "What is your favorite book, and why?"
Special-needs teacher Kayla Johnston writes off any shot at New Year's Eve romance when she's summoned to a fundraising event for her school at the remote estate of a wealthy would-be-donor. But when a massive snowstorm hits and Kayla careens off the road, the sexy stranger who rescues her brings to mind cozy fireplaces and steamy midnight kisses…among other things.
Reclusive entrepreneur Ryan Langford may be missing his own fundraiser, but being marooned in a cabin with Kayla beats ducking a room full of people after his money any day. Too bad she's so irritated with the gazillionaire who ruined her New Year's Eve that he feels like he has to lie about his identity. But when the sparks fly and they fall into each other's arms, Ryan knows he's made a big mistake. Will she be able to trust him once the snow melts and the truth comes out?
Purchase: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Check out whats up for grabs.
Up For Grabs:
- 1 lucky winner will win an eBook copy of Melting the Millionaire's Heart
- Please answer Linda's question: What is your favorite book, and why?
- Please fill out the both Rafflecopter form
Good Luck =)