I first met Linda Thomas-Sundstrom back when we both wrote for Dorchester. Since then she’s authored books for Kensington Brava, Amazon Montlake, and Harlequin Nocturne, all in the paranormal romance genre. As you can tell from her pic, Linda’s pretty comfortable with the woo-woo world. Her new series of Urban Fantasy novellas is Dark vs, Light, and this month’s release is the quirky page-turner Hot Holiday.
I had a chance to catch up with Linda lately and YOU get a chance to listen in on our little cyber-chat.
Mia: Hi, Linda. Thanks for visiting with us today. So my readers can get to know you a little better, I’m going to ask you a few questions. Let’s start with a writer staple: If you could be anything but a writer what would you want to be?
Linda: Well, I’m a teacher also at two colleges, have a family, and am the caretaker of some acreage in the country. Since I have two or three professions at once, I keep very busy, and can’t imagine changing that. I love it all.
Mia: We used to live on an acreage in Wyoming and kept lots of critters, so I know that demands plenty of time. But writers always start as readers. What were your favorite books growing up?
Linda: I loved fantasy and gothics. In a timeline, as a kid, it was all fairies, then the Nancy Drew mysteries, and then in my teens, the Victoria Holt gothic romances made my heart flutter. I progressed to J.R.R. Tolkien and the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, along with other fantasy novels, and Tolkien’s books are still my favorites, read several times over, with Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” a backup.
Since I’m a voracious reader when I have the time, I read most genres. I love audio books, because I drive a long way to and from work, and have listened to books I probably wouldn’t otherwise have had time to discover. I’ve even been known to sit in my car to finish listening to the chapter of a good book, and I’ve stopped hating red lights because it gives me more time to get into a good story.
Mia: I save audio books for road trips so I don’t have to interrupt the story except for gas! What can you tell us about your workspace/writing process?
Linda: I have a great office at home that’s full of light and has a view of the valley below our house – that I absolutely do not look at while I’m trying to work (ha). My desk was salvaged from a real estate office and is too small for my computer and all my notes, but I don’t seem to shop for another. Above my desk is an original framed Tolkien poster that says “COME TO MIDDLE EARTH” . . . and surrounding it are about a hundred sticky notes with titles, dialogue, and first lines of the books I will someday write.
On another wall are some of my book covers, framed, and a huge, colorful oil painting by an artist I love. The rest of the room is taken up with bookshelves, though I have piles of books everywhere else, too.
My writing process is this: Find the time, and go to it.
I have tight deadlines, and not a lot of long-stretches of uninterrupted time to work. Therefore, I have to write what I love. And that’s Paranormal. Immortals, Werewolves, Spirits . . . are prime fodder for my creative side. I have a laptop, but find that writing works for me here in my office, rather than anywhere else. My Muse doesn’t follow me around the city, or on vacation. I sit down when I can, and start right in. I edit as I go, so that I don’t do draft after draft. I’m a perfectionist, and turn in clean manuscripts. I feel stressed when I can’t find time to write, since for me, writing is bliss.
Mia: I know the feeling. Creating a fictional world is like a relief valve. And I’m seriously envious of your writing office. In our condo, I have a writing chair, usually filled with my little writing buddies. But I digress… Strange things happen to writers and we love collecting those experiences. Tell us something funny or embarrassing that has happened while on tour for your book
Linda: I’ve spoken at the famously huge San Diego Comic-con a few times, and have had as many as 2500 people in the audience. It was quite nerve-wracking the first time. As a Conic-con speaker virgin, I walked down a long hallway looking for my room, and saw lines of people sitting down against the walls – quite the norm at Comic-con. I figured they were waiting for someone in a room along that hallway . . . and asked a room monitor at my door what they were waiting for. She said “YOU, my dear, and your panel.” Well, I about fainted. And that, my friends, is the not only the strangeness of being an author, but an example of the beauty of Comic-con. People there support the arts, and love to try new things. Those are my kind of people.
Mia: Sounds like a wonderful/scary experience. What is the hardest thing about being an author?
Linda: Being vulnerable and hoping that people like my work.
Mia: Amen. What is the best thing about being an author?
Linda: Seeing my books on a shelf, and hearing from readers who like my work. There is nothing better than connecting with readers! It rocks my world.
Mia: I so agree. It’s lovely to hear from readers. It completes the circle of creativity. We deliver ink on the page and the reader’s imagination breathes life into our story. Do you have a playlist of songs you listen to when writing?
Linda: I need complete quiet in order to hear the Muse when she sings.
Mia: Do you prefer to write during the day or during the night?
Linda: With a family, I write during the day when I can. Night-time is family time. We howl at the moon together.
Mia: Based on your picture, I believe that! LOL. Tell us something about yourself you consider to be unique?
Linda: I was a dancer, (contemporary dance), and that has carried over to my writing. I write in rhythms, breaths, and beats. It matters to me what line my page ends with, and how my sentences sound. I guess I’m still dancing when I type . . .
Mia: I can relate. As a trained soprano, I love it when my prose “sings.” Anything else you would like to say to the readers reading this post?
Linda: I have two novellas in this new Dark vs Light series. Trapped in Stone, and this month’s Hot Holiday. I’d love for you to try this one . . . Hot Holiday is a quirky urban fantasy about a Recruiter for the Dark Side named Wanda who is sent to take down Santa Claus while he’s in New York, and isn’t prepared for Santa’s hot, heavenly bodyguard.
Who would imagine that the Dark Side’s voluptuous secret weapon might meet her match in an . . . attorney?
Mia: Love the cover! Here are the buy links:
And now for our lightning round:
– Favorite Food? Animal cookies
– Favorite Vacation Spot? Colorado
– Favorite TV Show? “Justified”
– Favorite Paranormal? (witch, vampire, zombie etc) Immortal
– Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate? Tea
– Favorite Ice Cream Flavor? Don’t eat ice cream! (I know!)
Thanks for having me, Mia! I’d love to hear from those of you reading this. Connecting truly is what writing is all about.
Cheers for now,
Leave a comment or question for Linda and you’ll be entered to win one of her backlist titles. (US Kindle format only) Another lucky commenter will receive my Christmas novella, My Lady Below Stairs. (Kindle or Nook formats)
Nobody misses Lord & Lady Hartwell’s Christmas Ball, but they all go for different reasons. When Lady Sybil runs off with an Italian portrait painter, her bastard half-sister Jane Tate goes in her place. Lord Eddleton plans on proposing to “Sybil” under the mistletoe. Lady Darvish is on the hunt for her fifth husband.
And Ian Michael MacGarrett, the head groom with more than horseflesh on his mind, is determined to show Jane that love doesn’t have to pretend.