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Author Interview – LINDA GILDEN

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On January 29 & 30, the second annual Weekend with the Writers Mini-Conference will take place here in the beautiful upstate of South Carolina which is my stomping grounds.  So, this month I’m featuring the guest speakers at the conference in an Interview Blitz. Each week I will introduce you to one of the speakers at the conference. (three of whom I met at last year’s conference) Hope you enjoy getting to know each of the fanTAStic authors!

 

WEEKEND WITH THE WRITERS CONFERENCE

INTERVIEW BLITZ

Linda Gilden loves to share a great story and help you share your great stories. A frequent radio and television guest, Linda’s words of encouragement help you grasp the tools you need to make your writing and publishing dreams come true.

A wife, mother of three, mother-in-law of two, and grandmother of four children and two dogs, Linda has many wonderful sources for writing and speaking material. Her greatest joy is spending time with her family.

Written communication is important…it is important in our families, it is important in our work, it is important in our world. Just a short note can close a business deal, brighten a day, change a life.

Author of the popular Love Notes series, she is also the author of Mommy Pick-Me-Ups, Mama Was the Queen of Christmas, and many ghostwritten books. With hundreds of magazine articles to her credit, Linda Gilden is a prolific writer who loves to share a great story. As a freelance editor and writing coach working with publishers and individuals she encourages others to make their writing the best it can be.

 

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Please give a big welcome to LINDA GILDEN.

 

rem: Thank you, Linda, for being on my blog this week. Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?

Linda: I live in the country of the Upstate of SC. Love living here! Except for a few years in New Jersey and Portugal, I have always lived in this area.

 

rem: Howdy neighbor! (for those who don’t already know, I also live in the Upstate of South Carolina) Tell us three things about yourself.

Linda: I love writing and everything about it, especially helping others learn the process. I teach at many writers conferences every year, write articles regularly for several publications, and have 11 books (which is a shock since I loved writing articles and never really thought I’d write books!)

Even more I love being a wife, mother, and grandmother. Times spent with family are the ones I enjoy most. I am so blessed to live close enough that my family is able to visit often.

rem: I agree on both counts! Can’t imagine not writing, and family is everything. What’s your favorite flavor of ice cream?

Linda: Homemade vanilla with lots of Nestle’s Quick on top.

rem: MMMMM What’s your favorite cookie?

Linda: Chocolate chip hands down!

rem: I got some Nestlé dough, c’mon over! Coffee or tea? Sweet or un? Flavored or not?

Linda: Plain Southern iced tea with sugar and lemon

rem: Lost me there, my years in Colorado converted me to a drinker of unsweet tea! (no lemon either! the horrors!!) Vacation: beach or mountains?

Linda: Beach. There is something about hearing the ocean in the background while you write that is inspiring.

rem: Oh my, now I need some time at the beach! What is your favourite quotation and why?

Linda: “If you want to change the world, pick up a pen.” By Martin Luther because I believe writers can change the world one life at a time!

rem: I like that, like it a lot. When reading, what makes or breaks a story for you?

Linda: Reader engagement or lack of.

rem: Well, if the reader’s not engaged, what’s the point? What’s your fiction pet peeve?

Linda: Cliffhangers that make you wait until the next book to learn the rest of the story.

rem: Oh so frustrating! Which book have you read the most in your lifetime?

Linda: I have read tons of books but the one I have read the most is the Bible.

rem: Always. And, it stays with us. Which is more important: plot or characters?

Linda: Plot

rem: What would you do if you weren’t writing?

Linda: Be miserable! Every time I walk by my computer it beckons me to stop and write something!

rem: Ya know, I’m sure I would too! Tell us a little about your writing journey.

Linda: I have loved to write ever since second grade, when I wrote the story of my younger brother’s birth. My teacher let me read it in front of the class, and I was hooked! However, because of a discouraging experience with a college creative writing professor, I gave up my dream of writing for many years. About twenty-five years ago, my husband encouraged me to pick up my dream again. I attended my first writers conference and discovered an exciting world I never knew existed.

rem: Rather amazing world it is, too! What is your writing routine?

Linda: I write best in long sessions, preferably starting right after I get up in the morning.

rem: I have to break mine up into manageable sessions, maybe an hour at a time, or a break every 1000 words. But I definitely can’t tackle writing (or anything) when I first get up! Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy nook?

Linda: It varies but as long as I can wear my pajamas I’m good!

rem: I’m with you on the jammies, 100%! What do you enjoy most about being a writer?

Linda: The feeling of doing exactly what I know God called me to do.

rem: A-MEN! What are your top 3 recommendations for a new writer?

Linda: 1. Listen to other writers and learn all you can. Never stop learning. Join a critique group. 2.Don’t hold your writing too tightly. What you think is a children’s book may turn into a screenplay or something like that! Listen to professional editors and publishers when they critique your work. Many new writers put everything they know in their first article or book when they actually have many subjects to write about. 3.Encourage other writers who are not as far along as you are. There is always someone who can benefit from your knowledge.

rem: Good list, especially never stop learning. What 3 things would recommend not doing?

Linda: 1. Don’t feel like this business is a competition. God only made one you and only you can write in your voice and from your perspective. There is room enough in this business for everyone. Just make sure you rise to the top by providing excellently-crafted copy. 2.Don’t continue to feel like this is a hobby for too long. Treat your writing as a business. 3.Don’t miss opportunities. Keep your eyes and ears open for writing opportunities where you live, on the web, and everywhere else.

rem: Also a great list. Where do you get your greatest ideas for writing?

Linda: Family

rem: Oh! the wacky wonderful world of family! It’s never ending. Do you have a favorite book or work that you’ve written? If so, why?

Linda: I have different favorites at different times! At Christmas my favorite is Mama Was the Queen of Christmas because it encourages families to make memories as they keep Christ the center of their Christmas celebrations.

rem: Oh, I like that. Which character in the story is most like/least like you?

Linda: It would have to be Mama in Mama Was the Queen of Christmas.

rem: Tell us a little about your latest book? What is your current project?

Linda: I have three books coming out this year. Why You Do What You Do will be released in early February by Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. Words to Live By will be released by Worthy in July. Called to Speak will be released by New Hope – no exact release date yet. I am excited about all of them. Just finished the galleys for Why You Do What You Do and realize all over again how important it is to our relationships to understand each other. But every time I work on Words To Live By I get really excited about providing a word a week for readers to focus on.

I guess that is just a hard question because I don’t start a new book unless it is something I am passionate about. So throughout the process, God continues to confirm that my passion is well-placed. If ever that confirmation is not there, then either I don’t continue that book at the moment or find that without the passion the pleasure in writing it is hard to find as well.

rem: What is one take-away from your book(s) that you hope readers identify with?

Linda: I hope my readers will close my books feeling encouragement and enlightenment. I hope they will feel their time has been well-spent because in some way they received a blessing!

rem: That’s a good expectation for any author with any of his or her books. Thanks for joining us today, Linda. It’s been a pleasure having on my blog!

 

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FB – https://www.facebook.com/linda.gilden

Twitter – @LindaGilden

Linked In – #LindaGilden

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#lindagilden, #weekendwiththewriters, #authorinterview, #personalityperspectives, #calledtowrite, #mamawasthequeenofChristmas

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