Author Interview: Linda Weaver Clarke

Time for another author interview. Linda Weaver Clarke is here today at my blog (in spirit). Let’s get started, shall we? Tell us a little about yourself.

I travel throughout the U.S. teaching a Family Legacy Workshop, encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. I have gone to 16 states and given over 300 workshops. I’m the author of five historical “sweet” romances, four mystery/adventure novels and two non-fiction e-books.

Wow! You’re an accomplished lady. Tell my readers about your latest book.

Desert Intrigue is all about mystery, adventure, romance, humor, and intrigue! When Julia’s brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly’s dude ranch is ruined?

I loved all the fascinating history you threw in here. I wish I had read your book before I visited Phoenix so that I could have looked for Superstition Mountain. 

What is your favorite children’s book?

I loved reading the Dr. Seuss books to my children. I love the rhyming.

Those are great! What other books do you like?

Pride and Prejudice and Little Women.

If you could be an animal, which one would you be?

A bird–because they soar through the air as if they had no care in the world. I could sit upon a tree and overlook the beauty from above as I sing my heart out. I love being free and among nature, so a bird seems the closest thing to perfection.

Tell us about one of your heroes.

 I grew up with Superman. He fought for the rights of men, for the underdog, and he represented compassion and morality.

I agree. Superman rules! What started you on your writing journey? 

It started when I began writing my own ancestor’s stories. I believe it’s important to teach our children their heritage. We are the people we are because of our ancestors. Our traits, our beliefs, our courage, our temperaments! Each of us has a story from our ancestors or even our own story to tell. It’s up to us to write these experiences down. After writing my own ancestors’ stories, I couldn’t stop writing, so I turned to historical “sweet” romance and then mystery/adventure novels. To learn more about what I teach, and to read sample stories of my ancestors, you can visit my website at www.lindaweaverclarke.com.

How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing? 

In my novel, Melinda and the Wild West: A Family Saga in Bear Lake Idaho, I included one of my own experiences as a substitute teacher. An eight-year-old student had been labeled as a troublemaker by her teacher. The students had listened to the teacher and steered away from her. This not only made her feel degraded, but she wanted to fight back and she did. She stopped doing schoolwork, refused to be part of the class, and got into a few fights. She seemed angry at the world but after working with her for a while, I soon learned what a sweet and wonderful child she was. When she realized that I really cared, she was willing to do her work, just to please me. I’ll never know how this young girl’s life turned out, but in my novel I chose a happily-ever-after ending, just because Melinda cared and made a difference in the girl’s life. Why was this subject important to me? Because something similar happened to my own daughter.

But that wasn’t all. After writing my parents’ and ancestors’ stories, I felt close to them and wanted to add their experiences to my books. When my dad was 13, he was asked to bury the skunks that his father had shot. But before he buried them, he drained the scent glands of each skunk until he had a jar full of “skunk oil.” He took it to school with him to show his classmates. He was so excited as he explained how he had done it. But in all the excitement it slipped from his hands and landed on the schoolroom floor and splattered everywhere. The stench was so terrible that everyone held their noses and ran outside as fast as their legs could go. The teacher excused school for the rest of the day. My dad was considered a “hero” because he had closed down the school for his classmates. I asked him if he got into trouble and he said he didn’t. I added this experience to Melinda and the Wild West.

Another example is my great grandmother, Sarah Robinson. In my 4th book in this Family Saga series, David and the Bear Lake Monster, she was my inspiration. She lost her hearing when as a baby. Even though she was deaf, she was known as one of the most graceful dancers in town. She was a beautiful woman with black hair, blue eyes, and was 5’ 5” tall. Nothing held her back. She was a spunky woman. One day she had a feeling that an intruder was in her home so she grabbed her broom and searched the house. She found the terrible man under her bed. With all the power and strength she had, she swatted him out of the house and down the street, pummeling him as she went. Because I added so many experiences from her life in my book, I named my character, Sarah, after my great grandmother.

Do you have a favorite character? 

I love all my characters. It’s hard to pick a favorite. John and Julia are fascinating characters in The Adventures of John and Julia Evans series. I patterned them after the couple in one of my favorite television shows called Hart to Hart, which featured a married couple investigating and solving crimes. The couple was madly in love–you laughed at the humor and sighed at the romance. I wanted to create something similar, with good old-fashioned values along with a little suspense and adventure. Just sprinkle in a couple teenagers and a grown daughter, and you have quite a mixture. Julia is a reporter for a daily newspaper, and John is a professional knife maker. Because of her curiosity and wanting to get a good story, Julia gets herself into a bunch of trouble. Before long, she finds herself and her husband up to their necks in danger and running for their lives. If you love mystery, adventure, and a touch of romance, then I think you would enjoy this story.

I’ve read two of John and Julia’s adventures, and that slant of an older married couple as the protagonists worked well. Thanks for dropping by, Linda.  To be in a drawing for a free e-book of Desert Intrigue, leave a comment along with your email (if I don’t have it). 

Char

14 thoughts on “Author Interview: Linda Weaver Clarke

  1. It’s unfortunate how little many of us know about our ancestors. Surely there has to be great stories there. How nice that this author conducts workshops helping people to learn how to discover and record these stories. Nice interview and intriguing story concept. 🙂

    • There are great stories from our ancestors…and probably some great mysteries if we dig deep enough. I know I have one mystery on my paternal line that fuels thoughts for a novel someday…since I can’t solve it. Thanks for stopping by and getting to know more about Linda! Oh, by the way, I just finished your book last night Carrie, and now need to review it. You did a super job. Now my husband’s reading it.

  2. Neat interview. My mother is really, really into geneaology and loves reading and learning about our ancestors. My cousins, my mom, my sister and I recently applied to become Colonial Dames of America as a part of my mother’s and uncle’s pride of being direct descendants to colonists. It’s pretty interesting stuff once you start digging through your ancestry. But a lot of work!

    I really enjoyed learning about Linda and her writing interests. I love that she teaches people how to write about their family history. I never knew anyone actually went around and did that. I’ll definitely keep her and her books in mind! Thanks for sharing.

    • Good for your Mom! Yeah, I thought Linda’s classes on doing family history sound very interesting also. I’ve taken a class on writing family histories, and that was fascinating and very worthwhile. Thanks for stopping by, Kate.

  3. Great interview, with very specific questions about her writing, and some oddball ones like her favorite superhero. I think Superman is a favorite of the ladies. If you ask my boys, it’s Batman all the way.

    • Thanks for stopping by, Milka. Superman is hard to beat. Have you seen those silly YouTube cartoons with Superman and Batman talking in a cafe? They crack me up. Google “How Superman should have ended” and it comes up as one of the top search requests. There are several of those corny episodes; my boy thinks they are the best. Batman is funny in those.

      • I think I know the cartoons you’re talking about. I’ll have to watch that particular one. Green Lantern is my favorite because he actually has a great sense of humor (the movie is hilarious, but not dark enough for most superhero fans).

  4. I love doing family history research, although it’s taken a backseat to the novels the last few years. It’s wonderful to see someone helping people write their stories and those of their ancestors. I can’t believe some of the stories I never heard and only learned about through reading other family history works.

    • You are so right! Family history stories are amazing. Glad you stopped by to learn more about Linda. Hope your novel writing is going good!

    • Ha ha! Fox in Socks. I had forgotten about that one. That one was a twisty turvy trip for your tongue. McElligot’s Pool’s my favorite of his books.

  5. Great interview.
    I do the genealogy in the family and have learned so much. I started writing about each person and stopped because of time but need to begin again. On my mother’s side we go back to Titian, a Renaissance artist.
    Leona

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