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).