February 28, 2011

Spotlight On... Linda Morris

Today I have fellow TWRP author Linda Morris with me at the keyboard. Welcome, Linda, can you tell us a little about yourself?

Thanks for having me. What can I say about myself? Most times, I can be found hunched over my computer, like the ink-stained wretch that I am. If I'm not writing or blogging, I'm working at my day job as a freelance technical writer/editor. And if I'm not doing those things, or even if I am doing those things, I'm usually being begged by my young son to play with him.

Tell us about FORGET ME NOT, and where we can find it.

It's a romantic suspense, with an amnesia plot. (I love those!) My heroine leaves Chicago and moves to a remote cabin to lick her wounds after some things go awry in her personal and professional life. When a handsome stranger from Chicago has a serious car wreck near her house, it raises a lot of questions. Was he looking for her? Why? Can she trust him? The questions are only exacerbated by his head injury, which causes him amnesia. The hero and heroine team up to investigate his past and find out what he was doing in the wilderness of Minnesota.

Here's the blurb:

Lara Crosby left Chicago when her career as a big-time political fundraiser went sour. Determined to put the past behind her, she envisions a peaceful new life at her cabin in northern Minnesota. Everything changes on a dark night when a mysterious stranger suffers an accident outside her cabin.
Jacob Sumner awakens in the wilderness after a car accident with no idea who he is or why he is there. Lara is beautiful and kind, but she's a world away from the gritty world where he makes his living as a private investigator . . . or is she?

Forget Me Not is available at The Wild Rose Press

Describe your writing in three words.

Can't. Do. It.

At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.

I wrote a short story here or there as a high schooler, but I made my first attempt at writing a novel in college. I guess I technically finished it: I typed for about 250 pages and then stopped. It was a mess, however, and I was too discouraged to go back and work on it. I had neglected important factors such as including a plot, for example. I made a lot of abortive attempts at a novel in my 20s, most of which fell over and died after about 5 chapters or so. Forget-Me-Not was the first novel I ever finished that I thought, "There's something here that's worthwhile." So I worked on it, polished it up, and sent it off. It was accepted (after some revisions) by the third publisher I sent it to.

Congratulations! Have you noticed your voice has changed as you’ve gained experience? If so, how?

After being scolded for it repeatedly, I use the word "was" less! It's a sign of passive writing, and one of the words I search for during revisions. I've also been scolded for telling instead of showing. An editor gave me a tip that if two people are in a room together, the information divulged in the scene should come out in dialogue between those people, not in narration or interior monologue. Although I don't think that's 100% accurate (after all, sometimes people withhold information, lie, or repress their true thoughts or feelings), it's true more often than not. I've rewritten a lot of scenes because of this tip, for the better, I think.

That's a good tip. Where do you get your ideas?

Anywhere and everywhere. I usually start with a setting and character, and maybe a tone: funny, somber, or suspenseful. Then I plot out from there. I can be inspired by another book, movie, something I see on the news, a memory from the past: The list is almost endless.

Is there someone in your immediate family or a friend that reads your material as you write? A sounding board?

My husband is also a writer and editor and is my best critic. He helps with plot brainstorming, my biggest weakness. He also reads my manuscripts and makes suggestions after I've taken them through a couple of drafts. He was a big help on my novella, Montana Belle. I kept getting encouraging rejections/revision requests from the editor. She felt that my revisions improved the manuscript, but then she would show it to another reader or editor who had different concerns. He really helped by reading the manuscript and explaining clearly what he thought the problems were--he's very analytical that way. And lo and behold, it sold the next time around. He doesn't even complain (too much) about having to read romances. But I don't complain about reading his horror stories, so fair is fair.

True! Do you have any 'must haves' with you while you're writing?

Coffee! I write relatively early in the morning, after I put my son on the school bus. Caffeine is a necessity for the writer's mind, in my view.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I've always been a political junkie. I spent some time each day reading the blogs. I used to follow my favorite pundits and journalists on Twitter too, but it just got to be too time-consuming, so I stopped. Not enough hours in the day as it is. My husband is pretty apolitical, so he thinks I need to have my head examined, but I can't help it! I'm a history buff, and I think of politics as history in real time.

Where can we find you on the web?

Sure, I blog at  http://lindamorriswriter.blogspot.com/
I try to blog a couple of times a week, but again. . . not enough hours in the day.

I also have a Linda Morris, Writer, page at Facebook.

Thanks for visiting with us today, Linda! 


Sarah Grimm said...


Thanks for visiting with me today! I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Forget Me Not!


P.L. Parker said...

Aren't husbands just the best for reading, rereading, critique, etc. Mine certainly is! Great post and book sounds wonderful. Good luck with sales.

Jennifer Jakes said...

Hi Linda and Sarah,
Forget Me Not sounds great! I love amnesia stories too.
Can't wait to get it!

Great post!

Unknown said...

Ah, politics. I have a degree in international relations and avoid all things political lest I get sucked in. A writer only has so many hours during the day. Congrats on Forget Me Not!

Linda Morris said...

Thanks for the comments and for dropping by, everybody!

Savannah Chase said...

What a great interview...

Shawna Thomas said...

Hi Linda and Sarah!

I'm with you Linda, coffee is a writer's best friend.

The blurb sounds wonderful.
Congratulations and good luck iwth sales!!!

Linda Morris said...

Oh, yeah, my life, to say nothing of my writing career, would not be possible without coffee!