Wednesday’s Writer with Linda Rondeau

Today I have Linda Rondeau answering some fun questions for us.  Thank you for being here, Linda.

Some people listen to music when they write. Some people write outside, near a window, etc. What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

I need to clear my mind in order to focus. I have found the best exercise is solitaire. I like the Daily Puzzles, and I have discovered Taptiles. I occasionally play Mahjong.

How long does it take you to write a book?

That varies. I am currently working on a few books that had gone off the market and are finding new life with a new publisher and agent. I consider myself a slow writer.  Normally, it takes three months to construct a new manuscript and three months of revisions and editing before I’m comfortable with hitting the send button to my agent.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Hubs and I love to golf, travel, go for walks, and watch television. I have recently signed on as an editor for Elk. I am a member of Toastmasters International and, on occasion, enjoy speech contests.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

They pop up everywhere. I draw from news articles, biographical anecdotes, and personal experience. Often, I think to myself … this is material! In fact, what does not kill me is good material. If an idea stays with me for a while, I’ll take notes and put it in my “too write someday” folder.

Is there a message in your book you hope readers will relate to?

Absolutely. My theme is: God turns our worst past into our best future. No matter how badly we think we’ve messed up, God still makes a beautiful tapestry of our lives once we surrender our oops to him.

What are your future projects?

I am currently at work on a contemporary paranormal and soon to be published futuristic political thriller, The Fifteenth Article. I will be starting a “blog book” … a non-fiction, entitled Who Put the Vinegar in the Salt. I am developing a suspense series set in the Adirondacks. And I have several books in my que I’d like to develop: a YA Adirondack suspense, a children’s sci-fi, and speculative set in biblical times. I am not a genre writer, as you can tell.

What kinds of research do you do for your books?

Depends on the book. Even contemporaries require much research. Yesterday, I needed to find famous Italian golfers. When it comes to sports, I live with an encyclopedia! What hubs doesn’t know, he looks up for me. He loves doing research. I have a historical thread through my books, and really enjoy learning tidbits of the past. On one recent book I completed, Legacy of Regret, I discovered the minister who led the dedication prayer at the Transcontinental Railroad ceremony, an abolitionist, did much work with runaway slaves in the Adirondack region. I love museums. I sometimes do personal interviews for occupations. I’m fortunate to have friends in various professions I can go to for specific questions such as medical or legal.

Did you always want to be a writer?

From my earliest days, I loved to write stories. In college, I wanted to major in creative writing, however knew I’d need an occupation. Switched to English and secondary education. Taught one year and my life fell apart. After a few years, I found a job with our local social services. I didn’t know then how much this career would prepare me for my greatest love. I am reminded of Romans 8:28. For the author called of God, this truly applies.

Thank you for having me on your blog today.


“Christmas is a time for miracles,” Ryan McDougal tells his mother, when he is told that a long lost cousin, Millie, has resurfaced after nearly forty years, the cousin whose picture his mother clasped the day his father abandoned him. Though they occurred decades apart, he always believed the two disappearances were connected like opposite links of a chain. With Millie’s arrival, perhaps he might finally receive the answers he so desperately sought. However, Ryan has a third thorn in his side, more devastating than any mystery. His wife, the love of his life, has left his arms and his bed. How long before she moves out of the house and takes his beloved son with her? He prays for his own Christmas miracle. Millie’s anticipated visit prompts Ryan’s mother to reveal secrets that bring all to light. However, when past and present collide, the truth is more than Ryan can bear.

Available at Amazon.com

Monday’s Manuscript with Rebecca DeMarino

Ten Books Every Fiction Writer Should Own (If you want to improve your craft)

If you write with the goal of publishing, whether traditional or indie, there are essential books to keep in your toolbox. Keep them on your bookshelf or online, but have them at your fingertips. The list could be endless, but here are ten I keep at the top:

1.     Twenty books in your genre. I know, I know—I said ten books and I’m starting you out with twenty! But truly, in order to write fantastic romance (or historical, or speculative, etc.) you have to read in that genre. And study it while you read it (What makes it good? What makes it not so good?). At least twenty.

2.     A good dictionary. I keep Random House Webster’s within reach and utilize dictionary.com and (because I write historical romance) etymonline.com online. Etymonline is invaluable because I can research the word and find out when it was first in use, what it meant at the time, and how it’s evolved.

3.     The Chicago Manual of Style, University of Chicago Press. It is the style guide for American English, and the gold standard for most publishing in America. A resource every writer should have, it’s also available online. I prefer to be able to thumb through my sixteenth edition.

4.     Roget’s Thesaurus of Words for Writers, Olsen, Bevilacqua, Hayes, and Bly. With over 2,300 words that will help you keep your vocabulary finely tuned and out of the ordinary.

5.     The Flip Dictionary, Barbara Ann Kipfer, Ph.D. For when you know what you want to say but the word just won’t come to you. Picturing a violent disruption, but want to be cleverly specific? Page 660: cataclysm, convulsion, upheaval.

6.     Wording Painting, Rebecca McClanahan. Though I try to keep up with books in my genre, while I’m in the writing phase of a novel, I only read books that pertain to the writing craft, usually in the evening after a long day in the office. This is one of my favorites.

7.     Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott. Every writer should read this, and then just write.

8.     Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynne Truss. Because punctuation matters.

9.     Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Renni Browne and Dave King. While I try to turn off my editor brain while writing a first draft, I find this book invaluable when I move into revisions.

10.  The Emotional Craft of Fiction, Donald Maas. Or anything by Donald Maas. I have, and have read—and refer back to—all of his books on craft! Excellent advice, with practical ways to apply it to your current project.

Two more that I must mention that do not fall into craft per se: How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, Michael J. Gelb, and Walking on Water, Madeleine L’Engle ~ either will delight and inspire your writing!

Do you have a favorite from my list? What about it do you love? How about a favorite that is not on the list?


Rebecca DeMarino writes inspirational historical romance and is the author of The Southold Chronicles (Revell). The three-book series is set in the 17th century on Long Island and is based on her real-life ninth great-grandparents who came from England on a little ship called The Swallow. Her titles include A Place in His Heart (2014). To Capture Her Heart (2015), and To Follow Her Heart (2016). You can find the e-book edition of A Place in His Heart FREE on Amazon May 2nd through May 9th.

 

For more information please visit Rebecca at www.RebeccaDeMarino.com and www.facebook.com/AuthorRebeccaDeMarino or tweet her @RebeccaDeMarino.

 

Promoting Christian Fiction Authors–Angela K. Couch

The Patriot and the Loyalist

Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home-not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain-so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.
Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope-if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes. . .
Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded. . .and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.
Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home-not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain-so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.
Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope-if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes. . .
Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded. . .and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.
Completing his three years in the Continental Army, Daniel Reid still has no desire to return home-not after losing the woman he loves to a British Captain-so he volunteers to ride south through enemy lines and deliver a message to Colonel Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. With his temper needing a release and a dark haired beauty finding her way into his broken heart, Daniel decides to join the Swamp Fox’s efforts against the British. Little does he know the British still have the upper hand.
Lydia Reynolds has learned that love comes at a price, and she refuses to pay. Better to close her heart to everything and everyone. When her brother-in-law won’t grant her passage to England, where she hopes to hide from her pain, New Englander, Daniel Reid, becomes her only hope-if she can induce him to give her information about the notorious Swamp Fox and his troops. When the British grow impatient and Daniel evades her questions, Lydia must decide how far to take her charade. The poor man, already gutted by love, hasn’t grown as wise as she. Or so she supposes. . .
Until the truth is known, the muskets are loaded. . .and it is time to decide where true loyalties lie.


To keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after three munchkins.