Thursday, September 3, 2009

My interview with author Linda Weaver Clarke

I want to introduce you all to a new author to me. Her name is Linda Weaver Clarke.


You can read a sample chapters of these books here.







Bio:


Linda Weaver Clarke was raised on a farm surrounded by the rolling hills of southern Idaho and has made her home in southern Utah among the beautiful red mountains. She travels throughout the United States, teaching a “Family Legacy Workshop” at libraries, encouraging others to turn their family history and autobiography into stories. Clarke is the author of the historical fiction series, “A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho,” which includes the following novels: Melinda and the Wild West - a semi-finalist for the “Reviewers Choice Award 2007,” Edith and the Mysterious Stranger, Jenny’s Dream, David and the Bear Lake Monster, and Elena, Woman of Courage




I want to thank you for allowing me to interview you.


The first question is easy. Please share with the readers about yourself.

I was raised on a farm in southern Idaho and have made my home in southern Utah among the beautiful red mountains. Where I live is called “Color Country.” I am happily married, the mother of six daughters, and have several grandchildren. I travel throughout the United States, teaching a “Family Legacy Workshop” at libraries, helping and encouraging others to turn their family history and autobiography into a variety of interesting stories.

What do you like to do for fun?

I love camping. It’s fun to get out among nature and smell the fresh air and listen to the stream bubbling over the rocks.

I read that you tour all over the United States, teaching people about the importance of their family legacies. Where is the farthest place you have traveled and which has been your favorite place to visit?

I have traveled as far east as Georgia, as far north as Michigan, as far south as Texas, and as far west as California. It’s hard to pick my favorite spot because the people are all so wonderful. As for scenery, every place has something exciting to see. I do have to say, though, you can’t beat the beauty of the Rocky Mountains as I travel towards Colorado.

Can you please share what type of books you write?

I write historical fiction for all ages. Each one has adventure, romance, history, humor, and courage. Even though it’s a series, each book can be read separately. In my first book, “Melinda and the Wild West,” Melinda is a very elegant, na├»ve young woman from Boston who decides to move to the untamed Wild West. Driven by a desire to make a difference in the world, Melinda takes a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho, where she comes face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love. This book eventually won an award as one of the top ten semi-finalists for the “Reviewers Choice Award 2007.”

In “Edith and the Mysterious Stranger,” we have mysterious letters, cattle rustlers, a spunky woman, the liar's fire, Halloween, and young love. Edith, a nurse, moves to Paris to care for her cousin, Melinda. Edith has wonderful qualities but never gives a man a second chance because her expectations are so high. However, all this changes when a mysterious stranger begins to write to her. For the first time, she gets to know a man's inner soul before making any harsh judgments. Whoever he is, this man is a mystery and the best thing that has ever happened to her. The question that puzzles her is whether or not he's as wonderful in person as he is in his letters.

“Jenny’s Dream” was inspired by events that happened to me in my youth. I learned that forgiveness was essential for true happiness and well-being. In this novel, Jenny learns to forgive and put her past behind her. While Jenny is trying to pursue her dreams, she realizes that her kindred friend means more to her than she thought. He isn’t the stereotypical handsome man that writers portray. I believe it’s important to get to know a person deep down inside first, to get to know a person’s inner soul. That’s what matters. Now Jenny has to make a decision whether to follow her dream or matters of the heart. This story is about accomplishing one’s dreams and the miracle of forgiveness, with a sprinkle of adventure from Old Ephraim, the ten-foot grizzly bear taken from Idaho history. You can read an excerpt from each of my books on my website at http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/.

How did you come up with the concept for your Family Saga books?

I took a lot of my own family’s experiences as my inspiration. For example: In “Edith and the Mysterious Stranger,” I based this story around the courtship of my parents. They didn’t meet the conventional way. They wrote letters to one another before they ever met. She said that she fell in love with the soul of my father, what was deep down inside and they didn’t even know what one another looked like. The day they met, my mother told me that her heart leapt within her and a warm glow filled her soul and she knew she would marry this man. I knew this would be the basis of my next novel, but there’s one difference. In my story, you don’t know who the mysterious stranger is until the end of the book. Some readers guessed correctly while others were pleasantly surprised.

My great grandmother, Sarah Eckersley Robinson, was my inspiration for “David and the Bear Lake Monster.” Sarah lost her hearing as a child but she never let her deafness stop her from developing her talents. I took a lot of her experiences from her biography and gave them to my heroine to bring some reality into my story. Sarah was known as one of the most graceful dancers in town. She was known for gliding across the floor with ease, with just a touch of her partner’s hand. Sarah had such agility and gracefulness while swimming, that people would actually throw coins in the water so they could watch her dive after them. Once an intruder hid in her bedroom under her bed, thinking he could take advantage of her since she was deaf. He must have thought she was an easy victim but was sadly mistaken. She swatted him out from under her bed with a broom, and all the way out of the house, and down the street for a couple blocks, whacking him as she ran. What a courageous woman!

This book is about deep-rooted legends, long family traditions, and a few mysterious events! While visiting the Roberts family, David finds himself entranced with one very special lady and ends up defending her honor several times. Sarah isn’t like the average woman. This beautiful and dainty lady has a disability that no one seems to notice. He finds out that Sarah has gone through more trials than the average person. She teaches him the importance of not dwelling on the past and how to love life. And how about the Bear Lake Monster? Does it really exist?

Who is your favorite character from these books?

I absolutely love the first two characters: Gilbert and Melinda! I fell in love with them, so decided to continue this family saga until I created five different stories. Of course, I never leave them out of the series because they were my inspiration. Gilbert was patterned after my father. He was a tall, muscular man, and he worked hard on the farm. My father was not only a farmer, but also a Special Education Teacher. In my book, Gilbert is a rancher but he has the soft low chuckle of my father and his build.

If you went back in time to the Wild Wild West, what do you see yourself doing? Example: Would you be a school teacher like your Melinda?

Perhaps! Or I might be a nurse like Edith and care for the sick. Or I might be a tomboy like Jenny and ride a horse bareback and shoot a bull’s eye with my rifle at 300 yards. (And yes, I can shoot a Bull’s Eye.) Or I might be a dance teacher like Sarah and teach children how to dance. Or I might be a doctor like Elena in “Elena, Woman of Courage,” although, she did have to stand up for her rights an awful lot. This book was just barely released this month.

I see you have a new book soon to be released called Anasazi Intrigue. Can you please tell people about it and when they can expect it to be released?

It should be officially released in about 4 months, after the reviewers have reviewed it. This was a fun book to write. It’s not historical fiction but set in nowadays. I always enjoy putting a little history in each of my novels to educate my readers. The mysteries of the Anasazi Indians, the Mayas, Montezuma’s Treasure, and the Lost Dutchman Mine have intrigued archaeologists and scientists for many years. In the Adventures of John and Julia Evans series, I delve into such mysteries. This is the first book in the series.

With artifacts, dead fish, a devastating flood, and miscreants, John and Julia have their hands full. When a devastating flood takes out several homes in a small town, the community is shocked by the news of a possible poison spill that kills many of the fish and neighbor's pets. Julia, the town's newest reporter, jumps into action and begins her investigation. She realizes the story and investigation are much bigger and more dangerous than she thought! Julia and her husband find themselves on the run trying to save their lives while finishing her story and helping out their small town! She never realized that being a reporter could be so dangerous.

Any words of wisdom to share with the readers?

Words of wisdom? Well, I don’t know how much wisdom I’ve got, but here goes. I would encourage any first time authors to remember to use emotion in your writing. It’s the secret of holding a reader. When you feel the emotion inside, so will your readers. It helps the reader feel part of the story and makes it hard to put down a book.

Thank you again for this interview.



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