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Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Patience and Writing: Author Interview with Linda Wood Rondeau

You've now written multiple books, but what got you started to complete the first one? 
My very first book started out as Proverbs for Moms. The title changed over the years to Abundant Living for Moms, Daisy's Lessons for Moms, and a number of other titles. It was finally published as
I Prayed For Patience God Gave Me Children at first with Helping Hands Press (went off the market) and then with Elk Lake Publishing House.

How did you go about finding a publisher? Did you have an agent? 
I had an agent for several years before I finally published my first book, The Other Side of Darkness. I met the agent at a writer's conference. We corresponded for a year and then I was offered a contract. Getting a contract for that first book took 11 years to the date I decided to become a writer.

Your publisher’s guidelines for submissions include requests for the numbers of social media followers and e-mail lists, as well as the many ways the author plans on promoting their book. Those requests are not unusual, and I've seen them with numerous publishers. To me that sounds like they only want established writers who probably could indie publish on their own. Did you already have a strong following when you got a contract with them?
I did work hard to establish a website and social media platforms. From the work I did, I evidenced a willingness to "get out there" and do the best I could to help market my book. I think many publishers are willing to work with a promising author who is willing to work hard and who has a great book. 

Ultimately, the craft is most important to publishers. Yes, they may take an established author before taking on many pre-published authors. If you have an outstanding product, publishers will take an interest. The hard part is pitching that product in a way to show how outstanding it is!

Marketing is a big part of increasing book sales. What marketing venue have you found most successful in not only getting clicks but sales as well?
My newsletter seems to generate the most "clicks," and I see a definite rise in sales. Word of mouth is still the best advertising. I belong to Christian Authors Network, a marketing group, and found their services to be helpful. I don't see much result from Social Media other than name recognition. 

Blog tours have been beneficial and I intend to do one soon for my newest release due in October, a devotional book, Lessons Along the Way, based on my newspaper column spanning over ten years. I have found I need to invest money in paid groups such as Bookbub. However, as a retired person, I do have a very limited marketing budget so I must choose wisely. Trying to do all my marketing for "free" doesn't work well.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? 
I find balancing marketing, editing, and other "related" writing responsibilities such as managing my blog, appearances, etc with my personal life to be the utmost challenge. Finding the best time to write before my brain goes to sleep at night is also a challenge. The actual craft is not as difficult for me. I love to write. As for starting ... I just start someplace. Your first few drafts are "rehearsals." I find getting the framework down first is important. Too many writers think they have to get it perfect the first time. This can produce a sort of writing anxiety. Just let go and let the words flow. Plenty of time to tweak your work afterward.

What’s the best encouragement you’ve had in your writing?
When a reader lets me know a book helped them with a problem in their lives. As a former social worker, I write to encourage others that life does give us U-turns. My writing slogan is, "Our worst past, given to God, can become our best future."

What do you know now about writing you wished you had known sooner?
Marketing tricks! The business of writing and how to balance writing with your personal life.

What is the best writing advice you’ve received or could give?
Revise, revise, revise! When you think it's perfect, go over it again. Learn the craft. Go to writers' conferences and take online courses.

Are there any other points about writing you would like to add?
Don't be in a hurry. Like a good stew, let your work simmer for a while to let the flavors of your composition permeate!

Tell me about your latest book? What inspired you to create this story? Could you give my readers a short blurb about it?
I'd like to talk about Ghosts of Trumball Mansion, released in May 2022. (I also have a new devotional book set for release in October). I was inspired to write a book about a troubled marriage and how Satan will use whatever tool he can devise to ruin a marriage. Henry and Sylvia have been separated for fifteen years, staying married in name only for business reasons.

Why do the ghosts in his wife’s ballroom attack only him? Or is publishing tycoon Henry Fitzgibbons insane?

Sylvia Fitzgibbons, 
his informally estranged wife, is his star author who writes under the name, Lana Longstreet. Now that the children are grown, maybe the time has come to officially end any obligation to his wife’s Connecticut estate and be free of their torment.

Sylvia would ask Henry for a divorce if the children weren’t planning a lavish anniversary party in August, and she didn't have a deadline for her Johnny Gallant suspense series in the same month. She insists Henry spend the summer tending to estate matters, and Henry reluctantly agrees. Hoping for an early escape, he hires a gangly landscape artist who eerily resembles a washed-out country singer. But when Sylvia’s housekeeper must retire due to an auto accident, she begs for his help. Unable to resist her femme fatale pleas, Henry is trapped for the duration.

Forced closeness draw them closer. As a reconciliation proves possible, Sylvia/Lana is charged with plagiarism threatening their publishing empire and the malignant forces within the estate become increasingly aggressive.

Something evil seems to conspire against them that only Faith can conquer.

That's all for today's interview. If you'd like to learn more about Linda's books, here are some links to get you started. 
Social Media Sites
Facebook Author page, Facebook Writing Coach
Tik-tok (new)
Tumblr (new)

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