Today we welcome romance, suspense, thriller, and cozy mystery author Linda Burson, who sits down for an interview. Learn more about Linda and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
When I was eight years old. I had an assignment to write a story about the first vacation I ever had. I enjoyed it so much, I wanted to keep writing.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
Most of my life, but since I started writing full time—four years.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
I am published by Class Act Books, a small publishing house.
Where do you write?
Wherever I feel comfortable and productive at the moment. I’ve written in almost every room in the house as well as outside in the back yard.
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I usually prefer silence; however, if I’m writing a love scene or a particular personal scene, I feel more of a connection with my character’s emotions when I listen to music. For my Marcy series, that happens to be mid 20th century music.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Not many. My writing is pure fiction, but that doesn’t mean the situations aren’t relevant. I write based on possibilities of real life situations. Everything is possible. I may have heard of certain situations from the news or from friends and acquaintances and expanded on them. I do use characteristics of people I know to build my characters.
Describe your process for naming your character?
I prefer to use names of people I’ve never personally met, or that don’t have a part in my life at the time of writing. I don’t want a connection to the names I use. I’m aware, at times, this can be difficult to maintain, so I’ll start by saying names out loud to see how they feel. I’ll go up and down the alphabet to replace letters within a name to see how it fits. I’ll think of a street I may have come across to give my characters last names.
Real settings or fictional towns?
I do both, but within the real settings, I have fictional elements.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
In my Marcy series, the protagonist’s mother is the quirkiest. She’s always yelling at her husband when he uses inappropriate language telling him not to do that, but she uses the same type of words while she’s scolding him.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
That’s difficult – I can’t think of one, but if I ask my husband, he says it’s my need to stop on our way out the door, especially when we’re in a hurry, and begin to clean something.
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
I could give you hundreds, but if I have to choose one, I’d say, To Kill a Mockingbird. The story has heart. It’s real and it’s full of every emotion imaginable. The characters have every flaw we all have, and every strength we wish we had more of. Think about what it contains: an unjust accusation due to prejudices, a hero to be admired, a family connection and lessons learned between generations, a mystery mixed in with emotional trauma so deep and revealing it touches every part of one’s soul. The best part is true justice prevails, even though we’re left with the horror that even though this end was satisfying, we know there are others that won’t be.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
I think I would’ve made my first book a single title instead of a series. A series is a lot harder to advertise and market especially when you’re an unknown author. Readers don’t want to give you a chance and get involved with an author they do not know. Or I would have planned my story better to keep it to a minimum of three books instead of the continuing story I ended up with. It’s just that I was so thrilled by my characters and their struggles and joys that it couldn’t be told in only three books. I didn’t think of keeping it on the back burner until I released a couple of single title books first. I thought of this after I got the first two, Rage and Confusion from the Marcy series, published.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Rudeness and inconsideration, which comes down to selfish behavior.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
First: A large box which contains lots of books, including a how-to when you’re stranded on a desert island and lots of papers and writing utensils to write my story. Second: A fabulous companion of the male persuasion. Third: Multiple boxes of my favorite chocolates.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
Filing in a business office. Nonstop filing of papers and folders the entire day, day after day.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Personally, I don’t feel that can be answered. If you love to read and you are truly involved in the story, that’s your favorite at the moment.
Ocean or mountains?
Both. I love the ocean. It gives me a relaxed vibe. I look out on the horizon and feel like I could go on forever, but I’m not fond of the sand. The mountains give me a sense of strength and ability to breathe deeply. I look up from standing below them and I’m in awe, but I don’t want to climb them.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I love visiting the city, but for living each day, the country all the way.
What’s on the horizon for you?
Hopefully, finishing three new single title books I’m working on and continuing my Marcy series books and having all 13 of them published, continued good health, and continued joy and passion with my choices.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
I believe that if readers would give my Marcy series a chance, they would find the time invested worth it. Of course it’s not for everyone, but nothing is. It has all the elements I enjoy when reading: love, mystery, friendships, sex, surprises, laughs, tears, fun, anger, and joy. It’s what life is made of. As I said, the stories are fiction, but the situations are more real than you might realize. It’s the day-to-day, month-to-month, year-to-year life with extras thrown in that we all can relate to.
I had a review once where someone said something in my story couldn’t happen. Well, actually it could and it did. As I said, parts of it are from real life, and I just expanded on them. I enjoyed writing this series so much; I want those reading it to have to have the same pleasure.
Book 1 of the Marcy series
Marcy finds herself angry, frustrated, and confused because of nightmares that won’t stop. The love of her life, Brad, gives her an ultimatum: seek help or lose him.
When held up at gunpoint during a robbery, Marcy is pushed over the edge. That night, she meets Liam, with whom she has an inexplicable connection. Because of her emotional state after the last few days and particularly this evening, Marcy agrees to join Liam on his quest to find those responsible for the murder of his family.
Delving further into the dark world of revenge, Marcy and Liam fall in love and instead of darkness, light envelops them.