Friday, 13 July 2012

The One-Link Lowdown on...Linda Swift!

My guest today is Linda Swift.  Writing for 6 publishers, Linda has ten books of fiction and four short stories currently available, with two additional books and three short stories to be released this year.  She’s lived in many places throughout the world, and while living in the UK in 1999-2000, she visited many of the castles where Mary Queen of Scots was a "guest" and became fascinated with both castles and the queen.  The result of that stay was her latest release, Maid of the Midlands, which will soon  be followed by a sequel, Mistress of Huntleigh Hall.  Welcome, Linda!

What’s the naughtiest thing you've ever done? 
As a small child living in a rural area, I robbed a setting hen’s nest of all her eggs to make mud pies. I took them one at a time, stirring more dirt and water into the mix each time. When I had a pan full, I realized my “crime” might be discovered so I dug a shallow hole and buried the mixture. I didn’t get caught and never did confess until years later when pregnant with my first child. I suppose I was wondering what secret sins my own child might commit later on and I told my mother about the incident. She accepted my story as the unimportant act that it was but my belated confession certainly lifted a heavy weight off my conscience! 

What’s the worst job you've ever had? 
In the early days of my marriage I was a stay-at-home mother, my husband was in a work training program, and money was scarce. I didn’t want to take a regular job and leave my children so I sold cosmetics door-to-door for a few hours during the day while my mother babysat. I hated every minute of it. I am not a natural born salesperson and knocking on the doors of strangers was pure torture.

I think I’d hate that too, and I admire you for sticking with it!  So in complete contrast, tell me about the best job you've ever had.
I have it now. To be able to write books, have them published, and experience the response of people who read them is a dream realized. I enjoyed my work with children in public education in three states over a number of years, but always in the back of my mind was the desire to be a published writer. Creating stories, receiving new covers, the release of the finished product, having book signings, presenting programs about what I do, all are very satisfying. I even enjoy the editing process! Did I mention getting royalty checks? Okay, I’m working longer hours for less pay than any job I’ve ever had except selling cosmetics, but this not about money as any truly dedicated writer knows.

What would be your perfect day?
I would sleep until I woke naturally, have breakfast of my choice, take a walk, work in my study. I would meet a friend for lunch. In the afternoon maybe work for a while or read or nap. I’d go out to dinner with my husband, watch the evening news on TV, read the newspaper and/or a book. About midnight, I’d be ready for bed again. I am never bored staying home and doing simple things. Did you notice that cooking or doing housework was not included in my day? I would have paid help for that, of course.

It sounds like bliss, especially the bit about no housework!  Linda, what's your favourite sandwich, and where in the world is the best place to eat it? 
A chicken salad sandwich (with pecans and grapes in it) on rye bread would be perfect served at an outside cafe on Coronado Island overlooking the Pacific.

I might just have to try out that recipe, it sounds delicious!  Which household chore would you happily give up forever?
Only one? How can I choose a “least” favorite? I suppose cooking which seems so boring day in and day out. I don’t mind preparing special meals for holidays but the repetition of doing this over and over depresses me. But to my credit, I love to iron. Too bad almost everything now is wrinkle-free or else supposed to be worn with wrinkles!

What talent or skill would you love to have that you don’t have now?
I would love to be able to play piano and I took lessons for a few months as a child but they didn’t “take” on me. So I did the next best thing by marrying a man who played piano (and now electronic keyboard) beautifully. I also wanted to have a beautiful voice and be able to sing well but I only mouth the words when I sing in church to avoid those nearby wondering how a frog got into the building. Both my son, daughter, and son-in-law are musical and are working or have worked as professional musicians. All three were in a Broadway musical that toured the country for two years, so my wish has been granted in a convoluted way

Indeed!  And as I know you’ve said before, you make music with words, Linda!  Tell me, what drives you seriously nuts?
People who make fun of other people. I think this is the ugliest character trait anyone can have. To laugh at someone for whatever reason is probably an effort to cover insecurity and lack of self-confidence but that doesn’t excuse it.  People who don’t do what they say they will comes a close second. And people who don’t give credit to others for what they do or take credit for what they have not done is also on my list.

Which animal do you think you’re most like, and why?
I’m probably most like a cat. I am independent, and I love to curl up in a warm place indoors and do nothing. But I am loyal like a dog and so persistent that my husband says I am like a “dog with a bone” when I set my mind on something. I am also verbal like a mockingbird. So I suppose I’m really an enigma whatever species that is.

What’s the best review you've ever had?
My best review was actually a composite of four 5-star reviews (Long and Short Reviews/ Manic Readers/The Romance Studio/You Gotta Read Reviews) and Romantic Times  for my Civil War saga, This Time Forever. These reviewers compared the book to Gone With The Wind and the TV mini-series North and South. All of them “got” what I was trying to say, felt empathy for both sides of this tragic war, loved my characters as I did and validated my ability to research and create a story that was worthy of the subject. This was the “book of my heart” and in my heart I know it is the best work I will ever accomplish. It was rejected many times when submitted by my then-agent and I almost despaired ever seeing it published. Then, ironically, this US Civil War story was accepted by a Canadian publisher and through no planning on my part, it was released in the first year of the Civil War Sesquicentennial commemoration. Fate? I like to think so. 
A definite meant-to be!  Linda, it's been great getting to know more about you today, and I know my readers can catch up on all your news and books at your One-Link here to your website.  Thanks so much for visiting - good luck in all that you do!


  1. Hi Jane, and thank you for inviting me to your lovely blog today. I was delayed in showing up and inviting others on the loops to join us. I am going there now and issue invitations.I'll check back later.

  2. Great to find out more about you Linda. By the way if you have a craving to iron feel free to tackle mine - I'm extremely thankful for tumble dryers!

    Angela Britnell

  3. LINDA--I almost could have written this, except for your favorite sandwich, and selling cosmetics door-to-door.I loved reading everything, as though I didn't know you...and I discovered such a lovely talented lady, I wish I could meet her in person! Haha! See you in October.

  4. Hi Angela, I do have a stack of my own ironing for today, but I can handle yours tomorrow. I suppose I could barter a week's ironing for a prepared dinner. Can you believe my kids don't even own irons? I would have made a great woman who "took in washing and ironing" in the old days, I think.

  5. Be careful what you wish, Celia. With any luck, we will be signing (selling?) those books together in Oct. I'm really looking forward to the chance to meet my mentor! Confession, I didn't make a good Avon Lady. And once I even got nipped in the calf by an unfriendly dog!

  6. Enjoyed this interview! Thanks for sending and sharing some great comments that were fun to read!!

  7. Hi Kaye, thanks for reading and for commenting. And thanks for your support and help with all things techincal.

  8. Nice to learn more about you. I'm certainly with you on the singing. With my husband finishing his college degree, I had to work and tried the cosmetic thing. I'll also agree with you on how bad that job was. Don't can't figure out how the some people seem to make so much money. Or maybe it's because I never wore much makeup.

  9. Hi Linda and Jane,
    Great questions and loved the answers! Such an interesting interview and not easy to pull off when I thought I knew a lot about Linda. LOL I agree with Jane, you did awesome to continue to sell cosmetics when you hated it.

    Btw, if visitors here haven't read Linda's To Those Who Wait, you must take time to read it. I loved it and felt like I was right there in the midst of the drama and passion of the characters!

  10. I liked this interview and especially liked what you had to say about people making fun of other people, those who don't do what they say they will and those who take credit for what they did not really do.
    I read Maid of the Midlands and loved it. It's a wonderful story.
    I wish you continued success and outrageous royalties. LOL

  11. Hi Allison. I'm glad you can commiserate with me on selling. My sales approach was "Do don't want to buy any cosmetics today, do you?" I would never have earned a pink Cadillac if I'd been with the competitor! I didn't last long at the job. As soon as my youngest was enrolled in school, I also became a community college student and loved every minute of that.

  12. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. In case you are wondering, I thought my comment to Allison wasn't posted and then wrote it again. Ever try to write the same thing twice? It's like losing a chapter of a book, and I've done that, too.

  13. Hi Diane. And yes, I think my friends have read everything about me by now. When Jane quoted something I'd said about making music with words, I began thinking she has an excellent memory or else I've repeated this way too often. And thanks for your comments about To Those Who Wait. Your opinion about this book must be right on as it is still #1 on Amazon's publisher list and still .99cents. I'm holding my breath that it will go back to $6.95 any minute.

  14. Hi Sarah, thanks for visiting today. I was getting a little lonely. After I wrote all those things that drive me crazy, I wondered if it sounded a bit much. But it was my honest answer so I left it. I'm so pleased you liked Maid of the Midlands. Today I putting finishing touches on its sequel, Mistress of Huntleigh Hall. This story is about Matilda's and Jondalar's three children, a sweet love story but also heartbreaking. It will be released before Oct.

  15. This Time Forever is a wonderful Civil War story. I understand why you've received rave reviews.

    As far as chores you like and dislike, we need to work out something. You do my ironing and I'll cook for you. LOL. I like to cook...only...who cleans up the kitchen? Ha!

    The Chicken Salad sandwich you spoke of sounds similar to the one Arby's recently came out with. Chicken, grapes, pecans, etc. on a wonderful bread. The bread has slivered almonds in it, I think. I LOVE this sandwich. You must try it.

    I enjoyed learning more about you, Linda. Thank you.

  16. Hi Laurie. I'm so glad you visited today. I hope things are going well for you. I love Arby's and we have one close by. I'll be sure to try this sandwich. The chore swap sounds good to me. And guess who cleans up the kitchen here? Oh, and I'll only swap if you agree to keep us supplied with those yummy Haystack cookies. Our whole family are fans of those. And our favorite cereal to add is Rice Krispies with just a touch of instant oatmeal.

  17. Late to the party - have been away all weekend, so am now trying to catch up. Great interview, Linda, and lovely yo find out more about you. You are welcome to do my ironing any day - that's my most hated job!

  18. Linda, I finally manage to grab an Internet connection in the middle of my house-move chaos to find so many lovely comments on your blog post! I'm so glad to see you've had do many visitors.

    Everyone, thank you for coming over. I really loved Linda's guest spot, and it's great that you all did too!

  19. Hi Paula, it's good to see you here. Hope you had a great weekend wherever you were. My hubby and I are leaving tomomrrow for Florida, via a stopeover in Nashville at our daughter's house. We will be celebrating her brother's birthday. He also lives in Music City (where else would these musical kids live?) I have lots of offers for ironing job so far. I never knew so many people disliked that soul-soothing task!

  20. Jane, it's good to hear from you and I guess we can assume that moving housed has gone well. You said it was a very short move. The most recent moves of dh and I have been next door to the places we were living in both FL and KY and I think they were as traumatic as any moves we have made (and we have made a BUNCH) It's been a happy experience visiting your blog and I do appreicate all my faithful friends for coming by as well as names I don't know as well. Oh, and did you notice that your blog colors are a perfect match for my photo. Couldn't have planned it better. I love this color.