Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Guest author interview with Linda Kage

Please welcome my guest author today, Linda Kage, of The Wild Rose Press. Linda's been one of my blog visitor's lately and also a fellow author of my alter ego. So please give a big hand to Linda and leave lots of comments and questions to make her feel welcome. 1) First, please tell us about being an expectant mom and your preparations for your new little one. Also please tell us how it is to write, promote, and be an expectant mom simultaneously. 

--Oh, I could go on and on with this answer! The first different thing I noticed about being pregnant was that protective instinct that kicks in, like, immediately. I always secretly smirked at expectant mothers who freaked out about things like refusing to use bug repellent in fear of hurting the baby and stuff like that. But once you realize something the size of a grape is growing inside you and its survival is solely dependent on YOU and no one else, you really do freak out and start scowling at people smoking too close to you. I keep a log of how times the baby kicks, just so I know it's still alive in there. I'm constantly worried about doing something to inadvertently scar my child for life. 

And preparations? I haven't done too much of that yet. The husband and I have started working on a Dr. Seuss nursery, but we're mostly waiting until baby showers are over to buy too much stuff. We've got a babysitter set up, so I can keep working after giving birth. And I take my vitamins every morning to make sure he or she is healthy. I also read literature on baby care, hoping to prepare as best I can.

Expecting a child shifts priorities, but it hasn't stopped me from writing or promoting my stories. My husband has this idea in his head that I'll stop writing for a while after the baby's born, but I think he's wrong. Storytelling is who I am. I don't think I can just stop being who I am. But I'm sure my time will be a lot more stretched in a couple months here.

2) Have you always been a writer? If not, how has writing changed your life?
--It feels like I was born this way, so it hasn't changed my life yet. I'm pretty boring that way. For as long as I can remember, I've been doodling stories and forcing my older sister to read them. I finished writing my first book when I was sixteen. To say the least, it was awful. But you gotta start somewhere, right.

3) Please share with other writers at least two of your best promoting tips. 

--I have to say the Internet has been my number one promotion help. One little email to friends and family and, boom, everyone knows you just sold your first story. Set up a website and, holy cow, you actually get visitors. Join MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Blogspot, and you start meeting hundreds upon hundreds of strangers who love books as much as you do. Throw in a giveaway contest and a short free read story and you start feeling like you're getting your name out there. But my first book hasn't been released yet, so I'll have to let you know after February just how well my marketing strategy has gone!

4) Please share with other writers at least two of your best writing tips. 

--Don't give up. If you give up, then you definitely won't succeed. And I think my number two tip kind of continues off number one. Keep writing. The more you write, the better you improve. Sure, take classes, join groups, study other people's work, collect beta readers... but you have to keep writing while you do all that, otherwise none of it will help... and all that really can help. 

5) Please share with your readers why it is so important you share your stories with them.

--Because they're fun and entertaining? A good escape from reality? I don't know. That's why I read books, so I guess that's why I write them too. I would like to give other readers what my favorite authors always give me.

6) Besides being a writer, what other dreams do you have that are not fulfilled yet? 

--My biggest dreams have been fulfilled, I guess, just not to the extent that I always imagined. I blame reality. I have my own home and a family, yes, but the new house takes so much money to upkeep and we're always working to improve it (guess I should've dreamed up a maid to keep it clean for me, huh?!). My husband is wonderful, but we both can get moody, and he's never as excited as I am about attending book readings. And it's a dream come true to finally get a baby, but you know the tiny thing is only going to poop and cry once it gets here. That'll be a major reality check. 

I always wanted to be a published author, but I imagined instant fame, floods of money... never having to clean my own house again. But, that reality thing makes it not quite so wonderful. You have to work to get noticed. And money? Well, I haven't seen a penny yet, but I'm not expecting too much when it starts coming. I also thought it'd be easier to sell more books after selling book number one. But that ain't so. You still have to work just as hard to keep getting them out there.
7) What fictional character would you most like to be if you could and why? 

--Hmm. I'm not sure. How about Scarlett O'Hara. Sure, she's conceited, self-centered, and needs to open her eyes where Rhett's concerned. But to go through all those hardships the way she did and always manage to not just survive, but to THRIVE? That's pretty cool. I wish I could be as bold and nervy as her. She's the kind of person that can get things done... and done how SHE wants them. Sometimes I detest being as timid as I am.

8) What is your favorite genre to read? To write? Why?

--Romance, no doubt about it. That's what I like to write too. Doesn't matter if it's paranormal romance, Romantic Suspense, Contemporary, YA, Historical, Western... it must have a happy ending. I can't handle books without happy, satisfying ends. Those tend to get thrown against a wall.

9) What time period would you most like to live? If now, what would be your second choice? Why? 

I gotta say I'd like to visit one of Julie Garwood's highland historicals. That's a place and time period I'm the least familiar with, so it'd be interesting to experience it. And come on, Castles, riding horseback, hunky kilted men... need I say more?

10) What most surprised you about writing or the romance writing community? Why? 

--The support. No matter where you go, someone is always there to give you a hand. You'd think since we're all in competition to get our books out there, we'd be more hateful, but I've had a majority of good experiences. I've heard other genre writing communities aren't as banded together nor as jovial. Guess they need to learn how to write happy endings, huh?!

11) Do you interact much with other writers and readers? Why or why not? If yes, how? 

--When I started blogging and then joined social networks like MySpace, Facebook, and so on, I met SOOOO many other writers out there, it's not even funny. So, yeah, I'd say I interact with other book lovers daily.

12) Where do you most like to hang out on the web? Why? 

--My blog. Yikes, that sounds selfish, but I have links to other people's blogs there, which lead to their websites and other links that spread out into hundreds of thousands of other interesting places.

13) If you have a pet peeve(s) about books or writing or the writing community, what would it (they) be? Why? 

--Negativity is my pet peeve. When people grow snarky about certain types of writing, or ways to write, or ways to publish, I just kind of roll my eyes. What works for one group of people may not work for another, but that doesn't mean you should disrespect the differences. Thank goodness the romance writing world is mostly about positivity. I like that.

14) What is your greatest strength as a writer? Your greatest weakness? 

--According to other people, I'm best with dialogue, which is really weird because in real life, I suck with conversation in social settings. So, I pretty much don't talk. I'd say everything else is my weakness. You constantly learn with writing, and I still have MUCH to learn. I need to work on description, feelings, word choice, grammar, plot construction, endings... get the point yet?

15) What is your best childhood memory? 

--When I was twelve or thirteen, I rode with my eighteen-year-old sister and two of her friends down to Oklahoma to visit our oldest sister. During what was supposed to be a four-hour trip (please cue Gilligan's Island music), we came upon road work and needed to take a detour. Well... thinking Oklahoma roads were like our good ol' mile-section squares back in Kansas, we turned off on a country road, hoping to drive around the mile section and continue on our planned course. But these roads did not have mile sections. They branched off only to meet up with more crazy, winding back country trails. We got so lost. Once we had to drive through a low-water bridge with water over the road and then pause for the grazing cattle to cross. I should've been scared out of my mind, wondering if we'd ever find our way again. But it was a blast.

16) What animal (fictional or real) is most like you? Why? 

--It's depressing to admit, but I'm probably most like an opossum. I'm just not a confrontational person... or very glamorous. Sigh.

17) What do you and your husband like to do for a date? Is it the same things your heroes and heroines like to do? 

--We're considerably more boring than my H/Hs. Since I like my stuff and he prefers his guy stuff, there's not a lot we agree on doing. Eating out, the occasional movie, hanging with friends, going 4-wheeler riding, or just curling up in front of he TV is about the extent of our activities. There is this bed and breakfast we like to go to, but I think the only reason I can get him there is because it has a hot tub connected to our room.

18) Please tell us about your current book(s) including a blurb, excerpt, cover, release date, and link where we can purchase them. 

--Right now, I only have one book coming out. But it's my pride and joy. It's a young adult romance, which is odd because everything else I've written is contemporary adult romance with steamy scenes. The Wild Rose Press will release "THE STILLBURROW CRUSH" on February 26, 2010 (which happens to be nine days after my baby is due--What a month, huh?). 


Sixteen year old, Carrie Paxton, isn't the most popular girl in her small town. But that's never concerned her before. Her life revolves around her writing and she loves her job as the student editor of the school paper. But when she gets assigned to interview the football team's beloved quarterback, she takes one look into Luke Carter's blue eyes and is a goner. Suddenly, she doesn't like her lowly rank so much. Then her dreamy, popular crush surprises her when he starts to act as if he likes her in return. But there's no way Luke Carter could possibly ever like a nobody like Carrie Paxton. Is there? 


“They really ought to tear that place down. Just look at that sagging roof.” Luke gave a soft laugh behind me. “That would involve change.” “What do you mean?” “Haven’t you ever noticed this town’s stuck in a time capsule? It’s like we’ve never heard of the term progress. I mean, there’s hardly any cell phone towers around and forget about high speed internet.” “High speed what?” I asked, glancing back to give him a puzzled look. He opened his mouth to explain, when it dawned on him I was joking. “You always have to be a smart aleck, don’t you?” We shared a smile. I looked into his face and relished these minutes where I could ogle him selfishly. I knew I should give him the information he wanted from me now, but I could only stare. It took me a moment to notice his expression, though. His gaze had been roaming my face but had paused on my left ear. When he snorted out a surprised laugh, I frowned. He pointed a finger toward my hair. “Uh, I think the wind messed it up some.” I patted my head, my face flaming. “Here,” Luke said, and flipped down his visor,lighting up the mirror underneath. I looked up and groaned. Not only had the wind caught a hold of my hair and ripped it half out of its ponytail, it had also knotted and twisted it into a healthy-sized rat’s nest. I tried to ignore the fact that Luke was sitting next to me—and already knew exactly what the disaster looked like—and ripped the holder out of my hair. I combed through the mess with my fingers but there were knots everywhere. When I caught him staring again, I glared. “What?” I demanded. But he continued to gawk. I patted at my hair and wondered what he could possibly be thinking about the mess. “I’ve never seen it all down before,” he said. Startled, I glanced back in the mirror. I’d seen it down millions of times. I just didn’t leave the house with it loose. There was too much of it to let it run wild. I tried to see it how Luke must see it. It was curly—so curly it bobbed. Tight little curls framed my face like a border full of personality. From the corner of my eye, I saw Luke lift his hand toward one spiraling lock. But when I turned to him, he lowered his fingers and shifted his attention out the window. I stared at his profile for a second, breathing hard. “It’s pretty,” he said, more to the windshield than to me. I wanted him to lift his hand again. I wanted him to touch my hair. “I think yours is prettier.” He laughed. “Guys do not have pretty hair.” “Well, yours is.” I reached over and touched his hair. I thought maybe if I touched his, he might get the guts to touch mine. But at contact, I gasped. “It’s so soft.” I ran my fingers through the part that always curled around a cowlick when it got wet. I scooted over, leaning across the console between us. “Carrie.” His voice sounded strained so I looked down. I hadn’t realized I’d moved so close. But when I gazed into his face, we were only a breath apart. I was positioned a little above him so I could reach his hair. He lifted his face up to stare at me. His eyes were a blazing blue. That’s when he touched my hair. He drew his fingers through the curls to cup my head. Then he tilted his chin to the side and pulled me down. I was shocked when our mouths connected. He was kissing me. Oh my God, Luke Carter was kissing me. 

19) Do you have any appearances coming up soon where we can meet you online or in person? If so, where? Also, where can we find you on the web?

--Right now, this is my grand appearance! Yay. But other than that, you can always find me spouting my virtual mouth off on my blog, "The Linda Kage Blog Page : Hand Over the Chocolate, and no one gets hurt" -- http://lindakage.blogspot.com/
Then there's also:

My webpage - http://lindakage.com/
MySpace - http://www.myspace.com/lindakage

Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/people/Linda-Kage/1415237991

Twitter - http://twitter.com/lindakage

Book Blogs - http://bookblogs.ning.com/profile/Lindakage

The Wild Rose Press - http://thewildrosepress.com/publishe/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1910&Itemid=88
Come visit me at any of those places, I love meeting new people!

20) Who is your publisher(s).

The Wild Rose Press - http://www.thewildrosepress.com/
They're incredibly nice and very patient with newbies like me.
21) Is there anything else you'd like to share with your readers and/or fellow writers?
--Thank you so much for listening to me jabber on--kudos to you if you made it all the way down to question number 21! It's nice meeting you all.
Thanks for joining us, Linda. I had so much fun with you and your book sounds fab.


Sandra Cox said...

Great blog, ladies!
Wishing you many sales, Linda.

Unknown said...

Love the interview. Congrats on the new baby and the new release in Feb. I love YA and look forward to this story.

Linda Kage said...

Thank you, thank you, Sandra and Amber. I'm honored to be here today. And I hope you like the story. The biggest response I got from my family after they read it was, "It made me cry." I HOPE they meant they cried because it was SO good :)!!!

Anonymous said...

Of course they cried because it was so good! Great interview, Linda!

Kenzie Michaels said...

Hi Linda:) Wonderful interview, and love the premise of your debut book! LOL on #12! I think we all do that:) And #15 reminds me of the time we went off the beaten path in Wyoming and found the free range sheep and cattle:) Indiana has those mile squares of corn and soybean fields too:)

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for being my guest today Linda. Again - happy birthday! I forgot to add that to your interview today.

Jessica Nelson said...

Wonderful interview Linda! And there's no way I think you could be a possum. They don't love chocolate. *wink*
Movies and four wheeling sounds pretty exciting to me! LOL Thanks for the interview and congrats on your book!

Linda Kage said...

Susan-Thanks for stopping by. I should've mentioned how supportive TWRP editors are too!! You're the best.

Kenzie-Glad I'm not alone on #12. Whew. And isn't country cruising really kind of exciting? It's like an unplanned adventure.

Ashley-Thank YOU. I'm having a blast.

Jessica-Opossom's don't like chocolate? I'm definitely going to have to rethink my animal choices! Thanks for stopping by.

Molly Daniels said...

Hi Linda:) I'm adding you to my blog roll so I can keep up with your baby news:)

The trip through Wyoming was also interesting, considering I was about 6 weeks pregnant! We ran into a 3-hr traffic jam and my bladder kicked in. There was a state trooper on the opposite lane, either giving directions on how to get around, or writing wrong-way tickets, but my dad swerved around him without being pulled over. I told him if we DID get pulled over to tell him about the pregnant woman who desperately needed a bathroom! Fortunately, we'd passed an overpass with a gas station. No 'wilderness experience' needed after all:)

Robyn Campbell said...

Linda, I love the excerpt. Man this is one book I WILL NOT miss buying. :)

An opossum after writing THAT book? uhuh. You seem to me like you'd be a glamorous, beautiful mare. How'd you guess I'd say that? But it's true. :)

Me being from Florida, albeit the keys, would have been FREAKED OUT about being on that road. But now after living in NC, it wouldn't faze me. I enjoyed reading this interview. Now go on and kick off those shoes and REST! Thanks for helping us pre-pubbed writers. :)

Nancy J. Parra said...

Great interview...and I've been lost in Oklahoma, too... hey, isn't that a great book title? :) cheers~

Unknown said...

Oppossums...shudder. I used to think they stuck to country areas like the outskirts of Cincinnati which is where I'm from. But no. Those critters hang out in the cities, too. At least in Ft. Lauderdale.

Thanks everybody for stopping by and chatting with Linda, myself, and everybody.

Tess said...

A great interview, it's fun to get to know Linda a little bit better.

And, oppossums rock! One of my favorite picture books is 'Possum comes a-knockin'". You must have it in your new little one's library. It's so fun to read and follow along with and that possum is very, very clever ;)

Linda Kage said...

I once again thank everyone for stopping by, Ashley doubly for hosting me.

Molly-I so understand understand the need for potty breaks when your pregnant. I swear this kid is using my bladder as a pillow or something. And I have tons of baby news today and tomorrow (Wed & Thurs) so you'll definitely be updated there!

Hi, Robyn- Thanks for stopping by! And I think being a mare would be cool.

Nancy-- Lost in Oklahoma. I like it!

And Tess-I'll definitely check out "Possum Comes a-knockin'". I'm of the opinion my baby cannot have enough books!! Thanks.

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