It is with honor and privilege that I now present Linda Windsor:
Maryland author Linda Windsor has written twenty-nine historical and contemporary novels for both the secular and inspirational markets, but she is most noted for delivering "The LIFT of Laughter and Spirit" in her modern inspirational romances. A Christy finalist and winner of numerous industry awards, Linda has written for Kensington Publishing/NY, Multnomah Publishing/Random House, Barbour Publishing, Westbow Press/Thomas Nelson Publishing and is now contracted to launch Harper Collins' Avon Inspire contemporary romance line with The Piper Cove Chronicles.
Linda chose a local setting, basing the fictitious Piper Cove on nearby Ocean Pines & Berlin, MD. It's first book, WEDDING BELL BLUES, is due out in June 2007. In addition to writing and speaking across the country, Linda continues a local music and lay speaking ministry started by her and her late husband. She also works on home improvement projects on the 18th century-plus house that she and her husband began restoring in 1986 on an "as desperately needed" basis. Wallpaper and paint are definitely in her near future.
Order your copy of Wedding Bell Blues today!
1. This is your first book in the Piper Cove Chronicles, introducing what is sure to be a fun-loving cast of characters for your subsequent books. What gave you the inspiration for this story?
I know the heroines and I certainly know Piper Cove and it's many characters. I grew up in the area upon which this fictional town is based. That's what makes this series so dear to my heart.
It's the stories of four best friends, who were determined to leave the hick town of Piper Cove in their dust on high school graduation day. Yet, years later, here they are, back in Piper Cove, which has changed from sleepy seaside village to a resort. Alex, Ellen, Jan and Sue Ann have changed too, but their friendship has not. They are closer than ever. It's one for all and all for one, especially when it comes to finding love.
2. This is also the first with your new publisher, Harper Collins SF, in their new line Avon Inspire. Share a little about the experience of being one of two authors selected to launch this new line.
To say it's thrilling is an understatement. I am enjoying working with the Harper-Collins/Avon Inspire staff and being a part of the launch. It's real teamwork on every level from the writing itself to the packaging and the mysterious world of marketing.
3. How much of your own experiences influenced the characters of Alex and Josh. What aspects became traits that were theirs and theirs alone?
Well, who doesn't like to be in control, especially when we are younger? Being a little more spiritually mature now, I've learned to let go and let God easier than in the past. That's not to say that God's finished with me in that arena.
As for Josh, I never went big time with music, nor did I put it ahead of my family; but, having performed in a band for ten years, I do share his love of it and can see how it can become a god of sorts. Anything we are passionate about can become a god and put us on a self-destructive path, if we are not careful.
4a. What themes exist in Wedding Bell Blues that you hope the reader sees?
It's a good thing that we are NOT in control and that God is. So letting go and letting God in order to forgive and move on is the big one for Alex. Otherwise we are stuck in the past with our bitterness. I read once that clinging to the past paralizes today and bankrupts the future. I wish I could say who the author of that truth is.
For Josh, it's a test of his new-found faith to put revenge aside and really forgive one's transgressor, even when that transgressor is still a major pain and can't simply be avoided. While forgiving and forgetting is the right thing to do, it's doesn't come easy. Only God can help us swallow our urge for revenge and move on.
4b. Are there any themes that weren't overt but developed as the story progressed?
Absolutely. That of the parent who loves too much, to the point of insensitivity. And of the child who mistakes the disapproval as a lack of love. Alex's dad is the controlling parent to the extreme. He's horrible to Alex when she doesn't do as he expects her to for her own good. He's judgemental with a plank in his eye. But his motivation? Love, protection. At least in part. The rest, our wily B.J. has to work on with lots of divine intervention.
Unfortunately, Alex thinks her father disapproves of her and can't possibly love her, making her all the more rebellious. Both father and daughter are wrong.
5. What were your most difficult parts to write? Your favorite?
I loved writing the scenes where the four bosom buddies were together. It reminded me just how blessed I am to have friends who love me, warts and all, and to rejoice in our differences as well as in what we have in common. I am thrilled when the chemistry sparks between my hero and heroine and overwhelmed when the Spirit takes over when they have an epiphany.
All that said, this was still the most difficult book I've ever written as it was the first one since my husband died. I felt as if my emotional plug had been pulled, or I'd turned that switch off. So it was hard for me as a writer to get in there and "feel" what my characters were feeling without exposing my own raw and healing ones. I had to keep going back into those scenes until they were right.
6. When is your next book coming out and what is the story?
I can hardly wait! FOR PETE'S SAKE is about Alex's Harley-riding friend Ellen. There much more of me in Ellen than Alex--sans the Harley, that is. Having been raised with horses, I was into real horse-power.
Unlike her bosom buddies, the outspoken Ellen is willing to wait for love and not going to settle for anything less than the right one. So when a handsome and sophisticated security systems expert moves in next door with his son Pete, Ellen just can't see how this could be THE one. Not only is Adrian a prince charming to her leather and wheels, but he has a feminine siren on his arm. No way this suddenly tongue-tied tomboy can compete! But a troubled boy and the sense that our hero isn't quite as happy as a prince charming should be draw the big-hearted heroine into a web of intrigue where love and faith will be her only hope.
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Thanks, Linda, for being in the spotlight today. Readers, leave your comment for your chance to win a FREE autographed copy of this fantastic book sure to get you laughing and touch your heart all the way to the last page. Check back here next week for the winner.