Cate: Please welcome Linda LaRoque. Linda, will you please share a short bio with us?
Linda: I’m a Texas girl, but in my early teens a horse tossed me in the road dislocating my right shoulder. Forty years passed before I got on another, but it was older, slower, and I was wiser. Plus, my students looked on and it was important to save face.
I’m a retired teacher who loves West Texas, its flora and fauna, and its people. My stories paint pictures of life, love, and learning set against the raw landscape of ranches and rural communities in Texas. I’m a member of RWA, my local chapter of HOTRWA where I serve as president, NTRWA and Texas Mountain Trail Writers.
Today I live in a small community outside of Waco, TX with my husband and dog Molly. We have two grown children and a grandson. You can visit me at www.lindalaroque.com and read about the books I’m working on now.
Cate: Tell us about Flames on the Sky and where it's available.
Linda: Flames on The Sky, book two of The Turquoise Legacy, is now available in paperback at www.thewildrosepress.com and www.amazon.com, and barnesandnoble.com
Cate: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Linda: The Anasazi whispered of this evil and of the woman who could defeat it.
Fire, sky, and stone must unite to fulfill an ancient prophecy.
Madison Evans inherits a turquoise locket, travels to New Mexico, and discovers the stone dates back to the Chacoan Anasazi. When she's attacked, parks ranger Lonan Stone, of Chacoan ancestry, fears Madison's turquoise is a missing twin of the revered Fallen Skystone, an egg size piece of turquoise on display in Albuquerque. The mystical stone is missing two slivers – one’s in Madison’s necklace, the others whereabouts unknown, but if united by evil they can destroy.
Madison and Lonan are part of a 1000 year old prophecy to save Chaco Canyon. Thrust back in time, they meet a witch, solve a murder, fall in love, and imprison a 1,000 year old evil spirit. Their mission complete, can these two people from different cultures blend their lives as the prophecy predicted?
Cate: Wow, very intriguing! And congrats on its listing in the top twenty of Amazon's bestselling new and future releases in Time Travel! Here's the trailer:
Cate: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Linda: Flames on The Sky is set in Chaco Canyon of New Mexico. This story is the second in The Turquoise Legacy, and I wanted the heroine to discover where the turquoise originated. I’d visited New Mexico and the Cerrillos mine area several times. After some research I discovered the Anasazi in 1000 AD held a monopoly on the turquoise trade and it came from the Cerrillos mines. I knew the hero and heroine would travel back to 1000 AD in Chaco Canyon, but with my research ideas grew. I had a wonderful time researching and writing this story.
Cate: I love research too. Any specific inspiration for your characters (an actor/actress or personal hero)?
Linda: No, no one in particular.
Cate: How do you pick the character’s names?
Linda: Picking names for me is difficult. I struggle but with Madison Evans, since she’s just earned her PhD in Shakespearean literature with a minor in music, I decided she needed a classy name. Madison seemed to fit. With Lonan Stone, I changed his name about half way into the story. I can’t tell you the significance of his name as it will reveal too much about the story, but being he’s a rugged park ranger and Native American, his name needed to fit his character.
Cate: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?
Linda: Though I do spend a lot of time thinking about my stories, I can’t say they haunt my dreams or live with me as they’re part of my OTHER life.
Cate: What's next for you?
Linda: I’m about finished with a futuristic story with the working title, Born in Ice, set in 2155 when earth is living with the after effects of global warming and a little ice age.
Cate: Great topic. Very timely.
At what age did you discover writing and when were you first published? Tell us your call story.
Linda: I remember writing a short story in 9th grade English class and how much I enjoyed it but didn’t consider writing until the early 1990s. At the time I suffered with depression and had difficulty sleeping at night. An avid reader, I couldn’t concentrate on my reading or sleep at night. To help me go to sleep I decided to write a story in my head about a woman suffering from depression. It helped me sleep and when I was better I decided to put the story to paper. Seventeen years later, in 2007 after many workshops, rewrites, critique groups, and the advice of a mentor, When the Ocotillo Bloom was published by Wings epress. It’s now been republished by Champagne Books.
Cate: Describe your writing in three words.
Linda: Warm, realistic, emotional.
Cate: Do you have a writing routine?
Linda: I wish I did, but tend to waste a lot of time browsing the internet and procrastinating. Once I get started I can work many hours. I like to think of that wasted time as perking, building ideas in my mind.
Cate: What do you find to be the most challenging aspect of writing? Most rewarding?
Linda: For me the most challenging aspect is the plot, making sure all the holes are filled and there are no loose ends. The most rewarding aspect is when I’m writing and the characters and/or story speak to me and the words flow onto the page.
Cate: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Linda: “There is realism to the story that only a few time travel authors can bring to the page.” Gail of Night Owl Romance. Comment about A Law of Her Own, a short time travel with The Wild Rose Press.
Cate: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Linda: I grew up on Phyllis Whitney, Anna Seton, Victoria Holt, Gwen Bristow, and others. I love Dorothy Garlock, Steven Hunter, Nevada Barr, Diana Gabeldon, Stephen King, and a variety of romance authors. I just finished reading Ciara Gold’s Julia’s Golden Eagle and am now reading Terry Spear’s To Tempt the Wolf.
Cate: What impact do electronic readers create on the bottom line for authors? Or in people/the environment in general?
Linda: Though I love paper books, I read mostly via my Ebookwise reader. It’s so convenient to use and holds so many books. My husband prefers to read on his Palm phone and I have books on my Palm also. Ebooks save trees. For me they’ve opened up room on my book shelves. They allow me to read all I want and have room keep copies of keepers.
Cate: Where can you be found on the web?
Linda: http://lindalaroque.com Check out the news page for the contest I’m hosting to celebrate the release of Flames on The Sky.
http://lindalaroqueauthor.blogspot.com I give away an ebook every month on my blog. A winner is drawn from those who leave a comment.
Cate: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Linda: Is there a theme, subject, or setting you feel writers have neglected and would make a good story?
Cate: Readers, Linda is giving away an ecopy of the first book in The Turquoise Legacy, My Heart Will Find Yours, to a random commenter... so start commenting. She'll pick a winner on the evening of Sunday, Nov. 1.