Tuesday, February 2, 2010

In the Author Spotlight: Linda Poitevin

I'm so happy to welcome Linda Poitevin to the Author Spotlight.

Here's a little bit about Linda: Linda Poitevin lives just outside Canada’s capital, Ottawa, with her husband, three daughters, and a varied collection of animals. In her spare time, she gardens (organically), cans and freezes the family’s winter fruit and vegetable supply, knits (basically), crochets (better), and starts way more projects than she ever finishes. (Fortunately that doesn’t hold true of her books!) She loves spending time with her family, having coffee with friends, walking by the river and watching thunderstorms…in about that order.

Linda's latest is A Fairy Tale for Gwyn, available from The Wild Rose Press as an ebook or paperback. Linda's going to give us The Inside Scoop on her release. Take it away, Linda! And readers, you'll want to pay special attention to number 5! As part of her blog tour, Linda will be giving away a pair of artisan-crafted earrings as well as a $10 gift certificate to The Wild Rose Press (a total prize package worth $20) to one lucky commenter.

The Inside Scoop (Five things most people don’t know about A Fairy Tale for Gwyn)

Writers often draw their inspiration from real life, building characters and stories around actual places and events. A Fairy Tale for Gwyn began with such inspiration – here is some of the “story behind the story”:

1. Sometimes truth really is stranger than fiction. While Gwyn is an entirely fictional character, her back story is based in such truth. A former acquaintance’s husband went to the store one night after their second child was born and didn’t bother coming home again...and he didn’t call her for more than a week. I suspect her story isn’t an isolated one and I can’t even begin to imagine the sense of betrayal a woman must feel in those circumstances…or the strength she possesses in finding a way to go on.

2. The house Gwyn lives in is an actual home in the heritage district of Gatineau’s Aylmer sector. It’s a lovely, gracious old place, all red brick with sage-green trim, a covered front porch, the addition I describe in the book, and an amazing back terrace. And the really cool thing? I found out after completing the story that the woman who lived in the house at the time I was writing (she has since sold the place) was an architect who designed the addition on the back! I still go out of my way to walk or drive by whenever I can, and can’t help but wonder if the inside is anything like I envisioned.

3. I drew on my own experience with raising twins for the story. I have identical twin girls who are now in university, plus another girl (I’m a brave woman! ). While I wish I’d thought of the dot-to-dot idea when my twins had chicken pox, none of the incidents I use in the story are real. The scenarios aren’t far off the mark when it comes to the level of mischief, however, and yes, in my experience, twins really do look out for one another the way Maggie and Nicholas do. When they’re not fighting, of course!

4. The restaurant where Gwyn and Gareth have dinner is based on the one my husband took me to the night he asked me to marry him. It was in December, and he had a limousine pick us up and drive us around Parliament Hill (the seat of Canada’s federal government) to see the Christmas lights, and then up through Gatineau Park to the restaurant. The restaurant is called L’oree du Bois, French for The Edge of the Woods, and is nestled into the woods near the foot of a hill. No girl could ask for a more romantic setting, and if you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend it!

5. Gareth, complete with long hair and great physique :) was modeled after a character in a television series that ran for six seasons. Any guesses as to who that character was? I’ll give one randomly drawn, correct response an extra entry in my blog-tour draw for a set of artisan-crafted earrings and book gift certificate!

Here's the story blurb:
Gwyn Jacobs doesn’t believe in happy-ever-after.
Ever since her ex-husband walked out four years ago, abandoning her with a toddler and infant twins, Gwyn has been mother, father, and bread-winner all rolled into one. Her own scarred heart and failed marriage aside, she is determined not to open up her children’s lives to the possibility of another heartbreak...until her very own fairy tale falls into her lap -- and the hero won’t take no for an answer!

And here's an excerpt:
“It’s me. Did I wake you?” Rich, dark tones washed over her, velvet-smooth.
Gwyn clutched at the duvet and dragged it up to her chin. Her traitorous heart thudded against its confines. She swallowed. Cleared her throat. Managed a barely coherent, “No. I was awake.”
“Me too.”
She wiped sweaty palms against the duvet, one at a time.
“I miss you,” he said.
She squeezed her eyes shut and coached herself through the forgotten art of breathing. Inhale…exhale…
Gareth’s voice deepened, roughened. “Tell me you’re suffering as much as I am.”
“The truth.”
The ache that had started in her belly spread relentlessly outward. He wanted the truth. But how could she tell him something she was still trying to avoid acknowledging?
“Gwyn?” the deep voice prompted, with an edge to it that startled her. A rawness that echoed her own state.
“I’m here.”
She exhaled shakily and tightened her fingers around the receiver. “And I’m suffering, too,” she whispered.

Thanks again for being my guest today, Linda! Wishing you all the best with A Fairy Tale for Gwyn!


Brenda Gayle said...

Hi Linda
Love the story and love hearing about where you got your ideas--especially since I can recognize a number of the places you reference. As I was reading the book, I was envisioning Adrian Paul from the Highlander TV series as Gareth (the accent, the hair).
Keep up the great work.

Cate Masters said...

Thanks for stopping by Brenda!

Linda Poitevin said...

Hi, Brenda -- yes, I always like reading about familiar(ish) places too! Glad you're enjoying the story. :) I won't comment on whether or not your guess is right until tomorrow...but I'll definitely let you know then!

Thanks so much for commenting!

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Linda,
Ooh your husband is so romantic, no wonder you said yes to his proposal, how could a lady refuse?
Gwyns'story sounds marvelous, best of luck with it. Isn't it nice that you can drive past "the house" any time you want, book in hand I hope.

Alice Audrey said...

That's a pretty hot excerpt.

Kaylea Cross said...

Hi Linda. Woo-hoo, a fellow Canuck! I'm in Vancouver, gearing up for the Olympic rush.
Best of luck with this book. I love the idea, and I love that you set it at actual places so you can always remember your characters each time you drive by.

Linda Poitevin said...

Margaret, I think my husband is actually more of a romantic at heart than I am, so yeah, I'm glad I accepted! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Linda Poitevin said...

Why thank you, Audrey! *blush* :)

And thank you for coming by!

Linda Poitevin said...

Thanks, Kaylea -- and best of luck to you in the Olympic chaos! :) Any sign of it actually turning into winter yet? The organizers must be flipping at this point...so glad I'm not one of them!


Debra St. John said...

Oooh, great excerpt!

And I love that you based the house in the book on one you'd seen. It sounds amazingly cozy.

Linda Poitevin said...

It's a gorgeous house, Debra...I love everything about it except its location...so I changed that in the book! One of the things I like about being a writer...absolute power! :)

Thanks for coming by!

Autumn Jordon said...

Wonderful to read how you came up with the story and to learn more about you. I loved the excerpt. I need to tell the girls at work abou this. Wishing you mega sales.


Alice Audrey said...

No, no, Linda. Thank YOU.

Linda Poitevin said...

Thanks so much, AJ! Same wishes back at you! :)


Linda Poitevin said...

I see, Alice...in that case, you're welcome! ;)


Linda Poitevin said...

Brenda, you were the only one to hazard a guess and you were spot-on! So either I wasn't as subtle in my description as I thought, or you and I have a lot in common! :)

I'll put your name in for an extra entry in the tour draw...good luck!


P.L. Parker said...

Love that you use personal experience, places, etc., in your books. Nice to be able to use that information, makes the whole thing more real.

Brenda Gayle said...

Thanks Linda. I have fond memories of Highlander. I first saw it when I was visiting Paris with my husband. At the time, I didn't know anything about it or the movie that preceded it. It was fun watching it in French but Adrian Paul's accent was so much sexier in the original undubbed English.

Mary Ricksen said...

I was thinking of the Highlander too when I read the excerpt, just like Brenda. But I don't know...
Uh, just read the comments. I can't believe I was right!
Anyways Linda, good luck!
Hi Cate!

Anonymous said...

I've read about this book and was interested. Finding out some of the background of the story from this post helped to give me even more information. Thanks and good luck.

Cate Masters said...

Hello Mary sweetie! :)

Linda Poitevin said...

Mary, it's nice to know I'm not alone in my admiration of Duncan MacLeod, lol! Too bad you didn't take a guess at it, but your name still goes into the draw for commenting... :)

Leni, hello again! It's wonderful to see you here, too!

P.L., I agree, it is fun to write about familiar things that will be new to others...

Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone!