Today we’re chatting with talented writer, Linda Crowder.
Linda lives with her husband and a variety of happy pets in the wilds of windy Wyoming.
Thanks so much for joining us, Linda.
- Readers are interested in how familiar writers are with the locations in their books. Your Jake and Emma series is set in Wyoming. How long have you lived there?
I moved to Wyoming in 2006 and have spent the last ten years exploring the state. My husband is a third-generation Wyomingite and has been a wonderful tour guide. I can’t believe I grew up so close to Yellowstone and the Tetons and had never visited them until I moved here. They are spectacular and should be part of everyone’s summer vacation at least once.
- I understand that you grew up in Colorado and also lived in the Bay Area, but your new series is set in Alaska. Have you ever lived there?
I haven’t lived in Alaska, but I’ve been to towns very similar in feel to my imaginary Coho Bay. Unlike many tourists, I spend a lot of my time talking to locals about what it’s like to live there – the good and the bad so I hope they’ll feel their time talking to me was well spent when they read the new book. I’m returning for another two weeks in May and hope to be back on a regular basis.
- You are not only an author, but also a career coach. What exactly does a Career Coach do, and how does this work influence your writing?
Different coaches have different areas of specialization. Mine is working with people who’ve been laid off. I help them explore what they’d like to do next. Some want to jump right back into the work force, doing pretty much what they’ve done before so I help them be more competitive in doing that. Others want to step back and think about their next move and I help them explore what they might want to do next, then map out a strategy to take them there.
My work in nonprofit human services, which I did before I became a Career Coach, bubbles up in Emma’s career as a therapist and in Jake’s work in juvenile justice. I very carefully don’t base people in the books on people whose stories I’ve been privileged to hear over the years, but what I’ve learned about mental health and about how the courts work does find its way into the books.
- You have many pets and include them prominently in your books. What is your favorite real-life anecdote about one of your animals?
I have, at current count, seven cats and one incredibly patient dog. Ringo left me a couple of years ago and is now starring in my short stories about his exploits as a ghost cat. That cat had too much personality to say good-bye! One day he was sitting on the porch, flopped on his side in his lion pose, listening to my husband talking with his daughter and her fiancé. My husband made the mistake of saying that Ringo was too “fluffy” to catch a bird. Well, that cat stalked off the porch and was back not five minutes later with a bird! Caught and released, mind you, just to prove that he could.
- How delightful! Do you find that your readers connect more with your characters because of the character’s connection to their pet(s)?
I get emails and comments from readers who love that I write rescue animals into the lives of my characters. I’ve always had rescue animals and I absolutely love them. I’ve adopted kittens and puppies, but I have to say I’ve had the best luck with the adult dogs and cats I’ve brought home. They are much more easily introduced into the crowd I always have with me and they are so often passed by in favor of the babies. I encourage everyone to consider adopting an adult cat or dog.
- You are currently an independent author. From your experiences of doing all the promotion, etc. yourself, will you be looking to sign with a traditional publisher in the future?
I am looking at working with a small press for my Coho Bay series and we’ll see whether they like the book enough to offer me a contract. It’s a LOT of work being author and publisher in one and I would love to see some of that workload go off my shoulders. However, I won’t hesitate to publish independently in the future. It’s been a learning experience, but a satisfying one.
- Any advice for other indie authors?
Two things helped me most. First, join a really knowledgeable and supportive author’s group. There’s so much to learn but you don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Second, make the investment in an editor, even if only a line/copy editor. It makes a huge difference.
- Who designs your covers?
Carla Garcia, who is a graphic artist. I am her only covers. She normally designs websites and marketing material.
- Current work in progress? Plans for the future?
Coho Bay is with my editor right now. My next work is the fifth Jake and Emma book, A Body on the Ballot, which is currently in outline form. I am planning to spend a month in Texas next year, researching locations and culture as a setting for a work I’ve been tossing around in the back of my mind for more than a year now. I’d planned to write it after Death Changes Everything came out, but Coho Bay elbowed it’s way in and demanded to be written first. Books do that.
We will keep an eye out for Coho Bay and the next Jake and Emma. We have enjoyed sharing with you today, Linda. Thanks so much for stopping by.
Readers can sign up for notifications of new releases and promotions on your website, http://www.lindajcrowder.com/
See Linda’s Amazon Author page: http://smile.amazon.com/Linda-Crowder/e/B00A3AY5RG