Now, to the interview. I started with Lin because she's a good friend of mine and because she believes, like I do, in helping writers out.
Enjoy the interview!
Tell me about yourself. What got you started in writing?
I’m a retired school librarian who loves reading, books and writing especially non-fiction books as a
source of learning about any topic of interest. Throughout my life I’ve written many family histories
in my pursuit of genealogy research. After my retirement, I‘ve had more time for writing and
developing my talents in this area. I joined several local writing groups: Heritage Writer’s Guild-part
of the League of Utah Writers and Dixie Poets-a chapter of the Utah State Poetry Society. I teach
community education classes on writing your life story, poetry, and finding your voice through
writing. I’ve blogged daily for the last 6 years and write a weekly column for the Senior Sampler
newspaper in St. George. See my blog at http://lettersfromlin.blogspot.com.
How and where do you write? Do you prefer a lap top or do you prefer writing freehand?
I mostly write on my desktop or laptop computer. Although if an idea comes while I’m away from my computer, I carry a little notebook in my purse to jot down the idea before it’s gone. I find sometimes that I wake in the night with some of my best ideas and if I don’t quickly write them down, they are gone by morning...lol!
What's your favorite part about writing? Your least favorite part about writing?
I love the creating part of writing, brainstorming a new idea for a different approach or hook to interest my reader. I enjoy writing a weekly column for a local newspaper with the pressure or deadline to come up with a different topic each week. My column is called LOOKING BACK... I’ve been writing it for four plus years now and have made several collections of my columns into books I’ve self published. More on that later. My least favorite part of writing is finalizing the editing and then the MARKETING!!!
How do you come up with your characters? Why would readers want to get to know them?
I write mainly non-fiction about real people who I find more fascinating than fictional characters.
Looking back at the good old days and comparing times and exploring differences in how we live our
lives now and then, capturing the contributions and memories of my ancestors and family is
important to me as well as helping others find their voice through writing.
I do a lot of marketing via my weekly columns and in local newspapers with press releases. I also teach community education classes and utilize my books to further the curriculum I teach. I have a blog where I sell my books through PayPal and also Amazon.com, book fairs, and regional writers conferences . Haven’t done any book signings yet. Just getting started.
How do you schedule your writing time?
I write everyday. As I’m retired, I would say writing is my number one hobby.
When do you write?
I write every morning, some afternoons and most evenings. Whenever an idea comes I’ll capture it on paper or on the computer. I also blog daily and find this a great place to store and explore ideas that I can later use in my writings, my columns, and books. No time for writer’s block.
What are you currently working on? Do you have a new book out?
I’m self publishing my fifth book: DISCOVER YOUR VOICE AFTER DIVORCE: Writing Workbook for Healing and Recovery. This book helps the reader explore the therapeutic benefits of journaling through guided questions to discover his or her voice or authentic self after divorce. I take you through the steps of healing and recovery while sharing my journey through original free verse poetry. Don’t miss this opportunity to begin a more joyful, creative life filled with hope. Chapter headings include: What is Voice, Inner Voices, Act don’t React, Making New Dreams, Fill Your Well, Finding Hope, and Starting Again.
My other books are:
(1) LOOKING BACK AT THE GOOD OLD DAYS-remembrances of my grandparents who lived in rural Utah-hunting pinenuts, outhouses, Saturday night baths, etc.
(2) FIND YOUR VOICE: Write Your Life Story-contains help on how to get started writing, plus editing and publishing tips as well as an example of chapters from my own life story.
(3) NATURE NOTES FOR KIDS-an award winning collection of my children’s poems about animals. Won $750 prize from the Utah State Division of Arts and Museums, 2nd place for Juvenile books in 2011.
(4) FAMILY HOME EVENINGS FOR EMPTY NESTERS AND SINGLES-a resource book of 52 lesson handouts, music and links to materials available online on the topics of gospel doctrine, family history, relationships, provident living and self improvement. Also available as an e-book from amazon.com.
Do you have a project on the back burner? Tell me about it.
My next project will be a collection of my nature photos taken throughout the years combined with my original free verse poetry. I’m planning a small coffee table type book in color. Another future book I also have in mind is a collection of my spiritual experiences I’ve had ‘throughout the years. Kind of a mini-biography, but focused on the spiritual aspects of my life-an inspirational book for all ages.
What would you tell a beginning writer who wants to publish but doesn't believe he/she has enough talent?
It’s important to find your passion or talent in life. If it’s writing, remember that it’s a skill that can always be developed and refined. Join a local writers group for critique help and ideas for improvement. Write everyday, any talent can be developed if you are willing to spend the time. Don’t take rejection of your manuscript or words personally, but learn from it to improve your writing. You can always write better. Pursue your passion.
Learn more about Lin at: