Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Introducing Debut Author Linda Rondeau

Award-winning author, LINDA RONDEAU, writes for the reader who enjoys a little bit of everything. Her stories of redemption and God’s mercies include romance, suspense, the ethereal, and a little bit of history into the mix, always served with a slice of humor. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, mother of three and wife of one very patient man, Linda now resides in Florida where she is active in her church and community.

Writing is a journey. How did your journey to publication begin?

I have always been attracted to story, and my parents struggled with my overactive imagination. Over the years, I was taught to channel my thought life into more preferred behaviors but the writer in me could never truly be silenced. I wrote as a hobby for pleasure and for my local churches, never believing that perhaps I could write professionally some day. However, some day came. On June 21, 2000 God called me from the hubbub of life. "Will you write for Me?" I answered, "Yes." The road has been bumpy, thorny and full of bruises as I studied the craft and managed to publish on a smaller scale, even obtaining an agent. Finally, eleven years to the date (June 21, 2011,) I received the call from my agent notifying me of my first book contract offer.

Reflecting back, what do you see as most significant to your publication journey?

I think God had to settle two things in my life before taking my writing to a more public level. First, I needed to learn that my writing was only a part of the call and actually a privilege that He bestowed upon me. I had to learn that God is more interested in my being than my doing. His perfect will for me was not that I produce a lot of books, but that I walk with Him daily. Secondly, as to the craft, I needed to learn that story is king. Because I’m a former English teacher, I love the sounds of words and the challenge of turning a phrase. But this does not make a story no matter how cleverly words are strung together. I needed to get me out of my stories and focus on the elements that make a story come alive.

What’s your biggest challenge in balancing writing time with your other responsibilities?

I am retired so that is a blessing for my writing, although I have managed a few part time jobs since I left my field of human services. Still, I have a husband and family. These are my life, the writing merely a sideline. The challenge comes in remembering that all important principle. Jesus said, “The poor you will always have with you.” There will always be another story yearning to be told, but my family will not always be with me or I with them. I treasure those moments when I can be with children and grandchildren.

How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?

A friend who does not profess Christianity told me that who you are will subconsciously roar through what you write. I need to guard against making writing an idol, yet, at the same time, I worship when I write. I ask God to show me where He wants my stories to go. Sometimes, that direction is vastly different than my initial conception

What do you think makes your style of storytelling unique?

I worked in human services for nearly thirty years. I think that gives me a perspective into people, family dynamics, fears, needs, and overcoming obstacles. My stories are character driven rather than plot driven. Also, I have spent over thirty years in Community Theater as an actor, director, and producer. These experiences have shaped the way I develop characters in my stories. On stage, I become the character in thought and deed. In writing, the process is much the same. Although, sometimes I need to remember that I’m not Jonathan Gladstone when I go to a store!

Finish this sentence. The best piece of advice I can give to a new author is-

Be patient. Give yourself time to develop your voice and style. Too often new writers are in a hurry to get published. It’s like eating green bananas. Give yourself some time in the sun before you rush to get an agent or self-publish.

Cubby Hole, corner of the couch, or office, where do you write?

Like my manuscripts, my office is still a work in progress. I moved into this house in October but am waiting to be rejoined with my husband who remains in the North Country until he retires in June. I still have possessions in Malone, New York waiting to be moved to Florida. At that time, the office will be a shared work space and I have no clue what it will look like until he gets here. The photo is my temporary set up.

What writing tool (Flip Dictionary, workshop, index cards) have you found to enrich your writing?

All the above. I keep computer files on ideas and visit those from time to time. I keep hard files of ideas, too. I refer back to my writing helps books to refresh myself on basic writing techniques. I read a minimum of 50 pages a day and am trying to read even more. I’m a slow reader. I also keep stuffed animals in my office. They “talk’ to me and give me ideas. When I actually hear them talk, then I know I need to get out more.

What’s next for you?

My agent is pitching older manuscripts and my newest one, a contemporary novel about a small town talk show host who broadcasts a show for parents but whose personal home life is in shambles. While saucy and funny, the novel does have serious elements.

Any parting words?

Thank you for letting me be a part of Novel Rocket. As an added bit of information, I am the owner and founder of Pentalk, a support community for writers of all genres, both CBA and general market. You can find our pages on Facebook and our blog, Pentalk Community on the Internet or link from my website. For more information email pentalkcommunity@gmail.com

The Other Side of Darkness

These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them. I will lead the blind by ways they have not known. along unfamilar paths I wil guide them. Isaiah 42:16

After setting out on a forced vacation, and literally running into a moose, Manhattan Assistant D.A. Samantha Knowles finds it’s not so bad beng stranded in the quirky but intriguing Adirondack town of Haven. But when her three-year prosecution against convicted killer, Harlan Styles begins to unravel, she’s thrust into a whirlwind of haunting memories, fear and danger. Suddenly, Haven isn’t so safe after all.

With not future in Haven and no way to escape the small town, teacher Zack Bordeaux fears he’s doomed to a life of mediocrity. Haunted by the deaths of his wife and son, landscape artist Jonathan Gladstone feels bound to an estate he both loves and loathes. But when Zack and Jonathan meet Samantha, their lives take on a different course.

Three lives interwined, tied together by dangerous circumstance and the faint echoes of an elusive hope. To make it through, each must find their way to the LIght that’s found only on the other side of darkness.


Linda said...

Thanks for hosting me today.

Patty Smith Hall said...

Thanks for coming by--In your interview, I was struck with how you feel writing is a kind of worship because that's how I've always felt too! Most times, I get up from my chair wondering how I wrote what I did, only to be reminded that I wasn't alone--God was with me!

Great Interview!

Gina Holmes said...

Linda, what a treat to see you featured today!

Krysti said...

I love your book blurb! I just finished watching the latest episodes of Haven posted on Hulu, and find it intriguing that you set your book there too! You couldn't have picked a lovelier setting!

Nicole said...

Sounds intriguing, Linda.

Elaine Stock said...

Linda, great interview! Blessings on the release of your debut novel. The current one--about the talks show host--sounds fun.

I'm going to Tweet about this interview.