Friday, September 4, 2020

Life and Love = Great Reading

 The real life stories told by authors about how they write their books can be as fascinating as the fictional stories they tell. That's why I enjoy hearing from authors every week about their newest books.  This week, my author guest is Linda Nightingale.

What are some of the challenges of being a writer?

Time management is #1 on my list. I’m retired. I have all day to write, right? Nope. I need my space—the entire house alone—to write. That might sound selfish, but what the hey, I live alone. Most of the time. Lately, a friend has been spending quite a bit of time here, and that means no writing during that period. There are other life instances that get in the way—errands, doctors’ visits, pouring wine, and other fun stuff. Not complaining, mind you. For the past several months, I’ve had little writing time, and I get cranky. Writing is an escape, a trip to another country, city. or planet. I meet new people and make new friends. Writing keeps me sane. (My friends might dispute the sane part).

 Tell us about your road to publication.

 I don’t think we have time to travel that road. It was a dark, stormy night, and the journey ahead was long, the path shadowy. Many times, she thought she could go no farther; wanted to quit. Ahem. I began writing in the latter part of the last century. I had won awards but was having no luck with publishers or agents. At that time, I did manage to hook a series of three different agents, but nada. The world of publishing wasn’t ready for me and my vampires, angels, and various other paranormal creatures. (Believe it or not, back in the dark ages of romance readers hadn’t yet fallen in love with these svelte supernaturals. One time, after a convention, Berkeley actually called and asked if I had anything other than vampires. I said no, and that was that.

 In 2009, I met an editor from The Wild Rose Press at a convention. I submitted a short story called Black Swan about mortals who willingly donate their blood to vampires for the sensual euphoria of the vampire’s kiss. Callie Lynn Wolfe accepted the story, and I was a published author! I’d found a home for my vampires. No. At the time, TWRP accepted only romance, and my books bordered more on straight paranormal.

 At long last in 2012, a friend encouraged me to send a book to her publisher in Canada.  I submitted a book I thought would never be published. My bathroom looked very nice papered in rejections. Within two weeks, the publisher called and told me he wanted to contract Gemini Rising. The reason I thought the book would never be publishable was that it deals with a subject most publishers won’t touch. It’s a tender, psychological study of incest between twins. Lot’s Cave Publishing has now republished Gemini Rising as Her Brother’s Wife under my pen name Bianca Swan.

 How do you come up with your characters?

 The character walks up and talks to me. When another character mounts the stage, he or she introduces that first character, usually the hero. So, it continues as each of my characters tells me his/her part of the story, be it long or brief. Admittedly, this can lead to thrown-away page and lots of polishing. Usually, I don’t even have to search for a name. The first character comes to me full-blown and complete. For minor characters, yes, I have a names book. It’s rare I use it. I know this sounds a bit psychotic, but I do hear my characters’ voices and see them moving about the stage. Strange, perhaps, but I’ve been told by other writers (other psychos?) that they do, too.

 How do you come up with plots?

  I let the character tell me, and the story unfolds like a movie before my eyes. That’s when the white-hot stream of creativity hits me, and I let it wash me along.  There are times when each word is a struggle. Then I pour wine, and I don’t care if it’s good or not. Anything sounds better with wine. LOL. (I have a dish towel that says For a happy woman, just add wine.) When I’m in that creative zone—not the wine, kidding about the vino—I don’t eat, answer the phone, or see daylight. I love to write before dawn while the rest of the world is still sleeping.

 Tell us about your latest book.

A “What if” robots had feelings, the ability to love, and were exactly like human outside while inside a tangle of circuits and wires. This happened in the early 2000s. I thought how close we were to this goal and wanted to get into robotics before someone stole my ideal (I’m as non-scientific as can be).  I entered Love for Sale in a contest for short stories and won. Promptly, I filed my pretty certificate away and forgot Love for Sale.

 In 2015, the hero Christian woke me up one morning demanding me to pick up my pen and finish their story.  What story? It was done, finished, over. Had won a contest and been filed away. Right? But that “what if” kept bugging me. A glance at the calendar told me I still had time to make my mark in the field of robotics (haha), and I finished LFS, sent it, and almost fainted when Love for Sale was accepted by The Wild Rose Press., not Callie, but later I submitted another of my books to her. She has been my editor from then until now.


What made you write it?

 Life for Sale is my new release and the book I’d intended to talk about, but I’m easily distracted. I wanted to do a series. I had an idea for a continuation of the story about the sentient (I’d learned a new word) androids. I was at a standstill on another story. Christian knocked on my head, and I began to write the second in the Tomorrow’s Angels series. If I could change anything, I’d cut down the number of love scenes and cool them down in Love for Sale. I might then get more attention from sci-fi fans.

Mayfair Electronics has created life. But four of their Special Editions -- sentient androids indistinguishable from human have escaped. 

Rebel Christian Aquillard and his owner, March, are on the run, but they have a bigger problem than rhis creator's plan to destroy him. They've discovered that one of the renegades has suffered a dangerous malfunction , threatening them with more than just  exposure. Trapped on a cruise ship  in the middle of the Atlantic, March and Christian must stop the insane robot before someone  else dies. All the evidence points to March being the killer's next victim. 

 Sounds like fun!  Any advice for beginning writers?

 I’m not a good one to ask (see above Road to Publication), but I think I could condense it to a few words: Believe (in yourself and your writing) and Persevere. Do it for Love

You’ll still need this belief and love of the art/craft when the rejections come or later when you get a bad review. Maybe, you’ll be one of the lucky ones to whom success comes with the first stroke of your pen.

 Remember in Romance, dreams do come true—and if you’re a romance writer, I guess it follows that you make dreams come true.

 What’s your next project?

 World Peace. Oh, writing. I’m working on a contemporary western for a series call. The series is primarily historical, but they are accepting a few contemporaries.  It’s called The Wylder Years. I have 42 thousand+ words and about three more chapters, then it’s off to one of my beta readers, then zip off to my editor. Then comes the nail-biting.

 When Ashton Colter was twelve, his mother divorced his father and returned to her native England. Fifteen years later, his father died, and he was called back to Wylder to manage Marathon Ranch. Can he manage the sassy little ranch hand with her own agenda? Especially when their agendas for Marathon are at opposite ends of the spectrum—and he’s way too attracted to her. After all, she is one of his employees.

 Thanks for hosting me, Rebecca. It was nice meeting your friendly readers.

How can readers get in touch with you?



  1. Great interview! I'm jealous of your white stream of writing light. I need that!


Pulling Back the Curtain

These days escaping into another world with a great book can be very relaxing.  It's why I am always looking for another book to read.  ...