Today’s guest in My Writing Corner, Linda Griffin, touched me with the answer to the first question I asked her. She is a native of San Diego and is a retired librarian for the San Diego Public Library. (I remember one of my first stops when I moved to San Diego many, many years ago was a visit to the library there.)
Linda has now retired so she can spend more time on her writing, but she already has an impressive background and history. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including Eclectica, Thema Literary Review, The Binnacle, and The Nassau Review. Her latest book, Love, Death and the Art of Cooking is her fourth romantic suspense novel from The Wild Rose Press. It was released in August. In addition to the three R’s—reading, writing, and research—she says she enjoys movies, Scrabble, and travel.
Tell us about your road to publication.
My passion for the printed word began with my first Dick and Jane reader, and as soon as I figured out that somebody had to create those words, I wanted to be a “book maker.” I wrote my first story at the age of 6 and had my first publication in college. My first novel was published in 1994, but the publisher soon folded. I never stopped writing, but it wasn’t until I retired that I became a frequent contributor to literary journals. I had two manuscripts rejected by The Wild Rose Press before they accepted Seventeen Days, and both were later revised and accepted. I couldn’t be happier with my experience with this publisher.
What do you find is the most challenging part of being an author?
The biggest challenge is when the level of creativity in the universe is low, and my characters won’t talk to me. When they do, it’s often during the night, which is a different kind of challenge! Editing is a challenge too, but to me an enjoyable one. I love the whole process of working with my wonderful editor, Nan Swanson. Then there’s promotion, which is hard for most authors, because writing is a solitary pursuit, and it can be hard to put ourselves out there.
What advice do you have for beginning writers?
Read! Read widely for background and more comprehensively in the genre you want to write. Reading a lot of different writers will help you develop your own unique style. Keep trying—you never know when a story will find the right home. In his memoir, My Second Twenty Years, Richard P. Brickner says that a novel is as large as an ocean to its author, but a mere drink of water to a reader. Use that idea to keep criticism and indifference in perspective and just enjoy the swim!
What is your latest book and how did you come up with the idea to write it?
Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking is a romantic suspense novel about a man who loves to cook. Although I don’t share his ability—my best kitchen skill is dishwashing—I love reading and writing about food and cooking, so I’ve wanted to write a story like this for a long time. The idea for the suspense plot came from a “what if” question that arose out of a completely different story. As often happens with me, putting two different ideas together started the words flowing.
Let’s get a blurb:
She wants to be friends, and he wants so much more. Software engineer Reid Lucas loves to cook and has a history of falling in love with married women. When he leaves his complicated past in Chicago for a job in California, he runs into trouble and must call a virtual stranger to bail him out of jail. Alyssa Knight, a tough street cop waiting for a church annulment from her passive-aggressive husband, is the roommate of the woman Reid calls for help, and she reluctantly provides bail for him. He falls for her immediately, and cooking for her is an act of love. She just wants to be friends, but they keep ending up in bed together. When his boss is murdered, Reid is a suspect—or is he the intended target?
What’s your next project?
The next one is called Bridges. It’s set in 1963 and has a more old-fashioned tone and a classic romance trope—a reluctant heiress who has to marry to keep her inheritance. Unlike my romantic suspense novels, this one is a sweet, slow-burning romance with no murder--the only body is at the grandfather’s funeral! It will be my fifth from The Wild Rose Press.
That sounds like a wonderful story idea, one I know I want to read! Here are Linda’s social and buy links if you would like to reach out to her.
Some of the recipes Reid uses can be found here:
Thank you Linda for being my guest today. Are there any questions or comments for her?