Linda, thank you for joining us today. Please give us a brief overview of your latest title.
A romance writer and her estranged publisher-husband spend a summer together in their Connecticut estate, a home with a tainted past. When a reconciliation seems possible, malignant forces threaten to keep them apart. Only faith can heal their marriage and expel the evil in the home.
What an unusual premise. Why did you write this book?
Satan doesn’t like a happy marriage. He will use whatever interruptions, conflicts, or ghosts of our pasts to infiltrate the bonds between a husband and wife. I wanted to illustrate this fact through the setting of a supposedly haunted house, an 18th-century estate with a tainted past surrounding the American War of Independence. My main characters, though exposed to Christian truths as children, are not believers at the beginning of the story. Though the couple love one another, the marriage is torn because of self-interest – perhaps the greatest pull against marriages today. I wanted to show how Satan will use whatever misconceptions we harbor to divide and conquer – even the belief of apparitions as an excuse to perpetuate an estrangement.
Sounds like an uncovering of some of our enemy’s unrecognized weapons. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
God is in the business of healing, and he is greater than any scheme Satan can devise.
Did you face a particular spiritual challenge in writing this book?
Because of the paranormal scenes in the book, I needed to have prayer cover. Satan does not like to be mocked, nor does he want Christians to be savvy to his devices. I felt oppression, not just on my account. Those who strove to see the book published also experienced oppression. Prayer works, and God’s will cannot be circumvented. Much interest in the book was shown by major publishers; however Satan continued to cause disruption, and the book struggled to see daylight. I am grateful to Elk Lake Publishing, Inc., for standing by this work and their willingness to publish.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
My writing motto is, “God changes our worst past into our best future.” This theme is prominent in all my fiction and nonfiction as well.
What a powerful truth to drive your writing. Is there anything about the writing process that you wish non-writers knew?
People always ask, “How’s the writing going?” When I share my struggles, they don’t quite understand. Many non-writers take for granted the long process from the first word written to the final publication of a work. Just as a patient may not fully appreciate the many years of study a physician experiences in order to minister effective treatment for his patient. Understanding the process, however, does not impede the benefit. Non-writers often fail to realize the study, research, love, and prayer accompanying a Christian manuscript. Writers are understanding of the fact, a lack of appreciation for our efforts will not impact a reader’s enjoyment of the work.
Do you read for pleasure? If so, what are you currently reading?
When I became a managing editor for my publisher, my personal reading became a luxury. Now that I’m semi-retired from this position, I am enjoying my personal reading again. I am currently revisiting the classics and past best-sellers. Good stuff I perhaps did not appreciate in my student years. I am incorporating insights into my “Friday Fiction” and “Tuesday’s Treasure” posts in my blog for 2023 – what readers should know and gain from the book and what writers can learn. Having a lot of fun with this. First up is Pilgrim’s Progress. Next is Go Tell it On the Mountain. Next is Sense and Sensibility, and I am currently working on The Sound and the Fury.
This sounds like a lot of work, though enjoyable. Do you also have a “day job” or a previous career that influences what or how you write?
I worked for nearly thirty years in human services, primarily with Social Services, having worked in Family Services, Adult Protective Services, Medical Services, Child Protective Services, and as a school liaison caseworker. I worked for Office for the Aging for several years and also served as Director of Social Services for a small Northern New York hospital and a nursing home. For a few years after I retired, I worked with Healthy Heart, an organization providing smoking cessation programs and community education to promote a healthy heart lifestyle. Also, during retirement, I provided supervised visitation for families whose children had been removed from the home. All these experiences have deepened my appreciation for the intricacies of interpersonal relationships, how circumstances and environmental influences fracture those relationships. And I have witnessed how God can bring healing in any area of human interaction.
What incredible insights for a Christian author. Do you have another book in the making?
Lessons Along the Way, a three-volume devotional series, is planned to be released in the near future by Elk Lake Publishing, Inc. These devotional thoughts are adapted from my column in a Northern New York newspaper over a period of ten years. Each volume consists of thirty devotions with Scripture reading and prayer.