Greetings from Marti Pieper in lovely, almost-summer Seneca, South Carolina. Now that we’ve moved to our new location, I live only a little more than an hour away from the subject of today’s interview, Linda Gilden. We haven’t yet connected in person in the few months I’ve lived here, but we were on a Zoom call together just the other day.
Welcome, Linda! I’m delighted to introduce you to our CAN readers. Please tell us about your book.
Why write articles? Articles can change lives, instruct, inform, and inspire. For writers, articles can be an exercise to hone your craft, help build your platform, and reach more people than books. Articles, Articles, Articles! will show you how to do all these things and more while supplementing your income as you sell and resell your articles to many markets.
Sounds great! Articles were some of my first published works, and I still write lots of them. What inspired you to write this book?
I am a believer in articles as a means of building your platform, honing your craft, learning how to write well and tightly, using articles to market other forms of writing such as books, and as a good source of income. I teach at writers conferences all over the country, and I have found many writers neglect this area of writing. Writing books seems so much more glamorous. However, I think in the long run, writers will see the tremendous benefits to writing articles.
I agree! Of course we know your book is about writing articles, but within that topic, what is its primary focus?
I hope there is something in the book for every level of writer. The primary focus of the book is how to write articles from format to publication. A close second to that primary focus would be how to get the message God has given you out to as many people as possible, as quickly as possible. Other instruction includes different types of articles and where to use them, markets that are easy to break in to, how to use articles to market your book, and what the difference is between print and digital articles.
That sounds great. What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope readers will read Articles, Articles, Articles! and discover an entirely new market and use for short pieces. I hope they will see articles as a way to use and reuse research, promote themselves and their work, and as a way to get their messages out to a larger audience. Writing articles is a particularly good thing to do during seasons such as the pandemic because editors do not have a storehouse of material on the subject, and it is on everyone’s mind every day, so they want to read about it. Digital magazines can publish your material quickly and in a timely manner. I also want readers to know that this is something they can do.
I have read, written, and edited articles on this topic, so I think you’re spot-on! What would be your ideal writing place? And … what’s your actual writing place like?
Personally, I love to write by the water. I love to do a writing retreat at the beach or near a lake. It seems that inspiration flows freely when I have a water view. I have a wonderful office at home where I write. There is no water, but the view just above my computer is of lush farmland and the beautiful outdoors, and I have a front-row seat on God’s amazing creation. I love hay baling season as well. Something about looking out across the fields and seeing the hay bales also reminds me of God’s provision and how his amazing world is all part of His one plan for us.
You mentioned how much you love seeing hay bales the other day! What is one thing about writing that you wish non-writers knew?
I know you asked for one thing. Actually there are several:
- Writing is hard work. Unless you feel called to be a writer and are passionate about getting your message to the world, I wouldn’t recommend you pursue writing, at least not full time.
- Writing is not a glamorous occupation. You will spend a lot of time alone, and a good percentage of that time will be trying to meet deadlines. (But you can do it in your pajamas!)
- Most books do not sell as well as you’d like. The average book from a new author sells fewer than 1,000 copies. So write books, but don’t just write books. Write articles and cultivate other markets for your writing. The reach of an article is many times the reach of a book.
Tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.
At my very first book signing years ago, I was, of course, so excited when the first person came by the table for a book. I had practiced several different inscriptions to find something that would be super inspirational and tried different ways to write my name. So I was ready to accommodate this first customer.
I smiled and said to the lady, “May I autograph your book for you? And would you like me to include your name?”
“Oh, no,” she said. “Please don’t put my name in it. Books don’t sell well at yard sales with names in them.”
Oh my! I’m sure the Lord helped you respond in a gracious way. And I’m also sure you have many answers for this next question: What ministries are you involved in, and why?
I am involved in many different ways in my church. I love working with ladies’ ministry and seeing women learn from each other. I started a writers group at my church about twenty years ago that continues to encourage and instruct writers. I work in the media department of the church and have overseen projects such as church directories, Christmas devotional books, church history book, etc. I also direct a writers conference that is held each year at my church. (fbs.org/writers)
My favorite ministry is the summer youth mission trip to Kentucky. I participated in this trip as a high school student and continue to go every year as part of the adult ministry team. We went to Kentucky and took about 250 youth and adults last summer for the 50th year. Every year, the Lord teaches us something new, and we see His hand in all the varied ministry that is part of this trip. In the beginning, participants think they are going to do ministry in that area of Kentucky, and they do. But the effect of this trip on those who participate is life-changing.
That sounds wonderful. Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
I have a four-legged writing assistant named Sophie. She stays at my feet most of the day. We also have chickens, and they are very congenial. I had no idea these noisy birds would become so involved in the family and provide so much writing material. They are interesting to watch, come running to meet us if they are out in the yard, and provide an amazing amount of ideas for articles.
What are your hobbies or activities or passions outside of writing?
I love to read, especially romantic suspense. So often my “reward” for finishing a project is to read a book. I am a fast reader, and so it usually just takes a day or two to read an entire book. Some of my favorite authors include Lynette Eason, DiAnn Mills, Terri Blackstock, Robin Jones Gunn, and Laura Scott. I prefer to spend most of my non-writing time with family. Any time you can be with those you love is a good time. My favorite activity is floating in the pool or a lake reading a good book while surrounded by splashing grandchildren.
All of that sounds wonderful. Now, please tell us about your next project.
My next book will be released later this year. It’s called the Linked Quick Guide to Personalities for Couples, coauthored with Linda Goldfarb.
Each of us is different, created with a unique personality that influences our actions and reactions.
There are four basic personality types:
- Mobilizer – your gets-everything-done person
- Socializer – your life-of-the-party person
- Stabilizer – your keep-everything-peaceful person
- Organizer – your everything-in-order person
Which one are you? Learning about the personalities broadens your horizons and gives you a base of wisdom for self-discovery and a positive approach to relationships. Living together as husband and wife provides the opportunity to see all sides of your mate. Understanding him or her and understanding yourself makes it easier to have conversations without acting or reacting in a negative way. This information will strengthen your marriage and grow the bond between you and your mate.
There are currently three Personality Quick Guides: the basic guide, Personality Quick Guide for Educators, and Personality Quick Guide for Parents. The couples’ book will be that fourth in the series.
Who needs a LINKED Personality Quick Guide?
- Anyone who values relationships and wants to make them stronger.
- Busy people who don’t have time for intense studies about personalities.
- Individuals who like information in a nutshell.
- People who engage with people on a regular basis—pretty much everyone!
Thank you so much, Linda! You’ve given us lots to think about, and I appreciate you sharing your wisdom as well as your books with us.
For His glory,