Greetings from Colorado, where spring has made a comeback after last weekend’s big snowstorm. I’m Davalynn Spencer, welcoming Linda W. Yezak to our blog today.
So glad to have you, Linda. Please tell us a little about your latest title, The Bucket List Dare.
Love comes on a dare in this contemporary romance collection. Four college graduates, each turning 30, celebrate the milestone with a dare to do the biggest thing on their bucket lists. Adventures include traveling to Scotland, crashing a wedding, climbing a mountain, skydiving—and falling in love.
What is the primary focus of your novella in the collection, “Skydiving to Love”?
Fear, and God’s grace to overcome it, is at the forefront of my novella. In Skydiving to Love, my character didn’t know what she was getting into when she’d blurted “skydiving” as being on her bucket list. She didn’t know that she chose an adventure that terrifies her. Scratch that. Flying terrifies her; the idea of jumping out of a plane paralyzes her.
She feels obligated to follow through with it—she told her friends she would—but she can’t bring herself to do it. Because she has a history of self-reliance, she refuses help from the handsome man who has taken her under his wing. Can God help her let go and face her fears?
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
Though my story is humorous, deep-seated fears rarely are. We need to face them through God’s strength, let go of ourselves and whatever holds us back through His grace, and grab the lifeline He sends us through our brothers and sisters in Christ. He has not given us a spirit of fear.
What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
The greatest challenge was to come up with a reason, not for her fear, but for her reluctance to accept help. Because I’d created such dynamic scenes portraying her terror, and because I’d been so careful as to illustrate her reason for refusing to give up trying, I had to present a reason for her to refuse help that was equally strong. Although my heroine’s background isn’t like mine, I can totally relate to how she feels about self-sufficiency—I suppose because the attitude is one of my own.
What themes do you return to again and again in your writing?
My biggest passion as an author of Christian Fiction is to illustrate Christian principles through realistic application. I strive to show my readers how to put God’s word into action. Although I write to all adult women who love romance and women’s fiction, I feel like the spiritual audience for most of my novels are backslidden Christians who need to remember who they are and to Whom they belong. This is why forgiveness is a frequent theme.
Forgiveness is a requirement in every relationship we’re in, and we need to be reminded of it in all its forms. Forgiving others, forgiving ourselves, forgiving God and seeking His forgiveness, all these are vital to spiritual well-being. Often, the backslidden children of God need a reminder that “if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive.” I write to bring these lambs back into the fold.
What would be your ideal writing place? And…what’s your actual writing place like?
My ideal writing place would be in a forest with a body of water visible from my chair. My current writing place is in a forest with a body of water—a large pond—visible from my chair. The difference is, when I look out my windows and realize how dirty they are, I know it’s my responsibility to clean them. I want to work in a place where cleaning is someone else’s responsibility. Someone who will bring me coffee and snacks while I write.
When you find someone who fits the window-cleaning/coffee and snacks bill, please let me know! Until then, tell us about your funniest moment with a reader.
In my debut novel, Give the Lady a Ride, I took a New York socialite and gave her a lesson in faith from the back of a bull. Problem is, when I was describing one of the bull-riding scenes, I kept forgetting to call the animal she rode a “steer” and frequently used the two terms “bull” and “steer” interchangeably.
I got a note from a veterinarian in Georgia who caught me on my gaff. “You do know the difference, don’t you?” she asked.
Well, of course I do. I’m from Texas. I can’t believe I missed it, and what’s more, I can’t believe the ranchers who read the novel missed it, not to mention editors, proofreaders, beta-readers…
Tell us about your most touching moment with a reader.
In that same novel, in a touching scene where the heroine saves a calf caught in the fence, the hero tells her that God hears her prayers, just as she’d heard that bawling calf. I heard from a reader who said she’d needed that message in that point of time. Reading her note was the most inspirational and humbling experience in my writing career.
Do you have an unfulfilled dream?
I never outgrew my love of horses or my desire to own, raise, and train them. My father was raised on a farm in deep south Georgia, my mother’s family owned a ranch in central Texas. Me, they raised as a city girl. So unfair.
Last time I tried to ride a horse, I couldn’t lift myself into the saddle. I moved my mount closer to a pen rail, climbed the fence, and slung one leg over his back. The moment he felt that, he started moving away, and I realized how difficult it was to do the splits past the age of 50.
Horses aren’t in my future, but when my husband and I move back closer to home, he promised I could have donkeys. Cute-faced little burros. I can live with that.
What do you read for pleasure? What are you reading right now?
I read everything. Currently, I have a cozy mystery and a historical romance open, along with a how-to book on writing mysteries—another unfulfilled daydream.
Do you have pets, and do they inspire your writing or hinder it?
I’m down to one cat now, Purr Box (PB) the rescue cat. She insists that she is the original laptop and resents my Hewlett Packard. However, she is nothing if not generous. She donates her fur to the keyboard and rubs her chin endearingly on the corner of the screen. Then she settles on the leg support of my recliner and sleeps until I have no choice but to get up.
There’s something about a sleeping cat. I’m hesitant to disturb her. As long as she’s there, I have to work. She leaves me no choice.
Tell us about your next project.
Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection – Seven authors join together to create a fun contemporary romance/women’s fiction collection centered around the newest craze in America—tiny houses. Whether building it, owning it, or putting it on wheels, each character finds contentment in 400 square feet of Home.
Thanks for sharing your writing life and dreams with us today, Linda.
For more from Linda, visit her website and blog.
Betty OwensMay 5, 2017 - 05 : 12 : 41
Love this, Linda! Especially the bull and steer part. We always have “misses” — and sometimes they’re memorable ones. Thanks, Davalynn for hosting Linda, a writer of delightful and inspiring stories.Reply