I must have said this over a hundred times now. I absolutely love carrying out author interviews. Today is no exception, especially when I have the wonderful Linda Prather She's also a New York Times Best Selling Author, and she's brilliant.
Anyway, this is what she had to say when I managed to ask her a few questions.
So Linda; first off I would like to say a big warm welcome, and many thanks for joining me today.
I understand you have already put pen to paper, and have something like ten books out at the moment. Three of those are from the deception series written with M A Comley, which are all brilliant, and I would to ask you about them later. But for now, I would like to ask you about your latest. It’s called, The Forgotten. So the first question is; What’s it all about?
It’s lovely to be here, Peter. Thank you for inviting me. The Forgotten is the first Loki Redmond and Jake Savior novel, two characters that first appeared in the Jenna James Legal Thrillers. Unfortunately, their major parts in that series were eliminated by a vindictive judge who ordered Jake Savior out of law enforcement for the remainder of his life. Readers requested more of Loki, and I truly loved Jake so I created this series.
The Forgotten is truly a crime thriller. It can’t be classified as a mystery due to the fact you know up front who the killers are. Loki and Jake become involved when Jake discovers a young girl with a baby running away from a man she calls the Devil. It doesn’t take long for readers to understand why she’s tagged him with that name. Robert Tatum is truly criminally insane, as is his mother. They’ve enjoyed years of vicious crime sprees across the United States, but this time they’ve made a mistake. To further complicate matters, Robert becomes obsessed with Loki, determined to take her power and ability to see into others. Haunted by dreams he doesn’t understand of a little girl, he believes once he kills Loki he’ll know how the dream ends. A fast-paced, not for the squeamish, thriller.
Linda, you have written many books now, but tell me, out of all the books you have out there, what’s your favourite, and of course, why?
I would waiver between the Catherine Mans Psychic Suspense and Jenna James Legal Thrillers and now the Loki Redmond/Jake Savior series. All the characters have become my friends and champions for justice.
Are any of your personal experiences written into any of your novels?
Ah, to tell or not to tell? Having worked with the judicial system and local law enforcement on murder cases, I think my need for closure in cases, and justice for the victims comes across in every novel I write. An attorney once asked me what I was writing when the trial was on break, and I laughed and told him I was describing scenes for a new novel, and developing new characters.
Now for everyone that hasn’t read any of your books. What would they gain from reading them?
I try to offer something new in every novel and can spend hours researching a small item just to write a paragraph. In Bet you can’t...Find Me I discuss Voodoo and Voodou. Many people aren’t aware there’s a huge difference between the two. One being deeply dark and negative, or what we commonly call evil, and one closer to the Catholic religion. To be honest I truly wasn’t aware that many symbols used were originally Christian symbols until I started researching this.
Are there any themes or messages in your books?
Good versus evil, and good doesn’t always win, and even when it does it often comes with a high price tag.
I mentioned before, you and M A Comley worked together and came up with the Deception series. They’re brilliant books and have been very well received; as have all of your others, I should add. Now, you are both very talented writers and it’s obvious to me you have both made a great team. What I would like to know is, how did this work? I mean, did one come up with a plot and the other the writing? Or was it something completely different? I would love to know, as obviously, whatever it was it worked.
Mel and I talked of writing a book together for years. There just never seemed to be enough time, or the right moment. Alexandra Fox came into my dreams, thoughts, and everyday life until she took over. Being British was going to make her a difficult character for me to write. I outlined a short scenario and sent it to Mel. We both started writing our scenes, and the books just flowed from there. We spend a lot of time talking about scenes, personalities and writing in general and then we put it all together and send it off to the editor. I’ve learned a lot about British law enforcement, as Mel has learned a lot about USA law enforcement.
Okay, so now moving a little away from your books and going towards you as a writer. I have a few questions for you.
First one, and I would love to know this. When you first heard those words, or perhaps read it somewhere; Linda Prather; New York Times Best Seller. What did you think? What was going through your mind at the time?
Oh, that one is easy. I picked up the phone and tried to call Mel. Of course my timing was off as it was probably around 2:00 a.m. her time, and she didn’t answer. I truly could not sleep the rest of the night.
How would you describe your own writing style?
Simplistic, and I try to keep it real to life as much as I can. Unfortunately our views have been skewed by what we see on television. Although I love these stories, I don’t know any law enforcement agency that can devote their entire time to one case, or any ME who can show up on the scene of every murder and spend their entire time working just that case. That doesn’t happen in real life. I try to keep my stories fast-paced and short in time-span. Most cases cover a span of days or at the most a few weeks.
Would you ever consider writing in another genre than what you are used to?
I have written one romantic suspense. It’s difficult as most of the time my characters take off on their own and lead me into scenes that turn even a short story into a crime thriller. Eternal Beauty is much more literary than anything else I’ve written, and I wrote what was to be a short, witty story called Food to Die Smiling For. It turned into a mystery. I go where my characters lead me.
What do you think is the most frustrating thing about being a writer?
Marketing. Without promotion and marketing it doesn’t really matter how good your book is, you’re going to fail or see only minor sales. I would much prefer to spend my time at the keyboard.
What would you say is the greatest challenge about writing a book?
Keeping the pace flowing, and still allowing the characters to develop in a way the readers connect with them as real people. Time would be the second biggest challenge. I often find myself waking at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. just so I can write.
I know this might be a common question. Because you have now written eleven novels, and each one obvious different, you must have to keep coming up with new and exciting ideas. So the question is’ where on earth do you get them from?
Someone once asked Carl Hurley, a Kentucky comedian, where he came up with his stories. His answer was his interactions with people, and life. He would sit in a Waffle House and listen to people talk and then he turned that into comedy. I spent years in the courtroom with murderers, child molesters, thieves, and generally some very bad people. I’ve seen murderers walk out of the courtroom on a technicality. I had the opportunity to work for some great judges, and some not so great; some great attorneys and some not so great. I’ve worked with some outstanding law enforcement officers and some not so upstanding. All of this comes out in characters and stories.
Personally, what do reviews mean to you as an author?
I love reviews that tell me what I did great, and what I did wrong. I get a lot of emails from fans, and I love those too. Knowing someone enjoyed the book, the characters and the story makes it much easier to write the next novel. In the beginning a bad review devastated me, but as the years passed I realized there were books that I hated, and if I were to review them I would have to give a one star or less. Reader’s views are personal, and everyone has the right to express their personal views.
Okay, now the last question. If for any reason you were unable to write; what would you do?
Several years ago I worked with rehabilitation center/centre for young women hooked on drugs. Most of them were pregnant, and ranged in age from fifteen to twenty-five. We talked for several sessions before we began work, and the one thing that stood out to me the most was none of the young people knew how to express their emotions through words. We worked on the power of words, and then they wrote a play and produced it for their family and friends. That period was an amazing time in my life. If I couldn’t write, I would work with children or even adults on the power of words to express yourself in a manner that allows you to “get it out” without anger, hate, and fear marring your conversational exchange with peers or family members and friends.
So, Linda. That just about wraps up our interview apart from me saying a great big thank you for doing this, and of course I wish you the very best of luck with, The Forgotten.
I’ve truly enjoyed talking with you, Peter, and I’m looking forward to your new release.
Thanks for that Linda.