Interview With Linda Carroll-Bradd
Linda Carroll-Bradd is a prolific author of romance fiction, with dozens of works under her belt. And the bounty isn’t about to end anytime soon: on June 28, her latest book, Sweet Inspiration, will be released by The Wild Rose Press. Linda joins us today to talk about her new book and its main character, her current work in progress, her twist on “write what you know,” and much more.
Welcome, Linda! Tell us a little bit about Sweet Inspiration.
This story came about as a result of a research trip I took with a couple of writing friends. We visited The Ozark Folk Center, a state park In Arkansas.
Who is Cadence Wills? What makes her tick?
Cadence is all about family and feels she needs to serve them however she can because they helped her establish her yarn business. But, secretly, she yearns for excitement someplace other than her hometown.
How did you get interested in the romance genre?
From reading scads of Harlequin stories when my children were little.
You have an impressive backlist. Which book is your favorite—and why?
Asking about a favorite story is like asking about a favorite child. Actually, my favorite hasn’t yet been released because I’m still fleshing it out. But a Christmas novella I released last year titled Snowflake Cottage has a tender spot in my heart because it truly has all the elements of a Hallmark holiday movie.
What are you working on now?
A story, Lightkeeper's Challenge, set in a northern California lighthouse in 1880 between two strong-willed people who think the spot when the main keeper goes on vacation should be theirs.
Do you have a specific writing routine or process?
I belong to two critique groups—both weekly on different days—and my goal is always to have about 1,000 words to submit for critique. When the deadline gets close, I buckle down and write 2-3,000 words per day or more, if needed.
Are you an outliner or a pantser?
I started years ago as a plotter, but now I write a sketchy outline, know my characters’ backgrounds, and then dive into the story.
Which element of novel-writing do you consider most challenging? Conflict. I’m forever grasping for things to push my characters apart so they have to work hard for the love relationship.
What comes first, character or plot?
Plot, because my process lately is I sign up for a multi-author project with a theme. With a few parameters, I need to sketch out a plot, then I plunk in characters.
Do you base your characters on real people or make them up from scratch?
Although a characteristic here or there might be from someone I know, mostly my characters are built from the bare bones outward.
What are you reading right now? American Eclipse by David Barton as research for an upcoming project.
What kinds of books do you like to read?
I read all romance genres, but also mysteries and thrillers for variety.
What’s your favorite book of all time?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In cooler weather, I crochet baby and child-size afghans for a local women’s shelter.
If people came with warning labels, what would yours say?
This woman speaks the truth, like it or not
Are you closer to being a hoarder or a minimalist?
Hoarder when it comes to writing-craft books.
What’s your favorite guilty-pleasure TV show?
Great British Baking Show.
What’s something that’s on your bucket list?
Travel to Australia.
What’s the best—or worst—advice you’ve ever received?
“Write what you know.” I’ve amended it to “Write what you can research well.”
Would you rather…
Lose the ability to read or lose the ability to speak?
Speak because sign language exists and I could still communicate.
Travel back in time or visit a far-off planet of highly intelligent, benevolent beings?
Back in time and get firsthand data for writing my historicals.
Be an amazing artist or a brilliant mathematician?
Artist because creativity feeds the soul.
Be able to fly or able to breathe underwater?
Fly because of the beautiful vistas.
Be lost in a bad part of town or lost in a forest?
Forest, because I’ve lived the last eight years in a national forest and have learned a few tricks.
Never have to clean a bathroom again or never have to do dishes again?
Clean a bathroom. I’ve lived without a dishwasher for eight years and don’t mind doing dishes.
Back Cover Blurb for Sweet Inspiration
Dependable Cadence Wills yearns for excitement. The owner of a yarn business, she is pulled in every direction by her demanding family. Haunting dulcimer notes draw her to a practice session where she spies an intriguing stranger.
Musician Rafe Frasco is a rover, bouncing between musical competitions. Interest ignites at his first glance at a woman enthralled by his music, who he learns has a heart big enough to encompass everyone within her reach.
A fantastic opportunity for Rafe presents Cadence with a dilemma—is she strong enough to negotiate the business deal that will take him away…maybe forever?
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As a young girl, Linda was often found lying on her bed reading about fascinating characters having exciting adventures in places far away and in other time periods. In later years, she read and then started writing romances and achieved her first publication--a confession story. Married with four adult children and two granddaughters, Linda now writes heartwarming contemporary and historical stories with a touch of humor and a bit of sass from her home in the southern California mountains.