Monday, April 11, 2011

Author Linda Emma

Who hasn't dreamed of being a writer...Jotting down anecdotes, creating memorable imagery through words, formulating unforgettable stories, weaving plots and tales with symbolism to be pondered...all in the name of expression. Linda Emma is one of those people who has followed her dream of becoming a writer. Her first novel, Prime Meridian, was published in 2009. It tells the tale of a middle-aged mom, Jenna, married to Kevin, and living the 'dream' in the small town of Meridian. The story unfolds as Jenna learns of the death of Dan, a college sweetheart and photographer for CNN on assignment in Iraq. Memories surface and Jenna struggles with the realities of her current life, and the possibility that she may NOT be living life to her fullest potential after all. I had the pleasure of speaking with Linda and gaining some insight into her world:

1. Tell us a few things about yourself.

"I graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Journalism. I have worked in Newspapers, Public Relations and the business world. I live in Topsfield with my husband, two children, and pets."

2. What are some favorite interests and did they lead to your pursuit of writing?

"I enjoy writing as a way of expressing myself. I write predominantly in the morning and give myself a deadline to complete certain tasks in order to stay on track. This book, Prime Meridian, represents a kind of new beginning for a middle aged woman with a seemingly happy life. She gets thrown a situation and development of the characters in the book begins. I enjoy exploring experiences, plots and outcomes based on a particular story line that often develops with twists and turns."

3. What is a typical day for you?

"A typical day is tutoring at Endicott College, in Beverly, Massachusetts, four days a week. The students are Communications majors and my role is to point them in the direction of resources. Students today are instructed very differently from the way we were taught. Currently, thesis writing is the norm, with supporting facts and conclusions to every paragraph written. Each paper is five paragraphs long, which is a good skill to develop, yet it doesn't necessarily help with creative writing. Sometimes the students need affirmation that they are, indeed, good writers, and they need someone to give them that push toward the possibility of making a living out of it."

4. What are some short term goals? Long term goals?

"A short term goal is to write everyday. With this book I started out writing five days a week, and progressed to seven days a week. It is written from a woman's voice for a women's audience, and I had to learn what to cut and what not to cut to effectively tell the story. For this book, I used a very talented art student to design the cover - Laura Kennedy who was a senior at Masconomet Regional High School. I solicited the help from friends, colleagues, relatives and teachers to read the draft and make comments. A long term goal is to write another book, and I am thinking ahead always to the next book... I feel a book is never finished, although it is technically finished once it is published with an ISBN number. "

5. What inspired you to write?

"Anything - if something happens with my children, if I bump into a friend...I try to write about things that I observe throughout the day. I need to express myself; it is a creative outlet. It took me a while to realize I am a writer. Now, I know it is as much as who I am as is my background and it is something I cannot change. To be published is to feel validated!"

6. How would you describe your writing style?

"If I am writing for a Newspaper, it is in the style of Journalism (who, what, why, where, when). If I am writing for a Book, it is in a creative style to paint a picture."

7. Do you have a favorite author?

"A favorite author depends on the mood I'm in at the time. I love many books and authors. My favorite investigative reporter of all time is Bob Woodward. "

8. What are some obstacles you had to overcome to publish your work?

"There are many obstacles and it can be quite a frustrating process. Cold calls and letters to agents and publishers and specifically finding a Literary Agent and Publisher who will take you on. It is daunting work, unless you wish to self-publish. I was successful finding a publisher in Oregon with Wyatt-MacKenzie."

9. Do you have a particular skill beyond the skill of writing that lends itself to success in writing a book?

"I would say a good skill is acknowledging I am a good writer, and being comfortable self-promoting my book. Publishing a book means success! Book signings, and appearances help spread the word about you as an author and affects the number of books that may be sold, which publishers are interested in. Another valuable skill to have is being a good editor."

Thank you to Linda for sharing some insights and success of her first novel
Prime Meridian. It is available on line at

1 comment:

white flower farmhouse said...

Such a nice interview. I wish Linda all the best with her novel.

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