Let’s welcome Linda today as she talks all about her characters, writing, her latest book, and more. I LOVE author interviews, so let’s get started…
What process did you go through when you picked your characters’ names for Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking?
I usually use a variety of methods, including baby name books and census records, but I didn’t have to choose at all this time. Reid is a name I like and had planned to use for my next story, regardless, and I had also been thinking about naming sisters or roommates Jane and Alyssa. The lesser character names were more or less random.
Do any of your characters take over and write the book themselves sometimes? Who?
All of them! When they start talking to me and to each other, all I can do is take dictation as fast as I can. They often refuse to do or say what I suggest. I particularly enjoy writing mouthy women, and I can never shut them up.
What do you prefer: ebook or print? Why?
I infinitely prefer print for myself, but I’m glad some people like e-books, because they have a better royalty! I do see their convenience, but love books as physical objects, and I’m gratified to see that many younger people do too. Like Reid in Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking, I stare at too many screens when I’m working to want a Kindle for pleasure reading.
How long have you been writing? When did you decide to become an author?
My passion for the printed word began with my first Dick and Jane reader, and as soon as I figured out that somebody had to create those words, I knew I wanted to be a “book maker.” I wrote my first story, “Judy and the Fairies” when I was six, with a plot stolen from a comic book.
Sometimes the romance genre gets a bad reputation for being cliché and full of Fabios. How do you respond to that?
I suspect the people who say those things haven’t read any. Romances come in astonishing variety, from fluffy rom coms to grim romantic suspense, with heat levels from chastely sweet to extremely erotic. Most real men don’t look like Fabio, and romance novels are full of real men. Cliches are as often subverted as followed. In my novel The Rebound Effect, when Frank suggests he’d like to tear Teresa’s clothes off, she replies, “Yeah, well, I have to go back to work, so you’d better not tear anything,” and Alyssa in Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking warns Reid, “Don’t be corny.”
We all need a little inspiration in our lives. What’s your favorite quote and why?
“A novel in the making is, to its author, literally as huge as an ocean, no matter how mere a glass of water it may be to a reader.” – Richard P. Brickner, My Second Twenty Years. It reminds me to keep indifference and criticism in proportion. If readers don’t like my glass of water or just aren’t thirsty, it’s still my ocean, and I enjoy the swim.
Besides writing and reading, what are some of your hobbies?
I love to travel and look forward to resuming that soon. For the last several years, my sisters, oldest niece, and I have planned a big autumn trip together each year, most recently to Hawaii. I also like movies, photography, and visiting art museums and galleries, and I’m very lucky at Scrabble!
Software engineer Reid Lucas loves to cook and has a history of falling in love with married women. When he leaves his complicated past in Chicago for a job in California, he runs into trouble and must call a virtual stranger to bail him out of jail. Alyssa Knight, a tough street cop waiting for a church annulment from her passive-aggressive husband, is the roommate of the woman Reid calls for help, and she reluctantly provides bail for him. He falls for her immediately, and cooking for her is an act of love. She just wants to be friends, but they keep ending up in bed together. When his boss is murdered, Reid is a suspect—or is he the intended target?
At the door he kissed her goodbye and was surprised by her response. She met him more than halfway, her lips soft and willing. The scent of her hair and her subtle perfume filled his head with a dizzy sweetness. She had drawn a line—did she want him to cross it? Better not—such assumptions could be dangerous. Knowing what making love with her was like and being denied it was hard, but the longing he had for her now had nothing to do with the way their bodies fit together.
Linda Griffin is a native of San Diego and has a BA in English from San Diego State University and an MLS from UCLA. She retired as fiction librarian for the San Diego Public Library to spend more time on her writing. Her stories have been published in numerous journals including Eclectica, Thema Literary Review, The Binnacle, and The Nassau Review. Love, Death, and the Art of Cooking is her fourth romantic suspense novel from The Wild Rose Press, following Seventeen Days (2018), The Rebound Effect (2019), and Guilty Knowledge (2020).
Social Media Links:
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lgriffin08392487/love-death-and-the-art-of-cooking/ (Some of Reid’s recipes can be found here.)