Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Monday, April 29, 2013

An Interview with Author - Linda Wood Rondeau

Lagniappe Welcomes...

Author - Linda Wood Rondeau

Linda was kind enough to answer a few questions for Lagniappe. I hope you enjoy meeting Linda through her answers. First a little about her:

Linda is the winner of the 2012 Selah Award for best first novel The Other Side of Darkness/Harbourlight,  LINDA WOOD RONDEAU, writes stories of God’s mercies. Walk with her unforgettable characters as they journey paths not unlike our own. After a long career in human services, Linda now resides in Jacksonville, Florida.
Linda’s best-selling Adirondack Romance, It Really IS a Wonderful Life, is published by Lighthouse of the Carolinas and is available wherever books are sold.
These books are also available in ebook format along with her other ebooks by Helping Hands Press: I Prayed for Patience/God Gave Me Children and Days of Vines and Roses. Songs in the Valley is scheduled for release this fall by Helping Hands Press.
Readers may visit her web site at or email her at  or find her on Facebook, Twitter, PInterest, and Goodreads.   

Tell us about yourself and how you began writing.

Growing up, I loved to tell stories to younger children on the bus. I began to write them down. When I grew up I continued to enjoy writing as a hobby—poems, skits, and church plays. In my career in human services, I enjoyed writing case histories. One day, God called me and said, “Wouldn’t you like to write for me?” I thought about it but there was work, and kids, and responsibilities. Finally, in a dramatic way, God impressed me to write professionally. I have not regretted it since. In 2001, I was awarded writer of the year award at Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference. In 2012, I won the award for best new novel. It’s been a long, difficult journey. But like the promise I made my husband when we got married, “Never a dull moment.”

Tell us about your latest book and what inspired you to write this particular book?

My most recent release is Days of Vines and Roses. It is the story of a romance writer and her estranged publisher husband. The disarray of the centuries-old gardens, the one beauty Henry sees when he visits, prompts him to spend the summer with Sylvia in their Connecticut home. As the couple move toward reconciliation, malignant forces within the home seem determined to keep them apart.

Sylvia is under a deadline and their gardener has quit. She convinces Henry to rescue the rose gardens overrun with vines. Henry doesn’t have a clue about much in life, particularly gardens. He hires a gardener who’s as mysterious as the ghostly apparitions in the ballroom. Henry is desperate to free himself from his hasty agreement to oversee the massive renovations of the rose gardens. But being in close proximity with Sylvia stirs their love. As reconciliation seems possible, the paranormal activity intensifies. Then a law suit threatens to bring about the final blow to their marriage.

I received the inspiration for this book, initially a short story, while mowing my lawn. I cried because the yard was nothing but weeds. Then I realized how some marriages are like that. Due to neglect, vines self-interest strangle the blooms of first love.   

What actor/actress would you choose to portray your main characters?

Julianne Moore (with dark hair) would make a good Sylvia or Ashley Judd. I actually picture Pierce Brosnan as Henry…sans the British accent. I see Willie Nelson playing Charlie Michaels, the aged hippie gardener.  

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I enjoyed Henry’s antics. My favorite scene is him in the kitchen trying to make dinner without a clue how to cook.

What one bit of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Don’t be in a rush to self-publish. Be patient. Learn the craft. Go to writers conferences. Network. Build your platform. Developing your voice takes the same commitment and practice as a pro-golfer’s perfect swing.

What message do you hope readers gain from your novel?

Don’t take your marriage for granted. Sylvia and Henry’s marriage was nearly destroyed because each expected the other to change rather than commit to the relationship. Marriage is not 50-50 but 100-100.

Tell us what we have to look forward to in the future. What new projects are you working on?

I am currently writing a Christmas novella, and revising a book, Songs in the Valley, inspired by the Book of Hosea, for release this fall or early winter. In addition, I am writing another Adirondack suspense, similar to my award-winning novel, The Other Side of Darkness, as well as a novel inspired by my non-fiction work of the same title, I Prayed for Patience God Gave Me Children. I am also compiling seven years of columns for devotional series.  In addition to these projects I am broadening my devotional blog, This Daily Grind, to be a multi-author venue while expanding my current multi-author blog, Geezer Guys and Gals.  

Linda, thanks for sharing!

Readers, thanks for visiting Lagniappe

I pray that you find "a little something extra" in each of your days.

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