Linda Balsamo

Biography

Linda Balsamo holds an MA and Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems as well as an MBA in finance. While conducting research for her doctoral dissertation, she came across a 18th century French folktale of the Count of Solar that this story is loosely based upon. She has managed deaf and hard-of-hearing employees for over thirteen years and is uniquely familiar with deaf culture. Her son is hard-of-hearing, so she has experienced first-hand the educational barriers that exist for the hearing impaired. Ms. Balsamo lives in Chicago with her husband and two children.

Smashwords Interview

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in a suburb of Chicago with five brothers and sisters. We were taught early on that academics were the gateway to success and there was constant competition in our house. Lucky for me, I excelled in art, something that is difficult to learn if you don't have raw talent. I wasn't a very good writer growing up. I didn't pick up the bug until after college, and even then, I would characterize my skill level at story-telling as predictable and provincial. But I believed, and still do, that nothing worth doing is easy and that you cannot finish what you do not start. I have also learned to be patient over the years. If I get stuck on something I'm writing about, I'll let it stew knowing that it will come to me eventually...even if that's years from now.
When did you first start writing?
My first "novel" was awful. I wrote it after college and even spent a lot of money on one of those author services that "reviews" your work for a fee...what a waste of money! (By that, I mean the comments were too brief to be constructive.) But my husband encouraged me, even if he was steaming behind closed doors. After graduate school, I was so inspired by a French folktale I read about during my studies, I decided to write a fictionalized version of it set during the Civil War. "The Earl of Hampton" took me five years to write...and write and re-write. Because of all the rewrites, I ended up with a better product, but the opportunity to publish by traditional means had dried up. I was on my own and that's when I discovered Smashwords.
Read more of this interview.

Where to find Linda Balsamo online

Facebook: Facebook profile

Books

The Earl of Hampton
By
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 102,140. Language: English. Published: June 23, 2009. Category: Fiction » Historical » General
Based on French folklore, The Earl of Hampton tells the story of a deaf boy found abandoned on the shores of Bridgeport, CT in 1856. Sent to live at an asylum, fate intervenes and the mystery surrounding the boy's true identity leads to the estate of the late Earl of Hampton. The boy's sister questions his identity, leaving him to explore life on his own and discover how capable he truly is.