Interview with Linda Gellatly

What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have an IPad because I wanted to be able to have a device that I can do more with than just read electronic books.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up in Toronto, Ontario Canada in the Beach neighbourhood. I was influenced to write at a young age by my teachers in Balmy Beach elementary school. I had a lot of trouble with spelling. It was in an era before any types of dyslexia were heard of. Teachers just assumed that kids didn't try hard enough to learn. I remember being put back from grade 3 into grade 2 because the teacher didn't feel that I could keep up with the class. That happened just days before my birthday and the taunts of being called a flunky etc. by my classmates gave me the push maybe that I needed to try harder. I still have trouble with spelling, so I am glad that in this era there are computers to have spell check to help me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I think that my greatest joy of writing is the story telling. I might design the framework of the story and start writing, then all of a sudden my characters seem to come to life and take over to tell their story to me while I put it down on paper. I like to try to be a wordsmith to looking for better words to describe things so the experience doesn't become stale for readers.
What are you working on next?
I haven''t really decided what I would like to work on next. There are different subjects that really interest me, but I haven't had the epiphany yet to create. Family Resort started out as a film script that I wrote. I tried to find people that might be interested in the story to make a movie or television pilot of it. There was a lot of silence on that front. I would still like to see that script filmed. As a screenwriter though it is kind of forbidden, I did choose certain actresses to play each of the sisters. Somehow it worked for Matt Damon and Ben Affleck and they won an Academy Award.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I work in different clerical capacities for the BC provincial government. I am also a background actress in movies and TV shows. I wish to get progressively better and raise the bar on both fronts. My motto is to "Believe, Achieve, Excel and Achieve". When I am not working I find garden work is great therapy and if I get the strawberries before the squirrels that delicious.
What is your writing process?
I start by outlining my chapters or sections on the 4x6 inch file cards. I seem to know exactly what the 1st paragraph and last paragraph says and then fill everything in between. I just let myself go and write the first draft without censoring what I put on the paper. I write long hand first because that is the way I have always been most comfortable putting a story down on paper. Then after the story is transcribed to the computer I spent months censoring and editing my work. It takes me almost a year before I am ready to say that I am finished.

I was amused to see that J. K. Rowling started setting up the Harry Potter stories using the same method.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
As a Canadian girl I read all of the Anne of Green Gables books. I loved the way Lucy Maud Montgomery made her words flow and how descriptive the stories were . These stories made this little red haired girl seem to come to life. Maybe that is why everyone who knows Anne still loves her as an adult. I visited the Green Gables house as a child when I went to Prince Edward Island but I have no recollection of being there.
How do you approach cover design?
That is sometimes the hardest part of putting a book together. What one image says the most about my story is the hardest question I have to ask myself. My designs are very basic after I have figured out a concept. Luckily, I love to shoot pictures in an artistic way.
What do you read for pleasure?
I used to work in book stores, so I have a wide variety of things that I like to read for pleasure. I have a lot of books and when I moved it was a real chore that everyone complained about.
What book marketing techniques have been most effective for you?
Most effect tool is word of mouth. Tell ten friends and have them tell ten friends and hopefully so on. Social media is helpful if you can figure out a way to promote your story without sounding like your bragging. I finally figured out why people hire public relations representatives, so they didn't have to be seen as the people tooting their own horns too much. I am proud of my work but there are lots of ways to market your book.
What's the story behind your latest book?
It is the story of four sisters who lost their parents and brother in an airplane accident when Mount St. Helen exploded in 1980. They left Seaside, Oregon together to live in Los Angeles because the tragedy had affected them so much. This endearing family will fascinate readers with their Noble conquests.

Olivia Noble-Sherman is the oldest sister who moved from there to New York where she had a long career at the prestigious Waldorf Astoria Hotel, working her way up from the kitchen to become the head of the conventions and banquets department. She learns that her only aunt and uncle can no longer operate the family inn back home. She flies to Los Angeles where her three sisters still live to share Uncle Sam's letter and the conditions of his Will. She has decided to leave New York to revitalize the resort, but she has to try to convince her three sisters to come with her.

The opportunity is also present to breathe new life into the careers of her sisters and their teen and adult children as well. Each member of the family is confronted with a dilemma that needs to be resolved before they can move on.

Once they are united together under one roof next door in the house where they grew up. They tackle the demolition and renovation of the resort property. Younger sister Robin has been given the chance by her television network boss to document the transformation of both the family resort and the family as they start a new chapter in their lives together as a reality TV series.
Published 2015-05-15.
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Books by This Author

Family Resort
Price: $5.99 USD. Words: 115,350. Language: English. Published: May 30, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General, Fiction » Women's fiction » Chick lit
Olivia Noble-Sherman and her three sisters, Lauren, Robin and Cheryl triumph over adversity when they set out to revitalize the family's historic resort near Seaside, Oregon. Together with five teen and adult children they tackle the demolition and modernization of the resort property. Robin has been given the green light by her network to document the transformations as a reality TV series.