Interview with Linda J Bichler

What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
When I write, I become totally immersed in the imagery and feelings being experienced by my characters. By writing about an experience, I am able to relive some of my best or worse memories again. I have many adventures and experiences that I want to share with my readers and by describing them through story telling, I am able to do just that.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Of course I do! I was in about the 4th grade. It was called "Dream Horse" it was about a horse that was more of a ghost than a real horse. For the cover I drew the horse with dark pencil and then put a blank sheet over it so that it looked misty. The binding was green yarn jammed through the paper with a sharp pencil. I remember handing it to my dad. He was disappointed by the title, I think because he had already bought me a horse that he believed should have been sufficient.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
Black Beauty was the first book that I remember reading. Horses were my passion when I was a child and I was totally carried away by the story. I had no concept of cruelty to horses back then so it was a real eye opener. In the next couple of years, I read every horse related book in my elementary school library fiction and nonfiction. I remember being disappointed when I had to move on to donkeys and other animals.
Describe your desk
My desk is a rickety old table. The surface is littered with scribbled notes, gum wrappers, lip gloss and an empty coffee cup. One of my two screens is sitting on a turned over sheet cake pan to bring to eye level. I face out a window so I can look outside and watch crows fly between a blue spruce and a corner of my roof. When it snows, I like to stop work and just watch the snowflakes.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on a small ranch in Oregon. Every day I rode my horse and imaged adventures that I would like to have. It didn't matter to me if it was too cold or hot, I went out anyway. In the winter, my parents bought us season ski passes and buss tickets so every weekend we went skiing on Mount Bachelor. Also, there was one half acre acre on ranch that was always flooded. Every winter I went ice skating on that rugged slab of ice. It always had dead grass and rocks sticking up through the ice. We also did a lot of backpacking and hunting. When I write about a character sliding down the side of a mountain, well I've been there. My dad and brother had to climb down and rescue me. I was just hanging onto the ice by my fingernails. I was a child of the mountain. It gave me the personal experiences that I needed to be able to write my stories.
When did you first start writing?
I was probably in third or fourth grade when I handed my first book to my dad, "Dream Horse". The binding was made by punching yarn through paper with a sharpened pencil. It didn't have a lot of content, but it was about a ghostly animal with magical powers. In sixth grade I wrote a play with my best friend that my other class mates were compelled to watch. The teacher cut us off after an hour so I am guessing it wasn't that great. Then in eighth grade, my English teacher read a story I wrote to the class. Basically, I started writing as soon as I learned how to write. It was the best work around there was to the problem of people walking off when I kept saying "What if someone .... and then....?" Paper and pencils don't walk away mid sentence.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I like to be outside, in the mountains or the desert. Running marathons has been a major part of my life for many years. I also enjoy hiking, paddle boarding and pond skating. I have also been known to play computer and virtual reality games.
What are you working on next?
The sequel is the next thing on my agenda.
Published 2018-02-20.
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