Interview with Linda Robinson

What's the story behind your latest book?
In one moment, I became a live-in caregiver for my father and younger brother. That was 9 years ago. Year by year I learned more about how to take care of myself while caregiving. Lots of advice is available and we all know what that is, but do we follow any of it? Not so much. With Caregiver: Finding Your Self, I hope to help caregivers keep an eye on their well-being first.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My therapist handed me a business card. Two women who owned a store were starting a writing group. I said I'm not writing now. And she said, check it out anyway. I did. I published my first story in a magazine a month later. The writers' group shared the research I conducted to publish my first novel, and we went indie. I cherish freedom, and I illustrate my own books, so it's a good match.
What are you working on next?
A compilation of the blog posts I've done about the Three Story Life I live as a caregiver. Caregiver: Finding Your Self is a quieter, more noble version of that life. The new book will have all the wens and confusion. Caregivers live in a whirlpool of change, and we have to learn to keep our head above water.
Who are your favorite authors?
Terry Pratchett, and I think of him every week as he struggles with a rare form of Alzheimer's. I think he's republishing The Carpet People next. Carol O'Connell, the Mallory series for dark detective procedural. Amy Tan, Neil Gaiman (Good Omens, cowritten by Pratchett is my fav), Daniel Woodrell, Bonnie Jo Campbell (a Michiganian!)
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a caregiver, so most of the day is involved there. But I can still think about writing. When I'm not writing, I'm thinking about what to write next.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
Yes, I do. It was called Hermione's Moment, about a young girl who could start fires by thinking. Stephen King had the same story, probably when he was in 4th grade, too.
What is your writing process?
Run around, waving my hands in the air, stop a moment to wring same, get out paper, pen, other pens, more paper, swap for a notebook - no, the pretty one with the shoes - make tea, dust my desk, adjust the items on it, paint the kitchen, clean the bathroom, then duct tape my hands to the keyboard.
Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had on you?
I read The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by myself, and when I understood that I actually knew the words, I could not get enough of reading or writing or anything that had to do with words. I still crave words. I read by lamp light, sunlight, candlelight and the pilot light in the furnace. When I'm not reading, I'm writing.
How do you approach cover design?
I'm an illustrator by trade (bread on table) so for myself, I play until I'm happy. Cover design must reflect the contents, invite the reader to open the book. If I'm creating a cover for another author, I want to know them a little more, see their vision with my own eyes. There are specific colors that align with genre, and fonts that align with sensation. Cover design is a sandbox with lots of toys to me.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. I can read it many times, and laugh out loud each time. The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan. I wept at the first line. Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn. My mother gave it to me for my 17th birthday and wrote on the flyleaf "may you read it in all good conscience" and I still reread the book. Powerful storytelling. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey, a five senses book that stays with you. Glory Road by Robert Heinlein. I have to shut my feminist eye to read it, but I travel the galaxies when I do.
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords is where my group arrived after long research on the best way to publish a book. Without, I would not have published my new book, or the books to follow. I don't know of another site that is as generous with authors, and will format for all digital reading devices.
Published 2013-11-13.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Caregiver: Finding Your Self
Price: Free! Words: 4,610. Language: English. Published: November 13, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Health, wellbeing, & medicine » Aging well, Nonfiction » Inspiration » General self-help
A book for the family caregiver to rediscover the self who is an everyday hero, written by a live-in carer for other caregivers.
You May Already Be A Winner!
Price: Free! Words: 70. Language: English. Published: October 8, 2012. Categories: Nonfiction » Inspiration » Personal inspiration
Vern lives in the tiny town of Win, Michigan. He likes to help people. He can teach us how to help people, too. A true story of every day heroes, dedicated to the real Vern and the real Sister Ann, with love.
Price: Free! Words: 70,690. Language: English. Published: May 5, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Women's fiction » General
Three remarkable women - Margo Sawyer, Patricia Worthington (aka Trish the Dish) and Claire Chernikova - who have been friends for four decades face a momentous year in their lives. As the friends transition from warriors to elders, redefining normal for each other and their loved ones, we share the grief, confusion and changes as the women learn from and teach each other.