Interview with Linda Wickens

What do your fans mean to you?
I wish I could meet each one, and ask them questions on how they liked the story, and if they had a favorite character. As in my first novel, "Brain Files," those words came out of my own storage of brain files, and now these fans are picking my brain files by reading what my brain came out with in a story. If they enjoyed it, then it's been like friends getting together talking about life's tales of woe, laughing together, or holding each others hands during a troublesome time. They've become my friend, and I am telling them a story. Friends need each other and I love each person who has read my novels.
What are you working on next?
Actually I finished "The Manufactured President" a year ago and was in final edit when my editor who is also my front cover artist had a serious stroke. He was in final edit stage when he was found slumped on the floor. My final manuscript was in his computer - and still is. Very ill, he's in a nursing home and unable to work on his computer. I was worried about his well being and not my book at the time.
Help Wanted: Editor & Cover Artist... I may have to redo the story, and hopefully find someone that could edit for me. I was so psyched about this story line, it really invigorated me. Somehow, I will find an answer to my dilemma.
Who are your favorite authors?
Actually I like anything that is "real" and current, such as a story written by the parent of a child killed, or a person that was kidnapped, a survivor of a horrible accident, etc. I try not to read stories that have a huge following as I could easily adapt to their style of writing. Poetry, I could read any time of day. Coming from New England, Robert Frost, is my favorite. Author friends of mine, Chuck Keyes who is a Sci-Fi author - poet is an exciting read, and funny stories on life itself by KJ Force I'm always rereading to relax and laugh over.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
You want a truthful answer?... My Briard dog barking to say she wants to "go out" to chase squirrels or a tropical bird in my Florida home; or the friendly fox, family of turkeys, or beautiful deer that cohabit my backyard at my log home in the mountains of New Hampshire. The barking or cold nose on my warm leg from the dog wakes me up.

But when I'm writing, the words that came to me in the night rearranging characters or situations, get me right up so I can get my computer on and get it written all down. Often,my story line comes alive in my dreams, and it's like a play or movie being shown in front of me - my brain files. I see each story as a movie as I try to unfold each characters mood and open each situation to surround myself with everything from textures of the wall or furniture that completes the scene. Once I see and feel that, than I place the character on that chair and feel how they feel lounging in the sun, or walking in a cold river surrounded by the brilliant fall foliage. I keep a pad of paper by my bed for middle of the night burst of energy or ideas. Being brought up in New Hampshire, I often use names of towns I lived or vacationed as a child, and used either as someones name or even the town's name. I felt happy and secure in those areas so hopefully bring forth those feelings to my readers. Life inspires me, a smile I note when I "people watch" from someone's face, I make sure it's included in my writing. I picture it all as I write it down.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I think my mind is always looking or conducting in my mind. That pad of paper or app on my phone to voice quick ideas is very useful. It'll stay there on a list I have for future reference. When it's total down time, as I just had in my log cabin for the summer, I was very busy rebuilding our new acquisition. Sitting by the fire and watching the wildlife shyly walk through the forest always gives me an idea for writing and expressing to others how sweet the feeling is to experience this. I guess I never turn off especially when walking in the woods and learning to experience what is in front of me to absorb and be thankful for.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
The very first that I can remember other than school papers, was when I was picked as a Class Correspondent for my Alumni Association to the 200 yr old masterful high school I graduated from. I loved that school with it's pride in strict standards and rich tradition. To be asked was an honor. I had to devise a way to find all my classmates, their addresses (and these days emails) etc. Quite the job but I was up for it. I contacted the local newspaper and wrote an article saying we now had an Alumni Association and lets have a reunion for dining and dancing. Using my "brain files" I composed a memory lane composition with my name and address at the bottom. Apparently from those words, I awakened many classmates who wanted to get together and we had our reunion. Seeing their happy faces and hearing their stories of college years, marriage, and babies - was well worth the effort! It's been over 40 yrs, and we still meet every five years for reunions, and I still write for "The Alumnus." People over the last few years have all said that I should write professionally. A simple Alumni function opened up memories and enthusiasm to keep our classmates together and whet the appetite to write three novels - so far.
What is your writing process?
Write what I see and feel in a scene, picture the characters what they look like, appropriate names and a personality,and go from there. Dream about it...change situations to add more friends and possibly characters that will influence the outcome. Read, reread, walk away for a few days. Read, write more to bring more of the scene and read and read over and over. Keep computer ready for action and many dictionaries nearby. Write what you feel, it can always be deleted and changed. I've learned to design my life around writing. Family first, so writing has to be for certain amount of time per day or it doesn't flow well. Average 6-8 hrs per day.
How do you approach cover design?
I have a couple different people reading as I write. I use key words on the side. These words we put somehow in the cover. My art designer has been wonderful in picking those words and making magic. Never an argument.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have one of the first Kindles that came out. I use that predominately since it's easy to operate and just press a button to start reading.
Describe your desk
Dusty right now...computer in the middle, pens, pencils, scrap paper, tons of dictionaries - some with covers - some covers missing I used from college or high school, photo's of my Navy son and his dad, and iPod for music to sit and ponder ideas over when I need to relax and compose. "My space" do not touch anything on top of the desk!
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Oh dear, that shows in my writing. I use names of towns I lived, vacation, or were around me growing up. I used the names as last names of my characters or even names of towns in description where this is taking place. Being born and brought up in an area you tend to have fond memories - hopefully - and want to embellish on this love and respect, and its somehow in the backdrop in description or style. I've written about the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire, the picnics we took there in childhood, and some of the characters growing up, the gorgeous New England foliage while walking in the cold mountain rivers or ocean. All good memories for me, schools I am very proud to be associated with, so why not try to show in my writing how wonderful it was, and have people feel the same way. I also had very strict nuns in grade school where grammar, reading, and writing was very important. My high school was also a high school where poet Robert Frost once taught and America's first astronaut graduated. Proud? Very... and it all rubbed off onto me, my memories as brain files, and spirit in my life to share my words with others. We just found and bought an old log cabin in the White Mountains. It was the best thing we ever did. So good to spend summers back home in New Hampshire. We've lived in nine different states over our careers, but New Hampshire was always home.
When did you first start writing?
Professionally around 2008 when the unbelievable urge to write my first novel, Brain Files, came to fruition. My teachers all told me that if I was told to write a simple composition of 100 words...I'd write 300. Never a person of expression or feelings that couldn't be felt or implied. I guess my love of words and writing came in grade school.
What's the story behind your latest book?
In "The Manufactured President," it's about a young couple that have been together since high school, and found out after they start college that she is pregnant. Simple everyday story, right? But they're confused why is she pregnant since she's been on 'the pill' since high school. Their doctor says it can happen so just enjoy what will be growing inside, he'll take care of everything. They continue in college and she has twins. One is weak and succombs minutes later. They gave the healthy baby up to a political wealthy couple, and go on with college and become scholars. Everything in their lives from that moment on, comes very easily. They're given excellent jobs after graduation, her parents came into money, and life was wonderful. Their doctor was into their life in all aspects, and they thought that was odd, but he was a close family friend. They eventually marry and have a large family of their own. The baby they gave up in an open adoption becomes a political figure desperate to be more of an Emperor than Governor or even President. Everything he touches is gold and has questionable "friends" helping his political endeavors. Very questionable. Voter fraud running for governor and especially later as president. Who are these people that have enveloped his life since childhood, and how do his biological parents figure in all this with their eldest wanting the same piece of pie. Why are her parents being quiet and always so "don't worry" about questions people have. Who is this person they all saw being born as a twin that has now become a smiling fraud. Why does he do things illegal to get what he wants and no one of authority questions anything? Why are his parents - biological and adopted - both in danger? Nearly fifty years on this earth, with people willing to do anything, anytime, to make him into a God-like political figure, yet the word "God" is practically abolished in his language. For what purpose and why is a certain sect of people always been involved around him?
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
Hearing from fans that have so many questions and comments about my work with the ever popular question, "When are you going to write another?" All worth it!
Published 2013-10-25.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Hidden Poet
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 107,860. Language: English. Published: October 29, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Suspense, Fiction » Thriller & suspense » General
Hidden Poet is the second and latest suspense-romance novel published by author Linda Page Wickens. Brain Files was her first novel in 2011. The story starts off with Victoria Rose Charles, 39, a beautiful auburn haired divorced New Englander that responds to work with the unfortunate, and opens “Wish Upon a Star” charities in her new home of Texas. A secret code is a written in the poems.
Brain Files
Price: $2.96 USD. Words: 141,210. Language: English. Published: July 16, 2011. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Adult, Fiction » Romance » Contemporary
'Brain Files' is a romance story which starts off as Bridget, the main character, is relaxing by a Florida lake having a nightly glass of wine. As the sunset starts touching her skin, she starts reminiscing into her own Brain Files of former love interests, bringing her hauntingly into a regression that is being invaded telepathically by an unknown presence. What are your brain files?