Interview with Linda W. Ostrander

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
I grew up on Long Island in a family that encouraged my creative passions. As an only child I spent many happy hours on creative projects. My father, a jazz trumpeter and an exceptional musician and visual artist, taught me to paint in watercolors and monitored my musical development. My mother, an English teacher and poet, encouraged me in my writing. Both of them read extensively and were good role models.
Do you have special offers for your readers?
For a FREE E-BOOK and membership in THE PRINCESS FAN CLUB follow directions below.
1. Search for THE PRINCESS WHO COULD BE YOU (below) and click on the title.
2. Click on your e-book format, and on PREVIEW and read the first story.
3. Answer the question in a few sentences, “What did you like about the story?”
4. Post your answer on Facebook and send it to me at owlandprincess.com
5. When I receive this I will send you a coupon code to get the e-book for free on smashwords.com and you will have earned 5 points as Gentleman or Lady in Waiting in the Princess Fan Club.
6. Each time you read a story in THE PRINCESS WHO COULD BE YOU, in a few sentences answer the question, “What did you like about the story?”
7. Send your answer to owlandprincess@gmail.com and post it on Facebook.
You will earn 5 more points and a new rank in the Princess Fan Club each time.

POINTS/ RANK
5 Gentleman or Lady in Waiting
10 Knight or Lady of Honor
15 Baron or Baroness
20 Count or Countess
25 Duke of Duchess
30 Marquis or Marquesa
35 Prince or Princess
40 King or Queen of the Realm
What is your writing process?
I usually start writing only after I have mulled over an idea and developed it somewhat. Ideas come from many different sources--my experiences, observations of others, and even news reports. Everything is grist for the mill. Once I have a draft I return to it many times to polish it.
What are you working on next?
I am continuing to expand this series. THE PRINCE WHO COULD BE YOU, Prince and Owl Tales, Book 1, will be released soon. THE PRINCESS WHO COULD BE YOU, Princess and Owl Tales, Book 2, is nearly complete. I am also working on FAIRY TALES RE-ENVISIONED, which extends the plots and develops the voices of female characters. Very exciting and satisfying to me!
When did you first start writing?
I created poems, plays and stories as a child, but didn't become serious about it until recently. After my mother passed away at age 99 I gathered her poems together and published them with my own and some by my daughter and granddaughter in a book titled BETWEEN MOTHERS AND DAUGHTERS . I joined a writers' critique group and, encouraged by their responses, I continued writing.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
I have had some experience with both traditional and indie publishers and decided I preferred the latter because of their faster and seemingly more caring responses. I did not wish to wait longer than necessary to publish this series. I am convinced that it is needed and will help teens solve their problems, or at least see a different perspective.
What's the story behind your latest book?
The stories in THE PRINCESS WHO COULD BE YOU, PRINCESS AND OWL TALES, BOOK 1, were inspired by my 50 plus years of teaching and observing students of various ages. Each princess in the book receives help from various characters in dealing with a different teen issue. I have recently completed THE PRINCE WHO COULD BE YOU, PRINCE AND OWL TALES, BOOK 1, in which the princes face such issues as bullying, profiling, absent parents, addiction, nightmares, and questions of personal identity. These are contemporary problems that many teens face. It is my hope that these stories, in their fairy tale settings, will provide safe venues in which teens may discuss their problems with parents, teachers or therapists. Neither of these two series contains adult content!
How has Smashwords contributed to your success?
Smashwords has everything about the epub process described in their many author publications. Everything is immediately accessible.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
My greatest joy is seeing the knowing smiles and hearing the "aha's" from readers who have read or heard my stories.
What do your fans mean to you?
More than they will ever know!
Who are your favorite authors?
The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Anderson, Joseph Campbell, Sarah Lawrence-Lightfoot, to name a few.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
Seeing my family and friends, and the prospect of creating something new, whether it is a poem, a story or music. I always have several projects going, so if I become stuck on one, I can always move to the other.
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
Composing music, practicing piano or reading.
Describe your desk
I have three piles of papers on my desk--one of music I am writing, one of stories, and one of personal papers. I try to allot sufficient time to each pile so that one doesn't beome too high.
How do you approach cover design?
I generally do a rough sketch of the design I want, trying to depict the primary focus of my book. Then I browse web sites like smashwords looking for something that may be similar. I am aware of the importance of the cover in attracting readers.
How do you discover the ebooks you read?
I often browse on the Internet, read reviews, or hear discussions on TV.
Why do you call these stories "OWL TALES?"
My initials are LWO. Backwards that spells "OWL." In each story there is a character named Ozzie Owl, who is the protector and conscience of the prince or princess. You will also see my initials and the image of an owl in the glyph that separates the stories.
What are the titles of your other creative pieces?
Between Mothers and Daughters: A Collection of Poems and Lyrics across Generations (with Fleeta Woodaman, my mother).

Creative Piano: A Modular Approach for the Adult Beginner (with Lily Owyang).

Over 100 musical compositions. http://www.lostrander.com

An Incredible Journey, Three Piano Compositions of Linda Ostrander, composer and pianist (CD)

Images of Women: Looking Forward, Looking Back. Ph.D. Dissertation for The Union Institute, 1994. University Microfilms. This work was requested by the Smithsonian Institution.
What is your e-reading device of choice?
I have been using a Kindle for several years since I received it as a gift from my daughter. I love taking it with me on trips because it is so light and holds so many books!
When and where is your next book signing?
JULY 30, 2016, 10:00 to noon at COAS BOOK STORE, LAS CRUCES. Join us for activities, prizes, and meet THE PRINCESS WHO COULD BE YOU.
Tell us about your new "princess book."
The Princess Who Could Be You, Book 2, is now published. It continues with stories of princesses who struggle with problems of image, identity, choosing friends, internet dating, absent parents, career choice, and making good decisions. As in the previous book, these tales are set at "anytime" and "anywhere." It is my hope that teens, parents, teachers, counselors and other helpers will find these stories interesting and relevant, providing safe opportunities to discuss problems.
Tell us about your most recent book.
THE PRINCESS WHO COULD BE YOU, BOOK 2, is now available. It follows a fairy tale format, set "anytime" and "anywhere," and focuses on current teen problems. The princesses can be of any race or nationality. In these stories you will meet princesses in different situations. Barbara asks "Who am I?" and "Who will I become?" Anna and Janna search for their absent father. Evelyn and Hannah want to look like and be treated like adults. Melanie struggles with addiction and finding the right friends. Betty Ann has problems revealing her true self. Sylvia wants a medical career. Bonita seeks fame and fortune on the stage. Catherine seeks a boyfriend on the internet, while Julia travels and sees the real world. One of theses princesses could be someone you know. One of them could be you!
Published 2017-02-03.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

Journeys in the Land of Spirits
Price: $2.00 USD. Words: 111,970. Language: English. Published: November 2, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Mystery & detective » Amateur sleuth
(5.00)
Mike Mullins, an Investigative Reporter, seeks to unravel a mystery that has terrified residents of Organ and Las Cruces, New Mexico. Plagued by stories and visions of the Ghosts of Greenwood Hills in the house next door, Mike and his family struggle to solve the old case and reconcile their experience of ghosts, angels and demons with their own beliefs.
The Princess Who Could Be You, Book 2
Series: Princess and Owl Tales. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 14,960. Language: English. Published: January 10, 2017. Categories: Fiction » Fairy tales
The ten princesses face typical teen problems. Anna searches for her absent father. Barbara asks “Who am I?” Evelyn wants to be treated like an adult. Melanie struggles with addiction. Betty Ann, Sylvia and Anita search for satisfying careers. For those who recognize that change is constant.
The Prince Who Could Be You
Series: Prince and Owl Tales, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 11,920. Language: English. Published: September 25, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Young adult or teen » Social Issues
In this second book of the Owl Tale Series you'll meet eight princes who face such problems as bullying, eating disorders, absent parents, addiction, nightmares, identity crises, and racial profiling due to differences in ethnicity, religion or appearance. Do you know someone who has had to face one of these problems? Could one of these princes be you?
The Princess Who Could Be You, Book 1
Series: Princess and Owl Tales, Book 1. Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 9,820. Language: English. Published: May 1, 2016. Categories: Fiction » Romance » Action/adventure, Fiction » Young adult or teen » Fairy Tales
A girl looks in the mirror. She hates how she looks. She thinks she must change something to make her prettier and popular. She hides her true feelings and feels very sad. She worries too much about what others think and can't make a decision. She retreats from the world, and wants to run away from home. Is this princess someone you know? Could she be you?