Interview with Theresa Linden

Published 2015-12-25.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
My father was in the Coast Guard so we moved every couple of years. This instilled in me a great sense of adventure which has influenced my writing. Some aspects of writing that I love: creating interesting setting details and a plot with twists.
When did you first start writing?
I started writing in grade school. My sister and I borrowed characters from our favorite movies and TV shows for our role playing games. This turned into writing stories so we could continue to play using all these characters even while in school. We took turns writing chapters, leaving them at cliff hangers that the other had to write their way out of. Years later, my father retired from the Coast Guard and I grew up. Flung into the "real" world, I had to get a job and face the hardships of life. The adventure had ended, but soon I realized how to get it back. I needed to write. So I began writing my first complete novel and I haven't stopped writing since.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I am completing the third book in the Chasing Liberty trilogy. This story was written out of love for faith, family, and country. I am often shocked by the things I learn from the news. Our government seems to be taking more and more power for itself, robbing the individual of rights. Science and technology also continue to develop, often without regard for the dignity of the human person. I wonder where we as a country are headed. As a writer, I not only wonder, I write! The Chasing Liberty trilogy is a hypothetical of what could happen if we don't change course. The government controls everything from the moment of conception (in a laboratory) to the moment of death (often decided by the government). The main character of this story, Liberty, is a young woman who is not satisfied, does not believe the indoctrination, and feels compelled to find a different way.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first book was published by a small publisher. When the publisher contacted me to say they were interested in my book, I was overjoyed. I had finally made it! This was a new experience for me, so I didn't know what to expect. After a year with this publisher, I found some things that I wanted more control of. Other writers seemed more content having complete control of the publishing, editing, and marketing processes. So I bravely asked to get back the rights to my book and started on the adventure of self-publishing.

Another reason is...I am impatient to get my books to my readers. Another publisher showed interest in my Chasing Liberty trilogy, but said they wouldn't be able to publish the first book for almost a year. The second book had already been to beta readers and an editor, and I was already working on the third book. My readers kept asking for the second book, so I didn't like the idea of making them wait even longer. Self publishing has worked well for me.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love creating characters with unique personalities, interests, strengths, weaknesses, and goals. I get to know these characters, inside and out, I think...and then they almost come to life and show me things I hadn't known about them.

But the entire writing process is both a trial and a joy. It's hard work but immensely rewarding. I feel compelled to write and don't know what I'd do if I couldn't.
What do your fans mean to you?
Not every book is for every person. So it's very important to me to find the readers who would love my books. I write for them. If you are reading this, and you love our country and believe that faith and family are the building blocks of a strong society, you are my people! Please send me a message and let's talk.

I have also begun a series of Catholic teen fiction where the spiritual realities come to life. Roland West, Loner is the first in this series. Two others are scheduled for release in 2016. I have so many story ideas but would love to hear from my readers. What conflicts and challenges would you like to see these characters face? What character would you like to see take the lead in the next story?
What are you working on next?
I am in the later stages of the third book in the Chasing Liberty trilogy, Fight for Liberty. I will soon send the book to beta readers and then to the editor. My goal is to release this on July 4th, 2016 as we celebrate our country's independence. Due to the story line, that would be the best day for this book's release.

I am also in the later stages of the second and third books in the Catholic teen fiction series, Life-Changing Love and Battle for His Soul. Tentative book release dates: Life-Changing Love - May 29th, the Feast of Corpus Christi, and Battle for His Soul - October 2, the Feast of the Guardian Angels.

I am also writing another story which I am very excited about. It concerns the Holy Souls in Purgatory and one woman's encounter with them.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
My wonderful family is my primary inspiration for getting out of bed each day. Where would I be without people to love and care for? My husband and I have been happily married for 24 years. We have three adopted boys, teenagers now. The oldest has autism, which makes life interesting. While each day holds its own challenges, all three of our boys are creative, hard-working homeschoolers who are growing into fine young men.
Writing comes in second. No day feels complete without doing something related to my stories, whether editing, developing a setting or character, working on a book cover, or sharing something with readers.
Who are your favorite authors?
I love authors from several genres. I enjoy Louis L'Amour's Westerns, especially the Sackett series which begins before the founding of our country and follows one family's journeys in early America. My favorite authors of Biblical and saint stories are Louis de Wohl and Susan Peek, a contemporary author. I've read almost every book those two have written. Dean Koontz's suspense stories are the best, especially his later ones. The traditional fantasy authors, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, will always be among my favorites. I also enjoy and have read almost every mystery written by Mary Higgins Clark. One of my favorite contemporary authors of Christian romance is Carolyn Astfalk.

I could go on. My interests are all over the place.
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