Meet author Linda W. Rooks
Linda W. Rooks is the award-winning author of Fighting for Your Marriage while Separated, Broken Heart on Hold, and The Bunny Side of Easter. Over a hundred of Linda’s writings have appeared in publications across the U.S., including multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul books, Focus on the Family, HomeLife, and Today’s Christian Woman. She has appeared in numerous TV, radio, and podcast interviews across the North American continent. Find Linda at lindarooks.com.
Tell us about your newest book.
Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light is an exciting suspense thriller set in the future with a number of twists and turns, including a time travel sequence, an international crisis with weapons of mass destruction, a little bit of romance, and more. But in the midst of the story line, an underlying theme is woven through the pages of the book, based on Romans 8:28, wherein the pieces of dark come together with the pieces of light to create a beautiful picture of hope. It’s a book, I believe, that will resonate with our times. The book has been endorsed by three former U.S. congressmen, some military leaders, and others.
What inspired you to write Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light?
I think it was one of those questions that sometimes come into your mind. “What if . . . ?” Usually, it’s just a fleeting thought for most of us. But as a writer, if you dwell on it long enough, all kinds of crazy thoughts come to you as you imagine what if this could really happen. How would it happen? Who would it happen to? And as the craziness evolves in your mind and you play with it awhile, as a writer, you might see it turn into an actual story. This is what happened to me with Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light. It began as a kind of challenge to my imagination. I wanted to see if I could actually make it work. So, I began writing and researching. I didn’t even take it seriously for awhile . . . until other people told me it was really good.
How would you describe this book to someone in a 30-second blurb?
In 2052, when a cache of weapons of mass destruction is discovered in Tajikistan, diplomat Janssen LaMarche is looked to as the one man who can avert a world crisis. Things go awry, however, when he’s faced with a personal battle of his own, requiring him to travel back in time where an unknown fate awaits him and family secrets on two continents come to light. As a world crisis moves the plot through thrilling and suspenseful twists and surprises, at the heart of the story vibrates the personal saga of a man on a mission and the women who fear for his life.
What genre do you focus on?
I call Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light a suspense thriller with heart. I didn’t actually set out to write a thriller, but that’s what it turned into. There’s also an important time travel sequence in the story so there’s some science fiction with worm holes and nanotechnology, etc. too. The characters and their relationships are very strong, and there’s some romance as well. I’ve always had a hard time fitting my writing into a box. I love the pace of a thriller and the adrenalin rush, but I also like to give the reader a chance to breathe now and then so I enjoy inserting some relationship scenes, descriptive passages, and a little romance or humor to lighten things up before jumping back into the action. One thing I love about a good suspense thriller is leaving subtle clues along the way and tying things up in the end so the reader has an “aha” moment and feels fully satisfied that everything fits together.
Why do you write?
What drives me to write is my love for writing. When God created me, He gave me a love for words and how they fit together. Even as a child, I huddled under a card table with my neighbor in her playhouse to make up newspapers for the neighborhood kids, (mainly featuring exposes about my older brother, of course.) There’s something comforting about writing. It’s where I find out who I am and what I think about things. Even as a young person, when life was challenging, I often found solace with a pen and paper in my hand, scratching out my thoughts and feelings until things made sense. And the more I poured myself into my words, the more the words took flight above my circumstances to a place of peace and joy. Gradually I fell in love with words and what a person could create with them. Now as I write professionally, working on a book or on my blog, I often see my thoughts evolve during the writing as I feel God opening my eyes to more of His truth. What usually drives me to write a particular book, article, or blog post, however, is the theme. When I have something I want to say, I look for the best medium to express it.
Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?
My main character is Janssen Aryan LaMarche, an American diplomat, who has been chosen to negotiate with the leaders of Tajikistan to save the world from a world crisis. Genealogy is important in the development of this story so although Janssen has a magnetic personality and is a smooth negotiator on his own, his family ties to Tajikistan are an important part of the reason for his being chosen for this important mission. His mother was from Tajikistan and his uncle is Prime Minister of the country, so Janssen’s middle name of “Aryan” ties him to that heritage. His father, who has a French heritage, met his mother while he himself was serving as diplomat in Tajikistan. Thus, Janssen has the last name of LaMarche.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing a book?
I’m not particularly disciplined in terms of a schedule. But lists keep me on target. I’m the most creative in the morning. Even before getting out of bed, when my mind is clear of daily disruptions, I sometimes begin composing what I will write. When the words come alive, I jump up, run to my computer and begin writing. But I love lists. I like to make a list of what I want to accomplish for that day and maybe a couple of days ahead and then cross things off as I accomplish them.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
As an author, I think the hardest part of writing is the editing process with the publisher. We bring our “baby” to the table and have to relinquish it to the editor’s discretion about what to keep, what to take out, and what to change. It can be painful, but realizing publishers have their own priorities and goals is something for us to remember when we work in the publishing world. They’re the experts in knowing what works and what sells.
What’s the best part of your author’s life?
For me, the best part is the actual writing. I love words, and I love putting them together. I see writing as an art, similar to sculpting or composing. Instead of starting with a lump of clay, we as writers start with a blank sheet of paper and move words around, watching them take shape until they begin to sing a rhythm to our ears. Word by word, we mold phrases and sentences and paragraphs together until our imaginations spin them into an inspirational message, or a story leaping and dancing across the page. The joy of seeing something beautiful come out of this is very special.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
I’m best known for my two books for those in marital crisis. My first book, Broken Heart on Hold, Surviving Separation, helps a person get stronger both emotionally and spiritually when they are traveling the lonesome and heartbreaking journey of a broken marriage, and my award-winning book, Fighting for Your Marriage while Separated, provides practical answers for those seeking to restore their marriage with an unwilling spouse. My children’s picture book, The Bunny Side of Easter, is an exciting adventure about how the heroism of a little rabbit made him the Easter bunny and the rabbit on the moon, using bits of allegory to point children to the true hero we celebrate at Easter.
What are you working on now?
As I continue with the promotion of Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light, I also plan to concentrate more on my Heart Talk blog, which has the tagline, “Finding Hope in Unexpected Places.” We live in a time that is difficult for people in so many ways. So in all of my writings, one of the things I continually want to offer to my readers is a large dose of hope because, truly, when we put our trust in the hands of God, we can find hope in unexpected places.
Link to book: Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light on Amazon
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