Meet the Author: Linda Yezak
Here’s Linda’s bio: Linda lives in a forest in east Texas, with her husband, a rescue cat, and a pond full of fish and turtles. She has won the Grace and TAA Best Book awards and was a 2012 Carol Award finalist. Her short story “Slider” is published in the 2016 Saturday Evening Post’s Great American Fiction anthology. Linda is a freelance editor and a speaker, with a passion for the written word. And coffee.
I had so much fun with The Bucket List Dare, the first novella collection I participated in, that I was anxious to do another. I gave a shout to my buds, the Penwrights, and sure enough, there were seven positive responses. Ane Mulligan even had a perfect theme for us: tiny houses. Since they seem to be all the rave these days, I loved it. We named it Coming Home: A Tiny House Collection. This group of novellas aren’t exclusively romance, as my first collection was. We have a good blend of romance and women’s fiction.
My story is Kayla’s Challenge, about a young woman who decides it’s high time for her to start thinking for herself. Narrowly escaping marriage to the man her parents chose for her, Kayla drives halfway across the country to exercise her independence. Once she arrives in Texas from Georgia, she discovers that maturity is harder than she thought. Ten acres and a tiny house provide her with a good start toward responsibility, but is she mature enough to forgive her parents?
What genre do you focus on and why?
With a few exceptions, I tend to write women’s fiction, often with a strong romantic thread. Despite the fact that my first novel, a romance, won an award and was a finalist in both the Genesis and Carol contests, I’m not usually comfortable writing straight romance. On the other hand, I can’t seem to write anything that doesn’t have a touch of romance involved.
Why do you write? What drives you?
In college, I had an opportunity to read a piece I’d written before a crowd in a small theater. The story was about the persecution of Christians behind the Iron Curtain. When the lights came up, I received a standing ovation and realized many of the listeners had tears in their eyes. Seeing their response hooked me, but I didn’t have the opportunity to take writing seriously until many years later.
But that reaction is still what I hope for, the opportunity and ability to draw raw emotion from my readers. Stories are compelling. Stories combined with God’s message are powerful. And when combined with His guidance and blessing, stories can change the world. Or maybe just one reader’s world. One reader is enough.
Who is your main character, and how did you choose that name?
I chose Kayla because I like the name, and Mullins is from my dad’s side of the family in Georgia. Just a nod to the folks back home.
What does a day in your writing world look like?
I get up at four for Bible study, then by five or so I’m working the emails and social networks. Usually, by seven, I spend time with the hubs, followed by writing articles or working on client edits. My primary time to work on my clients’ manuscripts is right after lunch.
By two, I’m ready to settle in to a long period of writing. Often that involves a lot of computer Solitaire and window staring, along with an early quitting time. Occasionally, it involves an amazing, inspired session and a late night. Of course, late for me is eight p.m.
What is the hardest part of being an author? Why?
Trying not to compare myself to others. That is most difficult for me. Sometimes I feel like others have skyrocketed while I’m cluelessly looking for the launching pad. But I should know better. My career may be the greatest lesson in how not to do things, but it’s going well and improves annually. God is pulling me along in His time.
What’s the best part of your author’s life? Why?
That magical moment when all the pieces fall into place, and the story begins to work. The inexplicable oddity of having my characters come to life and talk to me, providing dialogue, action, and emotion. I sit in a quiet house, but I’m not alone. I’m on an adventure with friends, recording everything as quickly as I can.
What is the craziest thing you’ve experienced as an author?
All of the “firsts” come to mind—the first time a fan wanted a picture with me, the first time I was asked for my autograph, the first time I was interviewed on TV. For a plain ol’ Texas housewife, all those firsts are mind-boggling. And I’m still not used to them.
What are you most proud of?
Hard one to answer if we’re talking about writing. I guess for now, having “Slider” in the Saturday Evening Post’s Greatest American Fiction anthology is at the top.
What is your favorite pastime?
I love to play games and tend to be competitive. I also love to fish.
Do you have other books? We’d love to know.
I have the first two novels to the Circle Bar Ranch series, Give the Lady a Ride and The Final Ride, along with The Cat Lady’s Secret, The Simulacrum, and my only nonfiction title, Writing in Obedience, which I cowrote with my former agent, Terry Burns. Also currently on the market is the other collection, The Bucket List Dare.
What are you working on now?
The third in the Circle Bar Ranch series, Ride to the Altar.
Link to book:
Social media links:
LinkedIn (for my freelance editor resume): https://www.linkedin.com/in/lindawyezak
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