Award winning and twice Christy-nominated author Linda Hall has written eighteen novels of mystery and suspense, plus many short stories. She has written for Evangel Publishing, Multnomah, WaterBrook and most recently Harlequin’s Love Inspired line. She grew up in New Jersey where her love of the ocean was nurtured. Most of her novels have something to do with the sea. When she's not writing, Linda and her husband enjoy sailing the St. John River system and the coast of Maine. In the summer they live aboard their 34' sailboat aptly named - Mystery.
I love her picture because it shows a woman on the move, and this lady must keep things hopping to have so many irons in the fire. She seemed like a kindred spirit. After all, I have five different protagonists that I love too well to choose between. I had to find out if the same chattering voices that plague me drove HER to write six--count 'em, six!--series. So I asked.
How did you wind up with so many different series?
I really wanted to be one of those mystery authors who has one series going, like Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone, who she’s been able to write about for nearly twenty-six books, like Ruth Rendell’s Inspector Wexford. Like Parker’s Spencer. I started out that way. Back in 1993 when I began writing mysteries I developed a corporal in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. I I would follow his life and the life of his family (wife, two daughters) for a dozen books, each named for a month of the year. I began with August GAMBLE followed by November VEIL. Book #3, APRIL OPERATION was the last.
Then I got brave. Maybe, just maybe, the water wasn’t be too cold for swimming. After all, I had just published four standalones! So, I tentatively put my toe in the water. This one would feature the life of Private Investigator Teri Blake-Addison. Like that first time, I had her whole life planned. STEAL AWAY won a bunch of awards, even. The series was canned after CHAT ROOM, the second book.
But I would try again. Third time’s the charm, right? So, I came up with yet another series - the Fog Point mysteries featuring a hard done by PI and his crusty female side kick. But alas, that was not to be. Contract cancelled after two books. Just like the last time.
So all these series? Really not my choice. I would much rather have run the entire wave with one character. But as I think back, it’s really not so bad. In fact, I’ve learned a lot about persistence, about creativity and imagination, about diversity and trying again.
In coming up with characters, whether for a mystery series or a contemporary literary novel, the author must dig into her own well of experiences, emotions and consciousness. Every novelist, is in essence, writing about herself over and over and over. It can be no other way. I am me, I can’t become another person. So, my characters may differ wildly in appearance, style and backstory, but when you get right down to it, they are all extensions of me. They are the me I want to be. The brave and plucky me. The smart me who says the snappy comeback line right when it should be spoken, and not wake up in the middle of the night and think, “Oh man, that’s what I should have said.’
And these days? I’m loving this new world of ePublishing. I’ve been able to breathe new life into two of my old series. I’ve re-edited the manuscripts, brought them up to date and am getting a whole new crop of readers, who incidentally, are emailing me wanting to know “when the next Teri book is out.’
“Soon’ I reply.
Please don't be shy. Leave a comment for this fabulous--and need I say motivated--writer! Thank you, Linda!