Like her lead character, Thorne is a career human resources manager. She has worked in the HR profession in Arizona, Colorado, Mississippi, California, and now, Tennessee. She holds a BS degree in business from Arizona State University and has completed a number of graduate-level courses in her field.
In your various job roles in personnel, I bet you have run into a lot of good material for your mysteries, including people you would like to murder! Do you ever base characters or incidents in your novels or real life?
I’ll never forget reading something Lawrence Block wrote years ago. He discussed the general wording that is in every work of fiction that says something like, “Names, places, characters and incidents are fictional. Any resemblance to an actual person, business, event, etc. is entirely coincidental.” Then in the next sentence, Block said, “And the world is flat.”
The people we meet and the things that happen to us make us who we are. I don’t know how any author could come up with ideas without pulling from personal experiences. Yes, there are pieces of real events and personality characteristics drawn from real people in my book, but they are mixed together, my imagination is added, things like setting and time-frame are so changed that the book is truly fiction.
You have probably also been exposed to a lot of drama and comedy. Why did you choose to turn your writing talents to mysteries?
Since my childhood, I’ve always loved to read murder mysteries. I was a big fan of TV series such as Columbo and Murder She Wrote, watching all of them and then watching reruns.
Also, in my human resources career I’ve done many investigations when issues are reported or accusations are made. These investigations are a search for facts similar to what the police do as part of a murder investigation. I have some amazing stories of what I’ve found out in a number of these investigations. Stories, of course, I can not discuss. Sometimes what is first reported to HR turns out to be something totally different when the truth unfolds. Part of the job in human resources is solving mysteries.
I’ve also had to work with the police in a few investigations, much like my lead character, Judy Kenagy, in Just Another Termination. Quite a long time ago, an employee at a company where I worked did not show up for work. We sent a co-worker over to check on her and she was found murdered. In my role as human resources for that company, I helped the police do their investigation at our company. The case was never solved.
When you relax with a good book, who are some of your favorite mystery authors?
The biggest for me are J.A. Jance, Michael Connolly, Carolyn Haines. Robert Parker and Lawrence Block (his older books).
Tell us about your main character, Judy Kenagy, and what makes her a good sleuth.
Judy Kenagy is a good sleuth because she’s a tenured human resources manager, well trained in doing investigations. She also is heavy with guilt over her coerced involvement in a wrongful termination that prompted a suicide. She believes helping to solve the new murder will in some way assuage her guilt over the suicide years earlier.
I know this is difficult for authors, because we are all so individual and usually modest, but if you had to liken your books to a well-known series, which one would you choose? Or which one have others said you remind them of? Kooky Stephanie Plum? Methodical Miss Marple (or Miss Silver)? Books by the versatile Mary Higgins Clark?
I would say my books are closer to Mary Higgins Clark than any of the others.
What are you working on now?
My second book in the series, A Promotion to Die For. In this book, a job promotion returns Judy to a suburb of
where she lived almost
thirty years earlier. A little town where a random twist of fate prevented her
murder, but caused someone else’s. The case was never solved and the murderer
is still out there. Topeka,
Thank you, Linda! May you have the success of Mary Higgins Clark! If you would like to learn more about the author, check out her website. You can also find her on Twitter.
Here is a blurb about Linda's book, "Just Another Termination".
At long last, she lands a job with a good employer, but the trouble is just beginning…
Human resources manager Judy Kenagy hopes her days of running from bad bosses and guilt-ridden memories are over. But alas, she’s barely settled in when a young female employee is found shot to death, spinning her new workplace into turmoil. Small-town police chief, Carl Bombardier solicits Judy’s help in her role as the company’s HR Manager. While working with Judy, he shares his fanatical interest in a twenty-five-year-old double homicide he believes is linked to her last and worst bad boss. To make matters worse, the trusted assistant of her monster ex-boss starts showing up, keeping the unwanted connection going. When the pesky trusted assistant turns up murdered, Judy learns there’s a connection with the shooting death of the employee. She starts sleuthing at the crime scene and stumbles upon an important piece of evidence. Can she solve all of the murders with this single find? If she does, will she finally be freed from the demons of her past? Or are things not as they seem?