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Linda Winfree is visiting today

Linda or should I call you Lin, Thanks for agreeing to be a guest on my blog.

Hey! Very glad to be here. Thanks for asking me to visit.

Can you tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

I live in a really small Southern town with my husband (we’ve been married almost twenty years) and two children. For the past twelve years, I’ve taught high school English, and I’m three courses away from my master’s degree in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment.

I love the beach (especially St. Augustine, Florida), am addicted to running and can’t function in the morning until I’ve had two cups of coffee.

How long have you been writing?

Almost thirteen years. I’ve been published since 2007.

What is your writing process like?

I tend to begin with a basic idea – sometimes it’s a situation or a character. I spend a lot of time thinking before I actually write (usually while running). The book appears almost like a movie in my head and I need to have that film nailed down before I really start writing.

Once I begin, I try to write 500-1000 words a day. I tend to edit as I go, so my first drafts are generally pretty clean.




 Can you tell us about your upcoming release?

I’d love to! My January 2009 release is Fall Into Me, which will be available from Samhain Publishing. It’s an older woman – younger man romance, set in fictional Chandler County of my Hearts of the South series. The hero is Deputy Troy Lee Farr; it’s been fun taking him from department screw-up to heartthrob hero with this book.

What are you currently working on?

Currently, I’m revising Uncovered, set for a summer 2009 release from Samhain. I have a psychic investigator book in the works, as well as another romantic suspense revolving around a missing person. Then there are the two books I’m doing research on . . .

I know your characters do not talk to you, so how do you get their stories?

I think it would make me nervous if they talked to me! My brainstorming seems to be in the form of movie-making. I “see” each scene and each story unfold. It’s weird what triggers them, sometimes – a headline in the newspaper, a snippet of conversation I hear or that pops into my head. Somehow my brain takes that and just runs with it.

Where do you get your ideas for your books?

It varies. Sometimes they spin off of something minor that happens in real life. Others, I’ll begin with a concept or an idea and go from there. I love “what-if” questions – what if this happened? How would so-and-so react to it?

If one of your books was made into a movie, which book would you like it to be and which actors would like to see as the lead characters?

Ooh, that’s hard. Can I choose a television series as an option so I could see *all* of them made into film? If not, um . . . You know I’m particularly enamored of Tick, so probably Hold On to Me. It has a big plot. As to actors . . . hmmm. Maybe Matthew McConnaughey for Tick, although the hair and eye color are wrong (but the voice!). Madeline Stowe for Caitlin.

As an author, you must be an avid reader. What books do you enjoy reading? Who are your auto-buy authors?

I wish I could read more for pleasure. Reading for teaching keeps me pretty busy. I pretty much like anything, though, that keeps me enthralled. I read widely – from non-fiction to “literary” fiction to genre fiction. Currently, I’m reading Marianne Pearl’s memoir of her husband, A Mighty Heart, and a book by a CDC doctor on how the CDC tracks dangerous virus outbreaks such as Ebola. Because I read such a variety of works, I have few auto-buys. I’m hooked on Ally Blue and Lynne Connolly, as well as Jacquie D’Allessandro’s “At Midnight” series. And I love Lucy Monroe’s Harlequin Presents. I’m currently also reading a ton of books on instruction and student motivation.

What books are on your keeper shelf?

Well . . . I don’t exactly have one. I mean, I have a keeper “file” for my ebooks, but print books I buy end up on my bookshelf at school after I’ve read them or I pass them to my niece who is an avid reader. My keeper file has Ally Blue’s Bay City Paranormal series, Lucy Monroe’s HP’s, etc. Books that went to school that would have been “keepers” include Tayari Jones’s Leaving Atlanta and most of my Stephen King novels.

Do you read books other than romance books?

Definitely. I’ve always been an avid reader. I’m an omnivore – I read everything.

What was the first romance book you read?

Wow, tough question. When I was in the sixth grade, a family friend gave my dad a huge box of Harlequin romances. He gave them to me, probably not realizing exactly what he was giving me. I devoured them. I don’t remember the title of the first one I read, but I do recall that it was about a British girl who’d grown up in Africa and she ended up falling for a guy (an anthropologist, maybe?) who was trying to study the Masai tribe. He proposed in the last chapter and they spent a very chaste night in the desert with their sleeping bags zipped together so he could hold her. I was hooked.

If you could switch lives with one of your characters who would if be & why?

I wouldn’t. One, have you seen what I do to my characters?! Two, I have something my characters don’t – the Monsters. I wouldn’t give them up for anything.

But I wouldn’t mind having Caitlin’s trust fund or her wardrobe.

When you are not writing or reading, what do you enjoying doing in your spare time?

For the past year, it’s been renovating. Glory hallelujah, we’re almost finished!

I actually cross stitch and garden. I love going to the beach. I spend a lot of time with the Monsters – tennis, golf, biking. And I run almost daily. One of my favorite activities is hanging out with my friend Mary on her front porch.

I’m specifically curious how you manage your time because I know that you write, you attend graduate school, and you teach high school English & Literature?

I have no real life. No, just kidding. Actually, I attend grad school through an online program, which means I go to class like I write: in my pajamas, after the Monsters have gone to bed. I have to be really, really organized and I can’t waste time. One thing I’ve given up is a lot of television. I watch Ghost Hunters religiously on Wednesdays and that’s about it.

If you could ask readers anyone question, what would it be?

Hmmm. Just one? Okay, I’m stealing one of Greta’s – if you could see a Linda Winfree novel made into film, which one would it be and why?

***Leave a comment for a chance to win your choice of an ARC download of Fall Into Me or one of Lin’s Backlist books***


22 Responses

  1. I can’t believe you don’t have a keeper shelf! Great interview, Lin. Thanks!

  2. Hi Lin, that was great interview. I learned a lot of fascinating tidbits that I didn’t know about you.
    Please don’t enter me in the contest since I have all your books, although Not ALL read yet. LOL And I’ve already ordered Fall Into Me.

    My question is how do you find time for it all, AND how in the world do you keep up with your character chats? Are you a ‘speed reader’? I’ve considered taking a class in that but I’m afraid I’ll love some of the ‘feeling’ of the books.


  3. One of Lin’s books into a movie huh? I think I’m with Lin, I would like to see a Hearts of the South TV show! How cool would that be? You could have all the books show up. I would LOVE that! If I had to pick a movie I would go with Troy Lee’s book. Have you seen the excerpts! OMG!!! It is going to be SO good!!!

    Very nice interview Lin and Greta as always you do a great job!

  4. I personally think you don’t sleep!

    Fun interview!

  5. Hi,

    I just found this blogspot about 2 days ago and love what I’ve been reading. And Linda, you are a new-to-me author so I’m not acquainted yet with your work. What I’ve read so far about you makes me think I’ll be adding your work to my BTB list.

    Hope you spent a very happy Holiday season with your family and friends and are looking forward to a productive New Year.

  6. I’ve not read any Linda Winfree books yet, but I will be checking them out after reading the interview. You are definitely one busy woman, Linda. Good luck with your last three courses!

  7. Hmmm… I’d love to see Hearts Awakened made into a film if I had to choose. It was one of two in the series that I thought were completely relationship-focused and who doesn’t love Cookie? There were a lot of issues for the H/H to deal with, and I really liked the way that you handled their issues separately and together.

    For those of you who haven’t read any of Linda’s books, I labeled this series as my best series of 2008. It truly rocks.

  8. Hi Linda! the book cover looks so sexy I love it. I also wish you much success on your book and all upcoming works in the future.

  9. You are a new to me author as well but I really enjoyed the interview! I heard about this blog and interview over at the Samhaincafe group. I read the excerpt. Gotta love a guy that’s a cop and a guitar player! Sounds like a great book!

  10. Fall Into Me sounds great!

  11. I unfortunately cannot pick one of your books for a movie because I have not had the good fortune of reading one yet. but I have been checking out your website and your books have snagged my interest. I hope that I will be able to read one in the near future.

  12. Sonya, I’m just weird that way. I guess my bookshelf in my classroom is my keeper shelf . . . I do bring books home to re-read occasionally.

    Sandie, you’re a sweetheart! I don’t know how I keep up — I just kinda jump in and start replying. It’s when y’all get 12-15 posts ahead of me that I freak out!

    Brea! Thanks for commenting. Only three more days until Troy Lee!

    MJ, I *do* sleep. Just . . . not eight hours a day. 😀

    Karen, thanks for considering me for your BTB list. I’m honored and grateful. 🙂

    Thanks, Karin! I may need that good luck — I’ve seen the syllabus for my next course!

    Hey, Lori! Thanks for choosing HotS as best series. I hadn’t seen that anywhere yet, so I’m tickled. A movie for Cookie & Tori? I could handle that.

    Hi, Amy, thanks for stopping by. I’m looking forward to the release of Fall Into Me — it’s one of my favorite pieces of work.

    Sara, thanks for checking out the website. I’m working on updates, but had to put revisions ahead of that. Hopefully, I’ll have new stuff up soon!

  13. I’m always looking for new author to read, and you would be one for me! Enjoyed the interview and I’ve been checking out your reads and they sound great.

  14. Hi, Teresa — I’m glad I’ve made your “new author” list. Have a great weekend!

  15. Great review! As a new reader this definitely sounds like one I would enjoy. Greta, hope your father is doing better. Is he still in the hospital? Take care of yourself and your mother.

  16. From screw-up to heartthrob *sigh* I love a story like that. Off to you site to check things out.

  17. Lin – Do you mind passing on the title and author of that CDC book you’re reading?

    BTW – I enjoyed the excerpts and chat over at the samhaincafe group as well.

  18. Greta…I forgot to say, don’t put me in the contest! Thanks. 😀

  19. I think Hold On To Me would be good for film because it’s such a “big” story. There could be some awesome flashback scenes for Cait.

  20. Hi LInda and Jambrea. Thanks to Daily Digest, I am just getting your message and web link about having Linda here. Though it may be too late for the contest, i’ll answer anyway. My choice as a movie would be Hold On To Me because it the plot’s conflict and secret would make for a suspense/action movie with a lot of emotional intensity and romance—my favorite kind of movie and book.

  21. P.S. I have not read any of Linda’s books, so my choice is based solely on the blurbs I read. And it was not an easy choice! Julie

  22. P.P.S. Sorry about putting Jambrea’s name in there. I was reading your reply so I guess I was thinking about you. And I think I need to go to sleep now!!

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