ROOM OF TEARS is now available in eBook format at Amazon: http://www.tinyurl.com/rot2013. The paperback version will be available by July 25th.
I’m thrilled to have Linda Merlino here to answer questions about her new book ROOM OF TEARS.
Linda, congratulations on the release of your book. I loved your last book, HUDSON CATALINA, which has a memorable female protagonist as does ROOM OF TEARS.
Thank you! Glad to be here.
I know you’ve got a lot going on, so let’s get right to the questions.
Q. From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take?
A. Six years from start to finish on this latest book – I average five years from start to completion.
Q. What was your inspiration for ROOM OF TEARS?
A. I’m a fan of mythology and philosophy – I admire the writing of Joseph Campbell. His descriptive portrayals of heroes gave me the inspiration for heroes in my stories. In my last book, HUDSON CATALINA, there was an autistic hero – Willy Wu. Willy defied the boundaries of his mental and physical challenges. In ROOM OF TEARS I used 9/11 as the backdrop to the story. The reader meets a variety of heroes-ordinary men and women who put their own well being aside to save another person.
Q. When writing, what themes do you feel passionate about?
A. Writing is my passion and I ask myself everyday how can I live my life today. As I mentioned, I’m fascinated by the concept of heroes. Many years ago I began a life long study of mythology by reading Joseph Campbell’s books. I believe the myths are guiding lights to our passions and finding our personal bliss. The theme of the hero exists in my writing as a way to discover how the ordinary can become extraordinary within the blink of an eye. In the words of Mr. Campbell “We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us.”
Q. Technically speaking, what do you have to struggle the most when writing? How do you tackle it?
A. Time is the enemy. Juggling a full time day job and the routines of life can infringe on my writing time. I believe in having a sacred space but after saying that I can also write anywhere there is a plug to charge my laptop. Make peace with time – discipline yourself- mornings work best for me and I’ve learned to use an hour or two at night a few days a week. Write at least one sentence on a piece of paper -journal to accomplish this if you cannot find any other way. Keep writing.
Q. As a writer, what scares you the most?
A. Going public is scary – the thought of sticking your neck out to be chopped off makes me weak, but the thrill of an amazing review makes my heart spin & twirl so it’s worth the risk. Life is a dance after all.
Q. How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one?
A. Seeking an agent who can help acquire a publisher is still the preferred course of action. Be mindful that each agent/publisher has it own particular guidelines – adhere to each as if it were the only one. Seep independent publishers who are open to unsolicited submissions – follow their guidelines to the letter. Above all be willing to do all you need to do beyond writing the book. Writing is the easy part – marketing is the hurdle.
Q. What is your opinion about critique groups? What words of advice would you offer a novice writer who is joining one? Do you think the wrong critique group can ‘crush’ a fledgling writer?
A. I belong to the Ridgefield Writer’s Guild. I joined about ten years ago and bless the day that happened. Through this wonderful group of writer’s and artists, I have found brilliant minds and incredible support. I encourage novice writer’s to seek kindred spirits but to be weary of over critiquing. There is a balance to consider – each voice has its own pitch and rhythm. Run away from the over zealous critics but wear your thick skin and plow through the suggestions of those willing to be guides. Be willing to listen then to your own self be true.
Q. What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
A. A simple piece of advice came from a professor teaching a three month seminar. She began by telling the group of twelve writers that if we considered ourselves writers then we must identify ourselves as writers. When asked what do you do – answer – I am a writer.
Do you have a website/blog where readers can learn more about you and your work?
My web site: http://www.lindamerlino.com
My Facebook author page: http://www.tinyurl.comozppnwt
Follow me on Twitter: @gooddaysnodays
Contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org
The ebook is now available on Amazon: http://www.tinyurl.com/rot2013
If you want to order the paperback from Barnes & Noble or an indie bookstore or get a copy at your local library, here’s the paperback
ISBN #: 978-1-927792-10-0
Thanks for stopping by! It was great having you here!