Tuesday, 14 June 2011

AUTHOR INTERVIEW with LINDA RAE BLAIR

Romance, Mystery and Historical Author


Author name: Linda Rae Blair

About your family/background, your location:

I was born in St. Louis, Missouri (USA). We moved to Seattle, Washington, when my children were teenagers. I’d always loved the green, the rain, and the water. It was a perfect place for me. I still think of it as home. When the children were all grown, I moved around the country and got to enjoy different places and people. I’ve lived in Hamilton, Ohio; Pacific Grove and Salinas, California, and now reside near Raleigh, North Carolina.

How and why did you decide to get published?

In 2007, I started thinking about retirement. It all began when I told a friend about finding out that my mother’s birth and death certificates showed two different maiden names. My right-sided brain immediately started coming up with reasons why my mother had obviously kept her first marriage a secret. When I shared the “story”, my friend said, “You should write a book!” That was the beginning of “Where is Harry?”.


What genre do you write?

My novels (there are 9 published and two more on the burner) all include elements of romance, mystery, and history.

What is the story behind your book?


One is a sweet little romance, “Elusive.” This is a love story that begins in 1725 Scotland. A secret takes the story to France, where 200 years later it causes murder and pain. The heroine tries to escape danger by going to her family’s homeland. Instead of safety, she meets a man of mystery who is either trying to save her life or kill her. Only her heart can help her determine which.

There is a detective series, The Preston Andrews Mysteries, of which three are published and two are still in the works. These are the stories of Preston Andrews (Press to his friends), a homicide detective for the Virginia Beach Police
Department. Press has a number of issues going on in his life when his story begins. He is ending a live-in arrangement with a woman he is very fond of, but not in love with. His family (his father is a U.S. Senator from wealth and prestige) doesn’t approve of his choice of occupation. His baby sister is no longer a baby, and she’s out to prove it—isn’t currently speaking to him, although she loves him to death. His dog now weighs almost 200 lbs. and has failed 4 obedience classes. Then, murder gets added to the mix.

In “Press’d Into Action”, Press is volunteered by FBI Director Malcolm Probst.
Probst nearly got Press killed last year, so he’s not happy! He is given a team of two FBI agents to assist him in catching a serial killer. One member of his team is tall, lean, auburn-haired, freckle-face—oh, and did I mention gorgeous—Rachel Wilding.

In “Press’d To The Wall”, Press gets involved in finding a serial killer in Seattle. This time he volunteers. Someone close to him has been grabbed by the nut-job
murdering women all over Seattle. His team includes his partner, Detective Trace Evans; his friend, ex-special ops, ex-just-about-anything-covert-and-dangerous, Palmer; and his dad, U.S. Senator William Andrews. They are in a race against time.

Two are trilogies.


“Intersections: Love, Betrayal, Murder” takes place between 1880s Ohio, 1900 Minnesota, and 1920s-1960s Chicago. The lives of three people, each with their own story of loss and betrayal, intersect in the early 1900s. This intersection of individual lives causes changes that will impact each of them forever.

“Tiwa Valley Brothers In Blood” is a New Mexico saga that begins in the 1880s era of the Pony Express and picks up again in the 1960s. A young Pony Express rider
reunites with friends of the Tiwa tribe. His marriage to the chief’s daughter and his close friendship with her brother begins 100 years of friendship, family, and danger. In modern New Mexico, their descendants face destruction of property, murder, blackmail, and a threat to their very existence.

Use one word/phrase to describe your book:

“Intersections: Love, Betrayal, Murder”: A compact saga of three lives brought together in early 1900s Chicago.
“Elusive”: How a decision made 200 years ago impacts a young woman’s life in the 20th century.
“Tiwa Valley Brothers In Blood”: How a chance meeting 100 years earlier led to a dynasty of wealth, genius, and hard work by three men whose tie will bind them forever.
“Hard Press’d”: How a top notch homicide detective balances family, love, life—and murder.
“Press’d Into Action”: Someone is killing people and leaving them “on display” a year later, and, when he gets volunteered to help on the investigation, Press is determined to stop him.
“Press’d To The Wall”: It’s a man’s effort to keep someone he loves alive, despite what he sees as incompetence, interference, and just plain stupidity, without losing himself in the effort.

How have you found the writing process?

I never really understood what writers meant about the stories “writing themselves” until I started writing. From then on, the stories take me where they take me. Sometimes it’s sweet and lovely; sometimes it’s dark and scary. Wherever my characters lead me, I take my readers along for the ride.

Do you have a blog? What do you write about?

No. I use facebook and have an author page where I keep my fans up-to-date on what’s going on with my work. I also have discussions on that page that my readers are welcome to join in. This is a new feature for me and is still in development. Participation from more readers would get it off the ground.

What books are on your shelf at home?

Oh, lots of Nora Roberts (yes, and J.D. Robb), Lisa Jackson, Janet Evanovich, Sandra Brown, Tami Hoag…see a pattern here?

Any awards/achievement you want to share?

Not at the moment.

Who’s your favourite author?

It’s a tossup between Nora Robert/J.D. Robb and Sandra Brown. If forced to choose, Nora!

What are you good at as an individual?

I am a right-brained person. I paint in acrylics, write my books, create beautiful gardens, cook and bake with great enthusiasm and success.

What form of entertainment do you enjoy most and why?

Give me a good movie or book any day! I just love having entertainment handed to me effortlessly. What could be cozier than reading in bed on a wintery night, or sitting in an air-conditioned theatre in the summer?

What are your other interests?

History. I come from John Alden and Priscilla Mullins of Mayflower fame. Then there is a forefather whose family left Scotland for Ireland, then immigrated to America just before the revolution. So, history has been ingrained in me from an early age.

Your favourite pet?

My 17 lb. cat and 14 lb. dog. One is unbelievably a feisty individualist (the cat) and the other is a love bug that follows we everywhere (the dog). Both give unconditional love!

What’s your choice meal/favourite restaurant?

I love seafood. But my favorite places to eat are Jewish Mother’s and Purple Cow in Virginia Beach. Oh, yum. The Jewish cuisine of my high school days, and the she-crab soup with its hot, thick cheese topping—now I’m getting hungry!

What’s your music choice?

Oh, boy! Aerosmith, Jason Mraz, Il Divo, Credence Clearwater—eclectic enough for you?

Name your favourite city in the world:

A place with water, food, green…see another pattern here.

Name your favourite world leader and why:

Right now it has to be our President, Obama. He was handed a very tough job during the worst crisis we’ve faced since 1929 and, despite the criticism, hate-speech, and dirty tricks of the members of Congress, has remained calm, cool, well-spoken, and above the fray. This man is a well-educated gentleman—we’re not used to that in the White House!

If you had one wish, what would it be?

Peace and understanding in the Middle East. They’ve been at it for thousands of years—I continue to hope that someday, they’ll learn to work together, not against each other.

What would you say you’re bad at?

Patience. I have absolutely no patience with stupidity. There, I’ve said it! Think before you speak and speak with wisdom—it might require reading a book or two.

Anything else your readers don’t know about you?

I have a granddaughter about to graduate from high school and ship off to basic training at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. This is my doll baby, the girl who travelled with me every Christmas holiday to Virginia Beach. There we launched our trips into history hunting—DC’s Smithsonian, Arlington Cemetery, Library of Congress, etc.; Philadelphia, and Williamsburg. Oh, how I’m going to miss that girl!

What’s your favourite quote?

“I'm growing older but not UP.
My metabolic rate is pleasantly STUCK!
the winds of time blow over my head .
I'd rather die while I'm LIVING,
Than live when I’m DEAD!”
Thank you, Jimmy Buffet!

Why should a reader buy your book?

My novels are steeped in beautiful scenery, rich history, sweet or sexy romance, and real characters. Chances are you won’t be ambivalent about my characters. They pull you in. You either love them or hate them.

What is your last word, Linda Rae?

Read.

Where can your book be found/bought/website:

My novels can be found on Amazon, Amazon UK, Amazon DE, CreateSpace, Smashwords, Sony, Diesel, Apple, Barnes & Noble On-line, as well as other online booksellers.
Links and other information are available on my website: http://lindaraeblair.vpweb.com. My website includes each current Novel, as well as upcoming projects, contains links to sales sites, and a visitor’s log where you can give me feedback on the site or about a favorite book. You can also sign up to be added to my e-mail distribution list.

Thank you very much Linda for taking time out to answer these questions.

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