Interview with Author Linda Heavner Gerald

My guest today is Linda Heavner Gerald.  Hello, Linda!  Welcome back to Writing in the Modern Age!  It’s such a pleasure to have you again.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book? When did it come out? Where can we get it?

Confessions of an Assassin was released on March 17th. It is currently for sale on Amazon
and other fine bookstores worldwide. This is definitely the best book that I have ever written. I finally have learned the art of telling a great story and it causes such pleasure.

Great! Is there anything specific that inspired you to write Confessions of an Assassin?
As I was looking through Architectural Digest about a year ago, I saw an article about a house of one of our friends in Bali, Indonesia. We have visited his home in the Bahamas so I knew of the style that he loves. Truly this was the inspiration but God had already put "that" feeling of a new book in my heart.
If this book was made into a film, who would you cast in it?

If it was a film, I would love to see Catherine Zeta Jones as my Catherine. Other than that, I'm not sure.

Okay. Let's tackle some general questions.
When reading, do you prefer traditional
printed books or ebooks?  And why?
I love my Kindle just for the convenience. 
So, what are you reading now? 
Currently, I am reading Gray Mountain by John Grisham.
Let's try another question.

When you get an idea for a book, what comes first usually?  Dialogue, the characters, a specific scene?  Or do you plot it out before you write?

When I get an idea for a book, it truly varies. I never plot. I am a pantster which means that I write by the seat of my pants. It may be a specific scene or just a feeling about a certain subject. It doesn't seem important for my writing to do outlines and plotting. I write from the heart and the words flow so quickly that I can barely keep up. 

So, what do you have planned next, Linda?  Or is that a secret?

I already have my next book ready to go but am waiting to hear from a specific publisher. 
Good to hear!  
Is there anything you'd like to add?  Any advice for new writers?  

I want everyone to know that I believe all of my inspiration comes from God. My brand is: WRITING WITH A PURPOSE; THAT'S WHAT I'M ABOUT. By that I mean that I always give God the credit. I start my writing with a prayer that I will write as he leads. Then I sit back and write. Hopefully, my readers will feel some of the inspiration that I do. Ask me for advice for others when I have written a Best Seller. Until then, I would say, "Write from your heart."

Write from the heart!  That's great advice, Linda.  Thank you!

Here is the blurb for Confessions of an Assassin.

Confessions of an Assassin is the story of Catherine Carnegie.  Although she was born to a wealthy, prestigious family from New York, her dream was all things southern.  “Cat” finally obtained everything that she dreamed of since childhood. Once established in the loveliest home in Eufaula, Alabama, she meets a vaguely familiar man from her college days who changes her life.  What begins as a fun diversion attending state dinners in Washington, soon immerses her in a dangerous unknown government agency.  Despite attempts to withdraw from their clutches, she realizes that they are ruthless and unwilling to ever let her leave.  Her assignments become more dangerous; sent to various places all over the globe.  Eventually, she is given her most heart-wrenching assignment in Bali, Indonesia which will change her life forever.
Here is an excerpt.  

I barely slept the night before my departure for UA. All through the night, I felt racked with guilt for the disappointment I caused my family. No matter that “my” university ranked among one hundred public universities as one of the top. It just was the wrong location. Still, I reasoned I was fulfilling my dream; nothing could stop me. When the alarm clock finally sounded, I had been looking steadily at it for over an hour. Filled with excitement and longing, I bounded from bed. A quick shower helped invigorate me as quietly I pulled on the clothes lying on my chair. No makeup was needed; I would be driving all day with an occasional stop for gas. My goal was to take my time since leaving early, time was on my side so to speak.

The university facility took care of many details. Our attorney made some of the final arrangements as far as waving visitation. My arrival would be my first glimpse of my new home. Set for sorority visitation on Fall Formal Recruitment, plans were confirmed. The university sponsored eighteen of the national sororities. My family would not make the September Family Weekend yet I understood their desire to be with Nat at Harvard. No worries, there would be plenty of friends, I was sure.

Mom and Dad had always been early risers. When Dad rushed off for his commitments, Mom always was up with him. Together, they planned their day over coffee and funny comments from Nellie. Now they had retired, most days, they slept a little later. Because of that, I didn’t expect them to be up early for my send off. They surprised me by rising from their station at the dining table with their cups of coffee as I entered the room.

“This is surprising, seeing you both so early. You really didn’t have to get up for me. My plan was to grab a cup on the road. I am really anxious to get an early start.”

“That is nonsense. You sit yourself down and have a proper cup with your folks or you will be sorry. You are all going to miss each other.”

Nellie physically pushed me back into my chair and popped a cup of coffee in front of me. I wished my departure was earlier. Still, I smiled and picked up my cup from the saucer. Mom sadly returned my smile.

“Catherine, we are going to miss you so much. I know that we have made a fuss over Nathaniel, but you know we are just as proud of you.” Having no such idea, I smiled and nodded just the same.

“Now, Cat, you must promise to drive carefully. You have plenty of time since leaving a little early.” I didn’t even realize that he was aware of my schedule.

He continued, “Please phone us along the way on our cell phone. We will be on pins and needles till you arrive.” I doubted if “pins and needles” described the way that they felt. More sheer delight at “the darling’s” Harvard bound destiny.

I longed to be away from their anxious gaze. Gulping my coffee loudly, I stood to leave. Silence shrouded the room. Tears dropped from Nellie’s large, brown eyes. Hugging each of them, no word was spoken. As I walked to the door, I turned to see them huddled together. At that moment, I realized this was not just a rite of passage for Nat and me, but for our parents as well. First, retirement signaled their aging now watching their only two children leave the nest at the same time. Briefly, I envisioned the lonely rooms and quiet dinners with only each other and Nellie. The pangs of emotion pulled at my heart. Running back to them, I hugged each again. A stronger hug with profuse kisses and tears; walking quickly, I exited my home of eighteen years then closed the door of my new graduation gift quietly.

As I drove from the long, rambling driveway, out the gates, I stopped briefly. They were great parents. I had really been unfair in my constant criticism of them lately. I would miss them. I prayed at that moment God would keep them safe and be with me as I made my pilgrimage to UA. Yes, that was THE moment of passage. My parents would always be loved but I longed for a different sort of life. My desire was indeed strange. I desired a life of solitude. No one that I knew lived the life which was beckoning me. It wasn’t a noble calling; just a desire to be alone. That desire may have had a very strong influence over the choices which I was about to make. A strange life but mine; that was what mattered most to me.

Thanks again for stopping by, Linda!  This sounds like an exciting book! :)

Author Bio

Linda is retired and lives with her husband on the Gulf of Mexico in Florida.  Currently she has six published novels with another thriller on the way.  Her goal is to demonstrate that regardless of our actions, God is always there to welcome us back.  The books which she writes are books of substance with something to challenge or encourage.  A medical background encourages her to incorporate facts that may help readers seek professional help for various situations or the provision of latest facts.  

Linda has one son and one grandson who reside in Dallas, Texas.  She and her husband love to take long walks on the Gulf of Mexico and bike on the trails by her home.

"WRITING WITH A PURPOSE, that’s what I’m about."
Author Links:

Linda's Books:

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