Monday, April 28, 2014

Blog Hop: Write On!

When my writer/friend Rossandra White invited me to join this blog hop, I jumped at the chance. Well, maybe I didn't exactly jump, but I did grab the opportunity thinking it would be fun and a wonderful way to connect with her and other fabulous bloggers you'll meet below. First, let me introduce you to Rossandra:

As Rossandra White shares in her in memoir, Loveyoubye: Holding Fast, Letting Go, and Then There’s the Dog, her world falls apart during a collision of crises on two continents. Just as her American husband disappears to Mexico, her brother’s health crisis calls her back to Africa, and her beloved dog receives a fatal diagnosis. She faces down her demons to make a painful decision: stay in a crumbling marriage, or leave her husband of twenty-five years and forge a new life alone.
A fourth generation South African, Ms. White is the author of two YA novels, Monkey's Wedding and Mine Dances, set in Zimbabwe and Zambia. A recipient of many writing awards, her short stories have been published in Writer's Digest and Interstice, among others.Currently at work on a new novel, she lives in Laguna Beach where she hikes the hills and canyons with her Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Fergie and Jake. Her website is

This is the spot where I"m supposed to say a little about what I'm doing now. I'd love to write that I'm signing books at Barnes and Nobel in Manhattan, but that's not happening. As you'll read below, I'm still in the query letter phase of this novel writing journey. Plus, I'm on vacation and have beach brain at the moment. Yesterday, though, I was struck by the magnificence of an imposing Live Oak tree fully draped with sphagnum moss that might just find its way into a story one day. Its strong arms reached out to the east, west, north and south as if embracing the entire South Carolina sky and created a canopy shading my shoulders from the brilliant Low Country sun. Uh oh, I feel a story coming on. I'd better stop now and focus on this blog hop's Q & A.

What am I working on? Presently, I’m seeking representation for my novel, FLOURISH. I’m going through the query process, sending out letters and pages of my manuscript to agents hoping one will fall in love with my project. Some have the full manuscript, some partials, and I check my email several times a day hoping to find that long-awaited offer. As any writer knows, it’s a grueling process with a roller coaster of emotions. The car makes its slow climb up the hill, then plunges down with the writer trying not to scream. It creeps up the slope again and hits more dips, all waiting for the car to reach the pinnacle. While on the ride, I’m working on two other projects. One is a story collection centered on “the kiss” -  all kinds of kisses. The other is a novel whose characters have been sitting on my shoulders and talking to me for several years. I’ve got some chapters written, ideas for more, and I hope to bring them to life this summer.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? That’s a tough question. I’ve been thinking about how to answer this ever since Rossandra presented it, and as she said in her interview, it’s the voice. We each have our own and people who know me well have said they can hear my voice on the page. Also, the story is set in a vineyard and though there are many books set in vineyards, none that I know of are in the Hudson River Valley where my story takes place, or are about a winery owned and run completely by women – women who, other than the owner, had absolutely no knowledge of winemaking. Like the grapes, they grow from tender vines in to mature wines.

Why do I write? As an avid reader, I always wished I could put pen to paper and create stories that would make someone want to curl up in a comfortable chair, with a cup of tea, and devour.  It was a dream I rarely spoke of but one, when nearing sixty, became a very strong urge so I searched and found a writer’s workshop near my home and since then I have stories and characters sitting on my shoulder, whispering in my ear as I drive, walk in the park, swim laps or dig in my garden. The paper and pen, or I should say, computer screen, has become a magnet. When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about it. It’s just something I have to do. Why? I really don’t know. I just don’t feel like me if I’m not.

How does your writing process work? I love that question! I’m always interested to hear how well-published writers answer that. One author I spoke with admitted she didn’t have a specific process, she wrote whenever she found the time and hearing those words made me relax. I’m not one of those writers who gets up at 6 AM and writes steadily for eight hours. There’s too much else to do in the day plus (aside from the fact I’m not working on a huge advance from a major publishing company) I still teach fitness classes three mornings a week. But, I do love those mornings when I can write for three or four hours uninterrupted. If morning doesn’t work out, I try to schedule some afternoon time. Sometimes I find myself in front of my lap top late at night, though that creates sleep problems. When I get in bed my characters keep talking to me and I revise as the clock moves from 2 AM to 3 AM etc. In short, I write whenever I can and I’ve got to be in a quiet place, no Starbucks for me, no music or beautiful views from the window with birds singing. Maybe I should be in solitary confinement. 

This had been fun and thanks again, Rossandra. Now I'd like to introduce three other terrific writers with creative blogs I'm sure you'll enjoy. Please hop over and read what they have to say.

Sandi Perry is an interior designer and part-time matchmaker. She combines her two skills deftly in her romance novels set amongst the glittering world of art and culture. The novel she is currently working on, The Art of Stealing, hops from New York to Florence to Monaco as the pair of protagonists fall in love against the backdrop of some of the worlds' sexiest cities.
Sandi's blog, The Write Stuff, finds humor in life's daily foibles as she shares stories about her family and practical tidbits she's gleaned about love from her dealings with singles. Her current novel, Come Fly With Me is available on

Ziva Bakman-Flamhaft thought she would be an artist. For years her paintings had adorned the walls of her home and family. Two were chosen for an important exhibit of amateur artists in Tel Aviv, where she was born and raised; and her renowned teacher, Arieh Margoshilsky, promised her a great future as an artist if she only devoted eight hours each day to paint. She sold a few paintings, and in 1969 was to have her own art exhibit in Ramat Gan, Israel, in honor of her fallen young husband, who died in the 1967 Six Day War. But life had different plans for Ziva.
In 1968 as a young childless war widow, she tried in vain to mobilize other widows to demand the continuation of pension rights the government was planning to eliminate. The unintended result was Ziva’s transformation into a sole activist and mentor to young widows. When her activism got the attention of the press and some members of the Israeli Parliament, she opted to accept a sudden offer by the Israeli Defense Ministry, against whom she was directing her activism but with whom she had a working relationship, to relocate to New York. Hence, on October 1st 1969, Ziva arrived in New York and began rebuilding her personal and professional life. She started working immediately, and  soon enrolled in the School of Visual Arts to continue her studies.
From 1969 until 1973, Ziva worked for the Israeli government in New York, retiring when her daughter was born. She had remarried in 1971. In 1977 she returned to school to study Art history, but found herself drawn to Political Science. In 1980 she obtained a BA degree in that field, and in 1992 her Ph D.
Since 1986 Ziva has taught a wide variety of courses in Political Science at Queens College. Throughout her  academic career she has been actively participating in numerous conferences and has been an invited guest speaker to many lectures.
In 1995-1996, as a Fulbright scholar, Ziva went to Israel and the Palestinian Authority for her post-Doctorate project, interviewing Israeli and Palestinian women affected by conflict and war. Her findings were presented both in writing and lectures.
In 1996 her book Israel on the Road to Peace: Accepting the Unacceptable was published (Westvew Press), as were her book reviews, book-chapters, and articles. In 2011 Ziva joined the editorial board of Women’s Studies Quarterly (WSQ). Currently she is writing a women’s fiction and lives with her husband in New York City. She intends to return to painting sometime in the future. Read more about Ziva at

Ann Everett is a Texas girl from her big bar hair down to her cowboy boots. She frequently performs laugh-out-loud presentations for businesses, corporations, and non-profit organizations.
Creator of the White Trash Facelift, halter tops, and beer bling bracelets, Ann embraces her small town upbringing and thinks Texans are some of the funniest people on earth.
She's an award winning author, both in novels and short stories, an active member of Northeast Texas Writers' Organization and a top ten reviewer on
When Ann's not writing, she spends her days listening in on people's conversations at the local Wal-Mart, beauty shop, Goodwill, and numerous other gathering spots. She draws from that research to pen her mystery and romance novels full of southern sass and Texas twang.
Five things you won't know about Ann by reading her bio.
1. She's been married to the same man since dirt.
2. She loves shopping at GoodWill.
3. A really sharp pencil makes her happy.
4. She hates talking on the telephone.
5. She's thankful wrinkles aren't painful.
To follow her blog and learn more about Ann, go to or follow her on Twitter: @Talkin' Twang


  1. Great post, Linda. It's always nice to learn about other authors and what they're working on.~~Ann Everett

  2. I really appreciate Rossandra White's on target description of a writer's roller coaster of emotion. Been there, done that.