Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Interview with contemporary romance author Linda Morris

Today’s guest is new adult contemporary romance author Linda Morris. She’s currently touring her new novel, The Mason Dixon Line.

Linda will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. To be entered for a chance to win, use the form below. To increase your chances of winning, feel free to visit other tour stops and enter there, too. 

Linda Morris is a writer of contemporary romance. She writes stories with heart and heat, along with a joke or two thrown in. Her book Melting the Millionaire’s Heart was an Amazon Top 100 Series Romance bestseller. Its sequel, The Mason Dixon Line, is today’s focus. Her vacation fling romance, Nice Work if You Can Get It, will be published by Swoon Romance in 2014.

When she’s not writing, working, or mommying, she’s doing yoga, reading, working in her flower garden, or baking delicious things she probably shouldn’t eat. She believes that there are two kinds of people: pie people and cake people, and she is definitely one of the former. Her years of Cubs fandom prove she has a soft spot for a lost cause. A beat-up old copy of Kathleen Woodiwiss’s Ashes in the Wind was her gateway drug into the world of romance novels, and she’s never looked back.

Welcome, Linda. Please tell us about your current release.
Thanks so much for having me, Lisa! My current release is The Mason Dixon Line, a story that is dear to my heart. It’s the story of a rich girl who is having trouble learning to make her own way in life. Carolyn Hart is a teacher’s aide at a special needs school, but winds up falling for a cartoonist who dropped out of school and hates all things related to the educational system. He was a kid with special needs and feels that traditional schools failed him. They battle for much of the book, but when they come together, their love is so powerful. And it may not sound like it, but there’s a lot of humor sprinkled in along with the angst in this book. Mason’s a funny guy.

What inspired you to write this book?
A lot of things, really. I was initially inspired by the sometimes-rocky school experiences of my son and husband, who both have ADHD. I also saw a hilarious speech on YouTube by Dav Pilkey, author of the Captain Underpants books. He had some special needs and struggled hugely in school, but drawing and creativity became a refuge for him, like it does for Mason.

“Got a pen?” Mason asked her.

She rifled through her purse. “Yeah, here. Why?”

“Thought I’d do some drawing. Waiting is boring.”

“We’ve been waiting like thirty seconds.”

“And I’ve been bored for thirty seconds. I’d rather draw.”

She watched him stroke his pen across his napkin and frown when the pen’s nib tore the paper. “This napkin sucks. Got any paper?”

She dug through her purse again until she found a long receipt. “Sure.” She handed it over.

He eyed it. “You blew two hundred and fifty-six bucks at Victoria’s Secret?”

“Hey, I gave it to you so you could draw, not criticize. No judging!” Flushing, she grabbed for the receipt but he held it out of her reach, grinning. He was cute when he smiled. Damn him.

“Who said I was judging? That purchase actually sounds worthwhile.” His lips curved and she had the oddest sensation he was imagining what she might have bought. “What was it? Two hundred and fifty bucks ought to buy a lot of lingerie.”

She scowled. “You’ll never see it, so don’t worry about it.”

“Oh, I don’t plan on seeing it. But I can dream, can’t I?”

“Is that the Mason Dixon version of flirtation?” She crooked one eyebrow. He didn’t plan on seeing it? That was a first. No guy had ever come right out and admitted he had no shot at seeing her scantily clad.

Most men were optimistic that way, even if it was totally unfounded.

He looked down at the receipt and began to doodle, his cheeks reddening. “I wouldn’t say I was flirting with you.”

What exciting story are you working on next?
I’ve got a Mexico-set fling story coming in 2014 from Swoon Romance, and I’m currently writing a contemporary romance series set on a small-town minor league baseball team.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
There wasn’t really one moment when a light bulb went off over my head and I said, “AHA! I’m a writer!” It was more of a slow process. I started writing every day in 2007. I was published for the first time in 2010. I joined RWA in 2012. I had my first really successful book, Melting the Millionaire’s Heart, the prequel to The Mason Dixon Line, early in 2013. None of those things by themselves made me feel like a “real” writer, but cumulatively, they do.

Do you write full-time? If so, what’s your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I don’t write full-time. I still work full-time as a freelance editor of non-fiction books out of my home. It gives me the flexibility to write for a couple of hours each day, first thing. Then at about 10 am, I switch off to my “day job.” I may do some promo-related tasks in the afternoon then if I need a break, and often I’m in the office again after my son goes to bed, wrapping up more details.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
It’s not interesting, really, but I’m quite slow compared to the writers on Twitter who are always churning out a thousand words an hour! I used to really be bothered by it, and I’m still trying to find ways to be more efficient, but I’ve mostly grown to accept that I’m just never going to be all that fast.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A writer. There is literally nothing else than I ever wanted to be, other than when I was about eight and decided it would be fun to be a cat burglar. I honestly don’t know where I came up with that one. It wasn’t to be, though. Writing is much more fun and they don’t put you in jail if something goes wrong.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I love to hear from readers. You can tweet me, visit me on Facebook, or swing by my website.

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

MomJane said...

Sounds like a really fascinating story line.

Rita Wray said...

Nice interview.

Linda Morris said...

Thanks for hosting, Lisa! Thanks for dropping by, Jane and Rita.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you thought cat burgling had something to do with cats? I bet I would have thought that when I was eight...


Linda Morris said...

You know, I'm pretty sure I actually knew what cat burglars did from watching Pink Panther movies. I just thought the idea of dressing up all in black and slipping under laser beams sounded exciting.

Mellanie Szereto said...

Hi, Linda! I've added Mason to my TBR pile! :) Wishing you lots of sales and great reviews!

Patrick Siu said...

I have enjoyed learning about your book. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post, you have me piqued.

mudepoz said...

And anonymous is Mudepoz, as Google doesn't believe I exist.

Mary Preston said...

I do love the sound of this.