Q&A With Author Linda Spalla
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How does geographic location affect your writing?
A Bama gal, I love my Southern roots. God-fearing, conservative, traditional, driven by my heart strings, I strive to always do the right thing by everyone. Southern is a way of life and becomes my way of writing, stitched into my life’s quilt and etched into every word. In Catch Your Breath, I touch the core of treating my mom with the best of caregiving just as she taught me. In Bernie & Me, I playfully show how a Southern belle experiences Paris with a Frenchman. In Leading Ladies, I stress using your femininity instead of shedding it.
Which is harder to write, the beginning or the conclusion?
The germ for a book is never far away, and I have a much easier time writing a beginning. It’s the pulse that beats away and presses my fingers to the keyboard. It’s exciting, eager, and pining to be developed. The conclusion, since I write mostly non-fiction, becomes a huge challenge. How do I pull it together in one memorable denouement so the reader feels totally inspired and ready to tackle the suggestions I’ve laid out? Or feels that he’s made a good friend who’s on his side and determines to take the message and share it forward? The conclusion requires twice the time.
Have you self-published and how was the experience?
Catch Your Breath is a self-published book. I found the process both good and bad. I hated dealing with so many different people through the process, hated the blatant greed of the publishers who wanted to charge for one more thing, hated feeling like a number (which I was!). However, I have a beautiful book, professionally done, and received immediate live penetration on all on-line web sites throughout the world, beautiful marketing materials (postcards, bookmarks, etc.), and twenty free e-books for giveaways. I would not self-publish again because it was expensive, but I do not regret the learning experience.
Do you allow friends and family to read your work along the way or wait until it is totally finished and perfect?
I keep a realistic attitude about friends and family as readers of my work. I love to get feedback along the process, knowing that it will not be totally honest. But I have never failed to gain insight and perspective from these comments. Some I follow and some I ignore. In the end, a professional editor critiques and edits my books and that is the ultimate change agent. Family and friends are readers who have friends who are readers and they become part of my marketing plan. As for waiting until completed perfection, there is no such thing. Every book could benefit from one more edit!
What was your favourite subject in school and were you always a strong writer?
My favourite subject was English, which came so easy for me. I loved all elements: grammar, spelling, writing, literature. I always aced my work. I majored in English in college and taught high-school English for three years early in my adult life. I have always been a writer starting as a member of my high-school yearbook staff. I have written over 500 poems, a couple of short stories, three non-fiction books, and the hardest of all, the beginning of a novel. I write more creatively when my life is in turmoil, and writing is the catharsis that clears my soul and preserves my sanity.
Linda Spalla achieved great success in a 25-year corporate management career for the New York Times Company as general manager of WHNT-TV. She currently resides in Huntsville, Alabama, where she’s a golfer, grandmother, traveler, and volunteer. Linda’s first book, Leading Ladies, offers practical leadership tips for women. In Bernie and Me… A Paris Love Story, she will delight you with her Parisian escapades (coming later in 2015). Catch Your Breath is a raw, honest series of meditations for caregivers.
Does geographic location affect your writing?