Today I’m pleased to welcome Linda Poitevin as my guest!
Author of the Grigori Legacy, a supernatural thriller series published by Penguin USA, Linda Poitevin was born and raised in B.C. Growing up in an era when writing was “a nice hobby, dear, but what are you going to do for a living?” Linda worked at a variety of secretarial jobs before applying to be a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). Due to an error in measurement, however, she was turned down when she didn’t meet the height requirement of that time. Undeterred, Linda became a civilian member in the force and was a dispatcher for two and a half years, during which time she met her husband, a police officer.
Following their transfer to Ottawa, Linda went on to become a real estate agent and then a human resources consultant before starting a family. She remained a stay-at-home mom, homeschooled her youngest daughter for nine years and, now that she has realized writing can be more than a nice hobby, continues to vicariously live her dream of being a cop through her characters.
Linda currently lives near Ottawa with her husband, youngest of three daughters, one very large husky/shepherd/Great Dane-cross dog, two cats, a rabbit, and a bearded dragon lizard. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found in her garden or walking her dog along the river or through the woods.
SEVEN SPOTLIGHT QUESTIONS:
#1: Why do you write?
The voices make me do it… 🙂
Seriously, I can’t imagine not writing. I’m forever playing out scenes in my head and wondering what if? The only way to make a story go away and stop hounding me is to write it down. To-do lists are the same, but not nearly as much fun. 😀
#2: What was your earliest writing experience:
The earliest I remember was a poem I wrote in grade 3. My teacher, Miss Taylor, called in my mother for a special meeting about it because she liked it so much. She was an awesome teacher.
#3: Describe a day in your writing life:
We have a kitten in the house, so it has become impossible to work from home lately, so I’ve returned to the coffee shop I used to write at when I was escaping children (they’re all grown now). My day typically starts at 6 a.m. (earlier in the summer when it’s not so dark…and cold) when I get up, feed the dog and two cats, have breakfast, and get ready. I try to be at the coffee shop when it opens at 7:00 so I can get my favourite table tucked away in a corner by a window. I generally write until somewhere between eleven and noon – that takes care of the fiction portion of my day. Then lunch and a walk with the dog, followed by freelance work, marketing, blog posts, catching up on email, and so on.
#4: What authors influenced you and how?
I think every author I’ve ever read has influenced my writing in some way. I read widely across many genres, and I see that in my own work – the multiple points of view from thrillers, the romantic element from romances, and so on. Even authors whose work I don’t care for have had an impact on shaping my style.
#5: What are some things you learned to help with your success?
Two big things. First, “talent” is nothing if it isn’t backed by solid writing skills. No matter how good your story idea might be, if you’re going to pull a reader into a story, suspend their disbelief, and hold them there, you need to know your craft. Things like point of view, verb tense, pacing, conflict, motivation, and yes, even basic grammar are all important. A reader may not notice those elements are in a story, but they’ll certainly notice if they’re not.
Second, the definition of “success” is a very personal thing. I try not to measure myself against other authors, instead focusing on what my goals are. I don’t always succeed, but I try! 😉
#6: Describe your writing method:
I used to be a full-out pantser (writing by the seat of my pants without pre-plotting), but writing a series has taught me that plotting has its upside, too…mostly in saving me from writing myself into impossible corners that I then have to live with in future books. Now I plot out the major scenes using sticky notes on my office wall. I like to be surprised still, so I don’t try to capture the entire story—just enough to make sure I have a c0hesive story arc. Once I begin writing, I add more sticky notes as the story unfolds—one for each scene. Around the two-thirds mark, I begin shuffling the notes around to rearrange the scenes (this step generally requires much muttering and pulling of hair), certain that the entire story is utter tripe. Once the sticky notes are in an order that makes sense, I rearrange the scenes in my electronic manuscript. This entire process generally takes place two or three times before everything settles into place.
#7: Tips for aspiring writers:
- Read, and pay attention to what you’re reading. What do you like/not like? Why/why not?
- Take time—and make the effort—to learn the craft. Join a writers’ group where you can critique one another’s work.
- No matter what stage you’re at in your writing, be active in social media and start building relationships—every friend you make online now is a potential reader and/or promoter of your work when you’re ready to publish.
- Know what your definition of success is, and celebrate every step you take toward it.
- Never stop having fun.
About Linda’s book:
The Grigori Legacy is a dark urban fantasy series published by Penguin USA. It is set in Canada and features a Toronto homicide detective who finds herself caught up in the war between heaven and hell.
A detective with a secret lineage. An undercover Hunter with a bullet-proof soul. And a world made to pay for the sins of an angel…
Homicide detective Alexandra Jarvis answers to no one. Especially not to the new partner assigned to her in the middle of a gruesome serial killer case—a partner who is obstructive, irritatingly magnetic, and arrogant as hell. Aramael is a Power—a hunter of the Fallen Angels. A millennium ago, he sentenced his own brother to eternal exile for crimes against humanity. Now his brother is back and wreaking murderous havoc in the mortal realm. To find him, Aramael must play second to a human police officer who wants nothing to do with him and whose very bloodline threatens both his mission and his soul.
Now, faced with a fallen angel hell-bent on triggering the apocalypse, Alex and Aramael have no choice but to join forces, because only together can they stop the end of days.
Books 2 and 3 of Linda’s Grigori Lecacy series are also available:
Connect with Linda:
Fan email address: firstname.lastname@example.org