As a young girl, Linda Ford daydreamed about running an orphanage and raising twelve kids. She later married and had four “homemade” children, adopting ten more. At one point, when life at home was especially chaotic, Linda attended a writer’s meeting and found a world she could control—story world.
She is now a multi-published author—with four books releasing this year. And she’s still taking care of people, which includes family dinners for twenty or more, lots of visiting grandchildren, and “crisis” counseling (also known as Mom’s advice) when required.
Linda and her husband live in Canada.
What sparked your writing journey?
My writing began at a time when my home life was very stressful. I had six troubled teenagers and they were acting out in ways you can’t imagine (and I will spare you the nasty details). A friend wanted to go to a writer’s meeting but didn’t want to go alone so I agreed, reluctantly, to accompany her. I remember how we sat and listened to a tape on how to organize material for a non-fiction project. It was so CONTROLLABLE. I was sold and went home and began to write. I started with non-fiction articles then switched to fiction. The trouble was I knew nothing about story structure and had to embark on a very long, steep learning curve. I am still climbing that curve. It seems the more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn.
How does your faith play into your work?
I don’t think I could write stories in which faith didn’t play a part. My characters generally live out their faith and doubts on the pages of a story. As to the work itself, I am very aware of my dependence on a creative power above and beyond myself. I praise God for guiding me on this journey and through each book.
The Cowboy’s Surprise Bride is book one in the Eden Valley series that tells about early ranching life in what is now southwestern Alberta, Canada—near where I live. This is a story about a young woman who left England to escape a tightly controlled life. She thought she was going to be part of a marriage of convenience but discovers she’s made a mistake and the hero isn’t expecting her.
You have three more books releasing during the first half of this year. How do you find time—i.e. organize your life—to write on such tight deadlines?
One thing I don’t do is wait for the muse to kick into gear. I write every day unless I have appointments, etc. I also work ahead. Right now I am almost finished (with) the first draft of the sixth and final book in the Eden Valley series. I have to do that for my sanity and in order to have things ready should any sort of emergency hit my life. Which it does often. I consider myself organized yet flexible. I make simple meals and usually do enough at one time to provide at least one more meal.
Can you tell us about a recent “detour” in your life—or in one of your character’s lives—that taught you something?
My life is full of detours—emergencies. I care for a handicapped man who is physically fragile. Twice in the past year or two he has been rushed to the hospital in serious condition. When he’s in (the) hospital I don’t write. I care for him. I have a son living with us who has health issues. My husband recently had a cochlear implant that has required numerous trips to the city. I take along a notebook and write in long hand on the journey. Currently I have nine people living in my house so it can be hectic. If need be, I go to a coffee shop or nearby library to work but usually I am at home in my office. One thing I have learned is God gives us each twenty-four hours in a day. It’s up to us to use it as we should. He doesn’t ask more of us than we can do. Usually the stress comes from how I look at situations.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Cookies! I love cookies with coffee. Um. Cookies.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
No. My biggest musical talent is in appreciating music performed by others.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
I’d be a happy sunshiny song.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
Hmm. I’d like to think I’m the strong, female lead. Those around me might say I’m the take charge and accept no compromise type. In reality, I suppose I’m the girl next door who looks after everyone.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
I have an African Grey parrot. He’s twenty-seven years old. Or I should say she is twenty-seven years old. On New Year’s Eve she laid her first egg and is sitting on three now. They are infertile because she has no mate. I’m not sure what she will do when the time comes to remove them. She is quite talkative (though she’s said little since she started sitting on her eggs).
Thanks, Linda! It’s nice to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thanks for having me.
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For more information about Linda, visit her website at http://lindaford.org/blog/.
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