Linda J. White is a seasoned and awarded journalist, currently the assistant editorial page editor at The Freelance-Star, a daily newspaper in Fredericksburg, Virginia; a popular public speaker; and a novelist who writes “FBI thrillers with a Christian twist.” Her latest book, Seeds of Evidence, released from Abingdon Press earlier this month.
A wife, mother of three grown children, and grandmother, Linda lives in the country near Chesapeake Bay with her husband, Larry.
What set you on a writing path?
I wrote a poem in fourth grade that the teacher put on the bulletin board outside our classroom. I got a lot of positive feedback and the little writer inside was born.
How does your faith play into your work?
Honestly, my email and my car license plate have the same message, I’m “rytn4hm.” My aim is expressed in this Scripture: Whatever you do, do all for the glory of God. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:31. I long for my books to help people grow closer to God. I also write for a newspaper, though, and even when I’m writing about a new county land plan, I write for Him, striving for excellence and integrity.
I’ve chosen to write suspense fiction because I love showing God’s grace and God’s love breaking into the dark, dark world in which we live.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
I started writing novels in late 1992. In 1996, my first book got noticed by a famous editor. He took it to committee and I was told it was a done deal—until the publisher made a sudden about turn and cancelled many projects. My hopes were dashed. In the pit of despair, I finally cried out to God, “I just want to know Jesus!”
I believe God used that setback to straighten my priorities, and I’m so grateful he did!
Stung by an unwanted divorce, FBI agent Kit McGovern has retreated to her grandmother’s beloved island home, Chincoteague, VA. (Remember “Misty of Chincoteague”?) Kit comes across the body of a young Latino boy washing up on the beach, and she just can’t let the mystery of who killed him go. The only clues she has to go on are the acorns and tomato seeds in the boy’s clothes. Kit teams up with handsome David O’Connor and together they follow plant DNA evidence that leads them into the dark world of human trafficking.
What motivated you to tackle the difficult topic of human trafficking?
About five years ago I met a woman from India. Asha (not her real name) was originally from Nepal. When she was a young woman and desperately poor, she was lured by an older woman to Mumbai (Bombay) where, instead of the domestic job she was promised, she was forced into prostitution. Years later, she met K.K. Deveraj, founder of Bombay Teen Challenge, who shared the Gospel with her and helped her leave the life.
Asha’s story impacted me deeply. Since meeting her, I’ve written a lot about trafficking for my newspaper, and have attended State Department briefings on it. I ache for the 27 million slaves in bondage today. And yes, we have trafficking even in America, sad to say.
My grandparents lived on Chincoteague when I was a kid and I have many fond memories of that beautiful island. I’ve taken my own family back there on vacation many times. I used my grandmother’s old house, now a vacation rental, as part of the setting for this book. It was a natural for me!
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?
Oh, goodness! Good, strong, hot coffee! I treat myself to cream and sugar—normally, I drink it black.
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I don’t but my son, Matt White, is a very talented musician. And a long-time friend, Josh Mills, has written a song for “Seeds of Evidence”! It’s called Hear My Cry and Unbroken Light (including Josh and Matt) is now recording it. As soon as it’s done, I’ll post links on my website.
This was an unexpected gift!
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
A song of praise in the midst of stormy seas.
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?
I’m tempted to say I’m the introvert in the corner watching them all! But in reality, I think most of my friends would say I’m the strong female lead. I don’t feel strong, but I know the One who is.
I’m a dog lover. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
Welcome to my world! I love dogs, too, although I never had pets as a child, because my dad was allergic. I saved all my babysitting money to buy our first dog, a golden retriever, after I got married. I couldn’t wait!
We’ve had a lot of dogs over the years and have loved them all. We recently had to put down our thirteen-year-old Springer Spaniel. We now have a two-year-old Sheltie, Keira (Acadia Ode to Joy). Keira and I are in training to become a therapy dog team. I also enjoy doing rally obedience with her.
Thank you, Linda. It’s a pleasure to have you as a guest at DivineDetour.
Thank you! And blessings to you and to your readers!
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For more information about Linda, visit her website at http://www.lindajwhite.com.
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