Today we are joined by Linda Weaver Clarke. Fascinated with history and family ancestry, Linda travels the United States giving workshops that encourage others to turn their family history and autobiography into interesting stories. She is the author of A Family Saga In Bear Lake, Idaho series and also The John and Julia Evans Mystery Series. Three books in her mystery series have already been released—Anasazi Intrigue, Mayan Intrigue, and Montezuma Intrigue—and the next book, Desert Intrigue, is being launched this month.
Welcome, Linda. It’s great to have you here! Why don’t you start us off by telling readers about you and your family?
I was raised on a farm surrounded by the Rocky Mountains of southern Idaho and have made my home in southern Utah. I am the mother of six daughters and am happily married. After my family began leaving the nest, I decided to go back to college and get a degree. At first I was apprehensive about my decision, but I soon realized that I had made the right choice. I received my Bachelor of Arts Degree at Southern Utah University and received the Outstanding Non-Traditional Student Award for the College of Performing Arts in 2002. After graduation, I submitted some manuscripts to publishers and became an author in 2005. I was doing things that I never dreamed would ever happen to me in my later years.
I loved, Melinda in the Wild West, and for a while I thought you would stick with historical romance. What made you decide to switch gears?
Each genre has its own challenges. I knew this and wanted to try something new and different, so I changed to mystery/adventure. Of course, I did a lot of study and learned how to create a mystery. This was exciting to me but I was a little worried that my readers might figure out the plot. So I experimented on my husband and had him read it before I sent it to my publisher. He said that he had not been able to figure it out and I had some twists and turns that surprised him. So I felt confident enough to submit my mystery series. In each book, I try to add mystery, adventure, romance, humor, and intrigue!
Did you find your mystery series more challenging to write than your romance novels?
Oh yes! The writing process between romance and mystery is quite a change with a completely different mind set. With romance, you plan out the plot around the meeting of a couple. As you write, you develop some sort of charisma between the characters, making the reader feel excited that one day they're going to hit it off and fall in love. You, as the reader, know the outcome. But with a mystery, the reader is in the dark. The author has to come up with a plot that no one knows about until towards the end of the story and hope they haven’t figured it out. In a mystery, you may or may not allow your reader to know who the bad guys are, according to whether it’s just a mystery or mystery suspense. In a mystery, the reader doesn’t know who the bad guys are until the end of the book. With mystery suspense, the reader knows who they are and it makes for a more suspenseful outcome.
Can you tell readers about John and Julia Evans?
Julia is a newspaper reporter and John is a professional knife maker. This series was inspired by one of my favorite TV shows long ago called Hart to Hart, which featured a married couple investigating and solving crimes staring Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers. The couple was madly in love–you laughed at the humor and sighed at the romance.
What is the plot of Desert Intrigue?
When Julia’s brother announces that his dude ranch is haunted, she believes that someone is trying to sabotage his place and force him to sell. The mysterious happenings have to do with Superstition Mountain, the lost Dutchman’s goldmine, and the great Thunder God. Is it possible that the legend of the Thunder God is actually true? After a terrible thunderstorm, everyone begins to wonder. John and Julia quickly head to Mesa, Arizona and discover a few mysterious events. Will they find out who is behind these disasters before Uncle Kelly’s dude ranch is ruined?
By the time readers get to Desert Intrigue, John and Julia have already been on three other exciting adventures. What’s different about this new book?
This is the only one that doesn’t deal with artifact theft. This one deals with Arizona history surrounding Superstition Mountain. The research for this novel was so much fun.
Are these books written as stand-alone novels or should readers start at the beginning?
Each book in this series has its own plot and can be read alone, but I think it’s best to start at the beginning with Anasazi Intrigue so you can get to know the family.
Where can readers purchase these books?
At Amazon, bookstores, or my own website.
How can readers find out more about you and your writing?
People can find me at my website called “Make Believe”: www.lindaweaverclarke.com
Is there anything you would like to add?
Yes, I interview authors on my blog each week and have book giveaways. Please stop by and be a part of the book giveaway each week at http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com.
Thanks for spending time with us today, Linda. I wish you continued success.
This post first appeared at The Book Connection.