Signed Book Giveaway and Author Interview

I am so excited to be able to introduce you to one of my favorite writers and critique partners, Linda Cassidy Lewis.  Linda and I met three years ago when we both attended the same writer's group.  She immediately stood out to me because she was always so well-spoken and her critiques were amazing!  I loved getting them (I still do).  She is one of the most (if not the most) flawless writer I know.  Her words are beautiful and just make you feel good while you read them. After I moved away from California, we continued to correspond and critique each others work despite the fact that we write in different genres. I value her input greatly and am thankful to have her as a Beta reader and a friend.  She graciously agreed to let me interview her for my blog and to sign a copy of her novel,  THE BREVITY OF ROSES, for a giveaway. 

Here's the back of the book blurb:
Jalal Vaziri has looks, money, women—and a habit of running from reality. When he abandons New York and reinvents himself as a poet in a California beach house, he thinks he’s running from a father who hates him, a career mistake, and endless partying. A fresh start is what he needs. And after an intriguing woman enters his life, he believes all his dreams are coming true. But that dream dissolves into nightmare, and Jalal flees again. Only this time, his retreat is blocked by a woman who challenges him to face that it’s himself he’s trying to outrun.

Who or what inspired you to be a novelist? Reading and lots of it. We’re all required to write in school, and I didn’t suck at it, so eventually I started writing on my own. Then, one day, I realized my job as full-time mom was done and I decided to start and finish a novel.

Is The Brevity of Roses the first novel you've written?  No, it’s the second. The first was a paranormal romance that wasn’t. A romance, that is. Someday, I may resurrect it as neither.

Your main character, Jalal, has Middle-Eastern roots and there is a sprinkling of Farsi in your novel, how did you do your research and was it difficult?  My husband has Middle-Eastern ancestry, and I’ve always been fascinated with that culture. Bits of what I’ve observed is reflected in Jalal’s family. After I’d written the first draft of Brevity, I read a memoir by an Iranian-American, and after the revision I read another to make sure what I’d written was true to what these two memoirists experienced. I don’t speak Farsi, so I had the online help of two Iranian contacts to translate the few words and phrases I used to a phonetic spelling.

How did you decide on your cover and how long have you been painting? The cover image is actually a multi-layered drawing, a technique acceptably called painting. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon; I just never stopped like most children do. Follow up question: Whatever happened to that awesome drawing of Jalal you did? I searched your site and couldn't find it. Sorry about that. I took it down quickly, when I realized that it was not my true image of Jalal. I’d allowed my familiarity with a couple other faces to corrupt it. I want to try again, but maybe just for myself. I’m not sure my readers would appreciate me imposing my vision on them.

Well whoever he was, he was not hard on the eyes.

Your writing is so smooth, and when I read it, it makes me feel like I'm sitting in a hammock gently rocking back and forth while a cool summer breeze rustles in the trees (Dear Readers: You have to read this book if only to experience the hypnotizing trance of Linda's writing). Do you have some hidden magic? Are the pages perhaps sprinkled with fairy dust? Because I still don't know how you weave your magic spell. Thank you for those lovely words about my writing. Do you have a source for fairy dust? I’d like to try it. Seriously though, I just write. I don’t mean that to sound flip. Most of what happens when I write is subconscious. I let a story gestate in my head for a long time before I put fingers to keyboard. So, when it’s going well, I write in a sort of dream state. I see and hear my story like a mental movie and try my best to transcribe it. When I revise, I can usually spot where I wrote “blind” and then I have to fix those clunky spots. I do that mostly by listening for the rhythm of the words. A good sentence has a perfect number of beats.

When Linda reads other people books she sees them like movies in her head too.  This means that if your character puts toast in the toaster and it pops up a line later, she's going to call you out on your five second toasting. Her superhuman editing vision misses nothing.

It may just be my imagination, but it seems to me a lot of authors have cats. Do you have any pets? I do have a cat, but she’s snotty and regularly bites the hand that feeds her. I had a gentle English Springer Spaniel for years.

Aren't all cats snotty?

Sunrises or Sunsets? Oh my, I have to choose? I associate sunrises with hope and sunsets with loss, but I love the beauty of them both.

Coke, Pepsi, or Dr. Pepper? Coke, and not diet, which explains why I need to diet. To me, Dr. Pepper is dessert.

I'm so with you on the Dr. Pepper dessert classification. Even better, a Dr. Pepper float.  mmmm...

Thank you, Linda for your time and insight into writing.

To win a copy of Linda's superb novel all you have to do is leave a comment by Sunday.  I will choose a winner via  and announce it next Monday.  You can also pick up a copy for yourself on Amazon.

*For those of you who are used to the books I talk about being YA or MG, please keep in mind this is an adult book with adult themes, situations, and language.


  1. I must say, the subject matter doesn't really fit with what I usually read, but I'm a sucker for good writing. I could read a book without an ending, going nowhere, if only to continue the experience of the writing. So here's to hoping I win it, and get to experience Linda's writing :)

  2. Ooooh. I want a signed copy of anything! Nice interview. I'm intrigued.

  3. I love this book. Don't put me in the contest because I have my own copy, but I just wanted to say great interview and I agree with you, Linda's writing is amazing.

  4. Great interview and it sounds like a great book.

  5. She wrote the book AND designed the cover? Pretty cool.

  6. Thank you, Candi, for giving me this opportunity to promote my book.

    I laughed at one of your comments. Will I be immortalized for that toaster observation? :-)

  7. I've heard such good things about Linda's writing, and the cover is so cool! I'd love to be entered. :)

  8. Baltho: I hope you get the experience too. Good luck.

    JohnRH: I'm glad you found it intriguing. Good luck.

    Kasie: You and Candi make me blush. :-)

    Patti: Thank you. I wish you luck in the contest.

    Jessie: Yes, apparently I'm a control freak. :-) Good luck in the contest.

    Jenn: Thank you. I wish you luck in winning the book.

  9. Thank you for answering the question about the research you did to write about a culture different from your own. I'm currently doing that it's good to know what things I can do to ensure it's authentic. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Awesome interview Candice!!! Heard about this book on another writer blog & since I'm not sure how into YA I am, this book sounded more like my style because it "deals with adult themes" and also because everyone keeps saying how amazing it is :)

  11. Good interview Candi.

    And to Baltho, if you are reading this, don't let "subject matter" scare you off. I read this wonderful book and if it were a movie, it would be PG-13.

  12. Have you considered a coffee table book of your paintings?

  13. Jess: Glad I could help. I also read a good bit on the internet and in library books, not all that I learned was used in the book, of course. But I felt it gave me a good background understanding. Good luck in the contest.

    Megan: As long as you aren't expecting sex play-by-play, it should be interesting to you. ;-) Good luck winning.

    Tricia: PG-13? I don't pay much attention to movie ratings. Good luck.

    Carl: Most of my previous work is portraiture. Not very interesting as a book. And to paint more new work, would take time away from writing. Not willing to do that. Good luck in the contest.

  14. I've obviously missed the contest but thanks for the great interview. Look forward to reading the book, sounds amazing.

  15. Anon,
    You haven't missed the contest at all! It just started today, so feel free to enter it with a name.

  16. Another great interview Linda. I feel like I know you pretty well now. I am still trying to win one of your books!

  17. What a fabulous interview! The book sounds yummy. Thanks for sharing. :)

  18. Anonymous: Sorry you misunderstood, but it looks like you didn't come back. :-(

    Darlene: Thank you. You should win a prize just for reading both these interviews. :-) Good luck winning the book.

    LeishaMaw: Thank you. I wish you luck winning the book.

  19. Great interview Candice and Linda! :D That is so awesome that she designed the cover as well! Seriously. I can only draw stick figures. Sort of...:)

  20. Chantelle: I know I responded to you yesterday, but it's disappeared. Anyway, thank you and I wish you luck winning.

  21. I fight with the temptation to run away sometimes myself, so I'd love to win this book.

    And, not ALL cats are snotty! just 99%!

    Dr Pepper me too.

  22. I'll take my chances on all the entries and add my own. Congratulations, Linda!

  23. I can't wait to one day have something published. I'm looking forward to reading about the journey. Congrats!

  24. Margo: Glad you have one of the sweet cats. :-) Good luck in the contest.

    pennyjars: Can't win if you don't play, right? :-) Good luck.

    Vanessa: Good luck winning, and if you winning, I hope you enjoy the read. :-)

  25. This book only sounds more enticing every time I hear it mentioned. :) Great interview.

  26. bubbledumandwonderment: Gee, if that's true, maybe I should mention it a few more times! :-) Thank you and good luck in the contest.