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 random.com 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.