Linda is one of my new friends at Soul Mate Publishing – come say hi!
Donna, thank you so much for hosting me on your blog!!
* You are going to be new to many of my readers. Tell us about yourself.
Hi, I’m Linda O’Connor. I live in Ontario, Canada and live in a house on the water – and love looking out at the waves when I write. I balance writing with my work as a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic and being a mom to three sons (luckily grown and capable of throwing together a decent meal, in a pinch).
My latest book is Perfectly Planned, Book 3 in the Perfectly Series. When I wrote the first book, Perfectly Honest, I knew I wanted to have more books in the series that would be based on spin-off characters from the first. In the first book, Chloe has an accident and that’s what starts the cascade of events for Mikaela and Sam. In Perfectly Reasonable, Book 2, Chloe shows up more often because she works with Margo. During one of their breaks, Chloe mentions that she’s looking for a sperm donor – and the premise for the third book was born!
* What started you on your love of writing?
Working with young adults! I’m a physician and I had the idea to try to incorporate medical advice into a romance novel. There were some basics I thought patients should know – mental health symptoms, birth control myths, how to take ownership of their health. I thought hey, if David Chilton of The Wealthy Barber fame can dole out financial advice in a barbershop, maybe I could dole out medical advice in a romance novel. I hoped it would be a little bit more appealing than the myriad of educational posters in my office! I’m really enjoying using my medical knowledge in a new way. I hope that readers will laugh, relax, enjoy the stories I’ve written, and maybe learn something too!
* Do you write in more than one genre – tell us a little about each one and the books you’re working on in each?
I’ve published three books in the Perfectly Series and they’re all contemporary romantic comedies. I’ve written a few short stories with a twist in the tale, but generally for novels, I’ll be sticking with romantic comedies. I love to laugh, so it’s fun being in a romantic comedy headspace for the time I spend writing.
I attended my first RWA Conference in NYC last summer. I met some wonderful authors, and it’s been fun to keep in touch and help promote their work through social media. I’ve taken a number of online courses – all really helpful. The editing courses with MM Pollard are amazing – she has a Yellow Highlights Workshop on Mechanics where she not only edits your work, but also includes resources to explain the rules behind the correct grammar or punctuation. Excellent learning experience!
* Are you a member of any writing groups?
No, I’m not. I recently became a critique partner with Stephanie Berget, author of Radio Rose, Sugarwater Ranch, and Gimme Some Sugar. That’s been fun!
* How attached do you get to your characters? Do you know what happens after the book ends?
I really enjoy my characters – I spend so much time with them! I do envision what happens after the book ends – and generally there’s a lot less conflict! 😀 Actually, when I started writing Perfectly Reasonable, Book 2 in the Perfectly Series, I realized that I needed it to be a prequel to Perfectly Honest, Book 1. And then Perfectly Planned, Book 3, ended up being in between the other two in the series time-wise. So, not only do I know what happens after Books 2 and 3, but so do my readers. I was thinking of writing a series of blog posts about what happens after Book 1 because a number of readers have said they’d like a peek into Mikaela and Sam’s future (and to know what kind of car Trace drives!)
Get up. Eat breakfast. Write until noon with a Skittle break at 10:30 a.m. Eat lunch. Write until 3 p.m. and get 4000 sublime, no-need-to-edit words done. Go for a bicycle ride. Swim. Share a healthy dinner with my family that someone else has cooked. Go to Zumba. Shower. Spend the evening at book club with my friends. Sleep and dream of the next chapter before waking completely refreshed. Hahahahaha.
* Could you tell us the one question you wish people would ask about your writing… and don’t forget the answer.
I wish people would ask: “I’d love to buy your book – where can I get it?” I would say, “Why, how lovely, thank you. It’s available online and actually, I have print copies.” (I don’t admit it, but you know, I carry them with me everywhere – in my car, in my gym bag, have a few extras at home . . . I’m always happy to spread the cheer!)
Linda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at HomeSense. It turns out she loves writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician at an Urgent Care Clinic (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician, and it shows up in her stories 😀 ). She hangs out at www.lindaoconnor.net.