Thanks for joining us today. We are a couple of weeks into sharing stories around the campfire and I'm having so much fun. Whether your a city slicker or country folk there's something that pulls us in a fire. My sister and I would go to the Finger Lakes Wine Fest each summer and we were the only ones with a campfire going at night. Two would grow to for would grow to eight. One night we had about fifteen people who started as strangers become friends. Whether it’s away in a campground, or at home in front the chiminea, some of the best conversations have been with a cozy flame and sparks drifting up into the night sky joining the stars. So, wherever you’re joining us from, open the campfire video below and relax. I hope you enjoy our conversation. Please feel free to leave comments or questions below. If you would like to keep up with Welcome to the Campfire and information, follow me on any of these social media links. And don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. So, without further ado, drum-roll please...
“Light a campfire and everyone’s a storyteller.” – John Geddes
Today I’m welcoming, Linda Griffin, author around the campfire. What’s your preference coffee, tea, cocoa, or wine? I'd offer the gorilla something but there's no banana's here tonight.
Coffee or tea is fine, but my first choice would be Swiss Miss Indulgent Collection Dark Chocolate hot cocoa!
Wow! That’s specific. LOL! But it does sound delicious. I don’t have any on hand, but I do make cocoa from scratch. Thanks for braving the wilds and visited. Have you ever camped, or as I call what I do, Glamp.
My only camping experience was at sixth grade camp. I don’t know whether schools still do that, but we spent a week living in cabins and learning about ecology. I did enjoy it, but I wouldn’t be a good camper. I like my little luxuries, such as hot water and soft beds (although a two-minute cold shower I had on a train trip was surprisingly refreshing!) Plus I’m decidedly unhandy. I‘m good with words and numbers, but nothing in three dimensions, so I wouldn’t be able to pitch a tent or start a campfire. If I were to take up camping though, I would favor the Pacific Northwest.
I totally understand. I love the outdoors and traveling. You have to check out my rig, though. I'm definitely not roughing it. So, tell us about your latest project. What’s the title and genre?
The Rebound Effect is romantic suspense. It’s a cautionary tale of love and betrayal and the HEA may not be what the reader expects.
Sounds interesting. For those of you who don’t know, HEA means Happily Ever After. There’s also the HFN, Happy for Now. Do you have a tagline?
Whirlwind romance—cure for a broken heart, or prescription for trouble?
That’s very provocative. The average person often doesn’t understand how hard it is to catch someone’s attention in one or two sentences. I think you nailed it. If you don’t mind me asking, can you tell us how long it took from conception to fruition?
I think there were a few weeks from the original trigger until I started writing, but I was jotting notes in my notebook while traveling, and scenes from our visit to the Oregon coast found their way into the story. It took about two months to write, followed by several rounds of revisions.
Did you ever hit the place where you threw your arm up in the air and said nope this is not going to work? If so, how did you get past it?
Not with this one. I did get stuck with Seventeen Days, my first Wild Rose Press romance. It languished for years, and then I read an article in Writer’s Market about writer’s block, which encouraged me to write some scenes out of order and jettison the scene I was stuck on. That worked, but sometimes there’s no solution, or at least hasn’t been yet
I’ve done something similar. Head to the end and wrote backwards. Since I know I want that HEA you spoke of, then I try to figure out how to get there. Many writers have multiple projects at various stages of development, how about you? Anything you’re itching to get to?
I have a lot of beginnings that I may or may not be able to finish, and a lot of finished short stories that haven’t found the right home. I’m also waiting to hear whether Guilty Knowledge, a police procedural/interracial romance will be my next Wild Rose Press publication. It may be a little out of their line, but I would love to work with my wonderful editor, Nan Swanson, on it. Unlike many authors, I really enjoy the editing process. There were a couple of scenes in The Rebound Effect that were definitely overwritten, and she helped me rein them in. Our efforts were rewarded when Kirkus Reviews called one of them “legitimately frightening.”
That’s a fantastic review. Good luck with Guilty Knowledge. So, that’s the future. Let’s look over your shoulder now, is there something you would tell your beginning self?
Richard P. Brickner, in his memoir, My Second Twenty Years, says that a novel is an ocean to its author, but a mere drink of water to a reader. That idea has helped me keep things in perspective. Nobody else is going to care as much as you do about your ocean, and a lot of readers won’t be thirsty for your particular drink of water, but it shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the swim.
What excellent words. I think we can apply them to more life in general. Okay, since camping is off the list, what do like to do when you’re not writing?
I love to read and do research, not always related to my writing. I also enjoy movies, Scrabble, and travel. I’ve been to forty-seven states and three other countries. Hawaii is next on the list, planned for late October.
Forty-seven! I’m jealous. And unfortunately, I can’t take the RV to Hawaii. But good for you. We live in a beautiful world and need to stop sometimes and appreciate it. Can you describe yourself in three words?
Klutzy, independent introvert
I think many writers are introverts. You have to be comfortable in solitude to get your work done. In my mind it goes hand-in-hand with independent. Do you have a “Kodak Moment.” A moment in time you’ll never forget.
There are so many, but one that stands out at the moment is visiting Helen Keller’s home in Alabama. The Miracle Worker is one of my favorite films, so it was a thrill to see the old pump where Helen had her epiphany and stand in the front yard, where Annie Sullivan shouted “Mrs. Keller! Mrs. Keller! She knows!”
I just got goosebumps thinking about that scene. What amazing women. And what an amazing memory. Do you have any Annie Sullivan’s in your life? Are there any mentors, authors, or books, other than yours, you would like to give a shout-out to?
My sister is also a writer, although she’s never been published, and her stories had a major effect on my writing when I was a teenager. Another early influence was Elswyth Thane’s Williamsburg series. My novels are nothing like hers, but I still hear a few echoes of her style in mine.
Maybe one day we’ll see a novel co-written by the both of you. Final question. What does literary success look like to you?
I love it when readers say they liked a particular character, scene, line, or plot twist and it’s one of my favorites too. My wildest dream of success would be a TV series starring the detective team from Guilty Knowledge.
Linda, thank you so much for joining me around the campfire today. I would appreciate you leaving us a blub and exert from your work. Don’t forget to add where we can purchase your book and how we can find out more about you below.
Here’s a peek into The Rebound Effect
In the small town of Cougar, struggling single mother and veterinary assistant Teresa Lansing is still bruised from a failed relationship when Frank McAllister sweeps her off her feet.
Frank is a big-city SWAT officer who moved to Cougar only four months ago. He's handsome, charming, forceful, very sexy, and a bit mysterious. He had his eye on Teresa even before they met and is pushing for a serious relationship right away.
Teresa finds his intense courtship flattering, and the sex is fabulous, but she doesn't want her deaf six-year-old son to be hurt again. Her former fiancé cheated on her when he got drunk after being unjustly fired, but he loves her and her son, and the whirlwind romance is complicated by his efforts to win Teresa back. And then there's the matter of the bodies buried at Big Devil Creek…
She reached inside the robe to rub his shoulders. She was feeling something new now, something tender, loving, intimate, possessive. She kissed him. She wanted to give in to this sense of well-being, of the inevitability of a future together, of love, but wasn’t it too soon?
“Teresa,” he said, again as if her name was a special endearment. “I want to sleep with you. I want to hold you all night.”
“It sounds very romantic,” she said, “but what if I snore? What if I need you to let me breathe a little?”
“Breathing is overrated. I never want to let go of you again.” He kissed her, and then he lifted her in his arms. It had never happened to her before—Gene hadn’t even carried her across the threshold on their wedding night.
“Frank!” she cried, laughing, but a little scared—what if he dropped her? He was strong, but she wasn’t very light. He didn’t drop her—or he did, but deliberately, from about an inch above the cool, clean sheets of his bed. They were both laughing, and he started kissing her randomly, here and there. This can be a lot of fun, she told herself. Enjoy it while it lasts. “Remember when you asked if it was too soon for me to date?” she asked.
“Yeah, and you said it depended on the definition.”
“It turns out it was too soon,” she said, “and now it’s too late.”
You can find more about Linda and all her books at
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Griffin/e/B07H5QFRC9
Goodreads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18396185.Linda_Griffin
Amazon e-book: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07SS8SGT1
Amazon print https://www.amazon.com/Rebound-Effect-Linda-Griffin/dp/1509226591/
Nook : https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rebound-effect-linda-griffin/1131957492?ean=2940161516799
Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rebound-effect-linda-griffin/1131957492?ean=9781509226597
This week's recommended movies
The Miracle Worker 1962 starring Ann Bancroft and Patty Duke
And having a little fun with Linda and not roughing it...
Overboard 1987 with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
And my sort of recipe for Hot Cocoa.
Start with the basic recipe on the box. In my opinion if you're going to do it, go all the way. Instead of straight skim milk I'll add half and half. Vanilla and cinnamon to taste and if you want add some hazelnut instead. I've also used left over coffee to replace part of the dairy.
Do you want the real campfire experience? Make it s'mores. Toast a marshmallow and slip it onto your cup. Crumble some graham cracker crumbs on top and Voila, s'mores hot chocolate.
Thanks again for stopping by. Next week Author Emily Heebner will be joining us around the Campfire.
Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth