"New Worlds Are Our Oyster."
Are You an AVID Reader?
Linda Colwell believes
that growing up in a small West Virginia town was the cocoon that
nurtured her creativity. Her family relocated to Michigan's metropolitan
Detroit area when she was sixteen and there, she was exposed to a
new culture and developed additional sensitivities.
When the small voice inside finally grew into a roar, she remembered the English professor's words. Linda studied creative writing, attended conferences, joined a local critique group and is a member of the RWA, the Greater Detroit RWA and the FTH online Chapter. After having several short pieces published, she now devotes her time to writing novels.
She resides in Royal Oak, Michigan, with her husband, John.
Barb S: Linda what made you decide to make your literary debut with Avid Press? Do you feel that the large presses are limited as to the number or kind or paranormal romances that they publish?
Linda C: Colleen Schulte (now publisher or Avid Press) and I belonged to the same critique group. So, she had read "LILACS"...When she started Avid Press, she approached me about placing LILACS with Avid with the stipulation that Kate, her partner and sister(I have never met Kate, but will meet her at National this year!)would read it blindly and would also approve. I took some time to think it over. Two big publishers had turned me down though they liked my descriptions, characterizations. Both pretty much said that it "wasn't exactly a romance." I am all for changing, bending when appropriate, but in this case I would not dissect the story, change the hero and etc...so I put it aside with the idea that perhaps someday New York might change its mind.
I also knew Colleen Schulte to be a very saavy, talented lady with lots of integrity. So, after thinking it over and after Kate gave her seal of approval, I decided to take the plunge. I loved Avid's slogan, "Color outside the lines!" It seemed the right home for WHEN THE LILACS BLOOM.
Barb S: When the Lilacs Bloom is a rather complex story is it not? Let's see there are two heroines, One in 1899Elinor Foster and the other in the year 2000 Emily Foster. The woman are similar in appearance and distantly related, right?
Linda C: Yes, Emily is a descendant of one of Elinor's brothers...
Barb S: Now at times these women appear to be the same person at other times they are separate. This is not a reincarnation or a transmutation story. The women share a body but not a soul. Have I got that right?
Linda C: You are partly right. Elinor and Emily are two separate people, yet they share certain elements. Emily would have died when she was in the car wreck at the age of eight if Elinor had not done a "Soul Fusion" It's sort of like a spiritual kind of Siamese Twins..where their spirits are separate, yet share certain essences....This means Elinor gave the child, Emily, a part of her own strength, life force.
There is, then, a connectedness between them as a result of the fusion, a common blending of a portion of their spirits. So the part of Emily that is Elinor becomes Elinor fully during the time travel sequences.
Barb S: I want to call this book a time travel but that's not quite right. Emily catches glimpses of Elinor and her husband while in the present. Sometimes Emily experiences the past as Elinor or is it with Elinor? It seems like her body stays behind but then she has discovers little items that make her wonder if she's not dreaming.
Linda C: She experiences it AS Elinor...Once the transition is made, Emily's spirit and actual body sleep. However because of the connectedness between Elinor and Emily...things like the cut finger, for instance, manifest on Emily's body...though not for the length of time or the severity that they would be experienced by Elinor.
Barb S: Both women seem to have a fondness for the hero Nicholas. The tale that's been handed down through the generations is that Nicholas killed his new bride Elinor then himself. Emily never believes this. Is this why the pair employs her help?
Linda C: Emily instinctively knows that Nicholas would never have killed Elinor. It's that soul mate thing, that connectedness the two women share. Thus the 'Elinor' in Emily is drawn to Nicholas and he to her! There is a kind of karmic debt, if you will, that I alluded to earlier...Elinor saved young Emily's life, now Emily has the chance to balance it out by going back in time, righting a horrible wrong, and saving the life of Elinor.
Barb S: Now in addition to apparitions and Emily's traveling back and forth through time, there is an evil force at work as well, correct?
Linda C: Oh yes, you can definitely say that!
Barb S: The ending of this story was also different from a typical romance. Generally editors expect the heroine and the hero to establish their relationship in the first three chapters. Instead the whole of this book is leading up to a climactic moment. What made you decide to go this route.
Linda C: I didn't decide. The characters did. I usually have a general idea of where I'm going, but I let the characters tell me how to get there! Sometimes they take me in an entirely different direction than the one I originally planned. That's why I am a member in good standing of the WRITE BY THE SEAT OF MY PANTS CLUB. Besides, when I typed in that last sentence I knew the story had come together like a symphony--the way it was supposed to. I knew I could not/would not change it.
Barb S: What's next for Linda Colwell?
will do a sequel to LILACS, but that is in the barest of planning
stages at this point. Right now I have written a short novella for
an Anthology, JOURNEYS OF THE HEART, Avid Press, fall, 2000. It is
an historical romance called MISS TRIXIE'S FANCY MAN. It is a prequel,
a forerunner of TOWARD THE SUNSET, a wagon train/gold rush era historical
with a twist of humor. I also have two completed historicals, CRY
OF THE BRETHREN and LAVINIA'S GIFT. CRY is being considered by a publisher
at the moment and I have not yet sent LAVINIA out.
My first love is paranormal/gothic/supernatural and I plan to do several more of them. I have a whole classroom of 'book' waiting for me to call them to the head of the class and give them their voices!
Emily Foster returns to the old Victorian home where she grew up hearing the stories of star-crossed lovers Nicholas Langford and Emily’s ancestor, Elinor Foster.
Emily becomes increasingly obsessed by thoughts of Nicholas, and she is pulled back into his time in the person of Elinor.
Upon returning to her own time, Emily learns from a local soothsayer that she needs to go back to 1897 to right a wrong and save the lives of Elinor and Nicholas.
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