Thursday, July 26, 2012

Interview with Historical Sweet Romance Author

Linda Weaver Clarke has been married for 39 years to George Clarke and has 6 daughters and 5 grandchildren. She travels throughout the United States, teaching a Family Legacy Workshop, encouraging people to write their family history and autobiography. She has gone to 16 states and given over 300 workshops. She is the author of nine novels and two non-fiction e-books: five historical “sweet” romance novels and four mystery/adventure novels.

“These books are enjoyable to read, and although they're wholesome, they're never boring. Linda Weaver Clarke is outstanding at presenting the characters' thoughts, especially when it comes to romance, and she captures the highs and lows of romantic life rather adeptly. The author also pays close attention to historical accuracy, enabling readers to learn about U.S. history in her novels.” –Suko’s Notebook

George Clarke: Every week you interview authors and have book giveaways and I thought it was about time someone interviewed you! You have 5 books in “A Family Saga in Bear Lake Idaho” series. What was the inspiration behind your first sweet romance novel, Melinda and the Wild West - an awarding winning novel?

Linda: Most authors are inspired by an event in their lives or by something they’ve read about in a newspaper. In my case, it was personal. I had a heartrending experience that I never forgot. I was a substitute teacher for an elementary school. I had subbed for this one class before, but this day was different. This day something was definitely wrong and I was not sure what it was. As I moved toward the back of the room, I noticed a desk that was hidden behind a bookshelf. I peered around the corner and saw an eight-year-old girl resting her head against her arms.

I was surprised. Why was this student separated from the rest of the children? Why was she hidden behind this bookshelf… alone? One of the students volunteered, "She has to sit there because she’s a trouble-maker and doesn’t do her schoolwork and fights with the boys at recess."

This eight-year-old girl had been labeled as a troublemaker by her teacher. Hearing this, the students steered away from her, not wanting to be her friend. This label made her feel degraded. She stopped doing schoolwork, refused to be part of the class, and got into a few fights. She seemed angry at the world but after working with her for a while, I soon learned what a sweet and wonderful child she was. She had characteristics that I was impressed with. When she realized that I really cared, she was willing to do her work, just to please me. I’ll never know how this young girl’s life turned out, but in my novel I chose a happily-ever-after ending, just because Melinda cared and made a difference in the girl’s life. Why was this subject important to me? Because something similar happened to my own daughter.

This novel has “sweet” romance and adventure. What kind of adventure? When Melinda takes a job as a schoolteacher in the small town of Paris, Idaho, she comes face-to-face with a notorious bank robber, a vicious grizzly bear, and a terrible blizzard that leaves her clinging to her life. But it’s a rugged rancher who challenges Melinda with the one thing for which she was least prepared—love.

George Clarke: I have read each one of your novels and enjoyed them. Why do you add true family or ancestral experiences to your historical novels?

Linda: I feel that it brings my story to life. An example is my great grandmother, Sarah Robinson. In my 4th book in this series, Sarah's Special Gift, she was my inspiration, so I patterned my character after her. She lost her hearing when she was a baby. Even though she was deaf, she was known as one of the most graceful dancers in town. She was a beautiful woman with black hair and blue eyes. Nothing held her back. She was a spunky woman. One day she had a feeling that an intruder was in her home so she grabbed her broom and searched the house. She found the terrible man under her bed. With all the power and strength she had, she swatted him out of the house and down the street, pummeling him as she went. Since I added so many experiences from her life in my book, I named my character, Sarah, after my great grandmother.

George Clarke: What was the inspiration behind the last four novels in this series?

Linda: Edith and the Mysterious Stranger was inspired by my parents’ courtship. They didn’t meet the traditional way. They met through letters. Their story was so romantic that I patterned this book after their courtship. With mysterious letters, cattle rustlers, a spunky woman, Halloween, and young love, there is always something happening. 

Sarah's Special Gift was inspired because of my great grandmother who was deaf. This story has deep-rooted legends, a few mysterious events, the mystery of the Bear Lake Monster, and a tender love story.

Jenny’s Dream was inspired because of some unpleasant childhood experiences and now Jenny must learn forgiveness before she can choose which dream to follow. Meanwhile, a legendary ten-foot grizzly bear is seen in the area and its boldness has frightened the community.

My inspiration for Elena, Woman of Courage was the “Roaring Twenties.” This was a new decade of independent women, when they raised their hemlines and bobbed their hair. As Elena fights to prove herself as the town’s newest female doctor, the town’s most eligible bachelor finds it a challenge to see if he can win her heart.

George Clarke: I loved each book in this series but my favorite is Elena, Woman of Courage because you put so much humor into it. I hope that many people were able to get to know you better. Remember to pick which book you’re the most interested in, whether you want a book or ebook, along with your email.


misskallie2000 said...

Hi Linda, I enjoyed reading about how you came up with the story line for your books. I have read Melinda and the Wild West and Montezuma Intrigue and both were great. Looking forward to reading a sweet love story. Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

tickmenot said...

I really loved learning you used events from your family's past in your books!

Please enter me in your contest.



Gail Pallotta said...

Hi Linda and George,

Thanks for the interview. It's great to learn more about Linda and her writing. I've read one of Linda's books and enjoyed it very much. I liked the history and lore as well a the romance and family love in it--a good, wholesome book that could be read by young adult as well as adults.

Glenda Parker Fiction Writer said...

I loved your interview. It is always wonderful to hear how a writer came up with their stories. I would love to win a copy of one of them. I would like the last one. Please enter me in your contest. God bless you.

Glenda Parker

tickmenot said...

Hi Linda,

I read the first chapter of “Mayan Intrigue” for an extra entry to win a historical sweet romance novel.

I really liked the first chapter; it left me really wanting to read on for the rest of the story. There are lots of twists and turns in the story so far, so I have no idea how it will turn out—and I really like that!

I have enjoyed your other books and really like the family in this series.



daysease said...

Dear Linda... I LOVE this interview... How fun to have your husband involved in this one. Thank you so much for explaining the personal family experiences gave you ideas for the books. I think such details make the books so interesting, and take one back into history even more effectively, knowing that they were actual events, not just due to one's imagination (which is also nice, but different). I must say that I was touched that your husband read your books, and, just as I was deciding on David and The Bear Lake Monster because of the details regarding your great-grandmother Sarah, his tip of humor being part of Elena Woman of Courage won me over entirely. I am in need of any clean and encouraging humor I can get these days. So... that is my choice(Elena Woman of Courage), should I win it; which I hope I do.

While I live overseas, I would like a BOOK to be sent to an address I have in the states. Thank you for offering the giveaways, and for making this one so personal. Very nice.


mrsdayseye at tiscali dot it

daysease said...

I read the first chapter of Elena Woman of Courage, and it made me want to return all the way to the beginning of the series and read all the way through! hahaha... Whiskey for cramping in pregnancy?? hahah... good grief... Want to hear more about this new woman doctor... :-)


mrsdayseye at tiscali dot it

Nancy said...

It's touching to know the stories are inspired by real people. Thanks for the chance to win one.

mamabunny13 said...

Great interview! I would love to read them all but I would like to start with Edith and the Mysterious Stranger in print form. Thanks for the chance to win.
mamabunny13 at gmail dot com

pol said...

Hi Linda, popped oved from Goodreads to ck out the giveaway and learn of your books, love to read the historical romance and interesting thought that you add bits of family history into them. thanks for sharing your talant.
Paula O(

Melanie Ski said...

I think this will have to be my next series now that I finished Desert Intrigue. I have so loved the Evan's family I hate to leave them!
melanieinoh2003 at yahoo dot com

Cheryl said...

What a great idea to have the hubby interview you. I loved Melinda and the Wild West and I'm sure the others in this series are just as wonderful.

I shared this giveaway with my readers at

Wishing you the best,


Darlene said...

What a great idea! I loved George's interview of you, Linda! And I love learning of the author's inspiration behind the novels.

I'd love to win a paperback copy of Edith and the Mysterious Stranger. I love the idea of courtship through writing!

Thanks for the giveaway!
GFC Darlene
darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

Vinci said...

Enjoyed your interview, of these interesting sounding books.
Would love to snag a copy of
Edith and the Mysterious Stranger In that it was inspired by your parents’ courtship is so amazing.
Sounds like my kind of books.
Like the history story too.
dayle b at telus dot net

Lisa And Randy said...

Hi Linda,
I enjoyed reading the interview George did with you. It is great knowing that we are related through your husband's side of the family. I look forward to reading your books, and am not sure which one I would like, since they all sound wonderful.Thanks for the opportunity to enter the giveaway. I would prefer a book if I will.

Brandy, April, and Amanda said...

I have been really wanting to read Melinda and the Wild West for some time now. Thanks for the opportunity!

couponmomma2010 at hotmail dot com

tennille said...

The story of the little girl is heartbreaking.

I like the hear authors use really life events to inspire them

wwcd23 at yahoo dot ca

Lexie@BookBug said...

I love "sweet romances"! It would be great to win any of these books! Thanks for the giveaway!
lexie.bookbug at gmail dot com

Teresa Thompson said...

Jenny's dream.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

I have decided to pick more than one winner for this contest. Thank you all, for your wonderful comments. The winners are Celita, Melanie Ski, Lisa, Brandy, Tennille, and Paula.