SPEAKER: Linda is a member of AWSA, and is available to speak to your organization, at your conference, or as part of a workshop.
Contact her at

AGENT: Linda is a an agent with Hartline Literary Agency. She would love to represent that next great American novel! She will look at nonfiction, but she LOVES FICTION--historic, suspense, romance or all of the above.

AUTHOR: Linda writes romance in all categories, but what is her fave? Suspense, and not only suspense, but SUSPENSE SEALED WITH A KISS

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Suspense Tweaked With a Kiss

This writing journey has been something.
From 17 years ago when I thought I had the next bestseller, to an agent I actually paid for in the first year.
Anybody ever heard of editors and preditors? That's another whole topic. Anyway, on to conferences and enough rejections to wallpaper my entire house. Then actually seriously attempting to learn the craft about three years ago. Who woulda thought? For some of you who were serious from the start, this might sound ridiculous, but it takes a few of us a crack over the noggin’ to get it right.

The wait was worth it. After rewriting more times than there are numbers to attach to it, my suspense novel was finally finished. A chance meeting at the conference in Denver followed by a proposal, a kind editorial assistant, and voila! an agent—at last.

Terry sent me all the necessary information and then the scary request—could I send a photo to attach to the sell sheets?
A photo? Not a photo!
Okay, for a couple hundred bucks, any photographer worth his weight can airbrush anything, right? But my husband said, “Lemme take a crack at it. I’m pretty good.”

A quick trip to a local pharmacy. I plunked down enough makeup and money to keep one of their employees working for a week. Struggling to carry the bag home, I ran through the door, grabbed a putty knife, and hid out in the bathroom for a couple hours. Half a bottle of hairspray and about a pound of makeup later, I emerged feeling pretty doggone good. Albeit, a bit overdone.
There ensued a photo shoot like nothing you’ve ever seen. “Over this way more!”“I can’t, my chins will show.” “Good grief, it’s just a photo.” “Just a photo? Are you out of your mind? This is thee photo. It has to be fabulous. People other than our family will actually see it!”

Later, scrolling through the choices, the suspense was killing us. “Nope.” “Right, too many chins, huh?” “No, you fool, the smile looks like I ate a pickle.” Delete. Delete. Delete.

We should’ve paid the two-hundred bucks.

Okay, the last one. “Come on. Show me. It can’t be that bad.” More suspense as my husband casually turned the camera so I could see it. No red eye. No double (or triple) chin. No blotchy skin. “Do you think Rachel could crop and fix this?” “I’ll bet she could.” We didn’t give birth to an actress used to headshots for nothing.
Two hours later, (probably seemed longer to her) and we waited for the photo to download. Breath coming in short gasps as the computer clacked away to show us the final result. Good? Bad? Ugly? No comment.

The suspense over at last. “Not a bad photo, Mom.” “Yeah, well enjoy it. You’ll never see me with that much makeup on again.”
“Too bad,” my husband said. He gave me a peck on the lips and the Suspense Tweaked with a Kiss was all over.
Stick around, I’ve got a couple interviews already in the works and a glimpse or two into how theatre and writing overlap to make a better fiction product. I’m full of surprises that I hope you’ll all enjoy. Just don’t ever ask for different photo.


  1. Is this the photo on this blog? Because I think it's awesome! You're so beautiful and you have an awesome smile.
    Are you sure you write suspense??? *grin*

    You have a sweet family taking care of you like that. :-)

  2. Hi Linda. I'm here from Jessica's blog. What a great story. I laughed the whole way through. Congrats on getting an agent. It's a great picture of you on you blog. Is that the one?

  3. Yeah, you should've seen the rest that didn't make the cut-gulp! There's only so much my husband and daughter can do. Glad you joined us. Next installment, now that y'all know me, will be loaded with REAL suspense.

  4. I had to laugh! I can imagine just how many writers go through this exact same thing!

  5. Love the picture and the story!!! Congratulations!!!

    -Alisa Hope

  6. I think he did a great job!!! Tell him to come photo me! My picture is four years old but don't tell anyone! I am waiting to take a trip to glamour shots for a new one. And yes, they pack on the makeup too!

  7. It's a gorgeous photo and bless your dear hubby and daughter for helping you with it. You look awesome!

  8. I'm still laughing at myself. I'm grateful God blessed me with a sense of humor.