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

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Okay, we're kind of a creepy bunch!
Where do get these strange, off-the-wall ideas anyway?
We get them by looking over our shoulders. Or our eyes which never stop darting around the room. Or the breath catching in our throats over things "normal" people wouldn't even notice.
You think I'm pulling your leg?
One of my first works was birthed on a "Dark and stormy night". Okay, now I'm just kidding. Seriously, picture this. My twelve-year old daughter is chattering next to me as I try to maneuver the car through another horrendous Michigan snow storm. She's going to spend the night with a friend and a house full of girls for a birthday sleepover. Once we finally get there and are unloading her sleeping bag, presents and other "stuff", she flips out 'cuz we forgot her pillow. "Gotta have my pillow." So, wonderful super mom that I am (that's been contested many times on some psychiatrist's couch, no doubt) I drive through the storm again and retrieve the pillow. As I drop it off, I look at the birthday girl's house and I think to myself, what do I really know about these people? Well, if there are any problems, my daughter can call. No big deal. I've met the parents, they seem like nice folks.
Or are they?
Now, my trip back home if filled with what ifs and I've got this horrid stomachache all of a sudden. What if she wasn't twelve?
What if they weren't nice people?
What if I returned in the morning and the house was empty?
No adults, no kids, no balloons, No nada!
Okay, immediately I ran, didn't walk, to the computer and started banging out the story of five-year old girls who disappear from a birthday sleepover. My friends thought I was just a little bit crazy to even imagine such a scenario, but in the mind of a suspense writer, it was just another day in strangeland. I think I speak for most of us when I say it's hard to look at the news,
a magazine or any situation without thinking,
Ooohhh, that would make a really great story!
Or maybe it's only the woman in the mirror
who looks at me each morning and says,
"Well, where will we find suspense today?"
Or maybe, it's the face that looks over my shoulder when I clear the steam.
Either way, it's gonna be a great day for writing suspense!


  1. Excellent! I'm writing a story now based on one of the 'moments' - letting my children walk to the neighborhood store on their own ... what if one doesn't come back? Our minds are warped and we like it that way :)

  2. Yeah, it really does take a very special strange mind to think of these things, doesn't it? Oh well, I think it's just that we're brave enough to admit that we worry about these kinds of things.

  3. Oh wow--you make me want to be a suspense writer! Loved where you took that!

  4. I can really identify with this post. My husband is a cop, so I get lots of good suspense material from his experiences combined with my "creepy" imagination! (I can also identify with driving through a snowstorm to get a pillow -- we moms are just plain crazy.)

  5. Hey, I resemble those remarks! LOLOL

  6. I envy you. Although I love reading murder mysteries, I've never had a workable idea for writing one. If only I had a more suspicious nature . . .

  7. I love mysteries and I love reading your work!

  8. Hahaa! So that's how it happened. LOL Well, it's a great plot, very creepy and sad. :-)

  9. It was really creepy the day it happened. Sort of freaked me out for a few days until I could settle down and address it objectively. Whew, I had too creepy an imagination while the kids were growing. My son had a similar situation. His family was almost kidnapped in Italy while he was in Iraq. He writes about it on an online magazine. Really crazy stuff!

  10. hi linda. thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment on lisa's assessment on self-harm. glad it could be of help to you in your writing! that makes me my day. :)

    The Character Therapist

  11. Thank YOU. I might bend your ear from time to time as I write about some VERY strange characters with suspense. Thanks so much for the great article. You answered a lot of questions for me without knowing it.