Linda Yezak has become a friend made through social media who has been gracious in helping me with my own book promotions. It is with delight that I interview her for my blog and she’s offering to do a drawing for a copy of her latest novel, The Final Ride as well! Someday I’m going to enjoy meeting the resident of 777 Peppermint Place in person and it will be so much fun. Enjoy getting to know Linda and her journey as an author.
When did you decide that you would be an author? Was it something you fell into, felt called to… ?
I’ve always enjoyed writing, but when my husband and I moved from our hometown, I took it up again. I didn’t get serious about it until I actually typed “the end” on my first (awful) novel. I got so excited–and knew absolutely nothing about the business–that I sent the manuscript to a publisher without letting anyone who knows anything about writing read it. By the time I got their inevitable rejection letter, I was hooked on writing, and decided to take it far more seriously.
What’s your pet peeve?
Drivers who see me coming at them on the highway at 75 mph and pull out in front of me anyway. There’s gotta be a special kind of punishment for them.
What was your most embarrassing moment as a writer?
When I discovered Google Alert the hard way. Not once, but twice. The first time is a two-parter, when I critiqued William Brohaugh’s Write Tight. I included a comment that sometimes we have to rely on the reader’s common sense. The reader can probably figure things out without us having to be so particular about how we write them. He responded. Who knew he’d even find my measly post on a blog that is just one kazoo in a zillion-piece orchestra?
Then I responded to him, not expecting to hear from him again, and he responded to that.
But that was a good experience. The second was a huge faux pas on my part, and I still kick myself for it.
I’d landed an agent. I was so excited, I was cartwheeling. We just needed to make the deal official with a contract, but I was finally an agented author.
Problem was, at the time, I didn’t know much about hiring an agent. Mike Hyatt had a post about predator agents and he wrote a list of questions to ask. I wrote a post on my own blog, telling about my experience with getting this new agent and how I felt uncertain of myself because of what Mike had written. I said something along the lines of “I don’t even know this woman.”
Well, “this woman” found the post and got offended, not that I blame her. Bye-bye agent.
Since then, I’ve been far more careful.
What has been your most difficult challenge as an author?
Learning the business end of the business–promotions, marketing, the algorithms that make the system crank my books higher in visibility. I spent so much time polishing my craft, that I neglected all this. I hate discovering how many things I’ve done wrong. Sigh.
How do you process rejections and/or negative reviews?
I blow them off. People have their opinions. One lady wrote that she didn’t like the way my character in Give the Lady a Ride took the knee and bowed to God after his bull rides. She said it was too Tim Tebow-ish. Problem is, cowboys have been doing that since long before Tebow was known. Probably before he was born. Another wrote that my story bored her. She’s pretty much alone in the reviews on that one. Another couple of reviews on different books were spot-on, so I can’t complain about them.
More often than not, however, I get really good reviews, so the bad ones I get don’t bother me.
What do you feel is the best success so far in your writing career?
Winning an honorable mention in the Saturday Evening Posts “Great Fiction” contest. I didn’t get anything for it other than to be published in their 2016 digital anthology of the 2015 winners. Still, it definitely lands in the plus column.
What would be your top three pieces of advice to newer, up and coming authors?
Take a moment to sit down and evaluate what all this business requires–aside from writing great books–and set goals. Then determine a game plan to meet those goals. This applies whether you want to go indie or the traditional route. Even though others may take care of some of the business details in traditional publishing, you should still have enough knowledge and savvy to know whether you’re getting treated fairly. Of course, if you’re indie, it’s all on your shoulders. The more you know, the more successful you’ll be.
Network with as many people as you can in this industry. I’ve been so fortunate in my years to be able to swap favors and reviews with book cover designers, editors, promo specialists, critique partners, beta readers.
Study the craft. Study and learn from other authors and write, write, write.
As a Christian author, what would you like your legacy to be?
I want my readers to understand that no matter how far they stray from their God, he is faithful and just to forgive. I see my audience not just as women of a certain age who like romantic comedy and such, but also a subset of those women who need to know it’s okay to come home, back to the fold. God isn’t a grudge-holder.
What is your current work in process?
My current WIP is Skydiving to Love, a novella I’m writing to add to a set of romance novellas some friends and I are doing together. We had a wonderful idea: Four friends, facing their thirtieth birthdays, dare each other to do the wildest thing on their bucket list. Each story is about what the author’s character chose from her list and how she goes about fulfilling it. It’s going to be fun. We just got our fourth writer recently, so we’re hoping for a fall publication.
Leave a comment below and sign up for her newsletter, and she’ll draw a winner for a free copy of The Final Ride from those who sign up.
Links to social media:
Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/GivetheLadyaRide
777 Peppermint Place: http://lindayezak.com
Back cover copy for The Final Ride:
With her duties for her best friend’s wedding finally behind her, Patricia Talbert looks forward to discovering what “normal” will look like at her new home in Texas. She owns a ranch, is in love with its foreman, and is ready to assume her duties. Discovering what those duties entail isn’t an easy feat for a displaced socialite from Manhattan. But when her aunt Adele arrives on a mission to bring her back to New York, Patricia’s primary duty is to deflect the bumbling and bullish attempts–until one of Adele’s tricks takes her by surprise.
All of Talon Carlson’s dreams for the Circle Bar Ranch are coming true, along with another dream he never expected to be fulfilled–a chance to love again. Patricia is everything he ever wanted and more, but he made a promise to her not to ride bulls again, a promise he may have to break. His desire for a better end to his riding career is intensified by vicious rumors about why he quit. If he rides again, he will provide the ammunition Adele needs to make Patricia leave. If he doesn’t, he’ll prove the gossips right.
Patricia or Talon. Which one will take The Final Ride?