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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Guest Blog: Linda Swift

I'm not very good at following rules. Contrary to the "rule" of writing in one genre which would allow me to gain a loyal readership, I flit from one category to another. At the moment, I am flitting between contemporary and historical books with stories that are defined as romance, women's fiction, and mainstream with some crossovers.

It took me a while to figure out the difference between women's fiction and romance as it apparently did one of my publishers who accepted my submission of the former and then did major surgery to convert it to the latter. I've never been convinced the amputation was necessary and someday I hope to reattach those missing limbs and offer it for adoption.

I've finally concluded that a romance is about a relationship between two people (in the traditional romance a man and woman), with the focus on these two with no subplots, and the story has a happy ending. Whereas women's fiction can have other relationships, subplots, and end the way real life often does.

Some people say they read books to escape real life and if they want reality, they will watch the TV news. But I maintain that it can be more cathartic for readers to "lose themselves" in a book that mirrors life. If people have problems and sadness in their own lives, I think it helps to know that they are not alone in that. To read about a character who faces a bad situation and overcomes it can offer hope of doing likewise. And isn't it better to cry over an imaginary character than to indulge in a pity party for oneself? The end result is still the release of stressful emotion.

In my books, I sometimes write about controversial relationships. In my March contemporary, To Those Who Wait, the two main characters are married—to other people. But there were circumstances that changed four reviewers' opinions about their extramarital affair. Life ain't always pretty. And in my just released historical, This Time Forever, the heroine was married and the hero was engaged but no reader would want Clarissa to stay in her abusive marriage. Philip's dilemma was more difficult because he was torn between two decent women who loved him.

I would not leave you with the thought that everything I write is gloom and doom. I have other contemporary books released this year that meet the definition of romance in every way. And I have a new historical awaiting release—a whimsical love story about a castle guard and waiting lady-- that will warm your heart and make you smile. Meanwhile, I shall continue on my convoluted writing journey, and hope that a few adventurous readers who like variety will follow me. For more information and examples of my multi-genre flaw, go to

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Linda Swift writes contemporary and historical women's fiction, romance, and mainstream books, short stories, poetry and plays. She is currently contracted with seven digital publishers and has nine books and three short stories available in a variety of genres. Her most recent release is THIS TIME FOREVER, a Civil War saga, winner of LASR's Book of the Week.

She and her husband (in-house techie) spend time between Florida and their native state of Kentucky, visiting their children in Tennessee enroute. She is grateful to her entire family for their encouragement, support, and technical help that enables her to survive in cyberspace.


Debby said...

Your books sound intriguing. Life is not always black and white.
Debby236 at gmail dot com

Marlena Cassidy said...

I do the same thing, using plots that ask readers to feel a bit uncomfortable with what they're reading. I love the sound of your books and hope that I can read one soon.

Linda Swift said...

Debby, how true! Life comes in many shades of gray and those who see only black and white miss a lot, don't they? Thanks for your comments. Linda

Linda Swift said...

Thank you for your comments, Marlena. I hope you will try one of the titles mentioned today in my blog if you want a read that mirrors the type book you also write. To Those Who Wait will leave you with mixed emotions and This Time Forever will leave you satisfied in the end. 'Nuff said.

Celia Yeary said...

Linda-I'm glad you're telling the world--well, LASR readers right now--about This Time Forever. All readers who love a compassionate and passionate story about people in a real event should check out your book!
I highly recommend it, as you well know. Truly, I hope others discover this great novel about enemies and lovers set during the Civil War.

Kaye said...

Nice when a talented writer can work within and beyond the "rules." It shows the ability to let your creativity expand and allow characters and plots to have more expression through you. What a wonderful gift from you to your readers!

Linda Swift said...

Thank you, Celia for your kind words and your loyal support. Everyone needs a friend like you. And you know I am a great fan of your work also. And I truly would be even if I were not also a fan of you in person! Keep those great stories coming and I'll keep my Kindle handy.

Linda Swift said...

Thank you, Kaye, for taking time to read and comment on this blog. And thank you for all of your support, and encouragement, and help with my work. You are appreciated.

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

I like a realistic approach, too. You defended us well.

Danielle Thorne said...

I've enjoyed many of your books. I think reality and fantasy can share the same pages. Regardless, you do it well as I've always enjoyed your stories.

Linda Swift said...

Why, thank you, Julia. I write what I like to read as you probably do also. Thanks for visiting today. Linda

Linda Swift said...

Hi Danielle, thanks for your support and for your kind words about my stories. You are familiar wih a lot of the settings I use. Strange, how our paths have paralleled for so many years and never crossed until now. Linda