Words with Linda Faulkner, author of "Second Time Around"

Can you tell us a little bit about "Second Time Around?"

What do you do when the dead body you stumble across turns out to belong to your father, the father you thought abandoned you in infancy? That’s what Timmie Campbell asks herself. Turns out her mother has been lying for years: about her father’s abandonment, about him not contacting them, about a lot of things. Unfortunately, Timmie can’t dwell on her mother’s dishonesty because she has to deal with the additional bodies that begin piling up. Sheriff’s deputy Jack Kendall further complicates her life. He’s investigating the murders and is equally intent on resuming their relationship—the one he ended the previous summer. Unfortunately for Jack, Timmie’s not the least bit interested in romance. Her priority is stopping the killer before he wipes out everyone her family.
What's your background with writing?

I began writing short stories in elementary school and completed my first romantic suspense novel thirty years later in 1988. Although the novel was welcomed enthusiastically by two different publishers, one of whom asked for rewrites, the welcomes weren’t enthusiastic enough to purchase it as-is. Such is the life of a writer, he? Life intervened in the form of family and work and although I completed half a dozen more novels between 1988 and 2009, when Second Time Around was published, the bulk of my writing during those years was in the form of numerous magazine articles, a newspaper column that ran for 7 years, and a multitude of educational texts, seminars, and online courses in the insurance industry. I continue to be published more in non-fiction (especially in the form of insurance education materials) and my second book, Taking the Mystery Out of Business: 9 Fundamentals for Professional Success, was released earlier this month
Who are your inspirations/influences?

Any writer who can elicit strong emotions from me: Ed McBain/Evan Hunter did an excellent job of pulling me into his characters’ points of view; Rex Stout taught me all about torturous plot twists; I flat-out love the mystery novels of Dell Shannon/Elizabeth Linington, Sue Grafton, Victoria Holt and Dorothy Eden, and Lawrence Block; Janet Evanovich makes me laugh out loud; John D. MacDonald’s books, especially the Travis McGee series, turns me philosophical; Jayne Ann Krentz and Suzanne Brockmann simply excel at telling a good stories and absorb me. I wanna be like all of them rolled into one when I grow up as a writer.
Who was responsible for the cover design of “Second Time Around?”

The book cover was designed by my friend and business associate, Steph Lambert of luella design, a graphic artist in Missoula, Montana who once worked as the professional photographer of an NFL team. The cover photo was one Steph took from Blue Mountain, which overlooks the city, which you can see in the top right section of the cover. I wanted the cover to reflect the book’s setting and Steph did an excellent job of capturing the feel of the Rocky Mountains of western Montana. My editor, Herb Holeman, came up with the idea of the yellow crime scene tape and I think that adds the perfect touch.
What are you doing in terms of marketing/publicity?

I conduct book signings and events both online and in person. I also talk endlessly, to clients and anyone who’ll listen, about my books and my writing. In fact, the title of my business series (Taking the Mystery Out) coincides with my love of mysteries and helps me promote both my fiction and non-fiction simultaneously. My tagline for the business books is Clueless is a dangerous place to be and that sums up my perspective about writing fiction and non-fiction. I also conduct career development and writing workshops for organizations and businesses, as well as for writers, and because of my extensive business and writing experience, these events help market and promote all of my writing activities and the books and other works I’ve published. My “day” job has always involved sales and marketing, so I don’t have any difficulty arranging or participating in these events. They’re fun!
Do you have any stories from book signings/radio interviews, etc.?

I like to have fun, so I tend to ask one or more attendees of a book signing to perform a reading with me when I do a book signing. Because I’m a ham, the process nearly always winds up in laughter. I don’t have a single event that stands out in my mind—unless it’s the very first book signing I did. I wound up bursting into tears after it was over and I was thanking the bookstore owner for helping me make my dream come true. Not very professional, but she didn’t seem to mind.
What is the name of your blog and what can readers expect to find there?

I host three blogs. My Author Exchange Blog is a place for published authors and other publishing professionals to strut their stuff. I used to post author interviews but have changed the focus to include articles and guest posts, book reviews, and other announcements. I believe very strongly in authors helping each other promote themselves. My personal writing blog is here and it addresses topics of interest to me as a writer of several genres. The blog for the Taking the Mystery Out series is and currently focuses on the topic of educating entrepreneurs, managers, independent contractors, and employees about the business world and making things easier for them.
What projects do you have planned for the future?

In addition to several insurance projects I’m contracted for, I’m currently outlining the second book in the business series and writing a romantic suspense novel. I expect to have both finished by the summer.
Is there anything else about you we should know?

Well… I talk too much and too loudly but, after many years of being either teased or criticized about it, decided it’s simply not going to change and is part of my charm. A guy once told me I’m kind—but he was breaking up with me at the time, so I was pissed off instead of flattered. I’m either too serious or too silly and usually at the most inappropriate of times. I love cats; dogs; baby giggles; trees; running water (as in creeks and rivers, not from the tap); the smells of lavender, baby powder, and wood smoke (but not all three mixed together); the way snow sounds when it’s falling in the forest; and hard-boiled eggs (the flavor, not the aroma). I dislike TV, disrespect, violence, and negativity. Guess that’s about it. Oh, except for the fact that I have three wonderful kids and two granddaughters—all of whom are both smarter and better looking than me. Which is as it should be.

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