Thank you for giving us time for an interview today. I am looking forward to learning a little more about you and your writing, and excited about your new book, Cissy!
Can you tell us what genre you write and a little of your writing journey?
Women’s Fiction with Faith tossed in! How’s that for a genre! There are a few occasional words that disqualify me from marketing as Christian Fiction, but my faith is evident in my stories.
My journey, wow! I open my bio with, “I once said I should write down all the story ideas in my head so someone could write them someday. I had no idea at the time that someone was me!”
I did it all backwards. I had a blog but it was not on writing and I was not active with it, I was not on Twitter and didn’t want to be. I had not attended a conference, nor did I belong to a writer’s group. And I didn’t even know what a Crit Partner or Influencer Team was! I started posting on my blog but my Author page was essentially inactive. After a few months Holy Spirit prompted me to start sharing posts from my writer friends to my Author page—and Twitter, and Google Plus. That was two years ago, and I have watched my network grow and expand.
My debut novel, Tessa, released in March of 2014 on Kindle, but it wasn’t until October of that year that I released her in print. And it wasn’t until a couple of readers asked about a sequel. I hadn’t thought about a sequel, but when I looked at the story, there are two clear spots that point straight to Clara Bess. As I got started with her, I felt stalled. Turns out, I had 5000 words that belonged to Cissy’s story!
Now that this series is complete (gasp! I still can’t quite believe it! I feel as if I’m saying good-bye to a cast of dear friends!) I have another series already incubating, and plan to write some middle grade mysteries with my granddaughter. I’m also planning to release a compilation of some of my poems next year.
What book are you featuring today and what story can you tell us that has something to do with your book?
Cissy is my featured book today. I’ll give you the tag: When you believe the lie, you can’t be who you’re created to be. As a child, Cissy hears words that destroy her life, and unequipped to fight against it, she lives out her life believing the lie. The “story” that goes with this, is that the deeper I got into writing, the deeper—and darker—the story became. It was a difficult story to write, but I knew there was a redemptive ending, and I had to keep going. I’m so glad I did.
Can you give us a short summary of your new release or back copy blurb:
Evil words. Words that should never have been spoken. Words that she should not have heard.
But she did. And she believed them.
Everything changed when Cissy heard those words that day. She was five.
What torment is wrought when wicked words are spoken? Can Cissy’s ravaged life be redeemed? Or will she wreak havoc on all who love her?
Can the lie be undone? Is there a word powerful enough to break the curse and undo the unsavory heritage?
AUTHOR’S NOTE: Cissy is not easy reading. She faces evil and succumbs to it. She is seduced at a young age, and learns to wield her body to manipulate and wound those most dear to her. There are no graphic scenes, but neither do my scenes merely allude to what is happening. Cissy is the dark and gritty, high-tension climax to the unsavory heritage series.
What do you do when you sit down to write? Do you listen to a certain type of music or eat chocolate or exercise? Anything special?
Quiet. Can’t have music or TV going at all! My brain starts singing, or gets caught up in whatever show might be on. I drink unsweetened iced tea 24/7, to the point my blood type is… A-tea-positive! I graze throughout the day, but chocolate is most definitely included as often as I can! Current situation: Ghirardelli dark chocolate brownies with Andes mints, and dark chocolate frosting! I do make an effort to get out for a walk every day. (been pretty slack lately)
What is something unique or amusing about yourself or your life that we would like to know?
Fun fact: I’m also an actress and I do a really good British accent. To the point that Brits actually argued with me that I’m not from there! They didn’t believe me! (apparently my accent places me in Reading, Berkshire, England!) I’m also learning Irish, and would love to learn Russian and Japanese! Ya, I know, weird! But I love words and I love languages!
Give us a short biography about yourself and tell us how we can contact you (fb, twitter, website).
I have been writing since 1995, and began working in earnest on my debut novel, Tessa in 2013. Meanwhile, I cranked out a few dozen poems, made countless notes for story ideas, and earned my BFA in Interior Design. I lived with depression for many years, and the inherent feelings of worthlessness and invisibility; I didn’t want to be who I was and struggled with my own identity for many years. My characters face many of these same demons.
I write stories of identity conflict. My characters encounter situations that force the question, “Who am I, really?” For all who have ever wondered who you are or why you’re here, my stories will touch you in a very real—maybe too real—and a very deep way. I know, I write from experience.
I have three novels published, the unsavory heritage series. Tessa, Clara Bess and Cissy are available on Amazon, both for Kindle and in print. I also have several poems included in an anthology, Where Dreams and Visions Live (Anthologies of the Heart Book 1) by Mary Blowers as well as a short story, Sarafina’s Light, also in an anthology, Blood Moon, compiled by Mary Blowers. I will also be working on a personal compilation of poetry to be released in 2017.
*GIVEAWAY!* One free signed print copy of this same title will be given to the winner of a drawing. Anyone who makes a comment on this post on my blog (http://lindarodante.com/) or on my author facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/lindakrodante/?fref=ts) will be put in for a drawing. On Monday, following this blog, a winner will be drawn and their name will be given to the author who will contact them and arrange for the book to be sent.
I know your book has an epic prologue. Can you give us part of that here?
PROLOGUE—1880, Christmas Day
“I hate you and I wish you was dead.”
The smudged glass of the attic window thrown wide; Cissy welcomed the arctic air. She watched as her twin sister, Clara, permitted Virgil to kiss her, a token of their betrothal.
“I was waiting for you to return to me.” Clara’s voice was trilled on the night air. Virgil had gone to Boston with his Daddy to purchase new equipment and livestock for their farm. And her engagement ring.
“I was so afraid Ronnie Nash would come and sweep you off your feet,” he teased.
“Ronnie? Never in a million years!” She feathered her lips against his again. “You know I only have eyes for you.”
He grasped her gloved hand, tucked it in the crook of his arm, and together they sauntered back toward the house. Snow sifted down, diamonds in the moonlight.
“It’s the most perfect Christmas.” Clara rested her head on Virgil’s chest.
Cissy played the part of happy sister. She eyed Virgil; she had not given up her heart’s desire. Not even when her wretched game had cost them Connie’s life. She glowered at her twin. You stole my love from me and now you’ve ruined Christmas for me too.
“When do you think it will be?” Cissy asked, too sweetly.
“What do you think, Mama?” Clara mused. “I like the spring, with apple blossoms.”
“Pa and me have to go back to Boston for business after the New Year. We’re sure to be away for two months, maybe three.” Virgil eyed Clara sheepishly; he wanted to wed before his journey. “But we can wait if ya want to.”
Clara’s brother, Gabriel slugged him in the arm. He understood Virgil’s thoughts all too well.