What is your favorite writing craft book?
I’ve been writing professionally for over twenty years, and I have discovered styles and craft concepts are ever evolving. Stephen King’s On Writing, isthe best writing craft book I ever read, and the advice still rings true. Also, Browne and King’s Self Editing for Fiction Writers.
Which do you think is the most underrated writing craft book? Why?
Someone gave me a book, Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder (a guide to screenwriting.) I had never heard of it before, but it’s a neat book. I have yet to write a screenplay but one never knows!
What is your favorite (or most anticipated) writers conference?
Writers conferences come in all flavors. I have attended many as well as taught in several. And they are all worthwhile. But I always feel the most at home at Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writers Conference, where God first affirmed the call to write professionally. The spiritual atmosphere alone is worth attending.
What’s your favorite other source (YouTube, podcast, etc.) for writing tips/info?
I can’t say that I have a favorite. I belong to many Facebook writers groups, general market and Christian. I also belong to several online writers groups who provide education and tips such as: ACFW, Capital Christian Writers, Maryland Writers Association, and Christian Authors Network. My publisher is faithful to let her authors know of good blog posts to help with our marketing, craft, and editing. I listen to a variety of YouTube and Podcast helps.
Who is your writing mentor/inspiration? Why?
I have a local writing group which provides a lot of support. I also belong to a peer support group through Capital Christian Writers Fellowship. I am looking for a critique partner or two. I have a very special friend from decades ago who is probably my greatest mentor. I’m the writer I am today because of her instruction and support.
What’s the worst writing advice you’ve ever received?
Write to the market. This is bad advice because the market fluctuates. By the time your novel or manuscript is finished, the market is looking for something different.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever received?
Be true to who you are as a writer, and write to your strengths. Good writing is good writing regardless of the genre. Secondly, know your demographic … who do you want to read your work? Identify with your reader. Don’t be selfish in your writing.
What would you say is the best writing tip for new authors?
My grandmother was a wonderful pianist. She once told me, “I know how to read music, but I don’t let that get in the way of my playing.” Once you’ve learned the craft, don’t get bogged down by the “rules.” They are conventional wisdoms, but not literal commandments. Know the spirit of the rules. Let your writing be a true and authentic version of you.
What is your best self-editing tip or advice?
Read your manuscript aloud. If you are able to have someone else read it, that’s great. If not, use a read-aloud program on your computer. I always feel like Steve Urkel, “Did I do that?”
Please share your most encouraging tip for frustrated/discouraged writers.
After you’ve hounded heaven with your doubts and fears, leave that discouragement at the altar. God does not call us to defeat. If He has given you a story, He has a plan for it. Sometimes, that story needs to lay fallow for a while, even years. Waiting is hard. And we ask, “How long, God?” But trust His timing. Keep writing, and praise Him while you wait.
Tell us about your newest release/upcoming release.
My newest release is Lessons Along the Way in March of 2023. This devotional book was an adaptation from my many years as a contributing columnist to the religious page of our local newspaper. The print edition is currently on sale until the end of December. It is a great gift for the devotional reader on your list.
My latest fiction work is Ghosts of Trumball Mansion: a mystery and paranormal story about a romance writer and her estranged publisher husband. Reconciliation seems impossible. Not only do they struggle against the ghosts of their pasts, but the house itself seems to fight them. Strange apparitions intensify when a reconciliation seems possible. Only God can save them and their marriage.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I have five blogs that accept guest authors. (See www.lindarondeau.com/blog for descriptions and guidelines.) I also have founded a Christian Writers Co-op group on Facebook and am in the process of developing a website. For more information contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A former Selah Award winner and Carol Awards finalist, Linda Wood Rondeau writes to demonstrate that our worst past, surrendered to God, becomes our best future. Her books are inspired by her many years as a social worker, why her voice hits home with complex characters who walk off the page, and why readers relate to her non-fiction as well.
She is a breast cancer survivor and a recovering food addict. A Toastmaster graduate, she enjoys speaking to groups about her experiences as well as the writing life. The author loves to hear from readers. You may contact her through her website, www.lindarondeau.com, on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Linked In, or via Elk Lake Publishing. The author is also a writing consultant and freelance editor.