An Award-Winning and Amazon Bestselling author, Oklahoma native Linda Trout loves Happily-Ever-Afters. When she isn’t helping her husband remodel their home, she’s outside trying to tame a small portion of their ten-acres (a losing battle). Between her six rescue cats, who think they have to help her write, and planning where she wants to travel when the pandemic is over, she’s working on her next novel.
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Welcome Linda to the Spotlight!
Here you are! The wonderful Linda Trout! Thank you so much for joining me today! Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Hi there! I’m a retired accountant, a magnet for lost cats/kittens, and ride a Harley. I grew up in a small farming town in northeastern Oklahoma, which is the oldest town in the state. I’m surrounded by history so you’d think that’s what I’d write. I love reading historicals, but not writing them. My true-life hero, my husband, is a retired Marine. I fell in love with their dress blue uniform when I was in the 8th grade, so it’s kind of fitting that I married an active duty Marine. I really didn’t marry him just for the uniform, but it sure looked good at our wedding.
Aw, I love a good love story! And I agree, a man in uniform is a sight to behold! So, no historicals. How did you choose your genre then?
I’m a romantic at heart and love happily-ever-afters, so naturally wrote romance. But I also love drama and suspense, so gravitated toward romantic suspense.
Romantic suspense is a fantastic genre! Is there a genre you haven't written but would like to?
Women’s fiction. I think of women’s fiction as sitting down and telling a story about people you know; all the good and not so good things in their lives. If I can learn to tell a story without the drama or massive suspense that I naturally gravitate toward, that’s what I’ll write.
I like that! How did your journey into writing begin?
When I attended my very first conference, I met one of the speakers, Tom Sawyer, who had been the head writer on the TV show, Murder She Wrote. I told him that when I turned 50 (yes, I’m a late bloomer), I gave myself permission to write. That may sound weird, but that’s what I had to do for myself. I’d honestly thought he might blow me off or scold me. (I was still trying to figure out if I was a real writer or not.) Instead, he simply said, “Good for you!” He was very encouraging and that encouragement helped lead me to my first sale. Years later, he returned to that same conference and I was able to thank him. We never know how we might influence others, so always be positive and kind.
Wow, what a wonderful story! I do love the writing community, they truly want you to succeed. They're an amazing group of people! What is the thing you most enjoy about writing?
Easy. Going to conferences and meeting other like-minded people. I finally found my ‘tribe’ and have made numerous life-long friends. I wouldn’t trade any of them for the world. Oh, yes. Holding a book I wrote in my hands isn’t bad, either.
And the most difficult?
Plotting. And the sagging middle. I’m pretty much a pantser, but need to plot better. When I get to the middle of the book, the lack of preplanning always bites me in the rear. I swear to myself I’ll do better the next book, but so far…
That's hard for me too! Do you have any new projects coming up?
I have two other titles published by The Wild Rose Press. My debut novel, Grave Secrets, was a double finalist for the National Reader’s Choice Award and is set in Oklahoma. My second release, Last Hope Alaska, is set in Juneau.
So many great books out there, it's the perfect time to be a reader! Is there a book you've read that you thought, damn, I wish I wrote that?
A Hero to Come Home To by Marilyn Pappano. It’s about the wife of a soldier who didn’t make it home from battle, and how she and other widows pick up and carry on with their lives. I laughed and cried as they struggled to find a new normal, which included someone new to love. Since my husband is retired military, I could have been one of those women, so the story touched my heart.
I love that and it's so true! What would a reader be surprised to learn about you?
When I was 20, I drove a tractor and worked in the hayfields in order to make my car payments. One of the best jobs I ever had! I also could change a flat tire on my Toyota Corona in 8 minutes flat.
Definitely less than 10. Boy, are those days long gone!
Ha! I love it! After Tangled Promises, what's next for you?
I’m currently working on two more books set in the small town of Rock Ledge, Arkansas: Shattered Promises and Crushed Promises. I’ll also have a story in the anthology, Behind the Mask, coming out this winter…hopefully, before Christmas.
Finally, what would you most like to say to your readers?
No matter what your passion is, no matter your age, never ever give up on your dreams. You can do it! I have faith in you.
About the Book
Release Date: May 18, 2020
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover Artist: Kim Mendoza
Genre/Sub-Genre: Romantic Suspense
Jake stopped and wrapped his arms around her trembling body as she buried her face in his shirt. Her hands continued to flutter. A low keening sound from her broke his heart.
Her knees gave way completely and she sagged against him. Jake scooped her into his arms and carried her far enough that the fog enveloped them, distancing them from the sights and sounds of the crime scene. She leaned against him, her soft body reminding him she was all woman.
He stopped at a pickup and sat on its tailgate, holding Melody on his lap. He’d witnessed a lot of traumatized people over the years, but to see the pain of this always in control, tough, take no guff from anyone business woman put a little crack in his cop-armor.
Melody turned into his chest, her shoulders shaking, as she silently cried. He didn’t speak, just gently rocked her until her tears were spent.
Finally, she took a deep breath and pulled away…her face puffy…her nose red. “I hate guns,” she whispered.
“I’m not too fond of them myself.”
“I’m going with you,” a feminine voice said close behind him.
The café’s owner had pulled on her sweater, her jaw set in determination. He started to shake his head when the mayor piped up again.
“You can’t let her go out there! She’s a woman. No telling what you’ll find.”
A slender man about Jake’s age, wearing a white apron smudged with food debris, stepped through the swinging door leading to the kitchen and glared at the mayor. “Shut up, Frank. You go on, Melody.”
“Fine. Let’s go.” Jake didn’t have time to debate the issue and ushered her outside.
“Remind me later to buy your cook a beer.”
She glanced at him and grinned. “Yes, Roy pretty well speaks his mind and no one is brave enough to stand up to him.”
People were afraid of Roy? He wasn’t what you’d call a big man. Of course, a person’s size didn’t define who they were or their character. Jake reached the car and opened his door, his mind already back on the crashed plane. He had wanted some excitement.
He’d gotten it in spades.
Let’s finish with everyone’s favorite… Speed Dating!
Favorite movie: P.S. I Love You
Best place you’ve visited: Sitka, Alaska
Place you’d like to visit: New Zealand
Favorite food: Pasta. Or Mexican. Actually, both.
If a movie was made about your life, who would you want to play you? Glenn Close
What song best sums you up? Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood
Oxford comma, yes or no? Yes
Pen or pencil? Pen. Which is weird because when I was an accountant, I ALWAYS used a pencil.
Favorite music? 70’s soft rock and Country and Western
Coffee or tea? Sweet iced tea
What does your desk look like? A horrible mess, but I do keep a corner of it cleared for a cat bed. If I didn’t, my oldest female cat would be in my lap all the time.
What is your writing vice or must-haves? I like to have pictures of my characters close by. Other than that, not much.
Plotter or pantser? Pantser
Mac or PC? PC
Favorite dessert? Carrot Cake, Bread Pudding, and Cheesecake. Not all at the same time, but please don’t ask me to decide between them.
What is your favorite thing to learn about in your free time? Free time? What’s that?
You have a time travel machine. Where and when? Good question. When I get to the future and figure it out, I’ll come back and let you know.
Are you earth, wind, fire or water? Water