Linda M. Crate, author of Blood & Magic

What have you written so far?

I have written scads of poem, many short stories, personal essays, a few reviews, several chapbooks three of which are published: A Mermaid Crashing Into Dawn, Less Than A Man, and If Tomorrow Never Comes. I have written several fantasy novels four of which are published: Blood & Magic, Dragons & Magic, Centaurs & Magic, and Corvids & Magic. My novel Phoenix Tears is also forthcoming through Dream Big Publishing.

When and why did you begin writing?

I have always written. Even as a child I have loved stories and used to write them down sometimes. I distinctly remember writing a story about a guardian angel I wrote in the fourth grade. I was so excited to write it and show everyone my story. I have always loved the way that words go together and hold a certain musicality, but for me, it has always been the characters and weird plots that hold me. I’m a rather intense person so I always struggled with outlets in how to express myself, and writing became the best way for me to speak without someone interrupting me. Everyone always talked over me and made me feel belittled for being who I was so when I started writing I felt as if I had control over a conversation for once, and that boosted my very small ego. When I was thirteen was when I started writing seriously and it became a stronger part of my identity. Mostly really bad poetry and fanfiction which I’m glad don’t exist on social media.

What are some day jobs you have held?

My first job was in the kitchen of a nursing home and I was there five years. I also worked at The Great Lakes Medieval Faire in Ohio which was probably by far my favorite job because I got to dress up and speak in an accent, and who doesn’t want to say huzzah sometimes just because? I’ve also worked at Dollar General, as a waitress at Rebecca’s,  and am currently working at a gas station/convenience store as a sub girl.

What is one thing you hate about being a writer?

I despise it when non-writers tell me that they want to write books. Really, I do. They seem to think that it will be easy. They don’t seem to realize all the work, effort, and energy it takes into not only writing a book but then promoting it on social media; begging for reviews and trying not to fall apart when you find people who really don’t enjoy your writing. They don’t seem to understand how tirelessly I work outside of my day job to try to make something of myself in my chosen craft. Although I don’t know if I can say it’s a ‘chosen’ craft as I didn’t choose writing, it chose me.

Tell us something unique about you.

I have a scar like Harry Potter’s on my left forearm that I’ve had as long as I can remember. I always jokingly say that J.K. Rowling stole my scar. I asked my mother how I got it, but she doesn’t remember; either. So I have nicknamed myself the Girl-Who-Lived. The funny thing is that no one seems to notice this scar until I point it out. In Junior High, my friends asked me if I did it on purpose because they knew I was a Potterhead when I pointed it out. I just internally facepalmed because I’ve had it ever since I was a kid.

What do you like to read in your free time?

Fantasy novels. I love everything from Sherlock Holmes to Anne Rice. I want something deeper than romance novels because I don’t feel as if there’s usually enough plot to them and if it’s just straight romance I lose interest. I like work that is weird, different, deep and complex and challenges me to think whilst presenting itself with a loveable cast of characters. If it has vampires, werewolves, witches, fantasic creatures like unicorns, dragons, or phoenixes, that makes it all the better for me. I feel as if I am dragged out into reality often. When I’m reading I want to be lost in the pages of another world and not return because let’s face it: fantasy makes a lot more sense than reality.

Who is your favorite fictional character and why?

I can’t limit it to one – but these are the top three. Gandalf from Lord of the Rings because his dry sense of humor amuses me plus I admire his strength and resolve and his ability to bring people together. The Hobbit would much shorter if he had gone himself, and I think he knew that all of these people needed to undertake in this journey as did the characters in Lord Of the Rings. I love how he deals (sometimes impatiently) with everyone in a way that he feels right and fair, and never gives up ever.

Usagi of Sailor Moon because she is a gentle strength. She doesn’t perceive herself as strong, but it is truly her love and her heart full of light that saves everyone in Sailor Stars (the last of the Sailor Moon anime saga). She never gives up no matter how difficult the situation is, and though there are tears of frustrating and pain; she always decides to brush herself off and stand back up on her two feet and fights with all her heart. She even saves Galactia who is a villain that has been consumed by Chaos the very creature she was trying to spare the world from. In the end, chaos returns to the world in the hearts of people and the world where it is insinuated it belongs rather as a wholly destructive force that would destroy the entire galaxy.

Lestat of the Vampire Chronicles because he and I are very similar (which vexed and amused me at first, to be honest) in that we’re both impulsive, can be rather bratty (my nickname has always been bratty with my uncle), and we are very persuasive when we want to be. We are also very alike in that we both have a dark and twisted sense of humor sometimes which off puts other people, and we are both very intense. Not to mention we both write.

Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

In the Magic Series, my favorite character is my main character Lucille Roddingale. She is contrary, uses weird insults, has a vivid imagination, is a writer, and has a heart of gold. She is feisty, hot-tempered, and thinks quickly on her feet. She fights for what she believes is right no matter the odds and loves with all her heart. She is very rebellious and questions everyone’s motives except when it comes to the man she loves: Florian. Florian is the only one to whom she ever submits and sometimes she’s even rather defiant of him (which fortunately for her amuses me most of the time). She seeks to protect and help others even when it is inconvenient to her because she has a strong sense of justice and has remorse for every life she took when she fought as a monster slayer.

Who is your least favorite character and why? 

My least favorite in the Magic Series without a doubt is Matilda. She is a very vicious villain who mentally and physically harms even her own children. She is selfish and cruel and believes that just because her children are hers that she can do anything she wants to them and she sexually assaulted both her son and her daughter. She is very sick in the head and was a very demanding and demented character to write. I thought she was nasty when I first started writing her and she just kept getting worse as the plot of the novel unfolded. I had no idea how truly wicked she was until the book was written and then I was cringing all over the place. She is an example of everything a mother and person should not be.

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Never give up and believe in yourself. Also, keep working on your dream because if you don’t work then neither does your dream. Rejections are hard and no one likes them, but keep pushing through because if you believe in the power of your dream then you can do absolutely anything. There are many different publishers in this world, and all it takes is one to enjoy your work for it to become a reality. So keep going no matter what because if you give up on yourself then who will believe in you? You’ve got to believe in yourself even when it’s difficult.

Want to connect with Linda and learn more about her?

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin | Goodreads | Pinterest

Book Links:

Blood & Magic | Dragons & Magic | Centaurs & Magic | Corvids & Magic




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