Linda W. Rooks
Why I Started Writing:
I wanted to be a writer ever since my 6th grade teacher asked me to read my story aloud in class about my best friend and I taking a trip to the moon and everyone actually laughed. When my teacher wrote in my autograph book that I would one day become a famous writer, the writing life became my dream.
But even before that, as soon as I could put words together as a young child, I huddled under a card table with my neighbor in her playhouse to make up newspapers for the neighborhood kids, mainly featuring exposes about my older brother and the girls who had crushes on him. (How else does a little sister get her older brother’s attention?)
But I think the deep down honest truth behind why I started writing is that even as a young person, when life was challenging, I often found solace with a pen and paper in my hand, scratching out my thoughts and feelings until things made sense. And the more I poured myself into my words, the more the words took flight above my circumstances to a place of peace and joy. Gradually I fell in love with words and what a person could create with them.
In private I often wrote poetry, but in real life I wrote for the school newspaper in both junior and senior high. I was up for editor in my senior year, but when I won the student body office of Director of Publicity, I chose that route instead since one of the perks was writing a weekly column in the local newspaper as well as articles for area newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. In high school I won Los Angeles County’s 4th place sweepstakes in the National Association of Journalism Directors Tournament. And later I won other writing awards in college. I graduated with a degree in creative writing from San Francisco State University.
Since then writing has taken me in many directions with books, articles, stories, devotions, advertising and publicity pieces, as well as being an editor for an Arts and Entertainment magazine.
Writing is an art, similar to sculpting, Instead of starting with a lump of clay, a writer starts with a blank sheet of paper, and as words begin to come together on the paper (or begin splattering against the computer screen), we as writers begin to move them around, watching the words take shape until they begin to sing a rhythm in our ears. Word by word, we mold phrases and sentences and paragraphs together until our imagination captures the words and spins them around so an inspirational message begins to soar or a story leaps and dances across the page. Then we can rest and find closure. This is why I love to write.
As for writing in the suspense genre, ever since my father read Edgar Allen Poe's "The Gold Bug" to me as a girl, I have loved suspense stories where an author can masterfully put all the pieces together. Charles Dickens was a master at this as well. I don’t often read suspense novels because I’m afraid of wrapping myself in the plot and characters and then getting hit with a disappointing ending where the clues lead nowhere and the author pulls a conclusion out of thin air to create a surprise. Thrillers are disappointing when the ending is not supported by the clues leading up to it. To me a good suspense novel drops subtle clues along the way so when the ending comes, the reader says, “Of course. Now I see it.” All the pieces should come together at the end in unexpected ways. This is what I aim to do with Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light.
But besides the craft, the theme is what really motivates me. In non-fiction, I want to inspire and point the reader to God. In novels, I not only want to tell a good story, I want to tell a story that awakens readers to a deeper perspective that makes a difference in their thinking. And I want them to fall in love with my characters so they feel like real, living personalities.
Authors Who Have Influenced Me:
Louisa Mae Alcott
John Eldridge and Brent Curtis
Edgar Allen Poe’s The Gold Bug
Books I Have Written:
Broken Heart on Hold, Surviving Separation, published by David C. Cook,
Fighting for Your Marriage while Separated, A Practical Guide for the Brokenhearted, published by New Growth Press and winner of the Golden Scroll Nonfiction Book of the Year Award for 2019
The Bunny Side of Easter, published by Papa’s Press.
What I'm Working On Now:
Promotion for the book, Pieces of Dark, Pieces of Light, a suspense thriller being published by Elk Lake
I also write a weekly (sometimes bi-weekly) blog at lindrooks.com