SARA Café Welcomes Linda Carroll-Bradd! 
By Mary E. Brand

Linda casual

SC:  When did you join SARA and for what reason?

LCB: I joined SARA the month after I moved to San Antonio—November 2000, because since I started writing in the mid 1990s, I have belonged to the local RWA chapter of wherever I lived.

SC:  What sub-genre of romance stories do you write? And why do you like it?

LCB: Because my interests are varied, so are the sub-genres in which I write. I describe myself as writing sweet-to-sensual contemporary and historical romance. My first stories were contemporaries and sweet because I was learning the nuances of writing fiction after years spent in the business world with wordy and flat business English. At that point, I couldn’t handle much writing about more than a hug and a kiss. As I developed as a writer, I added more heat to my stories.

Next, I explored setting a story in the past. I’ve always loved westerns and I’m lucky that my husband shares an interest in history so we make sure to visit museums in whichever town we travel through on vacation. I have a weakness for books available in the gift shops of the local lore and legends.

SC: What about the romance genre appeals to you?

LCB: I enjoy creating stories where love is the ultimate goal and prize, even if the characters use a large majority of the story to fight that fact.

SC: If you could have any actor/actress cast as the hero/heroine of your latest work, who would you choose and why?

LCB: For my latest western historical release, Capturing The Marshal’s Heart, I choose Emma Stone because of her feistiness and Jake Gyllenhaal because of his intensity.

SC: What is the best book you’ve ever read about the craft of writing?

LCB: Techniques of the Selling Writer by Dwight V. Swain. This is dense, almost like a college text for a creative writing program. So I worked through the lessons one chapter at a time, applying the techniques as I understood them—and worth the effort.

SC: What do you do when you’re not writing?  Do you have any hidden talents?

LCB: Lately, I’ve taken up crocheting again. Partially because I realized, based on an interview like this, that my whole life was focused on writing, researching, and editing. So I found my selection of crochet hooks, grabbed my loose ends of yarn (since then the inventory has been re-supplied several times over), and created a granny-square baby quilt. Once I get a dozen or so, I plan to set up a site on Etsy and offer them for sale.

SC: What is your favorite part of the writing process?

LCB: Oddly enough, revisions are my favorite stage of story creation. I love the search for the correct analogy or metaphor to use that makes those words or that comparison special to that unique character. Also, the layering in of setting and sensory details that enrich the scenes and potentially foreshadow coming events.

SC: How do you know when your research is done?

LCB: When I can picture my characters, they have names and I know where their first scene together will be. I’ve learned that once I get the story set in my head and pit my hero and heroine at opposite sides of an issue, the details can be inserted later.

Now naming my characters can take days because I want the name to speak to some element of the individual’s core make-up. And finding the right place (especially for historical) involves aspects that we don’t think of today—like the types of transportation to this place, the frequency of freight or mail delivery, the occupations available for the new resident of this town.

SC: Thank you, Linda!

Photo by Glamour Shots at North Star Mall, San Antonio, Texas.