If you haven’t heard of the On Fire anthology, this mini-interview and excerpt series will showcase the amazing authors I get to work with and their writing. Meet Linda.
What motivates you to write?
People motivate me to write. Human behavior fascinates me endlessly: I can spend hours writing scenarios in which characters react to their surroundings and one another, just to work through what makes them tick.
How do you deal with writer’s block?
I deal with writer’s block by having a shower. I’m always amazed by how many other authors say they find inspiration there. Must have something to do with not having anything to look at but tiles…that’s my best guess anyway.
What interesting thing did you learn while writing your last story?
My current WIP, the third novel in my paranormal romance series, “The Great Dagmaru,” takes place, in part, in Ottawa, at the National Arts Centre. I was lucky enough to discover that they had an open house of sorts, where they allowed the general public access to the stage, the dressing rooms, the prop rooms and rehearsal halls – basically the entire building. During my self-guided tour, I had the opportunity to meet the stage manager and discuss a scene in my novel where my main character, a stage magician, has horses on stage. I was able to obtain the logistics of getting the animals into the building, and I had the chance to see the loading docks for reference. I found out they had an elephant on stage there once, so the horses weren’t as much of an issue as I imagined they’d be when I wrote the scene.
From “The Flame on Lick’s Island” by Linda G. Hill:
I wasn’t confident walking into Penny’s shop. Of the four ladies standing behind customers, talking to them in the mirrors, three were barely into their twenties. White-haired, Penny’s former beauty radiated past her wrinkles when she smiled at her client. At the jangling of my entrance, she dropped her comb, pausing on me a beat too long before she bent to pick it up and sink it into her jar of Barbicide.
“Can I help you?” She plucked another comb and ran it under the tap.
“I’m just here for a cut,” I said.
One of the other girls did my hair, but Penny’s attention made me uncomfortable. Before leaving, I asked for a word. I was surprised when she suggested a cup of coffee.
We sat in the familiar diner.
The staff eyed us.
“I heard Lick’s was passed on as an inheritance. Was Kristie a close relative?”
My turn to gawp. “We weren’t related at all. Hubert was my husband’s uncle.”
“You’re joking. You’re the spitting image.”
Unnerved, I twisted a napkin in my lap. “It must be a coincidence.”
Penny shook her head. “I’m guessing you want to know about her.”
“How did you know?”
“Because Kristie is still out there, on the island.”
My shoulders jarred against the metal seatback.
“I’m right, aren’t I? People like Kristie don’t just go away when they die. And after what Hubert did… He must have loved her, though.”
“What did he do?”
“Hubert had an affair. When Kristie found out, she had her third miscarriage. Nobody even knew she was pregnant that time. She lost all of them out on the island. Hubert took care of her body, but her mind…that was a different matter.”
“I understand you used to go out and do her hair.”
“Yeah. And she’d talk to me when I did. Then one day, I had an appointment. I got out of the boat on their dock—it was a hot day, just like this one.” Penny sipped of her coffee.
Out the window, the traffic stopped and started at the corner.
“She’d cut it all off. That wasn’t the worst of it. I can’t talk about the last time I saw her.”
I had the diary; I’d find out myself.
“It was a long time before I went out there again. Years.” She pulled a tissue out of her pocket and dabbed her eyes. “When I did, Hubert told me she was gone. I was the first in town to find out.”
“He didn’t hold a service or anything?” I asked.
“She had no family, and I was the closest thing she had to a friend. People asked the doc about her occasionally, but she kept to herself, so no one pried.”
That poor woman.
“So that’s it.” She looked me in the eye, her voice suddenly cold. “Was there anything else specific you wanted to know?”
“What do you know about the candles? Kristie seemed to like them. I keep finding puddles of dried wax everywhere.”
“She made them. The last time I was there, one was in the window by the front door of the house. Hubert had it lit like he was waiting for her to come home. Poor asshole.”
“Do you think she had anything to do with the fire in the apartment, here in town?”
The look in Penny’s eye made the temperature drop a degree, chilling my bones. “I have no idea.”
She paid for our coffees and left.
Linda G. Hill is a stay-at-home mom of three boys and the guardian of one beagle and two kitties. She concocts tales in her head 24/7 and blogs almost daily at lindaghill.com. Linda’s newest release, The Magician’s Curse, is the first in a series of Gothic paranormal romances. Also available on Amazon and Kobo is her romantic comedy novelette, All Good Stories. She lives in Southern Ontario, Canada.
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