Romance novelist Linda Ballard lives in California in the United States.
Her books include Dreams of Forever, which was first published by Lavender Isis Press in March 2007, and Moments in Forever (Lulu, 2007).
Currently, Linda Ballard is working on the next three books in her "Forever" series of romance novels.
In this interview, she talks about her concerns as a writer.
How would you describe your writing?
100% Romance! I’m a romantic at heart, and I love the whole process of falling in love.
In real life we struggle with our hearts. The uncertainty and fear of when you first fall in love consumes us, unrequited love and the exquisite pain it produces, and the absolute joy when you discover that the man you pined over loves you just as much in return. However, in fiction, that fascinating process can be enhanced into levels of passion the average reader will never completely experienced in life. It is a fantasy of love, but based enough in reality that we can share the process and root for the lovers.
Who is your target audience?
Women between the ages 15 and 50, really, for all women in general.
When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I have been telling stories all my life, but dyslexia prevented me from realizing those stories on paper. It took years and my first computer before I was able to express my thoughts in an organized fashion. Unfortunately, it does take me twice as long to compose even to this day. Yet, the dream and my own determination to write was always there, even in childhood.
Who influenced you most?
Probably the work of Jane Austin. She has such a simple, but direct way of telling a story. I admire her very much.
What are your main concerns as a writer?
Without a doubt, it’s telling the story. As a writer, we have the rare privilege of taking our readers on a journey, one hopefully, they will enjoy and remember.
How have your personal experiences influenced your writing?
While I am writing I don’t realize how much of “me” or my life experience is being infused into the manuscript until I read back over it. Though I have a unique perspective on Hollywood through my own personal experience, I end up asking myself how I would feel under the circumstances I have created. Every question is basically answered by my own heart in a very human way.
Do you write everyday?
I am the most creative in the morning, so I am up about four. I will write five or six hours before I will take a break. Then I will come back later in the day to reread what I worked on earlier. As the manuscript expands, I jump from scene to scene, editing, rewriting, deleting until I get it right.
What is Dreams of Forever about?
Dreams of Forever is first of five in the "Forever" series. It is the story of movie star Daniel Hunter, who falls in love with his director, Rachel West while filming on location in Northern California.
In the first installment Daniel struggles with the notion that he just may be in love for the first time in his life. The 6’5” hunk has been adored by his fans, and can have any women he wants, but he’s never met anyone like Rachel. From their very first meeting he feels the grip of destiny.
He is certainly not alone, Rachel is well aware she is dealing with one of the most desired and sought after men in the world, but from the very first glance, she sees more than just his handsome face and muscular body. She seems to know that behind his beautiful blue eyes there is a gentle soul that captivates her heart.
How long did it take you to write the book?
I had been toying with the plot for a number of years, but it wasn’t until the last two before I got really serious about completing the manuscript.
Which aspects of the work you put into the book did you find most difficult?
I don’t like the bad guys, and there always has to be, at least, one to create the conflict. Actors find it to be more interesting to play evil characters, believing they are somehow more complicated. However, being bad is easy, in my opinion. You have no constraints on your evil quest.
I find the struggle to do the right thing in life far more interesting. This is something we all live with, deal with on a daily basis, and so therefore, we identify with the struggle in an honest manner. Bad is simple, the quest to do the right thing is tough.
Which did you enjoy most?
I enjoy the whole process of bringing the lovers together, from the first moment to the last. I look forward to the first kiss the most.
What sets the book apart from other things you have written?
It is the most human.
Dreams of Forever is a work of fiction, but it challenges our most basic flaws and strengths. We all struggle with the issue of faith when what we want the most seems at odds with what we believe. It addresses the common problem of how we can be our own worst enemy, and yet, still somehow rise above adversity, but most of all it deals with the conquest of personal fears. Most important, I wanted to test the boundaries of love and found there are no limits, there is nothing we would not do for love.
This article has also been featured on OhmyNews International.
Interview with Linda Ballard, Romance at Heart Magazine.