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Friday, September 12, 2014

Author Interviews - Sweetland Series - Linda Gilden and Anne Baxter Campbell

Anne: Sweetland Interviews! We have two series, one already out and soon to be released in paperback, and a new one beginning in a week. The completed series is Summer in Sweetland. The second will be 'Tis the Season in Sweetland, and the first volume, Unseen by Diane Huff Pitts (up for presale now), is scheduled to release on September 18.
If you click on either of the authors' names (in blue), you will go to their blog or website. You can read more about them there.

If you would like to read the previous interviews, click on First, Second, or Third. Today I have Linda Gilden and myself to interview, possibly the last of the ones in the two Sweetland Series. I have had so very much fun with these ladies--beautiful people who love to write and who love God.


Linda is a talented writer, gifted speaker, a wife, mother of three, mother-in-law of two, and grandmother of four children and two dogs. She has many wonderful sources for writing and speaking material. Her greatest joy is spending time with her family.

So, lovely lady, please tell us what inspired your stories.

Linda: My first Sweetland story was inspired by my novelist friend, Lynette Eason. I had struggled to get going. When I shared my story line with her, she got excited about it with me. To have a good friend embrace your idea and be a good cheerleader is very important to writing. Other parts of the inspiration came from my family. No matter what I am writing, family relationships always seem to find a place, either behind the scenes or in the actual writing! My Christmas story inspiration will spring from my family's love of Christmas and the traditions we practice.

Anne: Who is your favorite Sweetland character and why?

Linda: Overall, I think it may be Mrs. Livingston. She is so spunky and when things at the nursing home became a mystery, she jumped right in there to solve the problem. Guess I still carry a love of Nancy Drew in my heart! In Static Confusion, Frankie's flighty mother, who I am sure if we could spend more time with her would keep us entertained!

Anne: What is your favorite scene?

Linda: That is a difficult question to answer. There are so many wonderful characters in Sweetland. I think I may be partial to Frankie's international conversation with her mother. The confusion and misunderstanding are so typical. It is so important that situations like that within families are handled with love.

Anne: What do you want people to "get" from your story?

Linda: Relationships are important no matter what is going on in life--in Sweetland or in your home town. I hope they get that from my story and from all the others.


Anne: Being the last in line for interviews and privy to all the previous interviews, you might say I get to cheat--I pick up on others' ideas and incorporate them for myself.

So here's my website:
And here goes my own interview:

What inspired my stories?

In Mended by Mother's Day, I guess I thought about all the friends I have who have grieved the loss of a spouse, a child, or a parent, or a grandparent. I wondered about friends who went into a deep blue funk and couldn't seem to come back out again. The rest of that person's family would be dealing also with the loss, but also deeply worried about the person who was depressed.

In A Late Thanksgiving, I'm going to say it was inspired by Giovanni Gelati when he interviewed the Sweetland authors on his blog radio program, Gelati's Scoop G-Zone. G (nickname) seems to have this fascination with blood and guts, and he's always wanting to know if we have a body laying around anywhere. So I capitulated and gave him a body--although unburied.

Who is my favorite character?

In Mended by Mother's Day, I'm hard put to say. It might be as I say about my kids and grandkids--my favorite is the one I happen to be hugging at the moment. So in this one you might say my favorite is the one whose head I happen to be in for a particular scene I'm writing or editing. In this story, I spend the most time in Shellie's head (the daughter of the grieving mother), so maybe she's my favorite. She's the caregiver, the mediator, and the instigator.

In A Late Thanksgiving, it's definitely Will. He has this propensity to be a little over-protective of his sister (Shellie) and her best friend (Carrie). Worse, although he realizes vengeance belongs to God, Will wants to get his own vengeance on the man who hurt Carrie.

What is my favorite scene?

In Mended by Mother's Day, I think my favorite scene is where Shellie's mom realizes there are others also experiencing the loss of beloveds and tentatively reaches outside herself to help.

In A Late Thanksgiving, I got a giggle out the the scene where Will takes Carrie out for dinner. He keeps saying it's a date, while Carrie insists it's not a date.

What do I want people to "get" from my stories?

My goal in both stories is the same as in any of my writings: I want to walk people one step closer to the Lord who loves us all so deeply.

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