Monday, 3 March 2014

Getting to know...Linda O'Toole

Linda is one of RWAC's newer members - please welcome her to the blog!

What genres do you write?  What attracts you to that genre?
As a new author it is hard to answer this question.  When I first joined the group back in May of last year I thought I had that answer.  But as I worked on my writing I have changed my mind, or the truth is I cannot pick just one.    I like to write contemporary romance, paranormal, fantasy and there may even be a steamy book or two started on my drive.

I like to use my imagination and make things up to suit my stories. I like the idea that anything I decide is the truth.  It is my world and what I say goes.
What is your writing strength? What do you think separates you from other authors?

I believe my writing strength is my ability to block out all that is going on around me.  I like to sit in a coffee shop and write.  It does not make any difference if the shop is crowded or empty.  I can write anywhere, anytime.  What would separate my stories from other authors will be that they will be written from my heart and my passion.  It may be the same title or the same story prompt but my story will be quite different than theirs.
What is your writing Kryptonite?  What is always tough for you to tackle?

Tough for me is sitting and “interviewing” my characters or trying to outline.  Once I get an idea I just want to dive right in and start writing, and I quite often do.  If I don’t then the story will drive me crazy until I at least put a few words to the page.  If I take the time to interview my characters my first draft is much better and I do not end up deleting as much of what I have written. Another piece of kryptonite for me is ideas.  I have so many that I find it hard to sit down and write about just one.  Right now I have many stories started and only a couple finished.
Do you work with a critique partner?

I do not have an official critique partner, but I do have a friend who is also a new writer and we get together to discuss our writing and ideas.  I also get some really good ideas at the RWAAC monthly meetings and lunch.
Where are your favorite places to find inspiration for new ideas?

 A lot of my ideas come from life.  Sit in a parking lot for a couple of hours some afternoon or the mall and you will see what I mean.   A good friend of mine will comment on some strange story that was on the news or social media, and he always says “you just can’t make this s***t up” and he is right.  Life is full of inspiration and/or funny things that are better than anything I could make up.
What piece of advice has stuck with you since joining RWAC?

I attended a writers’ retreat a couple of months after joining RWAC.  I was unsure what to expect when I got there.  I have to say it was one of the most memorable weekends of my life.  I laughed and wrote and learned an incredible amount of things.  There were many memorable bits of advice I got that weekend but one that truly sticks out was to keep writing.  Rejections happen, let it roll off and keep writing.

Can you tell us what you are working on now?

I wrote a business plan for myself for 2014 and it has a number of goals.  I am hoping to submit a short story or two to magazines, one is done and I am working on another.  Over the last year I have worked on a number of ideas that I hope to turn into a novel and at least one novella.  My idea book is filling up quicker than my fingers can type!


  1. Linda, so glad you learned so much from the Retreat. Wish I had been there because it sounds like it was an awesome weekend.

  2. Linda, good on you for writing a business plan for 2014. I keep plowing ahead and thinking, I really need to write a business plan...:)

  3. Great interview, Linda! I'm already looking forward to this year's retreat!