Q&A: Linda Hall
Prodigious author Linda Hall consistently delivers head scratching mysteries and white-knuckle thrillers. In Steal Away she introduces us to private investigator Teri Blake-Addison as she travels to a tiny island in the Atlantic ocean to piece together the mystery of a pastor's wife's strange vacation and maybe solve a murder while she's at it.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION DRIVING THE STORY IN STEAL AWAY?
I grew up in a pastor's home and wanted to write about a minister's wife who 'loses' her way. I won't say anything more here, or I'll give the story away! I also wanted to largely set this book on the wonderful island of Grand Manan, which is part of the province of New Brunswick in Canada where I live. I love the ocean and set many of my books in and around the ocean.
I began my writing career when we were living in Alberta in western Canada, and I would have to say that Janette Oke was an inspiration to me. She is from Alberta and spoke at several local writer's conferences when I was first starting out. I was so impressed by her dedication to the craft and her Christian life. At the time I didn't know whether I should aim for the CBA or the ABA. Listening to her, I decided on the Christian market.
Who inspires me now? I really don't know. I know that sounds like a cop out, but it's not. There are so many authors that I admire, and inspire me, each in different ways.
HOW DOES YOUR FAITH INSPIRE YOUR WRITING?
I am a Christian. It's who I am. I'm on a journey with God. Therefore I cannot write without my Christian life influencing my words. But it influences every part of my life, and writing is no different. I don't make this a conscious effort. If I did make it a conscious effort I'm sure my words would come out preachy and moralistic - and I firmly believe that a novel is not the place to preach. Sermons are for preaching. Novels show us how others live and make decisions. Characters' struggles help us to make our own decisions and live our own lives.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU KNOWN THAT YOU WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR?
Probably since the day I was born. No really. Writing was something I always did. When I was a child I excelled at writing in school, and knew that this was something I would do in my life. I studied journalism and worked for many years at a daily paper in western Canada. Also, through the years I've always had jobs that had writing attached to them Twenty years ago I decided to make the break with short writing, and start writing novels. I've always been an avid reader of novels, and still am, so it was natural that I would want to write them. I have been writing novels since 1992 and have had 18 published.
WHAT DO YOU MOST HOPE THAT READERS GET FROM READING YOUR WORK?
To me, this is a hard question to answer. Novels are not the place for preaching. Novels are not the place to present the plan of salvation. Yet novels have to present greater truths, even, than non-fiction. Novels are about real life and real struggles. Nonfiction and real personal experience stories can be the 'amazing' stories of miracles, healings and near misses and how God intervened.
Novels can't do this. Novels are about how life generally is, and how life works for most people. Novels often present greater truths than nonfiction.
I would hope that my books would provide readers with a few moments of entertainment, a few moments of inward reflection, a few moments, maybe, of figuring out and working on their own God journey.