Monday, July 19, 2010
Interview with LINDA WEAVER CLARKE
I believe that an author must feel close to an area to be able to write about it. It brings authenticity to the story. It also helps the writer to build and develop characters that act like they are from that area, such as expressions and attitudes and clothes, etc. My new book, Anasazi Intrigue, is set in St. George, Utah, my home. The inspiration for this story came from a true experience that really happened right here in my little valley in southern Utah. The Santa Clara/Virgin River flood in 2005 was a terrible disaster. About two hundred homes were seriously damaged and twenty-five were completely destroyed. The small five-foot-wide river, which could easily be crossed on foot or in a car, grew as wide as the length of a football field, and it was taking everything in its path. In three days time, it had dug into the earth’s surface, carving away at the banks, creating ridges as high as forty feet deep. In fact, the river was moving at ten feet per hour, just like a plow pushing the dirt and trees down the river. Everyone worked hard to help the residents remove what they could from their homes before the flood hit, but there were those who escaped with only the clothes on their backs. The experience of charity and compassion by the people was incredible. There was no prejudice of religion, race, culture, or status, just unconditional love and concern for everyone. Homes, clothes, and food were instantly found for the homeless. We all gathered together and tried to help in anyway possible. Several weeks later, a man found his car thirty miles downstream from his home. But that wasn't the only inspiration. We also have the background of the Anasazi Indians.
You have six daughters. How does the mother-daughter relationships you’ve experienced affect your writing?
Actually, my daughters affect my writing quite a bit. In Anasazi Intrigue, I have taken the liberty of creating the daughters for John and Julia and gave them the personality and fun expressions of my three youngest daughters: Alaina, Serena, and Felicia. April has Alaina's personality, Sharlene is like Serena, and Faith is the spitting image of Felicia. When I told them what I did, they thought it was funny. And yes, my husband says that he feels "outnumbered" but he adores each of his daughters.
Share with us the importance of Family Legacy.
I teach people how to take their family history or their own autobiography and turn it into interesting stories. It’s important to teach our children their heritage. If these stories are unwritten, then they’ll be lost forever. Our children need to be proud of their ancestors. Leon Garfield said: “The historian, if honest, gives us a photograph; the storyteller gives us a painting.” What I’m teaching people to do is how to paint, to be the storyteller. Adults are usually the main audience, but I’ve attracted many teenagers who want to learn how to write. In fact, one library sponsored this workshop for a group of troubled teens. Writing helps to express one’s innermost feelings. It can be a healing process.
Tell us all about your latest book.
Do you have any daily writing routines? A certain number of required pages or words?
I usually write in the morning when my mind is fresh and I don't feel any pressures of the day. I don't usually have a required amount of pages because I just "go with the flow."
What type of research goes into creating one of your mystery novels?
First, I find a subject that interests me. For example, with Anasazi Intrigue, I was interested in the Anasazi Indians right here in my valley. Who were they, where did they come from, how did they live? Many people wonder why they disappeared, leaving behind their belongings and valuables. Where did they go and why? There is much speculation about what might have happened. Some archaeologists believe that discord and tribal violence caused abandonment of the villages. In my research, I found that archaeological thievery is becoming more and more of a problem every year. When an ancient ruin is discovered, it doesn’t take long for thieves to find out about it. Did you know that an ancient funeral pit could be sold for $60,000 on the black market? Not to mention all the pottery, baskets, and pendants found by looters. Looting is only second to selling illegal drugs. It’s a very intriguing subject and I enjoyed learning so much in my research.
What are the addresses of your websites and blogs?
"The World of Make Believe" is my official website: http://www.lindaweaverclarke.com/
At my Author's Blog, I have fun interviewing authors and have book give-aways every Monday at: http://lindaweaverclarke.blogspot.com/