Welcome to Coffee Times Romance, where the coffee’s always fresh-brewed and the writers will always amaze you! Today’s guest is just that—amazing. This lady writes women’s fiction that’ll make you laugh and cry. Sometimes at the same time. Don’t believe me? Check out Life Choices and (Don’t Mess With) Clear Lake Women. But here’s the thing. She’s intimately acquainted with the darker side of life. The side that can break your heart. It’s not a subject for a light conversation. Too many of us have been touched by the devastation it brings. It’s called addiction. And today’s guest deals with it professionally. She’s worked in the Health Care industry for thirty years. Anyone who can do that—well, let’s not stand on gender correctness here. They’re heroes. Like Linda Hadaway.
Linda, your latest release is the second of the Jaxon Slater series, From Purgatory to Treatment. But I don’t see how we can do it justice without talking about the first book in that series, The Dark Side of Purgatory. I mean, Jaxon Slater’s not your usual hero. He’s got some pretty—distinctive—characteristics. Not to mention an unusual address. Would you give us an overview?
Ohhh, Jaxon is the boy you wouldn't dare bring home for dinner..he's the guy you sneak around to see because he's usually in trouble..got a reputation for breakin' hearts and breakin' the law. He's the boy we wanted to tame...Although, he's not all bad....he has a good heart, but doesn't want anyone to know. He is charasmatic, life-of -the-party-guy.., toss in some ego, too. And then...there is drug addiction that not only took over his life---but took his last breath. He's dead now, but comes to earth to help people who are struggling with their addictions. He is still a flirt, has a sense of humor, but he wants to help. Good looking too.
Definitely good-looking. I’d buy The Dark Side of Purgatory just to look at the model. What made you hit on Purgatory as the central unifying theme of these books? Which it definitely is—in more ways than one.
Being raised Catholic helped. I didn't want Jaxon in hell, but he couldn't be in heaven either. Purgatory seemed the perfect place! And there are so many interesting individuals that live there!
After thirty years of dealing with addiction and all its many faces, you have to have had some experiences that broke your heart. And others that made it sing. Can you share a bit about your most satisfying experience in this field?
I work with the most chronic addicts in my state. In order to "survive" as a staff- you do learn to be a helper but you need to have an emotional separation as to the outcome of that individual. You do your best, and then you have to let go (and let God). The successes happen when someone calls and says they have been clean for 6 months, maybe a year- going to college, working, etc. I always think of that as a miracle. We had one person that had been in and out of treatment several times /years and then he got sober. You just never know when something will "click" ...or not.
No question—it’s a job that could break you emotionally if you let it. But I’m sure the “clicks” are a paycheck beyond measure. It’s pretty clear why you’d write a book revolving around drug addiction. But why does Linda Hadaway write in the first place? What was your “guiding light” into the publishing world?
I've always been an avid reader...and then there was that "growing up in an alcoholic/domestic violence" family......tossed in. Maybe it was my escape, control issues, (LOL) -whatever it was- I've had a need to write......Getting published? Persistence, stubborness! I have kept all my rejection and acceptance letters in a decorated shoe box. When I got a rejection letter, I figured I was one step closer to that success!
You can’t keep a writer from writing. Is your next project underway yet? Is it another Jaxon Slade or a side trip to a lighter—or darker—subject?
Yes, there's another Jaxon story in the works. I've actually taken DARK SIDE OF PURGATORY and made a screenplay. I just sent off the first of my query letters. (Cross your fingers!) My next project is going to be an young adult adventure story ( No Purgatory). I'm aiming for the next Jaxon in a year or so.
Definitely crossing fingers with you on that! Now, on a personal note—girl, I’m exhausted from reading the list of all your grandchildren’s names! I’ve only got two and they wear me out! And I believe you still have a younger child at home, as well! ‘Fess up. Do you ever call a grandchild by the wrong name?
I do love my kids! We do have one at home, Jacob who is 12. He is actually our grandson that we adopted. Other grandkids are from 22- on down. Two years ago we exploded with babies! My son had twins in May, my daughter had a son in June and my son's daughter had a baby girl in June. I'm very excited about Christmas this year!
The presents under your tree must overflow to the middle of the floor! When’s the next trip to Vegas, Linda? ‘Cause I’m telling on you. I know Vegas is one of your favorite destinations. Do the kids and grandkids tease you much about it?
Last year we actually took Jacob- and did a lot of family activities...this year we went to Disneyland--so next year, Jacob gets a sitter and we are off to Vegas...we have so much fun when we go...I play for a week!
For those of you who don’t know, Linda Hadaway is a long-time member of the Coffee Time Romance staff. (Though where she finds the time, I don’t know.) What’s Coffee Time Romance meant to you, personally and professionally?
I enjoy what I do and it's a great place to "show my work." I've "met" lots of great people through CTR . I only regret I don't have the time to get more involved. ( Maybe when I retire...)
Ah, retirement! The thought tantalizes me like a carrot in front of a donkey. It keeps me going. And speaking of tantalizing—for a glimpse of Jaxon Slater and his friends (and Linda’s other books), take a peek here. Be warned. Linda’s trailers will make you increase your library! Join us next time at Coffee Time, where the coffee’s always fresh and the writers are amazing!