Welcome, today we are talking with Linda O’Connor! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about Linda O’Connor that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
I enjoy reading my horoscope every morning. It’s like a mini pep talk hinting at the good things in store for the day.
How long have you been writing?
About eight years
What have you found most challenging about it?
Balancing writing with life is probably the most challenging aspect of writing for me. I’ve become addicted to being outdoors, and I have to prioritize writing or I’d be out kayaking, cycling, or playing a racquet sport. Promoting my books – so readers know they’re out there – is also an ongoing job.
What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional?
Writing, for me, is almost as much of an escape as reading. I love being in a fun headspace when I write, so I stick to writing humorous romances with witty dialogue. I also love the process of creating the storyline and figuring out how I’m going to make things happen, with humor and a bit of the unexpected thrown in.
Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?
I used to be quite disciplined and write for 4 hours every morning. I’m a physician, and I usually work evening shifts at the clinic, so it was easier to make it a routine to write in the morning. But then I bought a really cool Oru Kayak, which is light and portable. It unfolds like origami and snaps together in under five minutes. Since it’s usually less windy (i.e. perfect kayaking weather) in the morning, it has put a bit of a wrench in my writing schedule. But definitely in the winter and on windy days, I’ll sit down to write in the morning.
Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?
I’d hoped it would be a side hustle – generate a bit of income that I could re-invest into marketing and promotion and then slowly grow over the years. My hope was that I would continue to have an income when I retire. It’s a work in progress.
What inspires you?
My life experiences shape what I write and how I write about it. I get inspiration for my stories from everything around me – news headlines, snippets of conversations, song lyrics, watching people and putting a story behind their body language or expression – and even from my own quirky characteristics. Sarah Jain in Between the Pipes prefers to know the ending of the movie before she watches it in order to enjoy it. That’s me to a tee!
Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life.
What are your pet peeves?
People who hog 2 spots in a crowded parking lot, packaged bananas, and plastic wrap on cucumbers. Why?
Who is your hero?
My mom. She had a wonderful sense of humor, was calm and wise and perfected the balance between letting me and my siblings run wild and keeping us reigned in. I had a happy childhood, and she was an excellent role model for when I became a parent.
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
To see the aurora borealis or northern lights.
What would readers find surprising about you?
I don’t drink coffee – even throughout medical school I never needed it or had a craving for it (although I may have satisfied my need for caffeine through chocolate).
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
My mom and dad. Hands down. Wouldn’t that be awesome to be able to pop into heaven occasionally for a chat?
Just for fun. What is your least favorite:
Hero type – arrogant and grumpy, especially grumpy
Body part – nose
Overused word in a title – It’s not one word, but I prefer clever titles. Harlequin stories are great, but they come up with the dorkiest titles.
Genre – horror
Dirty word – cock (is that a dirty word?)
Now that our readers know who Linda O’Connor is let’s get down to the business of Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues, book 1 in your Laugh-Out-Loud Hockey Caper Romance.
Please tell us a little bit about, Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues.
Love and the Hidden Hockey Clues is about Dr. Abigail Clark who finds a tin box hidden between the studs during renovations of her home. She thought the items were random hockey mementos but realizes they’re clues and enlists the help of the captain of the local pro hockey team to help sort out where they lead. I’ve always thought it would be cool to find a hidden treasure during renovations and that possibility sparked the initial idea.
What was your hardest challenge writing this book?
I wanted to keep it sweet but still have the feel of a sexy novel – so the reader feels the tension building between the main characters. Finding that balance was the hardest challenge.
What kind of research did you have to do?
I had to do a bit of research about hockey arena seating. Luckily, I have enough knowledge of doctors and hockey that I could spend more time writing and less time researching.
What in your opinion makes good chemistry between your leading characters?
I think the two main characters have to be attracted to each other, but have an underlying reason why they don’t want to get together. The tension between what they want and what they think they don’t want makes for good chemistry. My heroines are smart and sassy and the characters usually have a great sense of humor so that adds fun to the story.
I see that book 2, Love and the Hockey Heist is also out. How many books do you plan?
Yes, I was excited to release Love and the Hockey Heist. It starts out with the theft of a treasured travel alarm clock, which triggers a hilarious series of events when Dr. Piper Roblin tries to steal it back! It involves a fake engagement with popular pro hockey player. The theft of a travel alarm clock is based on a real-life experience of mine. I never did get it back, but turns out, it’s a fun premise for a story.
I plan 4 books in the Laugh-out-Loud Hockey Caper Romance series, and they’ll all be stand-alone stories with an element of white-collar crime – like a cozy mystery without murder! I love escape rooms with the challenge of clues to decipher and puzzles to solve. I thought I’d weave that type of mystery into a romance. Add in a smart, sassy doctor and a swoon-worthy professional hockey player, and the stage is set for a fun, clever hockey caper.
Any other works in progress?
Right now, I’m writing the third book in the Laugh-out-Loud Hockey Caper Romance series. I was going to wait and release all of them at the same time, but I was too excited. I decided to release the first two and then work on the next two.
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Marketing and promoting your book are a huge part of an author’s life – whether you’re traditionally published or self-published. I would recommend setting up social media platforms and learning all you can about creating ads, using analytics, and effective marketing strategies for authors.
Thank you so much to the readers who take an interest in my writing – by reading posts like this or by picking up a copy of my books. If I can brighten someone’s day, that makes me happy!
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