Linda Joy Singleton is the author of over 35 books for kids, including YALSA honored THE SEER series and DEAD GIRL WALKING trilogy. She submitted short stories to magazines when she was 14 and finished her first book during a 2-week holiday. She kept stories she wrote as a kid and loves to share them when in her school presentations. Her childhood 100-book collection of girl series books like Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton and Trixie Belden grew to an adult passion and now thousands of juvenile series books fill her home library. A fan letter at age 13 led to her friendship with author Margaret Sutton and later a co-written Judy Bolton mystery. When she was 14 she wrote a goal of wanting to write a series of her own–and it happened. She encourages kids, “Follow your dreams no matter how impossible they seem. With hard work and determination, dreams come true.” To learn more, visit her website.
Let the conversation begin!
What initially drew you to writing?
I wrote as a kid because I loved to read. No one suggested I write, it was just something I knew that I needed to do.
What was your favorite book to write?
Each book I write drives me a little crazy in the middle so I’m not sure that any book is my favorite. I have great and terrible moments in writing every book. I remember really enjoy the first THE SEER, DON’T DIE DRAGONFLY, because Sabine was different than my other heroines and I really enjoyed getting to know her.
Who is your favorite author?
Margaret Sutton who was my idol and friend as a teen. Currently I love so many authors that it’s hard to choose. Check my Goodreads for a list of all the great books I’ve read (the ones with 5 stars are my favorites).
Where do you get your ideas?
Usually ideas just come to me out of dreams or daydreams. Sometimes it’s because of something I saw on a news broadcast, like when I wrote about clones. Since I love mysteries, writing about psychics solving mysteries was natural for me. I keep an idea file where I tuck all the ideas that I can’t write yet. I have a very thick file!
Tell us about the book you’re working on.
I’m writing a futuristic mystery about a girl who lives in a secluded island community where scientists keep them so healthy no one grows old. I’ve written 160 pages; over halfway through. This is plotted as a trilogy with complex drama, secrets and romance.
What advice would you give young writers?
Have fun with writing. Don’t rush to self-publish, even though you will hear stories of some writers who find success by publishing your own book. If I had self-published, I would have missed all the helpful comments through my rejections and critiques. I wouldn’t have kept rewriting and trying new books. I have about ten books that never sold, and that’s okay because I write much better now. Learn the craft of writing rather than rush into having a book published. I respect and value all the lessons I’ve learned from my critique group(s) and from editors.
What is the most valuable advice you’ve ever received?
To give myself permission to write “garbage” and just finish the book then come back later for rewriting.
When are you the most productive?
Morning girl here. I seldom write at night. I love mornings!
Are your characters completely fictional?
My characters are fiction with only 5% of real life mixed in — well except for Dominic. He’s based on my hubby.
What is your dream vacation?
I would love to take a cruise toAustralia. I read a book called Golden Urchin by Madeleine Brent which made me really want to seeAustraliasomeday. I love everything by this author (who was actually a man that wrote Modesty Blaise).