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Linda Howard and Linda Jones | 20 Questions: AFTER SUNDOWN

March 30, 2020

We thought it would be fun to give our 20 Questions interview to the incomparable writing team of LINDA HOWARD and LINDA JONES and see their separate responses. Enjoy!

LINDA JONES:

1–What’s the name of your latest release? 

After Sundown

2–What is it about? 

When a natural disaster hits, taking down the grid and bringing the world to a standstill, the community of Wears Valley comes together to survive. Sela and Ben are reluctant leaders who do what they can to in order to make it through the aftermath of a catastrophic solar storm.

3–What word best describes your heroine? 

Introverted. Maybe cautious is a better word for her.

4–What makes your hero irresistible? 

The shallow woman in me says, “His arms.” My more introspective self admires the way he gives in to his instinct to protect, even if he does so reluctantly.

5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? 

Ben turns to no one, at least in the beginning. Sela has friends and family to turn to, most specifically her Aunt Carol and her fifteen-year-old cousin, Olivia.

6–What do you love about the setting of your book? 

I’ve been in love with Wears Valley for a long time. It’s such a beautiful, peaceful place. I could sit on the porch of a cabin there, with a cup of coffee in hand, and look at the mountains all day.

7–Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your pants)?

I’m a definite pantster. I’ve tried to plot, I really have, but it never works for me.

8–What is an ideal writing day for you? 

My best working time is in the morning. I’ll normally have breakfast, work a couple of hours, get on the treadmill or elliptical for a while, grab a shower, and then go back to the computer for a bit longer. The break in between allows me to think about what comes next.

9–Do you listen to music while you write, need total silence, or do you have the TV on?

I like silence to work, but I love to plot to music. Usually while I exercise and let my mind wander.

10– How do you approach research? 

It depends on the book, what I need, what I don’t know. After Sundown required a lot of research just to make sure our plot would work. I have to confess, more than once I’ve gone down the rabbit hole. It’s so easy to get distracted by an interesting subject.

11–What is your publishing journey story? 

My first book, the western romance Guardian Angel, was published in 1994. At that time, I knew absolutely nothing about writing or publishing. I’ve stayed busy ever since, have written in several romance sub-genres, and have published close to 80 novels and novellas. I haven’t counted lately.

12–Do you have critique partners/writing groups you want to give a shout-out to? 

I love sitting down with friends and throwing ideas around, and I indulge often. Lori Handeland and I actually wrote a western series together. The Rock Creek Six. I throw ideas around with Emily March and Nicole Burnham, though not as often as I’d like. And I have a plot group with Vicki Lewis Thompson, Andrea Lawrence, and Kira Sinclair. And then there’s Linda H. Sharing ideas and plotting is one of the most fun aspects of this job, to me.

13–What’re the most frustrating things about being an author? 

Family who thinks that because you work at home you don’t work and wishing I could be a plotter. It seems much more logical, but I can’t make it work. For the most part, I love my job.

14–What’s your favorite scent?

This is the hardest question! I don’t like strong scents at all. I buy unscented everything, when I can. I do like natural scents, like baking bread, citrus, rain.

15–What movie will you watch no matter what if it’s on TV? 

Moonstruck.

16–Do you like breakfast, lunch, or dinner best? 

Lunch. I usually have leftovers, so it’s an easy meal. Heat and serve. And I usually eat lunch about the time I’m finished new writing for the day (as opposed to revisions or edits) so it’s a relaxing time.

17–What’s one thing you wish you knew more about? 

This is another tough one. I love research, so normally if I want to know something about a subject I find out what I can. I’m constantly researching nutrition and natural remedies, so if I had to pick one area I’d like to be an expert in, that would be it.

18–What’s the silliest thing you’ve recently done?

I don’t know if you’d call it silly or not, but I always carry a reusable to-go container when I go out to eat. I hate styrofoam, it’s so wasteful, so I make sure to carry a big purse my containers will fit into. I get some odd looks, from servers. Is getting totally obsessed with The Masked Singer silly? I would say yes. And I am.

19–What can readers expect from you next? 

In addition to the books I’ve co-written with Linda Howard, I’ve been busy with a light paranormal series I’m self-publishing. Book 1 is Bigfoot and the Librarian.

20–How can readers reach you? 

I’m active on Facebook, with a joint page with Linda Howard and a page of my own.

https://www.facebook.com/LindaHowardLindaJones/ 

https://www.facebook.com/LindaWinsteadJones/ 

I can also be reached by email at lindawinsteadjonesauthor@gmail.com

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LINDA HOWARD: 

1–What’s the name of your latest release? 

After Sundown

2–What is it about? 

Surviving after a massive solar storm takes down most of the civilized world’s electrical grid system . . . a scenario that isn’t as far-fetched as you’d hope. We had a close call several years ago.

3–What word best describes your heroine? 

Determined. Sela doesn’t know she’s determined, but she is.

4–What makes your hero irresistible? 

Huh. I don’t know if anyone is irresistible to at least someone. But Ben is irresistible to Sela, partly because of chemistry, partly because she really sees him and understands both his strength and his pain.

5–Who are the people your main characters turn to when they need help? 

Each other – and family. Sela is very family-oriented.

6–What do you love about the setting of your book? 

The smallness of it, a valley in eastern Tennessee, plain people who deal with reality and do the best they can.

7–Are you a plotter (follow an outline) or a pantster (write by the seat of your pants)?

Oh, totally by the seat of my pants. I don’t have any idea what’s going to happen from one page to the next. I may have a central scene in my head and everything in the book is my effort to get to that scene, but that’s about the extent of my “plotting.” Everything else is character-driven.

8–What is an ideal writing day for you? 

Being alone, television off, no music, plenty of snacks, and 16 pages finished at the end of it.

9–Do you listen to music while you write, need total silence, or do you have the TV on?

Total silence. My brain is busy enough.

10– How do you approach research? 

I see where it leads me. I have to have a starting point, sure, but everything I learn leads me to look at something else, and sometimes that “something else” changes the course of the book.

11–What is your publishing journey story? 

I began writing young, at the age of nine, before I knew it was supposed to be hard. I’ve never had a writing class, because by the time I could afford them, I was already published and figured there wasn’t any point. I’m still learning, though; I notice sentence structure, style, plotting and pacing. I know my weaknesses, and I’m working on them.

12–Do you have critique partners/writing groups you want to give a shout-out to? 

My old RWA chapter, Heart of Dixie, was the best. I no longer belong to RWA or HOD, but I’m still friends with so many of the old members. I’ve never had a critique partner or been in a critique group, because I don’t think I could write a book by committee. I’m too deep into my own head. It works for a lot of people, but I’m not one of them.

13–What’re the most frustrating things about being an author? 

People thinking it isn’t work. Or “giving” me their idea, wanting me to write it, and they take 50%. Ideas aren’t the problem. There are no original ideas, just different executions of it. 

14–What’s your favorite scent?

Fresh pine and a wood fire.

15–What movie will you watch no matter what if it’s on TV? 

Sully. Unstoppable. Cinderella. Home Alone. Sometimes Steel Magnolias, if I’m in the mood for a sniffle.

16–Do you like breakfast, lunch, or dinner best? 

Snacks. I’d rather snack than have a regular meal.

17–What’s one thing you wish you knew more about? 

This is going to sound weird, but firearms. I’m a country girl, rifles and pistols are nothing new to me, but I’m always afraid that when I write an action scene with firearms in it, I’m making a fool of myself.

18–What’s the silliest thing you’ve recently done?

Played Hide and Seek with my golden retriever, Tank. 

19–What can readers expect from you next? 

I’m working on the third GO-Team book

20–How can readers reach you? 

Through my publisher, or on the Facebook page Linda Jones and I share.

AFTER SUNDOWN by Linda Howard, Linda Jones

After Sundown

From New York Times bestselling authors Linda Howard and Linda Jones, danger unites two guarded hearts as they struggle for survival…

Sela Gordon, shy owner of a Tennessee general store, prefers solitude. If anyone can chip away at her protective shell it’s the handsome, mysterious, ex-military man who’s been hiding for two years in the wilds of Cove Mountain. But when he warns her that a catastrophic solar storm with the capability of taking down the power grids is approaching, Sela must come out of her shell and be the leader Wears Valley needs.

Living in self-imposed exile, Ben Jernigan has learned the hard way to look out only for number one. With a top-notch security system, he’s serious about keeping people at a distance. Yet he has to caution the undeniably sexy Sela about the impending threat—and now she’s making it too easy for him to lower his guard. As panic spreads, Sela and Ben discover that in the dark, cut off from the outside world, there’s no more playing it safe—in life or in love.

Romance Suspense [William Morrow, On Sale: March 31, 2020, Hardcover / e-Book, ISBN: 9780062842633 / eISBN: 9780062422026]

BATTLE FOR SURVIVAL

She is braver, he is caring and together love survives.

About Linda Howard

Linda Howard
Linda Howard is the award-winning author of many New York Times bestsellers, including Up Close and Dangerous, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Cover of Night, Killing Time, To Die For, Kiss Me While I Sleep, Cry No More, and Dying to Please. She lives in Alabama with her husband and a golden retriever.

WEBSITE | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS | FACEBOOK | AMAZON

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About Linda Jones

Linda Jones

Linda Winstead Jones has written more than fifty romance books in several sub-genres. Historical, fairy- tale, paranormal, and romantic suspense. She’s won the Colorado Romance Writers Award of Excellence twice, is a three-time Rita finalist, and (writing as Linda Fallon) winner of the 2004 Rita for paranormal romance. Linda lives in Alabama with her husband.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | BOOKBUB | AMAZON

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