Friday, November 21, 2008

Semi-Feral Bunny Slippers and the Best Title EVER: An Interview with Linda Wisdom

Linda Wisdom's first book hit shelves in 1980, and she hasn't taken a break since then. In fact, she's hardly taken a breath.

Linda's newest series, paranormal romances that feature thirteen witches who were kicked out of witch school in 1313, began with I Hex Better in Bunny Slippers, continued with 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover and reached a trilling crescendo with the awesomely-titled Hex Appeal. Naturally, when I saw the name of her new book*, I thought she must be an absolute genius, so I stalked her until she agreed to an interview.

What is your writing kryptonite (e.g. mine is the synopsis – gack!)?

LOL! Same here. I hate writing them because I know the book won’t always turn out the way I wrote a synopsis. Directions change, characters tell me something different is going to happen and so on. I’ve always said I’d rather scrub the bathroom with a tootbrush than write a synopsis.

What is the worst writing advice you have ever received? What’s the best? And what would you relay to pre-published writers?

Worst advice had to do with a mystery proposal I’d written. It would have taken the book in a direction it shouldn’t go and I finally abandoned the book, although I have friends who want me to still write the book, so who knows? Maybe one day I will. The best was to always remember to write to my strengths and I feel that’s what I’ve done. For any pre-published author I’d say to stick with it, to have faith in your project. I’ve had friends who’ve stuck with it for more than ten years before they published.

I read that when you sold your first two books in 1979, your boss fired you. Please explain! What was her justification, and did you put water in her gas tank? ;)

Very true. I worked in a head hunting firm then and not long after I sold my books my boss fired me, more out of jealousy because the company owner was paying me more attention than paying her. She accused me of writing on company time, which was impossible, since I also spent a lot of time in the field, meeting new clients, etc. She hated that I never tried to file for unemployment but about 6 years later my husband ran into her at an industry function and remembered to tell her what I’d told him to say in case he ever ran into her. And that was to thank her for firing me because I wouldn’t be where I was. And payback came in a way that I had nothing to do with, but was absolutely perfect since she learned the hard way she wasn’t as invincible as she thought she was.

How did you come up with the very awesome title (ahem) Hex Appeal?

Actually, my editor came up with the title. Doncha love it ?

Absolutely, I do! It's pure genius. ;) Your degree was in fashion merchandising. Your latest books include Fluff & Puff, the bunny slippers with attitude, and Croc & Delilah, a pair of crocodile stilettos. Do I see a particular obsession of yours here? Any other sentient and fun shoes on their way in this series? How did you come up with such a fun twist on the fashionable shoe trend running rampant in women’s fiction?

I do love shoes. You only have to look in my closet. I haven’t seen any other fun shoes popping up yet, but there will be some others showing up. From the very beginning I visualized Jazz in Fluff and Puff. I could easily see this witch brewing up spells while wearing her bunny slippers that have sharp teeth and eat anything and everything.

Dish! What are you favorite mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal novels?

Ooh, so many! I love JA Jance, Linda Fairstein, Elaine Viets, John Sandford and so many for mysteries, Cheryl Brooks, a fellow Sourcebooks author for her sci fi, Yasmine Galenorn for her Sisters of the Moon series, Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series, Michele Bardsley, Kimberly Raye, Kim Harrison. They’re all must buys for me.

Show and tell time! I hear you have ink. What do you have, where is this fantastic tat, and do you have pictures?

LOL! Yes, Fluff and Puff are tattooed on the outside of my right ankle. There’s a picture of them on my MySpace and I’m thinking of having witchy Stasi’s gargoyle Horace inked on my other ankle.

Sweet! I hop
e you'll share more photos if you do get the Horace ink. If you can, tell us about the YA urban fantasy you’re working on – is it the same tone as the Hex series, or is it serious? And what kind of world is it set in?

My YA urban fantasy is about a 16-year-old girl searching for her younger sister who’d been abducted by what the heroine calls the Skeleton Man and she ends up in a fenced in city that’s actually an alternate Los Angeles. It’s more serious than the Hex series, but it does have its moments.

Tell us about the characters in the future Hex books. Will you focus on Jazz, or do we get to see the other twelve expelled witches find love and magic and witchy shoes?

The other witches are showing up. Stasi is in Wicked By Any Other Name, which comes out in March with her pervert of a gargoyle, Horace and magickal dog, Bogie. Blair in Hex in High Heels which will be out in October ’09 with Felix, her Kit-Kat clock. And I’m giving readers glimpses of the other witches. Jazz, Nick, Irma and the slippers are back in Wicked along with a Fluff and Puff prologue and they’ll also be popping into Blair’s book because they refuse to stay home. What’s sweet is I’ve even been asked if they’ll ever have books of their own. Who knows what might happen?

You have an amazing range of creatures in your Hex books. Are there any new ones we can look forward to as this series progresses?

Oh definitely. Some that are totally made up, also more Weres showing up and more ghosts and I’ll also be showing some other magicks.

Thank you, Linda, for joining the Five Scribes and dishing on your latest news. Hex Appeal and 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover are available now at your local bookstore and also at Target - go Linda! Woot! Go and getcher witch on, and enjoy Jazz's awesome bunny slippers.

* Three of the Five Scribes can attest to the fact that I came up with my title in October last year at our writing retreat and that I in no way filched it from anyone. ;)


Donnell said...

KL and Linda, great interview! Who would've thunk shoes could be characters? Linda, I remember when you first became published you stating your boss fired you. Success is the best revenge, wouldn't you agree? Question: you say your characters talk to you, so do you veer from the synopsis. Thanks for being with us today ;)

Linda Wisdom said...

Hi Donnell!

Yes, I do veer from the synopsis because there's times they've told me "it won't work" and I say "yes, it will, I wrote it!" and they say "you'll see" and rats, they're right every time!


Judi Fennell said...

Linda - I looooove your ideas! And the tat. I was thinking of doing a Mer one...I'm still considering it.

Robin Kaye said...

What a wonderful interview KL and Linda. It's nice to know that I'm not alone when it comes to veering off the synopsis.

I love the tattoo, Linda. Fluff & Puff are favorites of mine.

Robin :)

Ann said...

Wonderful review KL and Linda!

I love success as revenge, what a great outcome to getting fired. :)

(And yes, Hex Appeal is a rocking title!)

Linda Wisdom said...

What a cool idea, Judi!

A friend of mine is driving over from AZ to see my guy for her tat.


Linda Wisdom said...

Thanks Robin!

They're pretty special to me too.


Linda Wisdom said...

Thanks Ann.

It was actually fun the day she fired me because she expected me to rant and rave. Many did because she made sure they did, but I handed over my parking pass and just left.