Sunday, June 28, 2009

Interview with author, Linda Beed

Today, I welcome one of my informal mentors back to Urban Christian Fiction Today. Linda Beed is the founder and moderator for Black Writers Christian Lit, an invaluable online network for African-American Christian writers, where we learn everything from basic grammar to the nitty gritty details of the publishing business, celebrate, fellowship, and pray.

Welcome to UCFT, Linda. Tell us about yourself?
Linda the person is one in love with life and the things of God. Through love and obedience on any given day I function under the headings of, wife, mother, grandmother, educator, speaker, columnist, reviewer, developmental editor and children’s minister. I have a passion for seeing others excel at what they set their hands to and am ecstatic when people discover and operate in purpose. Basically, like most women, I’m a nurturer of those set under my care.

Tell us about your novel. Business Unusual is the first release from the Covenant Series. It is the story of an eclectic group of people, all of who are at the crossroads of life. They are humorous, complex, accomplished, have set and are marching toward personal goals that most people only dare to dream about. It will be in their quest to go to the next level that they find that their lives are not their own and that the decisions they have to make have the potential to change the course of not only their lives, but that of generations to come.

Who is your favorite character and why?
It’s hard to choose because I like them all. For the sake of this interview I will choose Hayes. I choose Hayes because he is not the stereotypical man we meet in most books. He is a man who is not afraid to be a man, a lover or friend. His personality is one that challenges and provokes in a way that dares you say that he is not true to what and who he believes in. The question is – what are his beliefs and in whom does he pledge his allegiance?

Is there a message you’d like readers to take away from the story?
Exiting the pages of Business Unusual I would like the reader to understand how valuable they are to God that the errors they have made and will make does not change the plans/purpose He has for you.

What is your writing process like?
My writing process is somewhat unorthodox. I tried following the advice of outlining the story and making a character chart for the cast before writing, but found that this strategy hampers the process for me.

When I have an idea, I jot it down and then free write until I cannot without structure. I will then go back and incorporate the mechanics necessary to flesh out the storyline and my characters.

You went the independent route with publishing your novel, tell us why and share some wisdom about the process? Prior to shopping the manuscript around I thoroughly investigated the options available to me at that time for publishing. After realizing that the traditional contracts being offered did not align with my vision for the book, I chose to independently publish.

Publishing a book by whichever method you choose is hard work. I would advise writers to understand that in addition to this being an art form, writing is also a business. The business can be trying as well as fulfilling. You can minimize the amount of trauma to be overcome when you take the time to become skilled in both the writing and business side of craft.

What’s been the most rewarding thing about being published?
By nature and I am a teacher and exhorter. For me, I would say that the most rewarding aspect of being published is the opportunity to minister and encourage others.

Linda, you are quite the teacher – your ministry of sharing information has benefited so many writers and authors. There’s a lot of time involved in the teaching that you do. Tell me about your personal mission with respect to this.
During my time of preparation (pre-publication) I asked many questions. I also took notes when people shared the pitfalls of uninformed choices and/or fell prey to predatory practices. Hearing their experiences planted a seed in me to help others bypass as many stumbles as possible by making available ongoing information regarding the literary industry.

Thank you for taking the time today. What’s next for you?
Before I answer I would like to thank you for providing a place for readers of Christian works.
This year has truly been one of preparation for things to come. I have a contribution in the October 2009 Anthology – The Gumbo for The Soul/Women of Honor: The Special Pink Edition. In 2010 I have another anthology release (The Breakthrough: A Triumph of My Soul) along with a non-fiction release and Continued Business, the second installment in the Covenant Series. There is also a forth-coming workshop series and a historical fiction set to release in 2011.

Sounds great, Linda. We can expect quite a bit from you. How can readers find you on the web? I invite you to visit me on the web at:
Review Blog:
Industry Blog:


Jackie Moore said...

As usual another excellent and insightful interview Dr. Beed.

Lynel said...

What a wonderful interview, Linda! Thanks for a bit of yourself with us.

Cecelia Dowdy said...

Congrats on your the release of your past and future novels! Great advice about asking lots of questions when pursuing publication! Your loop is great for giving support and advice to other writers!

Stacy Hawkins Adams said...


Thanks for the great interview with Linda. Linda, you're an inspiration!


LaShaunda said...

It is always nice to learn a little more about Ms. Linda.

Great interview Rhonda.