Having grown up just a few miles away from an Amish settlement in central Illinois, I can't resist reading crime fiction that features that culture. Not too long ago, I read and enjoyed Sworn to Silence, Castillo's first book to feature Kate Burkholder, the female chief of police in the Amish town of Painters Mill, Ohio. The fourth book in the series-- Gone Missing-- is due on the shelves in mid-June, so I'll be on the lookout for it!
Fun stuff, here we come!
What was the very first book you remember reading and loving? What makes that book so special?
I still remember the first time my mom took me to the library. I wanted a book about dogs. We couldn’t find one (small library) and ended up checking out a book titled Once There Was a Cat. As a preteen, I was crazy about horses and read everything I could get my hands on, fiction and non-fiction alike. I also loved books with Native American characters. Some of my favorites: Walter Farley’s Black Stallion series. Logan Forster’s Desert Storm. And my favorite non-fiction: The Complete Book of Horses and Ponies by Margaret Cabell Self.
[I have a copy of Margaret Cabell Self's book sitting on a shelf in my library along with a couple of her other titles!]
Outside of your writing and all associated commitments, what do you like to do in your free time?
|Linda and George|
I have two horses (Appaloosas—a mare and a gelding) and they are a huge part of my life. Not only do I ride and train, but they are also part of the family. I love riding and would do it every day if the weather and time permitted. My husband and I live near Palo Duro Canyon and have ridden trails all over the canyon. I also dabble in barrel racing, which is a real adrenaline rush for me. But the sport requires total commitment and I just don’t have the time to train every day.
If I were to visit your hometown, where would you recommend that I go? (I like seeing and doing things that aren't in all the guide books.)
|Palo Duro Canyon, Texas|
I love off-the-beaten-path excursions, too. I live in the Texas Panhandle, which is arid high plains. We have unbelievable vistas of a wide open countryside that is starkly beautiful but can also be inhospitable due to extreme weather, especially high winds. We have breathtaking sunsets and moonrises.
I highly recommend a trip to Palo Duro Canyon, which is the second largest canyon in the US and one of Texas’ best kept secrets. There are hiking, biking and horseback trails along with overnight camping and some of the most beautiful countryside in the US.
You have total control over casting a movie based on your life. Which actor would you cast as you?
That’s a tough question! Gosh…I’d have to say Sandra Bullock. I’ve always admired her work. She is so versatile. She can be serious or funny. Down to earth or quirky…even goofy. Yeah, she’s a good fit.
Who is your favorite recurring character in crime fiction?
Lucas Davenport comes to mind. He’s the protagonist of John Sandford’s PREY series and I’ve been reading those books from the beginning. Great character. Great writing. Awesome series!
Name one book that you've read that you wish you had written. What is it about that book that made it come to mind?
The Road by Cormac McCarthy. He is an amazing writer, and that book is more than a post-apocalyptic story. It’s a powerful story and moving in so many ways. I couldn’t put it down. I’ve always wanted to write an end-of-the-world book. Not only about the daily survival trials and tribulations, but also how such a horrific situation would affect the characters and now they would deal with it on an emotional level.
What did you do the first time you saw one of your books on a shelf in a bookstore? How did you celebrate when you first heard you were to be published?
I was with my husband, shopping at a grocery store in Dallas the first time I saw one of my books on the shelf. It was a tremendous moment, as you can imagine, and very validating.
I remember clearly getting “the call.” Talk about a rush! Of course the first thing I did was call my husband and my sister. I emailed all of my writers friends. And then I did what any writer would do: I got back to work.
I don't know if you've seen it, but I love Parnell Hall's video about book signings. What is the most unusual experience you've had at a book signing or author event?
Aside from the time when the guy got mad because I wouldn’t get up and get him a USA Today… ? I love touring. I love interacting with readers and talking about the books. I love meeting booksellers and librarians.
I was at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport on my way to my first event for Sworn to Silence. I’d just gotten off the Skylink after arriving at the terminal. As I was riding down the escalator, I looked down and saw a dozen or so Amish folks—a family perhaps—sitting in a grouping of chairs at the base of the escalator. The sight was so unexpected that for a couple of seconds I was utterly certain my books had somehow offended the local Amish community and they had come out to protest the release of my book. Needless to say, they didn’t pay the least bit of attention to me. It was one of those “what-a-long-strange-trip-it’s been” moments.
The way some people talk, the only way to read now or in the future is with some sort of electronic device, like the Nooks my husband and I have. What is your opinion of eBooks, and how will they affect you as a published author?
I think e-books are an exciting frontier for the publishing industry, for writers and especially for readers. They have opened a whole new world that is constantly changing and it’s easier than ever for writers to reach their audience. As a writer, I’ve published four of my backlist titles on Kindle. As a reader, I’m almost embarrassed to admit I don’t own an e-reader! I suspect I would enjoy using one. On the other hand, I spend so much time behind the computer, the thought of looking at any kind of screen for pleasure is a bit of a turnoff. Of course, I love the feel of a book in my hands, too. I’m certain I’ll break down soon and buy one, but for now, I’m still a hardcover or paperback girl!
|On Sale Now!|
Thank you so much for spending this time with us, Linda. It was a pleasure to get to know you a little better.
May your book sales do nothing but increase!