Survival Instinct by Janie Crouch

Q&A with Linda Grimes



Q&A for Linda Grimes


·      Which books are currently in your to-read pile?

Tolstoy’s War and Peace, James Joyce’s Ulysses, and Pat the Bunny. I have to admit, I don’t have high hopes about getting through those first two.
Seriously, there are too many to mention. Mostly on my Kindle, thank goodness, because otherwise I’d have piles toppling over everywhere. The only drawback to writing is that it cuts into my leisure time. Reading has become a guilty pleasure, heavy on the guilt. I can barely start to read something new before my inner nag starts yelling at me to go work on my own darn books.

·      What's the first book you remember reading?

The first book I read all by myself was Lilibet: Circus Child, by Anna and Astrid Lindgren, a gift from my Swedish aunts when I was very young. I still remember how proud I was when I first read it aloud to my parents. It’s about a little girl whose family works in a circus (but possibly you already gathered that from the title). Oh, how I wanted to be that girl! I think that’s when I first learned the joys of experiencing life vicariously.
  
·      What's your favorite thing about being a writer?

Well, you can’t beat the commute. Thirty seconds down the stairs and I’m ready to go. Heck, I don’t even have to change out of my PJs if I don’t feel like it. Oh, and then there’s the creative fulfillment aspect. And getting to play God in my own little universe. That’s fun, too.

·      Who are your literary heroes?

Jamie Fraser, from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series (because who doesn’t adore a strong, honorable man in a kilt?); Atticus Finch, from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (because he’s a fantastic father as well as a wise and honorable man); and Winnie-the-Pooh, from the A.A. Milne classic (because there’s a lot to be said for cuddly anthropomorphized bears who know the importance of friendship).

·      What's your favorite method of procrastination?

Research. I can get totally lost on the internet, looking up things I “need” to know for whatever book I’m writing at the time. One click leads to another, and another, and before I know it I’m chasing fascinating trivia down internet rabbit holes. Best of all, I don’t even have to feel guilty about putting off my writing, because, technically, I might actually use any weird thing I find out in a book someday. (This is how the infamous manure-spreader scene wound up in In a Fix, as well as how the opening scene on the zero-g aircraft in All Fixed Up came about. I guess you could say procrastination inspires me.)

·      Do you have any writing rituals?

I spin myself around in a circle three times, rub my hands together, and belt out “Let the magic begin!” at the top of my lungs. (Not really. But wouldn’t that be a cool ritual?) What I actually do is make a cup of tea, do a few online word puzzles to wake my brain up (I like Crickler.com), and dive in wherever I left off the day before. But that’s kind of boring, so I might have to try the spinning thing.  
LINDA GRIMES is a former English teacher and ex-actress now channeling her love of words and drama into writing. She grew up in Texas and currently resides in northern Virginia with her husband.