Hi, readers! I am pleased to announce a very special post today on ILRB. We’re doing something a little different. This is our twentieth official author interview on this romance blog! I know in the past, we did character interviews then switched over to the author’s take on it, but this approach is a bit unusual.
We have a real treat for you, readers. Today we get to speak one-on-one with a talented author. Please join me in welcoming Linda Diane Wattley to ILRB! 😀
Marie Lavender: Hello, Linda. Please have a seat.
Author Linda Diane Wattley: Hi, Marie!
Marie: Hey, such a pleasure to have you here!
I’m going to throw in some standard questions first.
Obviously, we know your occupation as an author, but some writers have other jobs as well. Do you have another occupation? Do you believe you’re any good at it? Do you like what you do?
I know I’m overloading you with questions, but we’re really interested in finding out more about you…
Linda: I am an Assistant Manager at a union-based company that services membership support to our field staff. I am a talk show host who enjoys interviewing people who have a heartfelt truth they would like to share with the world.
So, tell us…what is your family like?
Linda: My family is a small nucleus but filled with a lot of love and loyalty. My mother is 82 years old and so filled with life. My two sons, Marcus and Robert, make me a proud mother as they have a heart for children and their future. Currently they are unified as football coaches who are not coaching them on the football field but the realities of life as well. I am a widow hoping to marry again one day. But in the meantime, I enjoy my beautiful, lovely grandchildren, Jaelynn, Myla, Marcus, Mara and one on the way. Also, two brothers of whom l love dearly.
Marie: Wow, so many!
Let’s try something else, okay?
If it doesn’t bother you at all, can you let us know what your childhood home looked like?
Linda: I remember a beautiful white house that my mother kept perfectly clean.
Marie: All right.
Do you have any hobbies, Linda? What do you enjoy doing?
Linda: I enjoy listening to music, especially music from the 70’s. I enjoy reading and writing. Family time means a lot to me. Walking in the park is another favorite. Meditation and Yoga is a practice I hope to improve. Love watching music and going to my sons’ football games.
Marie: Nice! 😀
So, what is your greatest dream?
Linda: My greatest dream is to be so free I don’t have a worry in the world!
Marie: Sounds like a plan!
Let’s try another question.
What kind of person do you wish you could be? What is stopping you?
Linda: A healthy and rich person. For now, I can say I am healthy, but I could do better with fitness. Now being rich, I just don’t know how to make it happen. If my book becomes a movie, that would be great.
Marie: I know, right? 😉
So, who was your first love?
Linda: My first love was not the guys I met in school, but the one I met in the United States Army. He was the man in my life who taught me what love looks like. He married me and gave me two amazing sons. Robert D. Wattley III is my heartthrob.
Marie: Aww! ♥♥♥
With the next question, I hope I’m not prying too much, but we are curious…
What’s the most terrible thing that ever happened to you?
Linda: Becoming a widow at the age of 27 with two sons to bring up.
Marie: Oh, goodness, I’m so sorry you went through all of that! 😥
Let’s move on to another topic, shall we?
What was your dream growing up? Did you achieve that dream? If so, in what ways was it not what you expected? If you never achieved the dream, why not?
Linda: At first, I wanted to be a schoolteacher. Then I wanted to be a psychologist, but all that changed once I had children. I guess I lost myself while tending to my children. Eventually, after realizing the power of words, I wanted to be an author who aided in the healing process of heart and soul.
Marie: Wow! 😀
Who is your role model, Linda?
Linda: I do not have a role model, but I can say my sons have taught and showed me many things that make me a better person.
Well, let’s try something else.
Is there someone you pretend to like but really dislike?
Linda: Interesting question! (Laughs.) None I can recall.
What is your deepest desire?
Linda: Great health!
Marie: (Nods.) Can’t blame you for wanting that! And, of course, you deserve it! ♥
Let’s go for a different approach now.
Just curious here, but what is your greatest fear?
Marie: That’s an understandable fear. 😕 It is odd sometimes to realize how very short life is.
Let’s switch gears for a second.
If you were trapped on a deserted island, what five essentials would you need with you? They don’t have to be practical.
Linda: Blanket, iPad, phone, food and water.
Marie: They all sound good to me! 😀
Okay, readers, let’s get the author’s perspective on one of her characters.
We’ve heard rumors about the heroine of your story, Leona Tillard. Quite an interesting character. Can you tell us a little about her?
Linda: Leona Tillard is the main character, who shares her journey from being a little girl to becoming a young woman. While growing up, she didn’t see happy adults so she was not in a hurry to grow up, but she does and discovers a world of love and self-awareness that comes with a price that she must grow to understand. Joining the United States Army marked the beginning of how her past experiences affected her understanding of normality and love.
Marie: All right.
And what are Leona’s greatest strengths?
Linda: Leona’s greatest strengths are her ability to seek understanding of life, trust God, honesty and compassion.
Any weaknesses of which we should be aware?
Linda: She does not trust people and she is naïve.
Let’s try something fun, shall we?
What are Leona’s favorite foods?
Linda: Cookies, ice cream, chicken, greens and hamburgers.
Marie: (Chuckles.) All great on their own, of course, but I would never combine them. 😉
How about another question?
What’s a positive quality that your character is unaware that he or she has?
Linda: Leona is gifted with intuition and healing others mentally and physically. She is incredibly determined to understand others as well as herself.
Marie: How admirable!
Will readers like or dislike this character, and why?
Linda: I believe readers will love Leona because she is not a negative person. Though she was dealt a tough hand, she moves forward and she reveals our human need to understand self, love and life. She refuses to be a victim.
Marie: Happy to hear it! 😀
Now that we have a real taste of Leona, we have a few questions for you as well as the author, about the writing process of your book.
What first gave you the idea for A Love Story to Remember?
Linda: I came up with that title based on the loves Leona experiences from birth to becoming a woman. The male roles in this story are real and reveal how men love women who have suffered unjustly in life. It also reveals God’s love for us behind the scenes.
Marie: Nice! It’s fascinating how the muse works, huh? 😉
Let’s try something else.
What is your writing style like, Linda? Are you a pantster or a plotter?
Linda: I am more of a plotter; I believe in having a bottom line and supporting it.
So, I’m throwing this one in for our aspiring writers. Did you come across any specific challenges in writing A Love Story to Remember, or in publishing it? What would you do differently the next time?
Linda: I read this book at least twenty times, and every time I read it, I found errors. I had help with editing, but all errors did not go away even then. If you can get a great editor, get one because no one likes to read books with errors. As far as publishing, I knew I wanted a publishing company that listens. The publishers were great.
Marie: That’s great advice! And believe me, I feel your pain. I learned it the hard way years ago, and was even inspired to write an article on my alternate blog about the importance of editing.
Well, it was a total pleasure having you here on the I Love Romance Blog! And how apropos is that, considering what a great tale A Love Story to Remember appears to be… ♥
Let’s learn more about this book.
Title: A Love Story to Remember
Genre: Military Romance, Inspirational Romance
Publication date: September 15, 2019
A Love Story to Remember reveals the intrinsic realities of our need to love and be loved. There is something about hearing the words, ‘I love you’ that enriches our lives even though its meaning is endless. Leona Tillard, a soldier of the United States Army, woke up one day drowning in the sea of love. ‘I love you’ ruled her life.
She knows God loves her, but she does not know who He has chosen for her to love. Sometimes God speaks through others to reveal answers we seek. Are you chosen to reveal her true love?
Linda is giving us a peek at the story…
“I can’t take any more chances. I don’t want to feel anymore. Don’t you understand? I’m cursed. Stay away from me,” I cried as I ran down the trail into the darkness.
“Leona. Where are you? This isn’t funny, you’re scaring me.”
Tony finally caught up with me. When he did, I placed my arms around his neck and kissed him.
Seeing Tony calm down from my touch reminded me how powerful touch can be.
“I love you, Tony.”
“You don’t have to say that.”
“Yes, I do.”
When we got back to the house, Tony turned off the car and got in a comfortable position and tilted the steering wheel. He looked like a different person than the young man who came to pick me up. I wondered if I looked different as well.
“You’re beautiful, Leona. I just wish you would see it. Let me make you feel good.”
“I don’t think I’m ready for sex yet.”
“That’s not what I’m talking about. I want to touch your heart and mind first, and then your body. I want you to feel me every time you breathe. I want my presence in your life to be the source of your strength, faith, hope, love and certainty. I want your heart and everything in it.”
“You sound like God, you know?” I smiled.
“How did we get on this subject, Leona?”
“You started it,” I said as I laid my head on his shoulder.
Tony and I found each other again. This time it seemed like we had God with us. Talking about God so freely reminded me of the freedom I shared with my first crush, Andrew.
Tony and I spent a lot of time together. He became my healer. I was ready to rejoin my life in the Army. I had one week left before I was due to arrive at Fort Sill, and I wanted to take Tony with me. Even though I was enjoying him, I couldn’t wait to get back into my life as a soldier.
The day I was set to leave, Tony came over and had dinner with us. My mom made the best roast, but it wasn’t enough to kill the sadness hanging over the room. Tony wasn’t himself, and his silence was beginning to make us uncomfortable, so I took him by the hand and pulled him outside to the porch.
“What’s the matter?”
“Nothing, I do have quiet moments, you know,” Tony answered defensively.
“Talk to me, Tony.”
Tony turned away from me and began walking toward his car.
“Sorry, Leona, I got to go. Have a safe trip.”
“Just like that, you’re walking out on me! Why? Be man enough to tell me why!” I yelled as I walked toward his car.
“I will never have you, Leona,” he said mournfully.
I shook my head in confusion. “What are you talking about?”
“Did you know you talk in your sleep? I thought it was no big deal at first. But then one night, no two nights, you cuddled up with me on the couch and called me Doug! Leona, I can’t compete with a ghost!”
I let out a sigh. “Don’t do this, Tony. My parents are waiting for us. Can we talk about this later?”
Tony shut the car door and walked back up on the porch.
“I would like us to at least make it through dinner,” I said.
After dinner, my dad and Tony watched a football game while Mom and I cleared the table and washed dishes. When we finished washing dishes, Tony and I decided to go out for a while alone. As soon as we got in the car, we both apologized to each other at the same time.
“No, wait; let me say this before we go any farther. I may have said Doug’s name in my sleep, but it doesn’t mean I don’t have room in my heart for you. I was traumatized, Tony. Sudden death is no joke.”
“I know. I guess I was a little jealous.”
“I have a surprise for you. At least, I hope it is a surprise. I wanted our last night together to be special.”
We rode in silence, listening to one of Tony’s jazz list of music. We pulled up in front of a hotel and Tony parked the car, got out, and came over to my side to help me out. With his hand in mine, we walked into the hotel. We didn’t have to check in because he already had the key to our room. I didn’t know how I felt about this. All I knew was he and I were about to be alone. When he opened the door, the candlelight and roses all over the room overwhelmed me. There were rose petals strewn all over the bed. Before I could say anything, Tony picked me up and threw me in the middle of the fragrant pile.
Intense! Can’t wait to find out what happens next. 😀
Universal Reader link: https://books2read.com/u/mqD5av
What are people saying about A Love Story to Remember?
“This book shows us how previous generations can affect later ones. Family issues, trauma, abuse, and mental health can affect us all. Overcoming our past is a part of the human struggle. Very engaging read.” – Earl Hall Studio, Amazon
“A Love Story to Remember by Linda Diane Wattley is a fictional love story about life, the need for love, redemption, and personal internal survival. The author draws from her own experiences as a veteran in the United States Army. Even in this fictional account, Linda demonstrates the inner strength to overcome Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and find a path to recovery.
Looks fantastic! 😉
We’ll be sure to get a copy of this military inspirational romance! ♥♥♥
LINDA DIANE WATTLEY is a veteran of the United States Army. She is an advocate for sufferers of PTSD, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and for those who have suffered from all forms of victimization to include domestic violence and sexual abuse. Her message is all about getting to the best truths that allows victims to be set free. Linda does this by sharing her gifts and talents that God gave her. One being an author of several books that lead readers to go deep within themselves to find their own inner strength and voice.
Linda was also a contributing columnist with the Frost Illustrated Newspaper in Fort Wayne, Indiana titled, “THE BEST WILL SHOW THEMSELVES” for over twelve years where she shared truths that stirred hearts and minds of readers in spiritual matters.
Today, she has opened a platform for others to share their truths with the world. Her online television show, THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE by TLBTV and the Liberty Beacon Project has proven to be a powerful beacon of light.
Her current book, A LOVE STORY TO REMEMBER is a uniquely written book sharing the journey to love after a dysfunctional past. It shows how men love and have their own spiritual understanding of life. Understanding someone with PTSD in relationships brings out the best in you in numerous ways. This love story will have you wondering who the man God has chosen for the main character, Leona Tillard. Will you choose him after reading her story?
Linda Diane Wattley lives to do God’s Will. She is available for book signings, speaking engagements and interviews.
And, if you want to know how to connect with the fascinating Linda Diane Wattley, here are some author links…
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Linda-Diane-Wattley/e/B00JNTEYK6/
Once again, I want to thank Linda Diane Wattley, the brilliant author of this military romance with an inspirational romance theme, for stopping by! It was a pleasure to have you here! Readers, check out her work! ♥