5 Minutes Alone… With Linda Joffe Hull

Linda Joffe Hull hits the shelves twice in quick succession, debuting in November with a send-up of tangled suburban anxieties, and then on to a bit of mystery. As such, Ms. Hull is apt to be more than a little busy in the coming weeks and months, so we’re fortunate to get her here in our little corner of the internet for a bit of background before she goes into the spotlight.

We’d like to thank her for taking the time to be part of our “5 Minutes Alone” interview series.

AuthorScoop: What was your very first publication credit?

Linda: Technically, the first thing I ever published was an article on incarcerated teens and their lawyer mentors for California Lawyer magazine in the early 90’s, but The Big Bang, which officially releases in November is my debut novel. Eternally 21, the first in my Mrs. Frugalicious mystery series, comes out in June 2013, from Midnight Ink.

AuthorScoop: Tell us about your latest release.

Linda: I like to describe The Big Bang as a suburban satire/pregnancy whodunit. The novel is set in Melody Mountain Ranch, an upscale, covenant-controlled community in suburban Denver where secret affairs, home shopping parties, religious fundamentalism and a power hungry homeowner’s board keep the local residents distracted from the fact that their homes are literally rotting beneath them. Secret affairs, teen witchcraft and a power-hungry homeowner’s board have their personal lives deconstructing even faster. On Wonderland Valley Way, blonde, beautiful, interior decorator Hope Jordan is desperate for a baby. As Hope struggles through unsuccessful fertility treatments, her neighbors Will Pierce-Cohn, a stay-at-home dad and community activist, Frank Griffin, a minister-cum-homeowner’s board president, and Tim Trautman, a soon-to-be father of five, jockey for her attentions. When Hope inadvertently eats hash brownies at the playground ribbon-cutting gala/Memorial Weekend poolside potluck she falls into the arms of one of her three wanna-be paramours. Maybe all three—she wakes up with only fleeting memories of the evening and soon discovers she’s pregnant. While she tries to piece together what happened, with whom and what to do about it, the homes on her cul-de-sac begin to crack and leak. Hope and her neighbors are forced to work together to dig out of a hell of their own making.

AuthorScoop: Aside from your own hard work, who (or what) else do you feel has contributed to your success?

Linda: I feel really lucky to have an incredibly supportive spouse who has played everything from proofreader to cheerleader over the years. I also have two of the best editors around in Ben LeRoy at Tyrus Books and Terri Bischoff at Midnight Ink. There is no way I could have gotten my first (as yet unpublished) novel finished, much less navigated my way through the ever-changing and always confusing world of publishing without the support of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. I literally learned how to write by showing up and participating in one of their local critique groups. They also offer monthly programs, a great annual conference and an overall commitment to helping novel length fiction writers become published authors.

AuthorScoop: At what time of day or night do you do your best writing?

Linda: I have three children, one of whom is in first grade, so I work from 8:30-3:15 when they are in school. I also work in the evening after everyone’s in bed. I’ve noticed my very best writing somehow seems to happen between 2 and 3 in the afternoon when I’m rushing to wrap things up before pick-up time.

AuthorScoop: Finally, what advice would you give to new or unpublished writers?

Linda: If you want to be published, don’t give up. It took me eleven years to get that first publishing deal on my three book mystery series. Six months later, I signed a contract with Tyrus Books for The Big Bang, my standalone mainstream debut. When I say, don’t give up, I know of what I speak. I should qualify that statement, though. If you are compelled to write, are willing to put the time and effort in to hone your craft, and not only listen, but hear what others say to improve your work, stick with it. Oh, and attend as many writer’s conferences as you can. It’s very difficult to get that foot in the door with agents and editors. Your very best chance is to go to a conference and get to know the agents and editors there. You will have a much better sense if your work may be a fit for their agency or publishing house and they will be much more likely to look at your work because of the personal connection you’ve established.

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Find Linda Joffe Hull on the internet at her website, on Facebook, and 140 characters at a time on Twitter.

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