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Interview with Linda Goodnight

From avid reader to prolific writer, Linda Goodnight’s journey to publishing was a dream fulfilled. Read on to find out what keeps her going when she’s stuck as a writer and what she looks for in a travel companion.
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You have dozens of books to your credit. How did you get your start writing novels?
An avid reader, I always loved words and tried to write. Always. But I never thought it was possible for a small-town Okie girl to be an author. When a local woman sold her first novel to a NY publisher, I realized my dream could happen. After studying the craft the old-fashioned way (no Internet) and writing like mad in every spare moment, I placed in a large contest and was able to pitch to an editor at a conference. She bought the book. That was over twenty years ago, and I’ve been blessed to be an employed writer ever since.

And how did you decide on genre?
Through lots of trial and error. Being a lover of history, I began writing historical romance but was told the market was fading. (NOT true, but I believed it then and switched to contemporary romance.) Though the bulk of my backlist is contemporary, Claiming Her Legacy harkens back to my love of history and the colorful, wild days of Oklahoma and Indian Territories.

After writing so many books, how do you keep your writing fresh and avoid getting stuck in a rut?
May I candidly admit how hard that is? The more I write, the harder it becomes. When I hit a wall or feel as if I’m repeating myself, I take a mini-vacation from the computer and, as they say, refill the well. Traveling is a huge help. Like most authors, I also read voluminously and people watch, listen to stories, and read blogs. Sometimes I switch genres. Eventually something will strike a chord. The best stories just come out of the blue. I love when that happens!

Who or what inspires your writing?
I so very much want to share Jesus with people, and I have learned that He will use my simple words to help someone I will probably never meet. That’s inspiring!

Your website mentions a love of travel with some bucket list destinations. Why those places, and do you have any plans to check them off your list?
Ah, travel, where have you gone? Covid has stolen you. Every person I know who’s been to Israel says it is life-changing to experience the places where Jesus lived. I’ve planned that trip no less than three times, only to have it canceled Right now, I am shooting for a tour in February, 2023.

Scotland and northern England are important to me, because I can trace my ancestry back to the fifteen hundreds and to a manor house, now in ruins, but still visible. I’ve been to England and Ireland, so Scotland is next. As soon as I find a traveling companion (preferably one who can drive on the left side of the road!) and it’s safe to do so, I’m booking that trip!

You also mention that your husband doesn't travel, so who are your travel companions when you take a trip?
Whomever who can tolerate me! Seriously, I’ve traveled several times with a friend whose husband doesn’t travel either, as well as with my daughter, my sister-in-law, and a lady from church. I’m always on the lookout for a good travel buddy.

And what is one thing you can't ever leave behind when you're traveling?
I wish I could say something charming and witty like my teddy bear or Carmex, but I travel very light and can honestly leave anything that is not a necessity.

What are you currently reading?
Jodi Thomas’s contemporary series, Honey Creek. Love her writing. I’m also working my way through a painful nonfiction read in Divine Disruption by Dr. Tony Evans. It’s hard to read, but I need the wisdom it contains.

Any parting words?
Booklist gave Claiming Her Legacy a lovely review, calling it compelling, so I hope readers, too, will enjoy the book. I loved writing it, especially the tormented hero. What is about us that loves to tortures our poor heroes?

Lisa Bartelt is a child of the flatlands fulfilling her dream of living near mountains in Pennsylvania. She loves reading, writing, and listening to stories—true ones, made-up ones, and the ones in between—preferably with a cup of coffee in hand. Wife, mom of two, writer, ordinary girl, Lisa blogs about books, faith, family, and the unexpected turns of life at

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