Find a Christian store

Interview With Linda Holland, Editor, Fleming Revell

Writing from the Depths of One's Soul - an Interview with Linda Holland
by Gail Gaymer Martin

If Linda Holland had been asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, writer or editor would never have been her answer. Why? Because in school she was always a slow reader. "So slow," she says, "I often found myself in the fourth or fifth reading group." But God had plans for Linda, and her success as author and editor proves that the Father knows best.

From Tomboy To Fashion and Publishing
Growing up near the beach in Southern California, Linda considered herself a tomboy. She loved the water, camping, sleeping under the stars, and climbing mountains. But following her undergraduate work, other interests led her to Los Angeles where she studied fashion design under the tutelage of three famous designers at the world-famous Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. Her career began in the L.A. fashion district where she coordinated clothes and accessories for ramp modeling. At the same time, she dabbled a bit in Hollywood, designing costumes for motion pictures. In the mid-eighties, Linda made a career change. She began working with history professors at the University of California, San Diego, editing their textbooks written under federal and state grants. In 1986, she joined Regal Books and was surprised to discover she had skills in areas of book writing and publishing. While working as acquisitions editor in 1988, Linda conceptualized a book to assign to another writer. But she says, "Accidently, I got roped into co-authoring it and found I loved to write."

From Editor to Author
Since Linda began her own writing career, she has written four books of her own and several for other authors. She co-authored two books with Karen Linamen: THE CURIOUS WALTZ OF THE WORKING WOMAN and WORKING WOMEN, WORKABLE LIVES. Two of her own books are ALABASTER DOVES and GROWING LITTLE WOMEN.

Linda left Regal to join Victor Books as Senior, Acquisitions Editor, then moved to the Managing Editor position at Moody Press. In 1995, she moved to Editorial Director at Fleming H. Revell, Chosen, and Spire. In this position, Linda oversees their complete publishing program, totaling from fifty to seventy books annually. What kind of books does Revell publish?

Linda says, "Books of all kinds, fiction and non-fiction, that are unique, very well-written, and have something new and fresh to communicate. Revell publishes to the heart with wise, practical books to assist Christians on life's journey, books on marriage, family, and parenting."

Revell publishes both general and historical fiction. They are looking for stories with depth, compelling and substantive novels containing a strong thread of romance with believable and provocative characters that explore real life issues.

Advice to Writers
"The very best advice I can give writers is to be an observer of life, to study your craft, and then to write, write, write, and write some more," Linda says. "Nothing can teach you the craft of good writing like regular practice."

Linda believes that publishing can prove disappointing for most authors. "Never measure the value of your work by whether or not it is published." Instead, she suggests an author should take pleasure in the value and honor of his or her work for the sake of the work. "Or write a piece as a gift to someone in need or someone you love."

Asked her opinion on the major cause for rejection, Linda says, "The most common mistake I see overall is writers who have pursued publishing prematurely. Writing is an art and requires, not only innate talent, but refined skills. And don't forget that rejections are a natural part of a writer's life. Even Marjorie Holmes received seventeen rejections before finding a home at Revell for her classic 'Two from Galilee'."

Does Linda have any personal goals for her own career? "In publishing, my goals are to continue to grow as an editor and a manager. My writing goal is to hone my skills and bring more soul to my writing. Writing from the depths of one's soul requires great courage and a willingness to be vulnerable. Was it Hemingway who said, 'Writing is easy; you just sit down and open a vein.'"

Balancing Her Private Life
Linda raised three children as a single mom. "Now," she says, "I can say we all survived my many mistakes. Whew!" Today she attempts to balance her time between work and her personal life, but says, it's easier to talk about than to do. Balancing her time is especially difficult when she is working on book deadlines. "My answer is to not sign a contract for my next book until I've written at least two-thirds of it."

Linda's perspective on what's important has changed since she's grown older. "I don't want to miss beauty and relationships because I couldn't pull myself away from work. How sad that would be." This attitude, taking time for relationships and beauty, is what makes Linda's career so satisfying. "I love meeting people and concepting new ideas for books. What a thrill!"

From a slow reader to costume design to editorial director, Linda followed God's gentle nudges, exploring careers she never dreamed possible. She serves as an encouraging role model for all Christians.

©2000 Gail Gaymer Martin
reprint rights granted.

For more great interviews, visit our Author Interview Archives.

ACFW Members, click here to apply for an author interview!

Developed by Camna, LLC

This is a service provided by ACFW, but does not in any way endorse any publisher, author, or work herein.