Today I am talking to author Linda Rae Blair about her large collection of books she has written over the years :)
Books & Writing: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself.
Linda Rae Blair: I am totally right-brained! A retiree, I had SO many ideas about what I would do with all my free time once I didn’t have to go to work anymore. HAH! I began writing just months prior to my retirement date and haven’t stopped since. The piano sits—unplayed. My paint brushes—dry and unused. My sewing machine still hasn’t had a bobbin wound. But I now have three—yes, count them 1-2-3—computers! I keep one pristine and never connected to the internet; one for personal “stuff” and a desk top for all my twittering, Facebooking, Linkedining, blogging, e-mailing, etc. I really MUST pick up at least one of the oldies again!
Books & Writing: Do you remember the first story you wrote?
Linda Rae Blair: Oh, yes. It’s still available. “Where is Harry?” was the one I started before I retired. It was published by the time my retirement date hit. I often think that I should rework it, but then I’d lose that wonderful “first work” that I was so very proud of at the time. My, how I’ve grown as a writer!
Books & Writing: Were you inspired by someone or something?
ALinda Rae Blair: fter my mother’s death, we found that she had been married before she met my dad. Since she was just a teenager at the time and it was in the 2nd decade of the 20th century, this raised a lot of questions. Unfortunately, mom wasn’t around to answer them anymore. We all knew she’d had a tough childhood. The book relates a lot of the real memories she had of her early childhood—her mother brushing her long brown hair, her father setting her broken arm, her brother, Harry, carrying her on his shoulders to go “fishin’”, and the death of her sister in their shared bed. When she lost both her parents (scarlet fever was rampant in those days) she was put in a foster home where she was treated as a servant, not a daughter.
When a co-worker heard the fantasy version of the intervening years, she said, “You should write a book about it!” Lots of writers start out that way. Once I wrote mom’s fantasy story, then the two reader-favorite characters from her story became books of their own. Ultimately they were all published as stand-alones and as a trilogy, “Intersections: Love, Betrayal, Murder”.
Books & Writing: What do you love about writing a story?
Linda Rae Blair: My stories are completely character-driven. So, I love seeing where they are going to take me. Since the series is about a main character named Preston Andrews (his friends call him Press) I tend to find a catchy phrase that includes Press, Press’d, Pressing—something of that nature. Then I murder the victim by whatever means seems right at the time. From there, it’s all up to those pesky characters and the folks they run into along the way.
Books & Writing: Tell us something about your detective series “The Preston Andrews Mysteries” and the main character Press?
Linda Rae Blair: Press is one of those guys that the average Joe wishes he could be and every woman fantasizes about. He’s very wealthy, the son of a U.S. Senator who comes from money and lots of it. At 6’3” and carrying the 6-pack of a man with a gym in his own home, stylishly cut black hair, icy blue eyes and a dimple in his right cheek, he brings women to attention and men to a show of respect. He bought his Virginia Beach mansion from his parents a few years ago. It had been the family’s summer house. Along with the house, he took the cook/housekeeper, Lizzie, and the family bodyguard, Palmer, who is ex-covert ops, ex-Marine. Lizzie is guarded from the grizzlier aspects of Press’s work; Palmer is often brought in as a “consultant”.
Books & Writing: What made you decide to write a series of books about a homicide detective?
Linda Rae Blair: I’m a lover of romantic mysteries. A huge fan of Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb and others in the genre. It simply came naturally. I do have several stand-alone novels that range from either mostly romances to total mystery with no romantic subplot.
Books & Writing: How did you come up with the idea for the series?
Linda Rae Blair: I have absolutely no idea! I sat down at my local Starbucks and started writing and out came Press, Lizzie, Palmer, Trace, Senator and Mrs. Andrews, Steffi (Press’s sister) and we were off to the races.
Books & Writing: Is the main character based on someone you know?
Linda Rae Blair: Oh, I wish!
Books & Writing: You also like to write sagas, mysteries and romances and published a total of 15 novels now, only 8 in the series. Could you share a bit about your other books?
Linda Rae Blair: Well, you now know about 3 of them in the trilogy. I wrote another trilogy, “100 Years of Brotherly Love”, a saga of 100 years of friendship that begins with the love and brotherhood between a tribe of Pueblo Indians and a young pony express rider—taking us into the 20th century where their descendants remain close friends and spread to include an orphaned Apache boy. It’s a story of love (yes, there is lots of romance), friendship and mystery (several mysteries, actually). It’s my favorite. I just loved those characters.
Then there’s my little Scottish love story, “Elusive”. It’s a sweet romance between two people who are pulled together by fate and fight it all the way. There is a little mystery there, but it’s not a serious mystery. Most readers will figure it out faster than the characters do. The point of the book really isn’t the mystery, it’s the greed and betrayal through 200 years that bring these characters together that is the real story.
My “Board Game Murders” is a tongue-in-cheek bow to Christie’s Poirot. I adore Poirot. This one takes place in the USA, although there is a British tie-in, and historic board games play a part in the murders, clues and locale.
Books & Writing: What genre fits you best?
Linda Rae Blair: I think the romantic/mystery is my best fit. I don’t try to do non-fiction or strictly historical novels…I just cannot resist turning my characters loose and they will do what they do.
Books & Writing: Are you working on something new?
Linda Rae Blair: I’m currently working on the next book in The Preston Andrews Mysteries. This one is called “Trace Evidence” but I can’t tell you why—I’d have to kill you in my next book.
Books & Writing: Do you have any tips for aspiring writers?
Linda Rae Blair: Listen to the tales of other writers’ experience and take from them what fits you. Don’t try to force yourself into someone else’s mould. It could be a very bad fit. Listen to your heart, temper it with the wisdom of experience, and just never give up—keep writing!
Books & Writing: Which author inspires you?
Linda Rae Blair: Gee, are we turning this into a novel of its own or should I limit my list? (Laughing here!) There are so many, but the biggest are, of course, Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb. Also on the list are Patricia Cornwell, Lisa Jackson, Sandra Brown, Janet Evanovich…I think I’d better stop there.
Books & Writing: Where can people go and read your work?
Print versions are available on CreateSpace.
Books & Writing: Where can people find you on internet?
Linda Rae Blair: My website is located at:
There are blogs, excerpts from all of my novels, and other items of interest, so please check it out!
Books & Writing: Is there anything else you want to share with the readers?
Linda Rae Blair: “Hard Press’d”, the first book in The Preston Andrews Mysteries series, is FREE on Amazon US and a couple of the European site. Unfortunately, not free in the UK. International shoppers would be best to use Smashwords which not only offers sales worldwide but also has multiple formats available for a wide variety of digital devices. The Preston Andrews Mysteries are promised to never exceed $.99 USD for digital version.