We recently caught up with writer Linda Govik, author of Legacy.
What first motivated you to write?
I’ve always been writing, ever since I was a little girl. The motivation for that has simply been because I love words and stories. I used to jot down opening scenes in notebooks (in those days, there were no computers (yes, I’m that old)), hundreds of them, including the one in Legacy. Twenty years or so later, a few of my English speaking friends asked me for a sample of my writing. For some reason, I dusted off the opening scene to Legacy and translated it (it was originally in Swedish)… at which my friends asked for more. That motivated me to write, and finish the story.
What is your latest book about?
Oh, I will borrow the blurb for this (easy way out):
Emily Bradley, an orphan born in a brothel in London in 1784, flees after her first forced encounter with a client, Lord Charles Stanford. Five years later, he tracks her down and forces her into marriage in order to manipulate her and their son to secure his vast legacy. Emily must deny everything she is and loves, her art and her new country life, to keep the truth from his aristocratic family or face Lord Charles’ murderous temper. When she’s offered a commission to paint a portrait at the Royal French Court of Joséphine Bonaparte herself, Emily sees a chance to break free from her miserable life – but it means forming an alliance with the enemy of England, potentially exposing all her secrets, and possibly losing her son. Emily is forced into the hardest choice of her life: where her fate and her son’s future, hang in the balance.
What technology helps you to write?
I stick to my laptop. As for the software, I sometimes use yWriter5, which is a fantastic tool (and free to download), but I have to say I prefer good old faithful Word. I want fast and simple, not to mention easily accessible.
When did you realise that readers were taking you seriously?
That’s a really good question! Have I come to this conclusion yet? I’m still pretty mind blown when I get emails from people who wants to read my book, or who post pictures of the book when it has arrived to their homes, or when people add it as “to-read” on Goodreads… But in generally, I actually do think that readers always take anyone who writes seriously. They respect you for your ability to put down words on paper, and it doesn’t matter if you’ve been published or not, or if you’ve even completed your project. That’s a nice feeling.
What do you enjoy most about being a writer?
I love creating worlds and characters that feel real to me (and hopefully others). There’s nothing like being caught up in the “flow”: when you write and write and write and just forget the world around you. But I have to say, I really enjoy interacting with my readers as well. That’s a bonus, and what a great bonus it is, too!
What do you do to publicise your books?
I’m an indie author, and as any such author can tell you, this is a sort of nightmarish area – but fun and challenging at the same time. You have to constantly try to get heard over this extremely loud buzz that is the Internet, and it isn’t easy. For me, connecting to the readers through give-aways and contests is a nice way to get noticed. Interviews is another way, of course. I’m also convinced that if people like the book, they will spread the word.
Do you write first and edit later, or do you perfect your writing as you go along?
I’m a hopeless perfectionist. That first draft? It doesn’t really exist with me. I love writing a scene and then return to edit it. I love balancing sentences, tweaking words and creating that special rhythm to the text that makes it enjoyable to read. But of course, it’s not really efficient, so I’m trying to learn not to do this. Can’t say I’m improving in that area, though…
Do you write full time or do you do other work?
I work as an office manager / safety manager at a company that deals with catalyst change outs in reactors. It’s both fun and challenging and dealing with figures and accounts is a nice contrast to creative writing. I also have the awesome benefit of working with colleagues from all over Europe, so I get to practise my English (as I’m Swedish).
What has been the best achievement in your writing career?
To finish a book and publish it. Seriously. It’s one of the most important steps I’ve made.
What advice would you give to authors who are struggling to find enough time to write?
I think it’s important that you actually prioritize your writing, which means you have to cut other things from your life. TV time, Facebook time… House chores…
Steal moments where you can find them – it’s not necessary with full hours to write: twenty minutes here or there is completely okay. Another important thing is to actually make room for writing in your life, and have others respect that this IS your time when you want to focus on your thing. I have a feeling this is especially hard for women, but it’s important; not only for your writing, but also for yourself.
What’s next for Linda Govik?
I’m committed to finish the first draft of the sequel to Legacy (work name Secrecy, but I think this will change further on). I’ve set the deadline to February next year, and then it’s a year or so of editing, together with my wonderful editor Sandra Havens. But I have some other projects as well, so we’ll see what happens.
Thank you so much for interviewing me! (It was pleasure Linda! CB)