Normally we have book reviews posted on Mondays, but we’re breaking the rules to welcome Linda Katmarian. We’re a stop on her virtual book tour to promote her debut novel, Dreaming of Laughing Hawk.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in the Midwest and graduated with a Master’s Degree in French literature from Illinois State University. I studied under Sol Stein, prolific author and former owner of Stein & Day publishing company in New York, and Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. In 2012, after a long career as a technical writer, I committed myself to writing fiction full time. Dreaming of Laughing Hawk is my debut novel. My interests are writing, watercolor painting, gardening, cooking, family and occasionally I fit in some time for travel.
What do you do for fun?
Being creative is the most fun for me. That means writing, watercolor painting, hiking, gardening, cooking, and anything else that strikes my fancy.
Who would play you in the movie about your life and why?
That’s a strange question, but I guess it would have to be Meryl Streep. She can play anybody, right? For years, people have been saying to me—oh, I just saw a Meryl Streep movie and you look and sound just like her. Before my mother died, I remember her calling me up and telling me she had just seen the Bridges of Madison County and how she was struck by my resemblance to Meryl Streep. I got to tell you—I have always been surprised by that.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would that be?
Right where I’m at. Twenty-eight years ago when my husband was transferred to California, we had to decide where in California we would live. My husband was thinking that Northern Orange County would be the most practical location, but long before we had gone house-hunting I had put my finger on the map between El Toro and Mission Viejo. That’s where we should go, I said, without having even seen the area. Turns out it was the perfect choice. I wake up every day thinking I’ve died and gone to heaven, but I guess if I had to choose some other place in the world, it would be France.
What dish, when you prepare it, has everyone asking for seconds?
Kataifi. It’s a Middle Eastern dessert. You can find the recipe here: http://www.lindakatmarian.com/dans-la-cuisine/baked-kataifi-custard.html. And by the way, MEN love this recipe.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what else did you want to do?
I have always been a writer of sorts from early school days to writing explications de text in French when I was in college. I loved reading and writing. When my job prospects didn’t pan out as expected, I studied electronics for two years and became a technical writer and documented hardware and software systems. When I finally had my fill of that career, I put all that behind me and started to concentrate full time on completing my novel.
What is your greatest accomplishment as an author so far?
Outside of producing two great daughters, my greatest accomplishment is completing my 470-page novel and figuring out how to self-publish it. That’s quite a lot if you consider all the effort that goes into writing, editing, creating a cover, and publishing. The thing I don’t do so well is marketing.
What does the area where you write look like?
We have a room that is dedicated to a home office, but I don’t like to work there, except when I need to use the iMac for certain tasks. I prefer a corner of our master bedroom. I bought a simple Ethan Allen dark wood desk and I have a PC laptop hooked up to an extra monitor. Books and papers are everywhere. Some days they end up on the bed. Most of the time, I keep the curtains drawn, but if it is a particularly gloomy day, I open the drapes so I can see the garden.
Why should readers consider buying your books?
I think most of the readers who have given my novel a try have really liked it. They like the fact that it is very visual, the characters are real to them, and they feel like they are in the scenes. Many have said they could imagine the story as a movie. They also have asked for more, what is next.
Is there such a thing as too much sex in a romance novel? Explain.
In my opinion, many writers should stay clear of sex scenes because they don’t do them well. The best sex you can give a reader is the one you cause them to imagine, not the one you describe in detail like a gynecological report. Less is more when it comes to sex. It’s a very delicate balancing act. If you provide too much detail, you diminish the power of the scene.
If you could date the hero from one of your books, who would it be and why?
Oh, I would definitely date Laughing Hawk. I mean, look at the cover. He’s built, but the most intriguing thing about him is his character: unpredictable and non conformist; human; tough exterior, but soft heart; perceptive; determined.
About the book
Dreaming of Laughing Hawk is a Sixties tale of three young people moving past the unhappiness of their youth. Spirited Elizabeth, co-ed and aspiring artist; hard-driving Collin, an up-and-coming real estate developer; and Hawk, an on-again off-again pre-med student, watch their individual dreams become entangled in love and hate. Throughout this fast-paced tale of good and evil, an old, red flatbed Ford mirrors the trajectory of their lives to Mississippi and back to Los Angeles.
Dreaming of Laughing Hawk explores the desire for love, power, and sense of purpose and the lengths we will go to attain them.
Elizabeth cranked a sheet of paper into the typewriter and tried to shake off her annoyance with having to work late. Uncle Bill had warned her that Collin wasn’t a dream boss. The obvious conclusion was she wouldn’t last any longer than the secretaries who preceded her. The hows and whys of enduring each other these few weeks could be summed up in one word—restraint. Elizabeth figured Collin’s restraint was due to the paperwork backlog and the fact she was Mattson kin. Her own restraint was easier to acknowledge—pure fear she would not have enough money for school or whatever twist of fate was in the cards.
So they held themselves in their skins, monitoring words and actions, tiptoeing through each day, locked in a dance of necessity until caution began to give up its boundaries. At first, it was in little ways—a sharp look, a curt word. Then things took an unexpected turn. They began to anticipate each other’s comings and goings. They got all tangled up in the chemistry of breathing the same air, sharing the same workday problems. All that distilled itself into a dizzy euphoria, an experience Elizabeth found pleasant and frightening.
Buy it now: Amazon
Here’s the info on the giveaway!
Prize: A $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
How to enter: Leave a comment or a question below (you do not have to include your email address). Follow the tour and comment on the other blogs. The more you comment, the better your chance of winning.
Note: By participating in this contest, the winner has given permission to RNIC to share his/her name and email address with the person conducting the contest so they can forward the prize(s).
Deadline to enter: September 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST.
Where can readers connect with you online?
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/authorlindakatmarian
About the author:
Author Linda Katmarian grew up in the Midwest and graduated with a Master’s Degree in French literature from Illinois State University. She has studied under Sol Stein, prolific author and former owner of Stein & Day publishing company in New York, and Louella Nelson, an experienced romance writer and teacher of fiction writing. In 2012, after a long career as a technical writer, Linda committed herself to writing fiction full time. She lives in Southern California. DREAMING OF LAUGHING HAWK is her debut novel.