Today we welcome Linda Hoover to my blog. Linda has a new book coming soon. Linda, thanks for stopping by. Tell us about the book:
Lighter Than Air gives us a picture of typical human nature. Elena has done the best she can with God’s help and feels that she has everything under control. When her father gives her the news that they’re going to lose everything, she immediately prays, then believes God has given her the answer to their problem. Once again, she believes she’s in control. Of course, things don’t go as planned and she finally has to admit that surrendering all of it to God and following his lead is the only way to find peace, no matter what happens.
Elena’s neighbor, Justin, has his own plan for the future, but what Elena is trying to accomplish is undermining the opportunity to reach his goal. An attraction between the two of them complicates things and, by the end of the summer, Justin realizes he needs to exchange his hopes and dreams for whatever God has for him.
Have you always like to write?
I’ve always had stories in my head. As a child I’d make up plays and get my sister and neighborhood kids involved. Sometimes we’d be sitting around trying to decide what to do and I’d come up with a scenario and assign parts. Of course the older kids didn’t always do what I told them. 😊
I wrote fan fiction in junior high and high school, but a lot of my stories stayed in my head. It wasn’t until I had children that a friend suggested I write for publication. I took a course through the Institute for Children’s Literature. I loved it but didn’t get serious until many years later. Now I can’t imagine not writing. Of course, using a keyboard, rather than pen and paper or a typewriter, makes the experience much more enjoyable.
Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
I’ve enjoyed many authors, but to tell you the truth, the thing that finally made me get serious is reading books with endings I hated. I’d spend time rewriting the story the way I thought it should go and finally came to the conclusion that I should just write the kind of book I’d want to read.
How did you decide upon the title, Light Than Air?
I was sitting in an airport during a layover on my way home from an American Christian Fiction Writer’s conference. I’d been working on a series and was encouraged to write a single title. I’ve always liked hot air balloons and ideas started coming to me. A balloon is lighter than air and it seemed like the perfect title.
How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names of character in Lighter Than Air based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I choose character names I like. I have several baby name books. I go to Google when I’m looking for names that fit different ethnicities and to find last names other than Smith and Jones, which are all that want to come to mind.
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
The story is set near Brighton, England in 1900, so I spent time getting information about the area and time period. What was available to do? What clothes did they wear? What did estates of the nobility look like? I also had to find out how long ocean crossings would take, steaming from Ireland to England, train rides and of course, balloon travel. I love research, so I never mind the time it takes.
Share your bio:
I got my start in newspaper with the South Charleston Spectator. I had several columns published, as well as a middle grade ten-week serial. I published a young adult novel, Mountain Prophecy, in October, 2016. Lighter Than Air is coming soon. I’m employed by the Clark County Public Library, where among other things; my duties include choosing titles for the young adult and Christian fiction sections. I have a BA in psychology and sociology from Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana and I’ve completed a course with the Institute for Children’s Literature. I’m a member of RWA and ACFW.
Social media and buying links:
If you are interested in Mountain Prophecy, it is available on Amazon in paperback and digital.
Lighter Than Air Blurb
When Elena Bishop lost her mother at age twelve, her father lost his purpose for living. Now they’ll lose their home unless he can pay his gambling debts by the end of the summer. After praying about it, Elena believes God has given her the idea to have a family camp on the grounds of their estate.
Justin Ramsay, Elena’s neighbor, wants to go to America on a secret mission given to him by his grandmother on her death bed. His older brother believes Justin should join the military, but offers him a deal. If Justin can keep Elena and the neighborhood safe until he returns with his American bride, he’ll pay for the trip. If not, Justin will join a regiment in India. Elena might be impulsive and accident-prone, but Justin believes she’s nothing he can’t handle.
Elena and Justin disagree over the camp, even as an attraction beyond friendship ignites between them. Within the first two weeks a little boy falls into the cold-water spring, and problems escalate to threatening letters and vandalism. As more money is needed, Elena goes to Brighton to see a man who gives gas balloon rides. What she finds lands both her and Justin in a situation beyond their control. With the deadline for the debt looming, will their insistence on doing things their way give them both a happy ending, or destroy everything they’ve hoped for?