Interview with Linda J. White, author of 'Seeds of Evidence'



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By day, Linda J. White writes editorials for The Free Lance-Star, a newspaper in Fredericksburg, VA. By night, she plays the “what-if?” game, entangling engaging characters in “white-knuckle” plots. Her first FBI thriller, “Bloody Point,” was published in 2005. “Seeds of Evidence” (Abingdon Press) will be released in April 2013. Linda’s husband, Larry, was a video producer/director at the FBI Academy for over 27 years. Married since 1970, they have three grown children and now live with two dogs and two cats on two beautiful, wooded acres in Virginia.

You can visit Linda’s website at www.lindajwhite.com.

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Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I met a woman from Tibet five years ago, who, as a impoverished teenager, had been promised a job in Mumbai as a domestic servant. Instead, she was trafficked in for prostitution, raped and ruined. Her story stunned me, and right then, I knew I wanted to write about modern day slavery.

I had fallen in love with Chincoteague Island, Virginia, years ago. My grandparents lived there when I was a child. Walking on the beach on neighboring Assateague one day, I began mulling the story I wanted to write. In my mind’s eye, I saw a body washing up in the surf … a little Latino boy … perhaps the child of agricultural workers. Perhaps a victim of labor trafficking.  Seeds of Evidence was born.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The research is the hardest part for me because I write FBI thrillers and I want very much to portray the agents’ actions realistically. I’m fortunate to have a lot of friends in the Bureau who are generous with their expertise. I’d recommend that other writers do their homework. They’ll find that experts are generally quite willing to share what they know. In the end, it’s those accurate details that make the story believable.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

Seeds of Evidence is published by Abingdon Press. I met their acquisitions editor at a writers conference, and my agent connected with her as well. I definitely recommend writers conferences! That face time helps!

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Seeds of Evidence is actually my second book. My first, Bloody Point, came out some years ago. I remember being thrilled when I discovered readers were connecting with the characters I had created! Very exciting!

Q: Can you describe the feeling when you saw your published book for the first time?

I held it up and said, “It’s a BOOK!”  Before that, it had been a thought, words on a computer, and a manuscript. Seeing the whole package was just amazing!

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I have another book coming out in April 2014 from Abingdon Press. In Words of Conviction, FBI agents use forensic psycholinguistics to chase down the kidnapper of a powerful senator’s five-year-old daughter. I am learning a lot about how our words reveal our character!

I’m just now beginning a book based on the 2002 Beltway Sniper incidents, which I lived through and reported. Scary!

Q: Fun question: How does your book contribute to making this world a better place?

I hope to wake people up to the scourge of human trafficking. There are 27 million people held in bondage today, in brothels, brick factories, and on farms. It’s time to end that abuse.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I hope readers will discover the freedom of forgiveness as they read this book. We’ve all been hurt. We need to let go of that hurt and reach for hope: That’s the message of Seeds of Evidence.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

A lot of people say they want to write a book. A true writer must write. These stories are like fires in our bones: they must be let out. If that describes you, keep at it. Never give up. Feed your muse. And write.
And thank you for the interview!
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