I am so pleased to be able to bring my good friend, Linda Rettstatt, to my blog for a chat. She is a warm, caring, and very funny lady and I am very blessed to call her friend. I hope you enjoy this “interview” as much as I enjoy her presence. If you want a good read, go buy one of her books. I promise you will not regret it! And be sure to look Linda up at the Author Rodeo Roundup in Senatobia MS on March 28! See events page for details here
Tell us about yourself. Please share a short bio with us
Linda Rettstatt is a best-selling and award-winning author of twenty-two women’s fiction and contemporary romance novels. Her work has garnered acknowledgment by Writer’s Digest and Publishers Weekly. A native of Southwestern Pennsylvania, she has resided in Mississippi for the past fifteen years. She is an avid supporter of animal rescue and has directed a portion of the proceeds from her sweet romance novel, RESCUED, to benefit the Tunica Humane Society. Rettstatt lives by the quote she coined: Life’s an adventure, wear comfortable shoes.
Tell us about your book and where it can be found. this can be a blurb, an excerpt etc.
LADIES IN WAITING is my latest book and a return to writing Women’s Fiction. Five very different women, each harboring a secret, converge on a women’s retreat in Cape May, NJ: Embracing the New You: Reinventing Yourself After Fifty. But Bree, the retreat director, is called away on a family emergency. The women decide to stay, mainly because each one has a deeper reason for being there—escape. As they realize and then negotiate the differences between them, secrets are shared and friendships forged. LADIES IN WAITING is a story about change, self-acceptance and sisterhood.
Published by Turquoise Morning Press http://www.turquoisemorningpressbookstore.com/search?q=Linda+Rettstatt
What age did you discover writing? What is your earliest work about?
I knew from the time I was in grade school that I wanted to write. I loved slipping away into fiction, the books my grandfather read to me and that I later read back to him. After high school, I had a plan—save money and move to Westport, Connecticut where I would write the Great American Novel. But I walked into a music store one day, pick up a guitar and by the time I walked out, I’d spent my savings—all $200 of it. I funneled my creativity into music, song writing and composition for the next twenty years. But I never lost that spark of a desire to write a novel.
I was sitting in my office one day about eleven years ago with nothing to do because my counseling clients had all canceled due to the January rain/sleet. The receptionist suggested I, “Go to your computer and write that book you keep talking about.”
And, so, I did. That first book started with a title and the knowledge I wanted to write women’s fiction, having been influenced by Elizabeth Berg, Claire Cook and a few others. AND THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE is the story of fifty-four year old Kate Reynolds who is asked to take an early retirement from the only job she’s ever held. After falling into depression, she’s dragged out by her best friend who tells her to follow her true passion and write. The book turned out to be semi-autobiographical when, two months into its writing, I was ‘downsized’ (and not in the good way) and found myself unemployed. Unlike Kate, I bypassed the depression phase and went straight to embracing my passion for writing.
Who has inspired you as an author?
I discovered the work of Elizabeth Berg and fell madly in love with her style of storytelling and her ability to create characters that were at once ordinary and extraordinary. Others who inspire me with their writing are Claire Cook, Elin Hilderbrand, Lisa Scottoline, Janet Evanovich, Sherryl Woods, Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Well, many more and, as you can see, not all are women’s fiction and/or romance writers. I love a good story that keeps me spellbound and turning pages and characters with whom I’d like to share a cup of coffee.
What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your book(s)?
One of my novels, FINDING HOPE, is about a woman who has a wonderfully happy marriage and a family she loves, but feels she’s lost something of herself along the way. She quits her job, changes her name and hair color, and posts a note on the fridge for her husband and two teenaged children:
I quit. Effective immediately, I am no longer the cook, laundress, shopper, housekeeper, chauffeur, landscaper, or resident problem-solver. Oh, I’m also not the banker or the ATM. I am, however, the instructor. Classes will begin tomorrow and seating is limited, so you should sign-up early.
A cooking class will be conducted at five-thirty sharp. Bring your inquiring mind and appetite. A cook book will be available. On Saturday, I will offer two sessions–general housekeeping and laundry. Supplies will be provided. However, if you are attending the laundry session, please separate clothing into lights and darks and bring those with you. This class begins at nine a.m. in the basement.
Housekeeping will commence at ten, once you have mastered washing machine settings and drying times. Rubber gloves are recommended for those who have delicate skin or have had expensive manicures recently. Other workshops, such as money-management, will be scheduled as needed and announcements will be posted. Don’t be late and get left out in the cold.
Janet R. DeMarco, Wife, Mother, Person (not necessarily in that order)
I can’t tell you how many women have said to me, “That’s the letter I’ve wanted to write for so long.” One reader said, “This book helped me decide that I can be anyone I want to be.” I generally hear from women that they identify with both my characters and my themes.
What would you tell an aspiring author that you wish someone had told you?
First, that there are rules. (Who knew?)
Second, ignore the rules and JUST WRITE. Write every day. Write anything. If writing is your passion, give yourself over to it. You’re the only one who can tell your stories.