Darlene Foster's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘writers

Sally Cronin is an amazing woman who is a tremendous supporter of other writers and bloggers. So I was so happy to see her here being interviewed by another writer friend of mine, Joy Lennick. Enjoy learning about her very interesting life.

Joy Lennick

Sally CroninThank you very much Joy for inviting me over for an interview… it is a great pleasure.

Where you born and what was your first memory?

I was born in Wickham, a village in Hampshire, not far from Portsmouth. My parents lived in a house that my mother grew up in from about the age of 8 years old. Her step-father was the village butcher, with a shop in the main square. We went to Ceylon, as it was called in those days, when I was 18 months old for two years, and my first memories were of noisy monkeys. Small macaques lived all around us in the forest, and they would come into the house at any opportunity to thieve food, my father’s cigarettes and my mother’s jewellry. I also have vivid memories of the scents and sunshine, and I remember swimming at a very early age in my…

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Today I am pleased to introduce an author who I have been following for quite some time. She started writing seriously around the same time I did and was one of the first authors I met through blogging. I have read most of her books and thoroughly enjoyed every one. I consider her a hardworking, talented and diverse author. Here is my interview with Linda Cassidy Lewis.


  1. Tell us a bit about you and your books I live in central California, just about midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco and an hour closer to the Sierras than the Pacific Ocean. This year my high school sweetheart and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary—yes, we married very young. We have four grown sons and seven grandchildren. I got a late start on writing seriously, but now I have four novels with a fifth to be released soon. I write women’s fiction, humorous romance, and, occasionally, darker fiction.
  1. What made you decide to be a writer? Reading. I’ve been an avid reader all my life. And I never really outgrew the “make believe” stage. To entertain myself while doing mundane tasks like housework—that is, when I couldn’t have a book in my hand—I would make up my own stories, sometimes carrying on the same characters for years. Often I would write these as short stories, or even start a novel, but I never shared them with anyone. A few years ago, I decided it was time to write and finish a novel, aiming at publication. So I did.
  1. Where do you get your ideas? Occasionally, the ideas are sparked by real life events, sometimes by a dream, but more often I just “hear” a character talking, telling me their story. Usually, I get a mental picture along with the dialogue, like a movie playing in my head. So I start jotting down bits of dialogue and description. Sometimes that’s all I get, and I file it away to consider in the future, but other times, the story keeps flowing and results in a completed work.
  1. Are your characters based on real people? I usually visualize a particular actor as a character, but since I don’t actually know that person, I have to invent my character’s personality. Those personalities are a mixture of traits from people I know or have known. And, consciously or subconsciously, there’s a bit of me in them all.
  1. You have written in a variety of genres. Is it difficult to switch from one to another? Not so much. Before I write a new book in one of my series, I have to reread at least parts of the previous book to “get back into character” so to speak. Writing the humorous romance is hardest for me because I tend to darker thoughts, which I suppose is why I should write humorous romance.
  1. Of your published books, which is your favourite and why? Well, I’ll always have a soft spot for The Brevity of Roses because it was my first novel published. But I can’t write what I don’t love—or I can’t complete a story I’m not in love with, at least. So I’d have to say that each of my books is a fave for some reason.brevfront2017_sm
  1. What are you reading right now? Sophie Kinsella’s My Not So Perfect Life. 
  1. What can we expect from the pen of Linda Cassidy Lewis next? Well, I’ve written two romances back to back, which are “dessert” books for me, and right now, I’m craving some meat and potatoes, so next I’ll be working on another women’s fiction novel in The Bay of Dreams Series. However, I’m going to try writing the next in the High Tea & Flip-Flops Series at the same time.


  1. Are you a panster or a plotter? I used to say pantser because I don’t write an outline, but then I realized that by working out a book mentally for months, or even years, before I sit down to write it, I’m plotting in a different way. Now, I call myself a plotser.
  1. What advice would you give anyone who wants to write a book? If you have a story calling to you, write it! And give it all you’ve got. Whether you fear it won’t be good enough for publication shouldn’t stop you. A book, or short story or poem, can always be edited and revised, but not until you have a draft to work with.



Fun questions

Do you prefer cats or dogs?  I like both, but at the moment, I have only a dog, a white, part Schnauzer, called Maggie.

Coffee or tea?  Tea! I can’t stand even the smell of coffee.

Sweet or savoury?  I’m a savory person all the way. I’m always up for pizza.


Thank you so much, Linda, for answering my questions. I love the word plotster and may use it!  I wish you continued success with your writing endeavours and look forward to reading more of your amazing novels.

Connect with Linda on her social media sites.


Amazon author page 



Buy the books

Here is my review of High Tea and Flip Flops

“A delightful read with many laugh-out-loud moments. A contemporary Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy, complete with misunderstandings and miscommunications. Chelsea and Jeremy are worlds apart and speak two different languages – Britsh English and American English. When they meet, sparks fly but can this cross-cultural relationship work? Can Chelsea, a modern American surfer girl trying to get her life on track and Jeremy, an upper-class Britsh lawyer attempting to establish himself as a writer find anything in common? I have enjoyed all of this author’s work and this fun romantic comedy proves her versatility as an author. I look forward to the next book featuring these very real and entertaining characters.”







Today, I am a guest on Krysten Lindsay Hagar’s   blog.

How Writing This Book Kept Me Sane by Darlene Foster – See more at: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/blog#sthash.wHxhalxq.dpuf


A question I am often asked is where I get ideas for my books.  In this case, I was fortunate to go on a fabulous river cruise down the Danube with my hubby and some good friends four years ago. We had a fabulous time and everywhere we visited I thought, Amanda would love this place. – See more at: http://www.krystenlindsay.com/blog/how-writing-this-book-kept-me-sane-by-darlene-foster#sthash.oAO6nKXj.dpuf

Krysten writes funny, true to life books for teens. Besides mining her teen years and humiliating moments for her novels, she is also a book addict who has never met a bookstore she didn´t like. Hop over to read my article and check out her blog and leave a comment.

Check out the trailer for Amanda on the Danube featuring some of my pictures from the trip that inspired me.


I recently won not one, but two 7 X 7 awards.  They are slightly different but both a lot of fun.


I was nominated for the 7 X 7 Link award by Meg Travels, a wonderful travel blog with gorgeous photographs that make you want to jump on an airplane immediately and visit the intriguing spots Megan writes about.  She also provides great travel tips. You must check it out.

For the 7×7 Link Award, the recipient must provide links to their own posts within the following 7 categories and then pass the award on to 7 bloggers.

My seven posts:


Next I was tagged by fellow writer Laura Best to take part in a Lucky 7 Meme which requires you to post 7 sentences from page 77 of your WIP.  My books are for children and they aren’t very long.  I am afraid I have not yet written 77 pages in Amanda in England-The Missing Novel, so I will cheat a bit and share 7 sentences from page 7:

They gave their money to a man reading at a desk in the middle of the room.  He was as dishevelled as the rest of the store, with unkempt grey hair and round glasses that sat at the end of his nose.  A large, snoring tabby cat took over the only part of the desk that was not piled high with books and papers.

“Don’t mind Rupert,” said the gentleman.  “He just likes to be around books. He’ll do you no harm.”

“A good purchase,” he said as he rang in the Vicky and Alice book. “These are hard to come by these days.” He almost smiled at Amanda.

Here are the rules of this meme:

  1. Go to page 77 of your current MS/WIP
  2. Go to line 7
  3. Copy down the next 7 sentences and post them as written
  4. Tag 7 authors
  5. Let them know

Here is my list of 7 authors. Feel free to partake in both 7 X 7  awards, or just one or none.

1.     Ellen Ekstrom 

2.     Gabrielle Prendergast 

3.     Jessica Luton

4.     Linda Cassidy Lewis

5.     Maxi 

6.     Keli Gywn  

7.     Pam Parker

Check out these amazing author’s blogs

I am looking forward to reading some lines from your works in progress!


My guest blogger today is Yvonne Pont. She shares a wonderful little story about writing. How writers get started is always fascinating.


I—– Writer
by Yvonne Pont
Two and a half years ago, I wrote an assignment titled “I —– Writer” for my creative writing course. Jane Austen was a writer. Charles Dickens, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie were also writers. I am a writer. The difference is, they are all famous and unfortunately quite dead. Being famous and dead doesn’t cut it for me, at least not for the next forty years. Albeit, I could live with the famous part of the equation.

Time is marching on. If I’m going to fulfill my dream, I best stop daydreaming and put my thoughts to paper. It’s not that the hand guiding the pen hasn’t had lots of practice over the years. There have been innumerable reports for the car club’s newsletter (very creative ones, if I do say so), unorthodox minutes leaving the members in stitches, and handwritten Christmas letters created especially for the reader. Of course, I must not forget school days when many a story, poem or play produced substance for the hungry eyes of the teacher. In fact, one such story saw print in the high school newspaper.

“Nickelodeon” was my most ambitious project. Over a period of eighteen months, I composed and wrote, in chronological order, the life and times of my husband and I through pictures, music, advertisements, events and stories. To make this project even more intriguing, it had to be done in secret. It was my present to my husband for our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. Talk about deception, I never thought I had it in me. Every little family detail was procured behind his back. Not a scrap of paper remained behind as evidence of my deceptive ways. The amazing thing occurred, in spite of his very observant and curious nature, he never caught on to his wife’s secret love affair. Creative juices flowed with such intensity, I could not have been more alive. I loved every moment of it. You might say, I dabbled in children stories, trials of teenage years, young love, romance, travel, intrigue, mystery, sports, music, history, politics, etc., etc. One of the definitions of nickelodeon is an early movie theatre, which costs a nickel. —- Is life not a movie theatre? So, I put in my five cents worth.

Thanks to my husband for suggesting I take this creative writing course, thus giving me a well needed push in the right direction. Thanks to my teacher, Ed for opening the flood gates to allow the creative juices to flow once more. As my mentor said to me not long ago, ‘A writer writes just fifteen minutes a day; within a year — a novel.’

To you my readers I say, “Hold on to your reading glasses; the best is definitely coming.”

Today, I continue this topic for my advanced writing course with Ed. With the knowledge cemented deep within my writing veins, I have a solid foundation on which to build a writer’s career. I must, because I have not faltered in my dedication to complete my first novel.

On February 17, 2009, I penned the words “The Bess Time” on a scrap of paper. From that day on, I graduated to full page after page of handwritten words. With dedication beyond my wildest thoughts, I transcribed my worn and tattered scribble into an electrical device (foreign to me) called a computer.

“Did I stop there? — No!”

My veins, coursing with an uncontrollable flow of writers’ mania, I found myself perched in front of a laptop. My hand fused to its keyboard, we became inseparable. We took ferry rides; unaware of rough or calm waters as our course focused only on writing. We flew to Hawaii; exposing our bodies to X-ray and security scrutiny. We recovered from the dramatic invasion by composing ourselves on the lanai, overlooking the tropical surf. But, mostly we sat on or around the kitchen table like old friends, and we created our masterpiece.

On February 17, 2011, I completed my first novel. Now, I can honestly say I am a writer.

Now, to get it published!

I thought perhaps I was spending too much time on social networking and not enough time on my writing lately. But then I thought about all the wonderful new friends I have made on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and various blog sites. I have learned so much from other writers, readers and interesting people. I have acquired many new ideas that help me with my writing. That’s when I realized that whenever we are creating, we need others for inspiration and motivation.

I was at a friend’s birthday party recently where I only knew the birthday girl. I walked away with a number of ideas for the book I am working on currently, just by talking to her and her wonderful friends.

My publisher asked me to write an acknowledgment page for my next, soon to be print-published book, Amanda in Spain – the Girl in the Painting. As I went through the people I planned to thank, I also realized this was not a project completed on my own. Some say writing is a lonely profession but I disagree, without any collaboration we would have no books worth reading.

So, I want to thank everyone who reads my blog, as you are part of my team, so to speak. I love your comments and observations as they add fuel to the fire and keep me going.

I would love to know, do you believe that we need other people in order to create?

“An artist is a nourisher and a creator who knows that during the act of creation there is collaboration. We do not create alone.” Madeleine LˊEngle

Madeleine L'Engle

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