Writer Wednesday: Meet Linda O’Connor!

Linda O'Connor authorAnd…we’re back! After an unintentional one-week hiatus (thanks a LOT, gallbladder), #WriterWednesday returns, and we’ve got Linda O’Connor with us today. Thank you, Linda, for understanding why we postponed your interview from last week to this one – while being on Percocet has its benefits, recovering from surgery wasn’t exactly conducive to drafting a coherent post for you. And coherency is what we writers are all about, right?

Linda’s philosophy is “Laugh every day. Love every minute.” Now that’s something I can get behind. So settle in and read on to learn a bit more about Linda and her writing!

What inspires you to write?

Working with young adults! I’m a physician and I had the idea to try to incorporate medical advice into a romance novel. There were some basics I thought patients should know – mental health symptoms, birth control myths, how to take ownership of their health. I thought hey, if David Chilton of The Wealthy Barber fame can dole out financial advice in a barbershop, maybe I could dole out medical advice in a romance novel. I hoped it would be a little bit more appealing that the myriad of educational posters in my office! I’m really enjoying using my medical knowledge in a new way. I hope that readers will laugh, relax, enjoy the stories I’ve written, and maybe learn something too!

What type of romance do you love most, and why?

I’m usually reading for relaxation, so my favourite stories are contemporary romance with happily-ever-after endings, and romantic comedies that make me laugh. Because I’ve read so widely in this genre, it’s also the easiest to write. Plus it’s fun to be in a romantic comedy headspace all the hours that I spend writing.

Name one interesting thing you learned in researching/writing your last book:

Before I started writing I heard this advice: Write what you know. I didn’t appreciate how easy it was for me to write authentically about medical characters until I wrote about Rip, a police officer in Perfectly Planned (Book 3 in the Perfectly Series). I had so many questions about the small details. Luckily, I have a friend who patiently answered all of my questions – I loved learning the behind-the-scenes details of how the Tactics and Rescue Unit worked. Wow – they’re very brave! But going through that I truly appreciated how effortlessly I could bring an accurate medical feel to my writing.

And now a bit on Perfectly Planned:

PerfectlyPlannedFlat2_850She’s got it all Perfectly Planned . . .

Chloe Keay is on the hunt for the perfect sperm donor, but who knew it would be this hard? So many things to consider in a father – sure height and hair color are important, but what about the real issues. How does he feel about bagpipe music? Does he buy the extended warranty? Skittles or M&Ms? She doesn’t want an average Joe. She’s narrowed it down to two candidates and has the perfect plan to pick the heir and the spare.

Staff Sergeant Rip Logan, head of the elite Tactics and Rescue Unit, has a gut feeling that Chloe Keay is trouble. She’s a sexy little spark plug who radiates innocence, but it doesn’t jibe with her suspicious behavior and probing questions. The fact that he’s attracted irritates him. What exactly is she after? And should he go with his gut or follow his heart?

Planning for love – what could possibly go wrong?

Find Perfectly Planned here:


A Bit About Linda: 

writingLinda O’Connor started writing a few years ago when she needed a creative outlet other than subtly rearranging the displays at HomeSense. It turns out she loved writing romantic comedies and has a few more stories to tell. When not writing, she’s a physician (well, even when she is writing she’s a physician and it shows up in her stories) but otherwise she’s working at an Urgent Care Clinic or even better, dancing in a Zumba class (where they say there are no mistakes, only unexpected solos). Laugh every day. Love every minute.

Thanks so much, Linda! It was a pleasure to have you with us. 


Flash Friday Fiction: Autobiography

Young hiker @ Gibson Ranch Regional Park. CC2.0 photo by Ray Bouknight.
Young hiker @ Gibson Ranch Regional Park. CC2.0 photo by Ray Bouknight.

101 words

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

But what if you don’t wanna take it? What if every inch of you screams out, “Stay still, avoid discomfort?” Avoid change.

What if temptation surrounds you, luring you into stuffing your face, into adorning the couch, at all hours. What then?

Inertia is the ultimate pull. Ironic, that, the drive to do nothing. Movement requires energy, energy requires calories, calories equal donuts. Or something.

I put on the walking shoes anyway. I don’t want to. But I do. One small step for this woman, one giant step for health.

Here were Rebekah’s instructions:

Writing is a journey, as is life. In keeping with that, as we also wind down our Year Three novel prompts, today it’s my great privilege to present for your dining/writing pleasure the dark, triumphant, terrifying, heart-pounding, spirit-lifting novel that is preacher John Bunyan‘s powerful allegory Pilgrim’s ProgressProgress follows the adventures of eager, oft-stumbling but good-hearted Christian as he leaves his doomed native land in a quest to reach the glorious golden shores of the Celestial City.

Story elements (base your story on any TWO of these elements; be sure to tell us which two you chose. Reminder: please remember the Flash! Friday guidelines with regard to content; and remember please do not use copyrighted characters).

* Conflict: man v man, man v self (not gender specific)
Character (choose at least one): a pilgrim; Beelzebub; a man whose mission is to help others; someone who talks too much; someone who loses his/her life for standing up for what is right; a corrupt mayor; someone whose primary purpose in life is avoiding hardship; a cheat
Theme (choose one): salvation; good v evil; the value of true friendship; the dangers of temptation
Setting (choose one): a doomed city; a corrupt and wealthy city; a long road; a palace guarded by lions

We had 100 words (+/- 1) in which to craft a tiny tale using two of the elements listed above (the two I chose are in bold italics). What do you think? Autobiography crammed into less than a page? Well, why not? Now if only I’d written this while walking on the desk treadmill…

Head on over to Flash Friday to see other people’s takes, and maybe to leave a comment or two, or craft a story of your own!