Linda Lewis’ Interview
I’d like to welcome Linda Lewis to my website and I want to thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Linda is one of the writers in the book By My Side. Her story in the book is “The Old Lamp”.
Could you tell us about the story?
The Old Lamp was written some time ago. I write so many stories that I forget about most of them as soon as they are finished but I do remember this one very clearly. It’s still a favourite of mine.
In the story, a woman releases a genie from a lamp. As he helps her improve her life, the genie starts to have feelings for her. To find out what happens, you need to read the story.
What was the inspiration for the story?
The inspiration for the story was two-fold. I’ve been single since 2005. There’s been almost no romance in my life since then. Writing love stories is my escape and helps to bridge that gap. I also enjoy taking old familiar stories, such as genies and lamps, and giving them a 21st century twist.
1,000 Stories Sold!
That number is impressive. Congratulations!
I believe that under normal circumstances (pre-pandemic) I read that your goal was to write six stories a month. That is amazing
Do you feel that goal setting helps you to reach your monthly goal?
My aim has been to write two stories a week when possible and at least six a month. Because I have no other source of income, I need to sell at least one story a week in order to survive. As you can imagine, that itself is a great motivator.
How do you stay motivated?
As for staying motivated, I don’t always. There are days, weeks sometimes when stories just won’t flow. At times like those, I find it’s better to take a break rather than force it.
I’ve watched your YouTube video, “How to become a writer.” I’ve subscribed to your channel and look forward to watching more of your videos.
I’ve read that you are an introvert. I am to. I know how painful it can be to do things outside my comfort zone.
If you are an introvert, why did you decide to make YouTube videos?
I am an extreme introvert, right at the end of the scale. We’re hard to understand sometimes. Take me, I struggle to be heard in social gatherings and feel lost in large groups and parties but if you give me an audience, something happens. I think it’s because I’ve spent years not being heard, but when you have a microphone and a stage, people are there to listen to you. It’s no longer a battle.
My writing videos on Youtube were done to encourage people to have a go at writing during lockdown. I didn’t enjoy doing those at all as I was talking to myself! I have been on TV (The Weakest Link and The Chase), done live radio and just before lockdown, I had a couple of goes at stand-up comedy. Again you can find these on Youtube. When I watch those, it’s like looking at a different person.
BACK TO BASICS COURSE PART ONE https://youtu.be/8oBtWGrxIgw
part 2 https://youtu.be/gUAFMSYnC1E
You have several books written to help writers.
Which book do you recommend for beginning writers & why?
I’d recommend two of my books. First, The Writers Treasury of Ideas as it’s full of inspiration and exercises and shows how ideas can be found almost anywhere. The second one would be Why Short Stories Are Rejected as it goes through the mistakes that many new writers make as well as offering ways to avoid them.
One of my goals is to get a short story accepted in the UK market. You have extensive experience and I was happy when I discovered that you offer a critique service.
Could you share with us details about the service you offer?
I offer feedback on stories that are aimed at competitions or women’s magazines as those are my areas of expertise. I am lucky in that I have a special talent which allows me to see where writers are going wrong and suggest ways they can improve their work to achieve success. I applied this technique to some of my old, unsold stories last year and was able to turn dozens of rejected stories into sales.
At the moment, I’m only offering the service on stories under 2000 words. For details, people can contact me via email at email@example.com Payment can be made by PayPal.
I adore your painting of the cat on your website. It is so realistic. Those eyes are gorgeous.
Are you a self- taught painter or did you take classes?
Thanks for being nice about my painting. I stopped doing art when I was 14 as my school could only offer art or music, not both so I am self-taught.
I have a confession. I love painting, but seldom allow myself to do it because it’s fun. The same goes with other things I love like singing and disco dancing. I feel that unless I’m ‘working’ I’m somehow being lazy or wasting my time. I have had low self-esteem all my life and lack confidence in anything I do, even writing stories. I would love to try novels but can’t afford to abandon short stories as they pay the bills.
Sidmouth October 2019
Thank you, Linda for your confession above. It speaks to me. I also have struggled with low self-esteem and lack of confidence. You are an inspiration. I’m sure your honesty will also help other writers that are struggling with the same doubts.
Books and Tips
How can readers learn more about you and your books?
I am very bad at social media and terrible at updating my website. I would much rather be writing, but people can follow me on twitter @writingiseasy or on Facebook, again writingiseasy. My books can be found on my Amazon author page https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B004NOYNIE and my web site is at www.lindalewiswrites.co.uk
Do you have anything else you’d like to share?
I’d like to end by passing on a few tips.
To become a writer, you need to write. Reading or talking about writing have their place, but the only way to improve is to actually do it. Next, get feedback from somebody who’s had success in the area you are interested in rather than from friends or family. I struggled to get anywhere until I met a wonderful lady called Patricia Findel-Hawkins. She was selling two or three stories a month to Woman’s Weekly. The feedback she gave me was life changing.
My last piece of advice concerns feedback. It hurts. I know because it still hurts me after all these years, but I have to deal with it. Don’t let one person’s view put you off. Keep writing, keep submitting. It’s the only way.
If you want to read more of my stories, my main market at the moment is Take A Break’s Fiction Feast, a monthly publication that is full of short stories and nothing else. It’s worth a read to find out what kind of stories are being published in women’s magazines at the moment.
Linda, thank you for sharing your personal writing story with me and my website followers.