Name: Linda Lee Green
Thank you so much, Fiona Mcvie for inviting me to contribute to your blog. To begin, my name is Linda Lee Greene and I am blessed that my two children, Frank and Elizabeth, and my grandsons Alixander and Noah, and I, live near to one another, all of us within the metropolitan area of Columbus, which is the beautiful capital city of the state of Ohio in the United States.
I haven’t always lived in Columbus, though. I am a proud native-daughter of Peebles, which is a blink-and-miss-it-town in Adams County, Ohio. Nestled in the gentle foothills of the magnificent Appalachian Mountains, and its southern border dipping into the imposing Ohio River, Adams County is the home of the world-renown Great Serpent Mound. I was born in the town of Peebles, but spent my first two years of life on my maternal grandparent’s farm that lies a short distance from town-center. The farm sits on the southern edge of the crater, or star-wound, in which the serpent effigy lies. My favourite response to inquiries about my place of birth is, “I was born on the rim of a star-wound.” As a matter of fact, that line opens the second chapter of my historical fiction novel Guardians and Other Angels (http://goo.gl/imUwKO). When I was a toddler, my parents and I, as well as my baby brother, moved from Peebles to Columbus, although throughout my young life, I spent copious amounts of time on the farm. I still visit it several times a year, and my Uncle Dean Gaffin, who owns the farm now, and I sit on the front porch swing and feast our eyes on the majestic view of the crater. In addition, during the thirteen years of my only marriage (and divorce) to date, I lived in New York and Florida.
Although I was born a farm-girl and relate profoundly to my bucolic roots, my soul is much more at home in a big city. One of the things I love about Ohio is the diversity of its population, and of the contrasts in lifestyles available to its citizens. Ohio is the home of three of the largest cities in the United States: Columbus at 15th; Cleveland ranking 48th; and Cincinnati coming in at 76th; all of them within a stone’s throw of immense tracks of forests (originally, perhaps the largest and densest forests ever to grace the earth), and farmland lush these days with corn, soybeans, and other produce. But I came into this life as an artist and a writer, endeavours, at least for me, that find inspiration and fulfilment in the hectic life of a large metropolitan area. Back in the late 1990s, I spent several days in London, England (my only journey across the Atlantic Ocean to date), and I wanted to find digs and stay there. Its history, its hustle-bustle, its colourful people, even its rain, called to my soul. I just know that I was a Londoner in one of my former incarnations. Someday, I hope to return and unearth that story of my previous life, and pen a book about it.
My education in art and interior design provides me a solid foundation in my work as a fine artist and interior designer. While I continue to exhibit my artwork in regional art shows and other venues, and exercise my interior design muscles with a project now and then, mostly quid pro quo for family and friends, my emphasis now is on the writing and publishing of my books. Retirement from my career as an interior designer has opened the way for me to follow my dream of being a full-time, professional writer, a dream comprised of a powerful mission sense. I see myself as two people: the person I am, and the one I aspire to be. Writing is the instrument through which those two entities meet, and will merge into one someday. At the precise moment the absolute fusion within my soul occurs, I will know my mission to be complete.
Although I have always been a writer of letters, poetry, and essays, I recognized myself as a novelist on the morning of Friday, August 10, 2000. It was the ninth year of my bout with Crohns Disease, a struggle I was losing due to the fact that mine was a difficult case having grown resistant to all known treatments. In short, I was dying. Along the way, I experienced excruciating pain and debilitation. That early-August day, I was confined to my bed yet again, while yet again, on disability leave from my job at a local interior design firm. I was at the lowest point of my life. I just didn’t see any reason to go on. I wasn’t suicidal, but I was resigned to the fact that whatever life was meant to be for me had reached its pinnacle, a pitifully inadequate pinnacle, in my estimation, and nothing was left but to shelter myself as much as possible from the inevitable collateral damage designated for me on the way to the end of my life.
The word “epiphany” is defined as “[a]sudden realization…a sudden intuitive leap of understanding, especially through an ordinary but striking occurrence,” and nothing describes what happened to me more succinctly. I was partaking of my “ordinary” shower that morning, and all of a sudden, the words to my first book, the murder mystery Jesus Gandhi Oma Mae Adams (http://amzn.to/VazHFG) poured over me as if they were contained within the molecules of the water. Whole scenes of it appeared, ticking across the screen of my mind like reels of a movie. I knew instantly that I had been given a new purpose for living. Later, I invited my cousin Debra Shiveley Welch to join me in co-authoring a portion of the book. It was the first book for both of us, and upon its release was an Amazon best-seller. By the way, I underwent major surgery in January, 2001, which has rendered me free of Crohns Disease ever since.
You have asked me, Fiona, to tell you about my latest news. Well, I happen to be full of news just now. The “artist” part of me is resurfacing, not in the way of painting pictures, but in refurbishing furniture and in rendering unique crafts. I have joined forces with my friend and master crafter Karen Oyer Ward and my sister and enviable decorator Sherri Greene in an enterprise we have named All Things Shabby Chic. Our line will include one-of-a-kind furniture pieces decorated with signed-by-the-artist motifs, as well as unique crafts and other decorative items appropriate for “Shabby Chic” design. A Facebook Page will showcase samples of our inventory, and also will be our entity for announcing times and locations of our sales.
Secondly, in response to scores of requests by readers, several weeks ago, I reissued my novel of historical fiction Guardians and Other Angels as an eBook through Amazon’s kdp program. The reissued paperback edition will also be available in a few days, released through CreateSpace. Both editions are listed under the name of DeLamor Press, which is my own publishing entity.
In addition, Rooster Tale, my first book for juvenile readers, will come out in a few weeks. My friend and one of the best and most diverse artists on the planet Edith D. Wadkins is not only the illustrator of the little book, but also my partner on the project. Rooster Tale is an adaptation of an excerpt of Guardians and Other Angels, and is based on a true story. It is a cautionary tale featuring a young boy who acts hastily in the throes of anger, resulting in actions he later regrets. The following blurb illustrates the theme of the book:
“Temper! Temper!” cautions this Rooster Tale.
“Don’t give your temper its head.
“Sit your tantrum out!
“And you’ll be much further ahead!”
Once Rooster Tale is underway, I will edit the final draft of the book I hope to release in early 2016. Titled Cradle of the Serpent, the novel explores the current status of the long marriage of archaeologists Lily and Jacob Light as it faces catastrophic pressures.
You want to know, Fiona, what advice I have for other writers. “Read!” I say. “Read…read…read! Study the work of other writers. Find one or two or three authors you particularly admire, and study their work diligently. Don’t just read for the pleasure of it! Read to be educated in your craft!” My writing mentors are authors Shirley Hazzard and Peter Matthiessen. I have read their books time and time again—their books are my Bibles. Of course, I am often impressed by, and learn from, the work of other authors, and I express my appreciation by posting favorable reviews of such books on a regular basis. I recently read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. I have added him to my list of authors to emulate. Anyone interested in boning up on the craft of writing should study O’Brien’s book.
I wish to convey to my readers that while my writing is, in large part, veiled explorations of self, I also do it for them—to entertain them; to inform them; to help them, but ultimately, to bring them into my circle of friends. I am a lonely and insecure person, as most highly creative types are. I crave interaction with my readers—at my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org; on my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/#!/LindaLeeGreeneAuthor; or on my blog at http://InGoodCompanyOhio.blogspot.com. Another way to support and advance the work of authors whom readers enjoy is to publish reviews of their books on Amazon, Goodreads, Facebook, and other appropriate places. I don’t want to forget to mention that an exhibition of my artwork is online at www.gallery-llgreene.com.
Again, thank you, Fiona Mcvie for this opportunity to tell my story to you and your readers. I hope all of you become my readers, too. Let me hear from you, please, now, or at any time. While I’m waiting, I’ll keep the words of artist Kiki Smith in mind. “Just do your work. And if the world needs your work, it will come and get you. And if it doesn’t, do your work anyway.”