Meet Summer 2016 Flash Fiction Runner Up Linda A. Rich

Tuesday, February 07, 2017
Linda is a Human Resources/Organizational Development professional who worked in predominately male industries for the last 30 years as a manager and trainer. She married young and then, as a single mother, went back to school at night for a BS Degree while raising three sons and traveling for business. “Lost and Found” is a story she pulled out and brushed off from a cache of several stories she wrote for a Creative Writing course.

After retiring, she was determined to write an historical novel with strong women protagonists and wrote and self-published A Most Unlikely Spy, a World War II novella. The book centers on an American Woman who was house sitting in Honolulu in December 1941. After watching bombs detonate all around her and seeing so many deaths, she volunteered to stay and serve as a code breaker at Station HYPO near Pearl Harbor. After her comrade was murdered, she tracked the lineage of the primary suspect and located his estranged mother at an internment camp in California. The two form an unlikely bond when they begin to track the killer that links them, knowing that he might find them first. The book was extensively researched and included many actual events and characters interwoven throughout and was subsequently re-written and expanded into a full novel, yet unpublished.

She’s currently writing a second historical novel based on an actual group of American women during World War I called the Hello Girls who volunteered to serve as telephone operators on the front lines of France.

Visit her website to learn more.

Interview by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

WOW: Congratulations on being a runner up in our Summer 2016 Flash Fiction competition with your great submission Lost and Found! You're a real go-getter. I'm exhausted just reading your bio - you've accomplished so much. What is the key to balancing all the demands on your time (and finding time to enter flash fiction competitions)?

LINDA: You know, at the time that I was doing most of that, it didn’t seem that intense but on looking back, I wonder how I did it, too! Now as a part-time consultant working from home, I feel like I have all the time in the world. Everything’s relative, I suppose. I do want to share with you that in 2014 I attained a goal that has been part of my life for decades: I wrote and self-published an historical novella entitled, A Most Unlikely Spy. My story revolves around two strong women, One Japanese (Arisu/Alice) and one American (Eddy), who, during World War II, form an unlikely bond as they track down a Japanese spy. The events depicted in the book are all true; the interactions with my fictional characters are entirely made up! I have a website that is, for now, a weak link in my efforts to market and it can be found at I have wonderful photographs of women during both WWI and WWII, many of which pertain to my stories, but I haven’t been able to keep it updated.

WOW: You must have a great routine to help keep you on track. What is your writing routine? Do you have a particular time of day, length of time, location, etc...that you feel helps you stay productive?

LINDA: My writing routine at the time of writing my novella was to arise very early (3am) or stay up through the night and write before I did anything else or anything else distracted me. After publishing the E-book-kindle edition and softback book through Amazon’s CreateSpace, I received positive reviews from the readers that were included at the site of my book but what I didn’t realize was how much an author must do to get the word out! I will do things differently if I decide to self-publish my next book, The Hello Girls-a Novel, a story based on an actual group of courageous women who trained as telephone operators during WWI and volunteered to be sent to the front lines in France when the U.S entered the war.

WOW: Your definition of early and mine are totally different. I’m in awe of your drive and dedication. Truly. I may just need to take some of your advice to keep me accountable.
Speaking of accountability, how do you feel about writer’s groups for example as a way to help authors improve their craft or remain accountable?

LINDA: Any manuscript can be improved with solid feedback. I retired to a remote area in Nevada and although I joined a writer’s group out of Las Vegas, the commute of 160 miles round trip makes it difficult to attend. I’m now using “readers” that I work with through the internet and receive good feedback from them.

WOW: That’s an excellent solution for such a lengthy commute. Thank goodness for the internet! I loved your flash fiction submission “Lost and Found” – where can readers find out more about that story and the characters?

LINDA: My flash fiction story "Lost and Found" came from my imagination. However, when I was a girl, my mother was often bedridden, and I took over care of our home during those times. I left home as soon as I turned 18, and it is likely, I think, that the story came from some emotions I was still dealing with as an adult. Maybe this is sharing too much!

WOW: Is there such a thing as sharing too much? I work with a lot of memoirists – can you tell?

I’m glad you brought up your family. That leads me into our last question: Who has been most influential in your writing career and why?

LINDA: The “who” in your question “who has been most influential in your writing career,” is really a “what.” I have been a voracious reader since I can remember and after reading a book, I wanted to write a book like it. I read many historical novels as a young girl, which I continue to read, but I also read many other genres. I spend as much time reading as I do writing, including the research that I do for my books. Reading has been most influential in my desire to write.

WOW: Thanks so much for chatting with us today, Linda! Congratulations again and best wishes to you all your future projects!

Our Winter Flash Fiction Contest is OPEN
For details and entry, visit our contest page.


Sioux Roslawski said...

Crystal--Thanks for doing this interview. Linda--I loved your story. It brought back memories of my mother... opportunities lost, and (later) opportunities to heal.

Mary Horner said...

Thanks, Crystal, I love reading about the stories behind the stories!

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