Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Connecticut Novel/Connecticut Mourns

Today is a little different as I'm honored to be part of Bette Stevens Blog Tour.

Before I tell you about my book in progress, let me just say that I'm from Newtown, CT and all the horrors that happened there last Friday affect me in a personal way because it is my town that evil has entered. I lived in Newtown for sixteen years, all three of my children grew up in Newtown and even attended Sandy Hook Elementary School.  I lived in Newtown right up until I moved to California.  My prayers are with all the people in Newtown, as the entire town is in mourning.

I didn't intend to start with a downer but felt I had to mention where I'm from.  On to the blog tour!


What is the working title of your book? Willard Manor

Where did the idea come from for your book? I was wondering one day what a house would say if it could talk and tell about its past owners. From that, I started writing about a fictional house built in Connecticut in 1840 by John Willard. Members of his family owned the house for the next 170 years. In 2010, a young married couple buy the house and in the process of renovating it, find clues to the former owners of the house. The chapters go back and forth from 2010 to 1840 and up.

What genre does your book fall under? Historical Fiction.

Which actors would you choose to play in a movie rendition? Shelley and Tony Maguire, the young couple renovating the house, would be played by Kate Hudson and Matt Damon. Other than John and Mary Willard, all the other characters in the story are born in the house, live their lives, and die, generation after generation so it would be difficult to have one person portray them as they age constantly.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? Willard Manor is the story of one house and the family who called it home for one hundred and seventy years.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? Good question. I've been querying agents and publishers, which would be my first choice. As a last resort, I'll self-publish through Lulu.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Probably seven or eight months. I had to research the Underground Railroad, the Civil War, septic tanks, electricity, the telephone, polio, WWI, WWII, Woodstock, growing marijuana, making moonshine, furniture styles from different periods, etc.

What other books would you compare this story to? Not that I would ever compare myself to James Michener, but his books come to mind, where he tells the story of multiple generations of one family in a particular locale.

Who or what inspired you to write the book? The members of my writing group suggested I try a novel as all my other books were non-fiction.

What else about the book might pique the readers’ interest? John Willard's second son, Thomas, plants apple seeds as a little boy and watches the tree grow. Thomas leaves home to fight in the Civil War and comes back in a casket. That year, his tree produces its first apples. Thomas' apple tree is an integral part of the story.

For other authors' blogs, I suggest you visit:

Lisa Fender at
Candy Korman at
Larry Edwards at


Swallow in the Wind said...

Your book sounds really interesting. We once bought an old house and found clues as to the former owners, too.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Linda. Excellent post! Look forward to reading your book when it comes out. Sounds like you've done your homework well. I want to know more about the old house and its "family history." Thanks for the Blog Links!