This month, I caught up with fantasy author Linda Ling.
Linda, tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a writer.
I’ve always been a writer. As far back as I can remember. As a kid, whenever we traveled, my dad would make me write a “post-vacation report” for him to read (I should ask him about that someday). But my first story was written when I was 14. My first poem when I was 15 or 16. I wrote three or four complete books by the time I was 22 or 23. But life happened and I took a pause. A very long pause. I locked up the writer’s side of me to focus on med school, residency and on kids. But COVID and a year of health problems hit and that shadow self came roaring back, in no small part thanks to my eldest daughter, who helped me overcome a years-long writer’s block because she was (and still is) writing her own fanfic ever since she was 11. I’m almost 40 and I’ve self published 4 books, the first of which is a children’s book first told as a series of stories to my children during lockdown. I have more novels in the pipeline coming up, including a prequel and sequel series to my YA fantasy trilogy, Land of the Sun. I also write paranormal and am currently working on a romance novel.
By day, I’m a psychiatrist. Linda Ling is my pen name. I love my job, because I meet a lot of people on a daily basis, and the stories they tell me about their lives – their pain and struggles, their joys and successes – inspire me in my own storytelling.
Wow, that’s incredible. I bet you’ve got a lot to draw on for your Young Adult fantasy series.
My first book, Sundered, is about a princess on a journey of self-discovery. It’s really a book about family and reconciliation. Many of my characters are related to each other, and I think that reflects the way I grew up, surrounded by lots of family. Including the bickering, banter, and tension that occurs among family members.
Forged is the second book in my YA fantasy series and this month is its book birthday. And as the title suggests, my two FMCs are being forged through their own individual journeys. They don’t overlap because that’s the way the story is told, two very important threads coming together and eventually converging in book 3, Renewed.
Forged features a lot of romance, rivalry, and is representative of when people hit that in-between stage of finishing high school / college and coming into young adulthood and navigating life thereafter. My third book and my sequel series carries on that theme of “growing up” and “adulthood”, and I feel that my characters definitely grow with me too.
Where did you get the idea for this series?
Sundered literally started out as a dream. Two dreams I had. One about a kingdom being invaded. One about a king and queen being separated through some misunderstanding. A third dream I had set the stage for one of my key characters in Forged. I started Sundered about 10 or so years ago, wrote halfway, and then completely stopped. Mental block. Through the years, I’d periodically go back to what I’d written but simply couldn’t find the inspiration to continue, though it really did feel as if the world was calling me back over and over again. I’m so glad I managed to complete it and the entire trilogy!
I love that you wrote this series because of a dream. Are there any authors who inspire you?
My early favorites were Christopher Pike, RL Stine and Anne Rice. I also enjoy the classics like those by Arthur C Doyle, H Rider Haggard, Tolkien and CS Lewis. In recent years, I’ve really enjoyed the Witcher series (the books, definitely not a fan of the TV show), MIchael R Hicks’ In Her Name series, Jay Kristoff’s Empire of the Vampire, and of course, the ultimate unicorn, Sarah J Maas.
Great choices! Where can we learn more about you and your books?
I’m on Instagram, you can follow me @lindlingwrites
Here are links to my books on Amazon, which are available for free on KU, and also available on paperback:
Land of the Sun series (Sundered, Forged and Renewed):
The Adventures of Tree Fairy
My Amazon author page