Linda Yoshida, writing as Kaylin McFarren, minored in English in college and for the past twenty years has led PR/marketing efforts for several companies within her family’s international conglomerate. She is a wife and mother of three, and resides in Troutdale, Oregon. In addition to serving on numerous boards and overseeing her non-profit foundation, she actively works with multi-published critique partners and is a member of several writers’ organizations, including Willamette Writers, Rose City RWA, and Romance Writers of America. Her début novel garnered numerous awards and received recognition as a Golden Heart® Finalist. The first book in her Threads series received national media attention, literary awards and rave reviews and has readers anxiously waiting for the next installment.
Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Buried Threads. When did you start writing and what got you into erotic romantic suspense?
I’ve been writing my whole life or for as long as I can remember. I started out with poems and short stories and decided to tackle novels six years ago while experiencing empty nest syndrome and trying to reclaim my identity. After reading extensively, I came out with my first book – inspirational women’s fiction with romantic elements. My second book was romantic suspense designed for a mature audience. So it seemed natural to evolve into the erotic suspense genre since my latest story takes place in the Gion district in Japan and involves duo love stories and lost sought-after treasure.
Did you have a mentor who encouraged you?
I had a very special English teacher in the 6th grade that encouraged me to write as much as possible, but I would have to say my mentor became my oldest daughter, Kristina McMorris, who is an accomplished author, great sounding board and tremendous supporter.
Did you have any struggles or difficulties when you started writing?
I knew I had stories to tell but wasn’t sure how to go about doing so in a seamless, structured and formatted way, which is why workshops, writing classes and critique groups were essential. Then it became a matter of forcing myself to set aside hours in the day to maintain a strict writing schedule while allowing myself time to read. With traveling and an extremely busy lifestyle, this isn’t always an easy task. But as my family could tell you, I’m determined to make it work.
What was your inspiration for Buried Threads?
A remarkable Buddhist monk who truly has the gift of prophecy and insight into past lives was my inspiration and became a key component in my story. This gentlemen also travels the world using his God-given talent to direct lost souls to heaven, which fascinates me.
What do you tell your muse when she refuses to collaborate?
Wake up, stay focused and get that last word on the page. A glass of celebratory wine will be your well-earned reward.
Many writers experience a vague anxiety before they sit down to right. Can you relate to this?
I can totally relate to this but overcome it once the first page is completed. As soon as I know the direction my story is taking, which is thought out and mentally plotted, then I turn my energy into writing.
Do you have a writing schedule? Are you disciplined?
My schedule ranges between noon and 4pm, Monday through Friday. But if I’m on a roll, it can continue until 2 in the morning.
How do you celebrate the completion of a novel?
I open a small box of turtle chocolates and a bottle of my favorite Merlot and indulge myself while reading over the final paragraph.
How do you define success?
Personally, I think writers struggle to define success because there’s always another hill to climb, another obstacle to overcome. The first time I ever experienced a taste of real success was when I received my first piece of fan mail. The note was kind and generous with compliments, but it was also the first time I ever felt appreciated for something I wrote (other than the Mother’s Day poem my Mom loved when I was twelve). That was a great feeling and one that gave me a sense of what true success means to a writer.
What do you love most about the writer’s life?
I would have to say the positive responses, reviews and the national literary awards I’ve received, which helps validate my ability and encourages me to write more.
Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about and your work?
Where is your book available?
Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Powell’s Book Store, Creative Edge Publishing LLC.
Anything else you’d like to tell my readers?
Be sure to pick up a copy of Severed Threads and Buried Threads; watch for the last installment in the Threads series next spring; and thank you from the bottom of my heart.