Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Living With Imaginary Friends

My guest is the delightful Linda Wisdom. She writes paranormal romance, among other things, and I find her witches irresistible. I’ve read quite a few of Linda’s books and have enjoyed her realistic characters and her sense of humor in writing those characters.

I love the comfortable office she has inhabited with all her imaginary friends. She explains a bit of how she gets the friends to migrate from their 3D form in her mind (I’m sure it gets quite crowded in there) to the pages of her books.

I’m so glad she could visit with us Over Coffee!

First off, thank you so much, Sia, for having me here today!

A kickass witch walks into a bar one night.

Yes, it sounds like the beginning of the typical joke, but what can I say? That’s how Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend begins with Hellion Guard Maggie O’Malley walking into the underground club, Damnation Alley, looking for a Bloater that’s been a bad creature and needs to be taken in. If she knew that would begin a crazy path in her life, she might have stayed in and let her team take care of the Bloater.

Writing is a challenge. Every day I sit down at my computer with the intention of coming up with ideas that I hope my fans will love or at the very least, not hate.

I’m what you call a pantser writer. Namely, I write by the seat of my pants. For me, it’s all about the characters. They make the story work, so no surprise they’re pretty much formed in 3D inside my head and tend to hang out with me while I write. I like it like that. I want my readers to believe the unbelievable. That there’s nothing unusual about a witch sporting a black widow spider tat that speaks in a French accent and can put a perp down with barely a hiss. Where the local messenger service is made up of over-caffeinated ferrets and the librarian is a stiff-necked wizard who believes in rules with a capital R.

And who wouldn’t want to hang out with a witch who shares your mocha latte addiction and be a shopping buddy? She might even make sure that dress you want so badly is there in your size or at least fits you perfectly. And if your ex-boyfriend is giving you trouble, she just might have the perfect solution to get him to back off or end turned into a warthog.

No wonder I believe my characters live in the house. I was the shy little girl who lived in her own little world populated with imaginary friends. I wrote about them back then and now I have a whole new cast of characters and creatures that I like to think are as quirky as I am.

All you’d have to do is see my office to see just how offbeat I am. You’d see a variety of dragon figurines, witch and faeries, my collection of Halloween Barbie dolls that increase every October, and wonderful magick candles to inspire creativity. I have a plush panda bear my dad gave me when I was three years old, a few plush wolves in sheep’s clothing. Hm, isn’t that how we see some men? And other plush critters that I’ve added over the years. Not to mention my own hellhound, Barney, my white mini-Schnauzer who’s waiting for his turn in one of my books. Between all of that, my DVDs, and a variety of reference books I feel at home in my very own imagination space.

That’s the kind of place I like to play with my ‘what if’ scenarios. I have two large windows where I see trees, rabbits, and birds. Sometimes I’ll even catch a cat on the prowl. Don’t worry, thanks to Barney doing his part to warn the cats off, the birds and rabbits always get away.

The way I see it, my space is perfect for a pantser writer. Nothing is super organized, my favorite figurines that offer inspiration are at hand when I need it, and coffee is always within reach. It’s cluttered and comfortable and I’d say very me. And I’m sure that a tidy minded person would have a heart attack if they walked in. If there’s dust I’m sure it’s faery created. My bunny slippers sneak around looking for licorice root and chocolate and there’s a gargoyle I have to make sure stays away from Pay Per View TV.

Just like my childhood, my characters and creatures don’t just live inside my imagination. They’re as real to me as the animals living outside. The witches tag along to Starbucks or if I window shop at the mall. There’s a vampire who’s with me when I drive at night. Could I have a better bodyguard? A wizard attorney who whispers “are you sure you should write that?” in my ear and now a very sexy half fire demon who just inspires all these sexy thoughts.

What can I say? This shy kid found a way to give life to the people inside her head. I just hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

  • Now let me ask you something. Were you a shy kid with imaginary friends? And did they help you? Or did you wish you had a pair of fangy bunny slippers?


A Bewitching Woman on a Mission…

Feisty witch Maggie enjoys her work as a paranormal law enforcement officer—that is, until she’s assigned to protect a teenager with major attitude and plenty of Mayan enemies. Maggie’s never going to survive this assignment without the help of a half-fire demon who makes her smolder…

A Hotter-Than-Sin Hero with an Agenda…

Declan is a proprietor of an underground club and busy demon portal. No way he’ll allow his demon race to be blamed for the malicious acts of some crazy evil Mayans. But he’s already got his hands full when the sexy witch offers him a challenge he can’t refuse…5 star review

I apologize. I don't have a direct link to an excerpt, but both Amazon and Barnes and Noble will give you a preview.

Buy: Books a Million, IndieBound, ChaptersIndigo



Linda Wisdom has published more than 70 novels with 13 million copies sold worldwide. Her bestselling books have been nominated for RT Book Reviews awards and the RWA RITA Award. She recently won the RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award for Hex in High Heels. Linda lives with her husband in Murrieta, California, where she is working on her next book, A Demon Does it Better, set to release in January 2012. For more information, please visit


~Sia McKye~ said...

Linda, welcome to Over Coffee!

My office isn't super tidy either. Everyone ends up coming in here--dogs, cats, kids. Fortunately, the horses can't get out of the pasture or no doubt they'd be in here too.

I have dragons, a couple of the Fae, some wolves and pictures in the office.

Not a particularly shy kid but I had all sorts of characters of the imaginary sort involved in my life as a kid. :-)

Tonya Kappes said...

Hi, Linda! I find your story very cool! I didn't have any childhood imaginery friends, but I'm jealous you did/do. I can just imagine all of your cast of characters that have lived among you over the years. Sounds fabulous!

Beverly Barton said...

I’m a huge Linda Wisdom fan and absolutely love her witch books, especially “Demons Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” I’m an extrovert, so not sure I’ve ever been truly shy and although I didn’t have imaginary friends, I did have a host of characters running around in my head when I was a kid. And all my paper dolls lived the most interesting lives. My favorite fairy tale was and is “Beauty & the Beast” and I still believe in the power of love to transform lives – in real life and in fiction.

Mason Canyon said...

I have DEMONS ARE A GIRL'S BEST FRIEND on my desk to read and can't wait. Linda, I love the characters you create. They are unique, funny, inspiring, quirky and oh so believable. I was a shy kid with imaginary friends and books were a great way to explore and still are.

Sia, thanks for a fun interview with one of my favorite authors at one of my favorite places to visit.

Thoughts in Progress

Jo said...

I certainly had imaginary friends growing up, not so much because of shyness (although I was) as not having kids of my own age around. I used to play dress up and talk to all these friends, my favourite, probably my first, was Pinky the ghost who was invented by my mother when I was afraid of the dark, he used to guard me.

Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Linda! Loved your post ;-)

I've read all of Linda's Hex books and this new Demon book. Declan and Maggie are terrific together. All I can say is they're fabulous and everyone should buy one.

Kat Sheridan said...

Your office sounds like so much fun! I never had imaginary friends, but I've always, always had voices in my head. I thought everyone did, until I asked hubs about his and got this sort of squinty peculiar look from him. Luckily, a few years ago I fell in with a bunch of writer who said "Honey, you're not crazy, and you don't need meds—you're a writer!" Unfortunately, they're quite comfortable in my head, thankyouverymuch, and I have a terrible time convincing them they need to go live in a book!

Linda Wisdom said...

Sia, my dog Barney is usually in here and I'm sure the ghostly presence of Bogie, who I had as Stasi's dog. Isn't organized chaos more fun anyway?

Thanks Tonya! It does make life interesting.

My wonderful Beverly! Thank you! Especially since you're also a fantastic writer who I adore. You are such an extrovert and why you're so popular woman.

Thanks Mason! Yes on the books too. I still have a Fairy Tales Around the World book my parents gave me. No wonder I love writing paranormal so much!

Jo, how cool of your mother to give you Pinky the Ghost! We have a ghost in our house now. I named him Frank. I do feel safer with him here and I know Barney my mini Schnauzer sees him every so often even if I don't.

Thanks Lynda! Everyone, she's another great write.

LOL Kat! Yes, the characters in your head tend to do that. I met a psychiatrist once and I joked about the voices in my head. She said "You're a writer. It's allowed." Just tell yours that you'll give them a great home.

Helen Ginger said...

Loved the interview. Fun and revealing. I love the characters in your office and who travel with you.

I didn't have imaginary friends, but I did read a lot as a kid. And I always wanted to be a writer.

perisquire30 said...

I'm not sure if I'd call them imaginary friends or not, but I did imbue all of my stuffed animals with their own personalities. I believed we communicated through mental telepathy. Of course, we went on TONS of 'adventures' together! Your office sounds like a place I could feel at home---I'm a "comfortable clutter" girl myself! LOL! I've never read any of your books before, but after reading everyone's comments, I just may have to!

~Roni Lynne
YA Adventures in the Paranormal...and Beyond!

Linda Thomas-Sundstrom said...

Hi Linda, from the OTHER Linda. DEMONS is super, like all your other books! Talented lady!


Lisa Kessler said...

Hi Linda -

I was never shy, but I was an only child and we lived in the coutry so I couldn't just run next door to play with a friend. I spent LOTS of time alone, dreaming up adventures with my amazing invisible friends and foes... :)

Great blog! I hope the book is a huge success for you!!!


Lisa :)

Loucinda McGary aka Aunty Cindy said...

Hi Linda,
I can't wait for Barney to appear in one of your books! Your characters certainly do take on lives all their own and that is part of the great fun in reading your books. ;-)

As a kid, I always had characters running around in my imagination too. They were a lot more fun that my 3 pesky siblings.


Linda Wisdom said...

Thanks Helen Ginger!

Roni Lynne, I did the same with my stuffed animals and still have a lot. They're all named too. I hope you enjoy the books.

Linda! The vampire queen no less! Thanks!

Thanks Lisa! And great success with your new book!

Thanks AC! I have plans for Barney which will fit his personality perfectly.

blackroze37 AT said...

i was extremely shy
actually probaly still would be, if i didnt have 3 children, lol u cant be shy and have kids

i read books, i swipe my aunts romances and hide all over the place to read and stay away from ppl

blackroze37 AT said...

love the bunnys

Desiree Holt said...

I am a huge Linda Wisdom fan, too. LOVE this series. I was there when Fluff and Puff were born so I think we bonded!!!! Keep writing.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Auntie Cindy! So glad to see you visiting. I've missed you. When will you be visiting again as guest? hmmm?

Desiree, I'll admit to a fondness for Fluff and Puff. In fact, I love Linda's secondary characters, and in this one I love Elle.

PamelaTurner said...

I was shy and had imaginary friends. But I also thought my dolls would steal my soul so I turned them to the wall before I went to bed at night. Today, I have Goth dolls sitting on my shelves alongside my dragons.

Your books sound interesting. I'll need to check them out.

Over-caffeinated ferrets. *Snork*

Linda Wisdom said...

Thanks blackroze! Fluff and Puff totally love their popularity.

You were, Desiree! When they were tiny bits of fluff with sharp teeth.

Sia, Elle was such a blast to write. Especially one looking for a longterm relationship.

Thanks Pamela. They're fun to write and why I always hope people will enjoy reading them.

Deborah Blake said...

I was shy too, and although I didn't have any imaginary friends, I did have an imaginary god, who I named IlmaGarmaFumaFuchigoo. (Apparently the mysthology section in English class really made an impression...)

Is the Demon book the start of a new series, or does it continue characters from a previous one?

Linda Wisdom said...

I'd say it made an impression too, Deborah!

It's a continuation although my publisher calls it a new series since the heroes are demons now. The previous witches will be mentioned and/or show up.

ElaineCharton said...

Hi Big Sis!

You know I Love all your books but especially love your witches.

No imaginary friends had to many brothers for that. Lots of stories in my head, mostly to escape the boys. :)

Lizzie said...

Can't wait to read this, Linda! My reading time is limited with deadline looming, but will see if I can't get in a few pages each night.

Linda Wisdom said...

Hey Lil Sis! And look at the stories you came up with.

Thanks Lizzie! I hear ya on deadlines.

Anita Clenney said...

I loved this post, Linda. Your imagination is quite wonderful!

Linda Wisdom said...

Thank you Anita!

My friends say it's very demented. I call it fun. :}

VA said...

Hi Linda,

Not shy, but since all my siblings were significantly older, I essentially grew up alone and filled my world with all sorts of things. I talk to sculptures and flowers, the occasional tree, and rogue animals.

What can I say, it works for me.

Sia, really excited about this intro, thanks.

Gabriella Hewitt said...

Hi Linda,

I can't say I was ever shy. Maybe that comes from having an Italian family. We all talk over each other! ;-) But I was an avid reader, my nose always stuck in a book as my mother often said, and the characters always lived with me long after I hit The End. I honestly believed authors to be magical creatures. How else could they have created such wonderful spellbinding stories? :-)

I love the witch series and am anxiously waiting for your book to arrive from Amazon Japan. Love the cover!

Patrizia w/a Gabriella Hewitt

Talli Roland said...

What a great hook! Love it!

Hm, I wasn't exactly shy, but I wasn't the life of the party, either. I did love to spend a lot of time on my own.

Joy Taylor Jaeger said...

Linda - I didn't realize your career was so up and running - just fantastic. Loved the coverage over coffee. A fun read. Keep up the great stories - love 'em. Best, Joy

Linda Wisdom said...

VA, I've done that too. Don't you wonder what would happen if they talked back to us?

Hi Patrizia! I hope you're doing better now. Thank you so much for coming by.

Thanks Talli! I'm still pretty much an introvert and feel easier in small groups.

Hi Joy! I'll do my best to keep on.

Debby said...

I wish I had a demons for a best friend. Contrats on the release
debby236 at gmail dot com

Linda Wisdom said...

Thanks Debby! And who wouldn't want a demon like Declan?

VA said...

Linda, I carry both sides of the conversation. And I'm pretty sure I've received some telepathic communications before if not vocal.