BIO: LINDA S. CLARE -A friend once asked me what my goals were as a writer. I want to connect with people, I told her. That was more than fifteen years ago and it's still true today. I write in order to build a bridge, an emotional bridge, from me to you. I began writing as a poet. My first sold poem was to the Denver Post and at age sixteen I was thrilled to get $3 for it.

I took a lot of time off writing between high school and today--raised four children, including a set of twins, owned too many cats to remember and a couple of dogs, too. I'm a polio survivor, with my share of blessings and burdens along the way. Those burdens have given me a never-ending source of writing material, reflected in my books. More than anything, I love to write and read about God in my life. I started out with a mean angry God, but I'm crawling toward a God whose loving care and comfort blows me away, time after time. For years I've been seeking God, but all along, He's been hunting me. These are the Grace Notes of my life: God singing to us, God singing through us, God singing for us.
(Bio-taken from Linda's Blog)

Did you come up with the title your book? If not, what was the working title? Did you have any say so on the cover this book? I really loved them. Very catchy and intriguing.

The title evolved, from an obscure reference about “Blood thicker than water” to the present title. I wrestled with renaming the book for about six months. Everywhere I went I jotted down titles—none were right. By right I mean, a title that goes to the heart of the story and is memorable. One of my friends noted that the fence made of oven doors was the key. Bingo. This friend, an amazing writer herself, has pointed out this same kind of thing for 3 different books I’ve written. When I found the Fence title, I got that validating gut ping. As for the cover, I had no input. Luckily for me the design team worked magic. When I was making my book video I found out it was nearly impossible to find suitable “oven door” pictures, so my husband ended up using the ones on the book cover. I was opposed to the woman on the cover just because I thought it said, “Romance!” But I was assured that these designers know what they’re doing. It’s grown on my and one of the best things about it is that people comment frequently on how wonderful that cover is.

You mention in the author notes that you too were in search for your father. How similar was your story to Muri’s?

My story is similar in the longing, but not so alike in the details. While my dad is part Native American, he’s still very much alive and living in Arizona.

Did this help you in writing this kind of story?

The emotion of always yearning to know who he was/is definitely helped make Muri’s search more believable. Somehow, whether by experience or close second-hand knowledge, a novelist must be able to empathize with the predominant feelings of the book and the characters. In my case, it was a real empty place and the play on the word “father” was also very accurate in my life. One reviewer said the book has a “seeker” feel and that describes me—I sought both an earthly and a heavenly father for a very long time.

What was your favorite scene to write in The Fence My Father Built?

My favorite scene in the story is the reunion of Nova and Muri. One of my sons briefly ran away from home in his teens and there is no feeling like it when you are reunited and know your child is safe and home. That’s just before you let him have it for making you worry! I don’t know if I am as patient as Muri.

What was your most difficult to write?

The scene with Linc and Tru at the fence. Why? As I said, it took a long time for me to realize the symbolic power of that fence in the book. At first the fence was simply eye candy for the setting. As it came to the forefront, I had to give it the import it deserved. I learned a lot about novel writing in the process, but it took several tries to get the scene where I wanted it.

Is your spouse a hands-on or hands-off partner?

My hubby of almost 32 years is a hands-off guy. But he is willing and very able to help me with computer stuff, and he was instrumental in making the book video. Do the kids help you with ideas? My kids (four now grown) and their friends are constant fodder for Mom’s diabolical fiction ideas. They all know they’ll end up on the page in one way or another. But a wise mentor once told me to be careful about writing characters so that it’s the writer poking fun at people. You can write quirk without resorting to put-downs.

How much does your family help you with your fiction writing?

They help me most by staying out of my hair when I’m on deadline. And my youngest two, twin daughter and son, are wonderful about selling and promoting my work. Recently, my daughter, a customer service rep in a credit union, sold around 50 books for me in a week’s time. Every day she brought me another stack of books in which to write personal messages to the reader.

In your bio it says that you’ve written a couple of non-fiction books?

Yes, I started with Lost Boys and the Moms who Love Them (Waterbrook, 2002), with Melody Carlson and Heather Kopp. Then two Revell books with Kristen Johnson Ingram, the last being Making Peace with a Dangerous God in 2005, How hard was it for you to make the change to write fiction? As my friend always says, I write nonfiction to support my fiction habit. It was a joy, but has its own challenges. Easier or harder? Please explain. In nonfiction I write much more straight-out and the theme isn’t buried in the story. With fiction, I’m seeing that not everyone interprets a story the way I would—which makes it harder to feel you’re reaching the readers. People pick up on things I wasn’t even thinking about. I’m learning to try to see my stories from more than my myopic perspective.

I’m sure you must be working on a brand new book by now, can you tell us a little something about what this series will be about?

For now, I’m writing stand-alone novels, although I’d love to write a series of books about Murkee from the Fence novel. I’m nearly finished with Hiding From Floyd. Any sneak peeks for us about what we can look forward to?Set on the northern Oregon coast, it’s the story of Abby Welles, a speech therapist and grief counselor for her church, who ten years earlier lost her oldest son, Floyd in a terrible accident. He suffocated inside an old Civil War-era trunk, playing hide and seek with his odd brother, James. James has never said a word about that day. Could he have saved his brother? Now, with the 10th anniversary of Floyd’s death looming, Abby longs for answers to explain his tragic death while dispelling the cloud that hangs over her younger son. She must fight to retain her sanity, her marriage and her faith.


If you had 24 hours to hang out with anyone TWO PEOPLE alive or dead in the history of the world (besides Jesus); what two people would you pick & Why?

I’d pick Mary, mother of Jesus and JS Bach. What would you do? Do I have to hang with them both at the same time? If I could hang with Mary, I’d want to talk about motherhood, about being willing to obey God even when it looks impossible.

Bach was probably a crotchety guy, so I’d spend the time watching him compose or perform, just to learn more about creative genius. If I stood close enough to either of them, I’d also hope their God-connectedness and their unique genius rubbed off on me. Can’t blame me for trying!

Three every day things you just can’t life without? (or wouldn’t want to anyway :D)

Oh dear, my vice is (drum roll) Diet Dr. Pepper. My husband loves to tease me about being addicted to it. But I’m also partial to my family and my faith. I’d be lost without them.

Name three jobs that you’ve had that might surprise people?

Does back yard pooper scooper count? Every dog we’ve ever had I ended up on poo patrol.

In college, I worked at a couple different art supply stores, hefting 50 pound bags of chemicals and clays for ceramics, showing students the difference between an acrylic and a sable paintbrush.

Other than those and being a fulltime Mom, I guess it might surprise people to hear that I was once a professional singer. That career was brief, believe me.

Name four movies that you could watch over and over.

Goonies, Far and Away, Close Encounters, Mary Poppins

What movie greatly impacted you as a child? Why?

The Shirley Temple movie where she was a rich kid who was sent to be a maid after her military dad went missing. I also loved Captain January. I had this crazy idea that I was going to be a famous actress like she was. Also, I have quite a melodrama streak.

Name four of your favorite books read as a child?

Any/all original L. Frank Baum Oz books, Robert Heinlein sci-fi books, Alice in Wonderland and an obscure book I got from a discard box: The Ant Men. The great thing about it was that the last few pages were missing (reason to discard) and I’d reread it and make up new endings. My family teased me but I loved it.

You’ve been given the opportunity to us a time machine and visit any TWO events in the history of the world. Which TWO events would you pick and why?

I hope I’d be shielded from the events, because so many big things have been violent. I guess one would be when the disciples saw Jesus transfigured and the other would be when FDR was elected the first term of presidency.

Name four places you’ve lived. Which one was your favorite? Why?

I haven’t moved around as much as some. Yuma, Arizona, Phoenix, AZ, Salt Lake City, Utah and San Diego, CA. I’ll always love San Diego, where I met my husband (he’s a native) and where the ocean is, something Arizonans don’t see much of.

Name one of the best days you’ve had. Why was it special?

One of my best days was when my only daughter, a senior in HS, got the news she’d been awarded a 4 year scholarship from the Ford Family Foundation, which paid 90% of her costs. We did the happy dance and I’ll never forget that moment.

What is a special quality, talent or event you’ve experienced that might surprise people? Please explain.

In school, I was always teacher’s pet but also much of the time the class clown. I decided that if my disability (my left arm is paralyzed from polio in infancy) kept me from being a famous actress I’d entertain anyone I was around. I acted in Phoenix Children’s Theater for that reason, once playing a goofy cat in a version of Pinocchio. I was with the Fox—you know we were the bad guys who got poor Pinocchio turned into a donkey. The play ran for a couple of months and Fox and I had a blast. I adopted an affected, stupid accent and every performance we tried to crack each other up. I still love to make people laugh.


Since I teach writing, I know that many readers are wannabe writers. If that’s you, start writing today. It takes more than talent—it takes craft, practice and persistence. The sooner you begin, the faster you’ll learn. Have fun with it and don’t forget to laugh.

Thanks for stopping by and letting my readers get to know you.

Blessings on your writing adventures. All the best to you on your new writing project.
I look forward to you stopping by again.


Nora :D


CONGRATS TO KAREN and GAIL - You are the WINNERS of Linda's New Book

THANKS for everyone stopping by and encouraging Linda and me!!

****DISCLAIMER: Entering the give away is considered a confirmation of eligibility on behalf of the enterer in accord with these rules and any pertaining local/federal/international laws. Void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents, odds of winning depend on number of entrants *****


  1. Great interview! I've really been wanting to read this book.

    Michelle V

  2. I am really liking that cover--and I am interested to see how the oven-door fence fits into the story. :) I also loved Alice in Wonderland--I have fond memories of reading it when I was young. Great interview!

    srfbluemama at gmail dot com

  3. I enjoyed your interview of Linda S. Clare and would love to read her book. It looks wonderful. Please add my name to your list for this giveaway. Thank you!
    Loved the questions and answers for the and interesting. I enjoy reading about new authors and their books.



  4. A wonderful interview...please add my name to this giveaway...thanks.


  5. Loved this interview! Thanks!


  6. This book sounds wonderful and the interview was awesome!! Thanks for sharing!!

    Thanks for entering me!

    mollydawn1981 at aol dot com

  7. I loved the intrview!!! I loved the dog picking up the dog mess-which looked like a American Bull Dog. I've been wanting to read this book. Please put my name in. Betsy Schak

  8. I appreciate what she said about learning writers. Practice! Practice! Practice! The more you write the more you learn. I need to remember this. Please enter me in the contest.
    Deborah M.

  9. Loved the interview and both books sound awesome! I guess I'll add these to my list!

    Gail Mundy

  10. Loved the interview, the book sounds great, I would love to win it.

  11. I enjoyed the interview with Linda S. Clare and look forward to reading her books.

  12. interesting interview...hope I win! Happy Holidays.

  13. Great interview! I would love to win a copy of this book. My email address is shryackmom[@]charter[.]net

  14. I so love your interviews. They are always so much fun to read.

  15. Great interview! Goonies is one of the movies that I too could watch over and over! Please enter me in the drawing! This book sounds so good! I would love to share it with the ladies in my book club! Thanks for the opportunity!


  16. Linda's book has been on my wish list since it was first released and I would love to win a copy.

    Thanks for a very interesting interview, ladies. Nora asks the best questions! Linda, I'm with you on watching Mary Poppins over and over. I love many of the musicals from that time period, and never tire of Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

  17. What a lovely long interview! I enjoyed reading it!

    I would love to be entered in your draw. Thanks!



    Thanks for everyone stopping by and encoruaging Linda on her new book.



    Nora :D