31 days of Halloween – Linda Palmer

I’m a writer from The Natural State, Arkansas.  I was born and raised here, and I love it because I’m all about blue skies, rolling hills, and winding rivers.  The lyrics of one of our state songs say it best:  Arkansas, you run deep in me. 
I never consciously decided I wanted to be a writer; I just wrote.  I like to think I got the gene from my five-greats grandfather (who was the four-greats grandfather of William Faulkner, by the way). My first creative pieces were poems, written in the third grade.  I actually have a copy of a letter my teacher sent to my parents telling them she thought I had writing talent.  I was nine at the time.  My poems graduated to short stories in later years and finally to full-length novels.  During that time one thing remained constant–I was and will always be a hopeless romantic.  At age five I fell in love with Robin Hood as played by Disney’s Richard Green.  Today I’m still falling over him, but now he’s being played by Russell Crowe.  Yep, I’ve got the poster on my wall, along with the Twilight crew, the True Blood cast, and Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince of Persia.
So what kind of books do I write?  Romance, of course. But no mush for me.  I want a hero and heroine who work together, swearing they don’t even like each other (though the reader is sure they probably do).  I like my gals smart and brave; I like my guys strong, yet willing to let his gal do her thing. Of course, he’ll be standing by just in case. I also like a paranormal twist–witches, psychics, ghosts, shapeshifters, demidemons, weres….  I don’t do vampires because I’m not sure what else can be written about them after Twilight and Sookie Stackhouse.
That brings me to what types of books I like to read and reread, myself.  My current favorite authors are Charlaine Harris (Sookie books), Stephenie Meyer (Twilight books), Jim Butcher (Harry Dresden books), Jeaniene Frost (Night Huntress books), and JK Rowling (gotta have my Harry!).  I grew up on Victoria Holt, Madeleine Brent, Mary Stewart, Phyllis Whitney, and Charlotte Bronte.  All my favorite books have elements of adventure and romance that draw me back to them again and again, but the stories that made me want to write paranormal young adult novels were included in two young adult series written by Meg Cabot.  If you haven’t read her 1-800-Where-R-You? series or her Mediator series, you’ve really missed out.
Other sources of inspiration are movies and television.  What television shows do I DVR?  Ghost Hunters, Ghost Adventures, Paranormal State, Ghost Hunters International, Ghost Lab, Psychic Kids, True Blood, Eureka…well, you get my drift. What movies are on my list of paranormal jewels? Constantine, The Order (miss ya, Heath!), Underworld (I and II), Stigmata, X-Men (I, II, and III), Avatar, The Fifth Element, and the list goes on. I own all nine seasons of X-Files on DVD, both seasons of Dark Angel, three seasons (all that’s available) of True Blood, and three of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (more as I can get them).  I’m also all about Tolkien, Star Wars (all six), and the gem of all gems, Blade Runner.

My most recent writing projects clearly reflect my love of the paranormal.  Available now from Amazon as a full-length e-read is S’nat Wars, a young adult paranormal novel written by me and my daughter, Julie Kimbrell, who also inherited the writing gene.  Together, we’ve created a world that includes vampires and shapeshifters, who made themselves known six years ago. Our heroine Gabi Daniels just can’t tell if the people she passes on the street are humans or actually Supernaturals, a.k.a. S’nats.  No one else can, either, which is the problem. If S’nats have actually populated the globe for eons without anyone knowing, what else might be lurking out there, ready to pounce? Things get really complicated when Gabi’s dad, a lawyer, defends a vampire accused of murdering a human. His high-profile win results in threats.  To keep Gabi safe, he hires WatchDogs, Inc., a personal protection agency with bodyguards that actually shapeshift into dogs.  Fray Matsen, a Rottweiler, has his work cut out for him and not just because he finds Gabi a big distraction.  If he can’t be sure whether the threat is human or paranormal, how can he truly protect her?
Another paranormal e-read, which will be available as a “novel byte” in October 2011 from Uncial Press, is The Problem with Pumpkins.  This is a Halloween story I wrote alone.  It’s about Maggie Redmond, who expects to get nothing more than a wannabe jack o’ lantern when she drives her twin brothers to The Pumpkin Patch. She actually winds up with more.  Brendon Fletcher, handsome grandson of the owner, can’t take his eyes off her.  Naturally she’s thrilled when he calls her later, asking if he can tag along while she takes the boys trick or treating.  Is it true love?  Maybe…but only if they survive the plans a nefarious black cat has for them.
In the works is Double Vision, another collaboration with Julie.  It’s about outsider Keely Laine, a teen psychic, who has let one of the in-crowd guys talk her into helping his little sister deal with her own psychic gifts.  Is this another Carrie in the making?  Or will their efforts to help Zoey result not only in an unlikely partnership, but in a romance, as well?
A complete list of my titles is available on my website: www.lvpalmer.com.  Julie’s web site is www.juliekimbrell.com. Write to me at linda@lvpalmer.com.  Facebook me as Linda Varner Palmer.
Check out S’nat Wars here: http://tinyurl.com/4ysetr4
Check out The Problem with Pumpkins here: http://www.uncialpress.com/The-Problem-with-Pumpkins.html