Linda Cousine is a writer who tells people she holds a Master’s degree in menopause and a B.S. in BS. When she isn’t standing in front of the freezer or taking ice baths, she can be found at her computer writing something with the word “Hot.” She lives in Orange County, CA with her husband, and a dog named Dude. For more information on her upcoming books visit her website at www.LindaCousine.com
What inspires you to write?
Interestingly, (and somewhat disturbingly) chaos inspires me to write. As a writer of romantic comedy, I’ve written some of my funniest stuff while a loved one was dying, my husband was hospitalized, and my kids were struggling with addictions. When things are going well in my life, I’ve been known to stir sh*t up just to improve my writing.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m a total pantser. If I have an outline at all, it’s just a vague one, but I do character sketches so I can get a feel for my characters before I begin. If the writing isn’t going smoothly, I do a modified “Tom Bird method,” where I write longhand with a good gel pen, lengthwise, on 18 x 24 inch newsprint. It’s a great way to let your creative brain work and force you to get out of your own way. I’ve written several of my first drafts entirely by hand. I’ve also written the first chapter and the last chapter of some of my books and then added the middle. And if you’re in the car in front of or behind me when I’m on the road, get out of the way, because I’ve also been known to write on Post It notes while driving my car.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I don’t listen to my character, they listen to me! They have to. Because I can be a killer with the eraser. For my Middle-Aged Hottie books, my character, Lexi, IS me. (If I was tall, blond, rich and famous. Of which I am none of.) But I do admit, I’m totally in love with her husband. I secretly fanaticize that I’m with Richard when my husband and I do the horizontal mambo. Does that make me a slut?
What advice would you give other writers?
It’s never too late to start! At ten I knew I wanted to be a writer. At fifty I picked up the pen. In four years I’ve penned six books. But that’s because I’m now as old as dirt and have to play catch up before I die.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
While I was struggling with menopause, I decided to write a (semi-autobiographical) satirical book about a fading ex-model struggling to keep her life, her looks, and her libido on track in the face of impending menopause. I queried, with some interest, but no takers, and I decided that since the clock was ticking, I’d self-pub. I now have two books through CreateSpace with my “Hottie” series, a completed third, and three other books that I’ll try to get an agent for. I’m still a newbie, so stay tuned on what direction winds up being the better one.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
It’s anyone’s guess. Regardless of which direction it goes, it’s clear that writers have to become business and advertising savvy. Unfortunately the amount of time it takes to spend on the social media and getting your name out, is less time one will have to write. And if you have a “day job” and a family to care for, it makes it all the harder.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer
What genres do you write?
Humor, romantic comedy, memoir, MG, YA, contemporary women’s fiction
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print