Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blogger of the Week: Author (and—natch—Blogger) Linda Gerber!

How cool is that cover? Almost as cool as Linda Gerber herself!
I first "met" Linda a few years back, when she was working on her Students Across the Seven Seas novel: Now and Zen (which I totally recommend). She had read my own Westminster Abby, and we formed a mutual admiration society of sorts. These days, Linda has a fantabulous adventure-mystery-chick-lit series out there, aka, the "Death By..." books, the third of which, Death By Denim (love the title!) will be out this spring. In the meantime, she's here to chat with us about all things blog (and book!) related.

Blog URL:

Blogs are a central part of the Bradford Novels universe. They are also, more and more, a central part of the YA-writing universe. When and why did you start blogging? Were you a blogger before you were a published author, or did the two evolve concurrently?
When my family and I moved to Japan, I started a blog to show the folks back home what we were up to, so technically I was a blogger before becoming a published author, but that one was visible only to family and friends. My author blog I didn't start until after my first book came out.

What's your favorite thing about blogging?
Connecting with cool people online! I have a lot of regular readers and through their comments I feel like I've gotten to know them a little bit. Plus I get to connect with other authors and bloggers when we exchange guest posts - like this!

What's the difference between a blog and a diary? How confessional do you like a blog to get? What sort of blog posts most appeal to you (or DON'T)? What are some of your favorite blogs (book or otherwise) out there right now?
My blog is absolutely not a confessional. I think that would get boring for the readers. Plus, what you post—even if you delete it—can remain in the cybersphere forever.
The kind of posts I like to read are positive and pretty much about stuff I'm interested in, like books, other authors, the publishing industry, current events, movies and certain TV shows. I don't waste my time reading posts that are whiny, gossipy, or divisive.
I have a lot of favorite blogs! I follow over twenty on my google reader and I'll bet you don't want me to list them all here! A couple that top the list are Melissa Walker's blog—she does cover stories of books that are fascinating to read—and Pop Culture Junkie, who does soft vs hardcover posts and cover lookalikes (can you see I'm obsessed with book covers?). And, of course, all the YA book review blogs and multi-author YA blogs like TeenFictionCafe, Books, Boys & Buzz and Readergirlz are must reads!

(ed's note: it is dangerously easy to spend one's writing day reading book and writing-related blogs—like this one! i like to call it "research!")

GoldenGirl is full of scandals and exposed secrets. What was the biggest scandal at your high school? Did your classmates discover any of your deep, dark secrets?
The biggest scandal that I knew about at my high school involved a homecoming queen vote count by the daughter of a college professor who 'volunteered' to let the school use the university's computerized tally system. Guess who ended up as homecoming queen? Even though you couldn't find a single person at the school who would admit to voting for her.

That sounds like the premise of a YA novel! So, what's the worst thing you ever did to a friend? Are you still friends with her or him?
Wow. What was that I said about true confessions? But in the spirit of this blog post I'll share. *shudder* This was long enough ago and my friend still doesn't know what I did (I think...)
In college I was interested in a guy my friend was dating. He had been a friend to both of us before they hooked up and so we had a prior history. While they were dating, he and I still talked. A lot. Eventually the main topic of conversation became their rocky relationship, and I confess I didn't do much to encourage it.
Then he went away on a study abroad for a semester, and my girlfriend started dating another guy. But she kept carrying on a long-distance relationship with our mutual guy friend. So one night she was talking about how she was all googly about guy #2, so I recorded her, and let guy #1 hear what was going on. They broke up.
I did end up with the guy for a short while, but it wasn't long before I lost interest as well. (There was a reason she was dating on the side, it turns out!) Much water has passed under the bridge since then, but I'm still not proud of what I did. I guess that I would consider my girlfriend and I still friends because we're not not friends, but now we live far apart and we rarely keep in touch.

Hmm...that actually sounds like a Bradford-worthy drama! Tells us about your most recent books. What new projects are you working on now?
My latest release is a YA romantic suspense, Death by Latte, which will be followed by Death by Denim in May. Right now I'm working on a YA paranormal which will come out next year and which is still, sadly, untitled.

Can't wait to read them! Thanks so much for partying with us!


  1. Linda, I am equally obsessed with book covers. As a writer, former editor, and, most importantly, a READER it's hard not to be! Melissa's cover stories are so much fun!
    We went through a pretty exhaustive process trying to come up with just the right cover treatment for Bradford, but I have to say, it was well worth it!

  2. Linda's high school story and the college break up story both sound like they would make great YA novels!

  3. i love the covers for yours books! I am also obsessed with book covers and Pop Culture Junkie does great posts.

  4. I love your devious past, Linda. I mean, we've all been there... right?

  5. Great interview. I loved those stories. Change the names and you will have definate bestsellers.

  6. I can't wait for 'Death by Denim'! These books are so good... I recommended them to my best friend, because she loves reading just as much as I do.

  7. I want to know what dirty secrets Miss Melissa is keeping!

  8. Great interview! It's so cool that Linda started her blog before she was even published :)

  9. Wow, not those were some secrets

  10. Great interview! And yes, I admit, I do judge a book by its cover--thats often how I pick up a random book in the bookstore in the first place. This cover would definitely want to make me pick it up!

  11. A book cover is very important to a book. I use them a lot as I choose what books to read.

  12. I think we ALL judge books by their covers--personally, I find that I really can't help it!

  13. I agree that it's great that Linda blogged for HERSELF before she blogged for her career. I think that's how some of the greatest, most personal blogs get started.

  14. i agree with covers being important, but i think actually titles are even more important, i mean you hear death by latte and you totally want to see what the book is about whatever the cover!

  15. VERY true--good covers are SO important and SO SO SO hard to come up with--at least for me!

  16. er, make that, "good TITLES." please to pass the coffee...

  17. It's an understandable slip - a good title and cover are both part of good packaging. Some books I own are so ugly I don't want to take them out of the house. Others sound so dumb you don't want to tell someone what you're reading.

  18. Correct. When I wrote 30 GUYS IN 30 DAYS, the original title was DATING GAMES, which my editor INSISTED we change. Sales was super excited over the new title, and it sold pretty well, but to this day people are literally SHOCKED when I tell them the title--they assume there is an implication about what transpires with those 30 guys (ie: THE SEX,
    As for covers, taste is always an interesting factor. Often I see covers (and no, I won't name names) that I don't care for myself, but that DEFINITELY resonate with their target audience. So of course you always have to keep that in mind.