It’s about sixteen-year-old Carrie Paxton who grows a crush on—go figure—the football quarterback, Luke Carter. But she’s not too popular, and, well, he is. She doesn’t want to be so predictable as to fall for the best-looking, most popular super jock in the entire school, but when she interviews him for the school paper, she’s surprised to realize he’s just not a pretty face. What’s even more shocking is that he seems to like her in return. But coming from different social circles makes their hooking up feel like the impossible, and just when Carrie thinks she and Luke might actually make it, drama in her brother’s life interferes with everything.
She admitted it's not the first she ever wrote, but it's the first she was ever proud enough that she actually let family and friends read it. "I was just so amazed I was able to tie all the little subplots into the main story," she said.
"What drives you to write books for kids and teens?" I wondered
"You usually know if you’re going to be a reader when you’re in middle grade or high school; that’s when the obsession struck for me anyway. And a person always remembers their firsts. So, some of the first books you read are going to have the biggest impact on you and stay with you the longest. I think it would totally awesome if one of my stories was something that stuck with a young reader, something that will someday be one of their fond favorites because they’ll remember reading it 'back when’."
Linda started reading adult romance when she was a freshman in high school. She has three older sisters and they were always reading and discussing authors like Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, and Julie Garwood.
"I always wanted to be like my wonderful older sisters, so…I had to try one," she told me. "After just one book, I became addicted, and those first adult romance authors I started on remain among my favorites today."
She was bitten by the writing bug early. When Linda was in the first grade, she wrote a poem for a class assignment: "From up in the air, to down on the ground, a beautiful rainbow appears. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. A pretty, pretty rainbow."
"Sure, it was way lame," she said. "But it must’ve been good for a first grader. Either that or my teacher was a pro a boosting a child’s morale. She praised my pseudo masterpiece in front of the entire class, making me blushingly flattered. From that moment on, I wanted to a writer. It took me three or four years to actually get into reading. But once I became hooked on The Baby-Sitters Club, I wanted to be an author even more."
Recently she's been trying her hand at adult romance and, in fact, has two adult books scheduled for release later this year with The Wild Rose Press.
"My head is constantly buzzing with a handful of stories ideas," Linda told me. "It’s a total mess up there. If The Stillburrow Crush goes over well, I have a few more YA book ideas I could focus on…but beware: they’ll all have romance in them. I’m a romance junkie; I just gotta have that happy ending where the hero and heroine end up together forever. But for some very strange reason, two of my most favorite movies are The Fugitive and Shawshank Redemption, and in both, the hero’s wife is gruesomely murdered, while the hero is falsely accused of killing them. Huh, I wonder why I like those two movies?"
Finally, I asked Linda, "Do you have any advice for young writers?"
"Sure. Read lots, and don’t give up. I honestly believe you have to really love to write to keep with it too. That way, at least you’re happy telling stories to yourself in case it takes a while to sell anything. I finished my first full novel when I was sixteen but didn’t sell until I was 29. But since I love to write, I just kept at it, even though I figured I’d probably only be entertaining family and friends, instead of the entire world, with my stories."
Sixteen year old, Carrie Paxton, isn't the most popular girl in her small town. But that's never concerned her before. Her life revolves around her writing and she loves her job as the student editor of the school paper.
But when she gets assigned to interview the football team's beloved quarterback, she takes one look into Luke Carter's blue eyes and is a goner. Suddenly, she doesn't like her lowly rank so much.
Then her dreamy, popular crush surprises her when he starts to act as if he likes her in return. But there's no way Luke Carter could possibly ever like a nobody like Carrie Paxton.