Booktrovert Reader Podcast

Meet the Author of 'All that Glitters is Not Gold': An Interview with Linda Ling

July 27, 2023 Charity the Booktrovert Reader Season 1 Episode 21
Booktrovert Reader Podcast
Meet the Author of 'All that Glitters is Not Gold': An Interview with Linda Ling
Booktrovert Reader Podcast
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Show Notes Transcript

Hello Readers! Welcome again to my book podcast for fantasy books! 🗡️

I had the amazing privilege to introduce you to an indie author Linda Ling who wrote 'All that Glitters is Not Gold."

Topics Discussed: 

  • Discussing her new book as a prequel to her earlier series Land of the Sun fantasy series.
  • More about the author
  • Where Linda Ling gets her inspiration for her books
  • Her writing style 
  • How she creates her secondary characters
  • Tips from Linda Ling to start as an Indie Author
  • Advice about getting negative reviews

Purchase 'All That Glitters is Not Gold' :  Amazon Link

This book features:

🗡️Fae

🗡️Dragons

🗡️Enemies to lovers

🗡️Forbidden Love

Authors Socials
Tik Tok: @lindashuoshu
Instagram: @lindalingwrites
Goodreads: Author Page

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 U1 

 0:00 

 Hi. This is charity. Your host a Bertravert reader. I have an amazing guest with me today. Her name is Linda Ling. She is the author of All That Glitters Is Not Gold, and I invited her on this podcast to talk about her new book. Miss Linda, tell me about you. And you wrote, 

 U2 

 0:19 

 right? So, as you already know, I live in Asia and I'm an author. But my secret identity is that in the daytime, I'm actually a doctor. So somewhere in between my busy life, I write stuff and I publish and I market. 1s Yeah. And all that glitters is not. Gold is the fourth book in my fantasy series. It's a standalone prequel. But you might want to know that it's my fifth book. I actually have a children's book that's out already. It's being neglected right now because a lot of my efforts are being focused on All That Glitters, which is coming out next 

 U1 

 0:58 

 Tuesday. Yeah, when I was looking you up because it said, like, zero on it and I was like, Zero? So I found your other series and I was like, okay, I got to get those in because obviously I'm like, I'm intrigued by this world and I got to continue to this world. 

 U2 

 1:13 

 Yeah, 1s it's just the way distributors label prequels. By default, it's just a zero or you have 0.5. I've seen zero point once, too. It's 

 U1 

 1:25 

 zero point 25 2s as long as I know. So would you recommend reading this book in particular before you read your other series? Or can you start the series before you start this one? So the nice thing is and I learned this from my very first editor who helped me with my trilogy always write every book so that it could be read as a standalone. You never know when someone is just picking up one by itself so this can be read standalone. Ideally, you should read the trilogy series first because it's set in, quote unquote, modern day of the fantasy world that I've built. And then this prequel is set like 1500 years before that. But honestly, in terms of the story, I've made it seamless such that if you read the prequel and then read the trilogy series, they answer questions of each. 2s The only thing I would caution is that because my trilogy series was written first, I feel that All That Glitters is a better representation of the way I write now. Okay. I mean, as we publish, as we go through each novel, each of us improves. And so naturally I would say, which is my best word? I would say it's this one. You know what I mean? If you read All That Glitters and then if you read the trilogy and you find quality doesn't seem the same. 

 U2 

 2:44 

 Yeah, that's because. That's because the prequel comes later 

 U1 

 2:48 

 and you're growing as an author. Growing as a writer. So it will reflect that. But I'm still going to read it. Yes, 

 U2 

 2:56 

 please. I don't think it's that terribly 

 U1 

 2:58 

 written. No. You said you're by day a doctor. What got you into writing fantasy in the first place? Because I'm kind of curious to how that kind of correlates with each other, 

 U2 

 3:10 

 you know, if the SIM of answer is I'm not sure. The long answer does take a while to explain. I guess like many people, I started writing as a teenager to cope with life, isn't it? Right? And I wrote through college. I thought it was something that really interested me, but I always thought of it as a hobby. It still is a hobby in a way. Then life got in the way medical school, residency, training, kids and I really only picked it up again during COVID when we were all in lockdown. And it got me thinking about life and I grappled with whether or not to embrace this part of me. And then I did, and here we are. 

 U1 

 3:49 

 It seems like Pandemic has really got a lot of people thinking about what they want and I love that. Embrace what's passionate for you guys. I think that's amazing. It's a good creative outlet. Would you stop being a doctor? If that's any weird thing to ask. No, it's not a weird thing. I think all of us who write and publish do have dreams about it and it really depends. I don't think I'll ever stop being a doctor because it is a large part of who I am. If I become really busy with writing and marketing and all that, and it brings in a good income stream, then, yeah, I probably won't practice as much. However, that being said. 2s It is because I'm at the stage of my practice that I can pursue this side project or passion project. Passion project. 

 U2 

 4:37 

 Yeah. And the same goes for so many of us. We have to have something that anchors us and helps us survive on a steady income before we can do this. 

 U1 

 4:47 

 Right. That is very true. I am an insurance agent on the side, so this is definitely my passionate project. Ha. So I get that. It's amazing the day jobs of people that I've met so far. I mean, someone is an accountant. Last week I spoke to a fantasy author who is a pathologist. So amazingly enough, she's a medical doctor by training too, like me. But we're on the complete opposite spectrum of medical specialties. 

 U2 

 5:16 

 She doesn't talk to people. The people is my thing. 1s I've also met real estate agents. Yeah. So we're all kinds of people. 

 U1 

 5:25 

 I think that's the beauty of the fantasy world or anything. People who write in general. It's a creative passion and it can come from anywhere and from anybody. Go up to page 30. And I'm only being introduced into this world. And so far, I love how it's not like world building heavy. I love so far how it's developing because your characters are written where the Fay is very cruel people in a way. Janella, she has just been crowned or her coronation and the prophecy that was just spoken over her concerning just the way of their society, which is the Fay. It's not looking good right now, and it's very mysterious. Still, we don't know what exactly is about the prophecy that's going to bring down. This nation. What brought Janella into in existence? How did you write her 

 U2 

 6:18 

 character? Because of my series, it was already set up that there was this Faye Queen Janella. For some reason, I don't recommend this. For some reason, I already wrote prophecies into it. I don't recommend Prophecies because oh, gosh. You have to make them rhyme or you have to make them not rhyme. And then they have to make sense. They have to hide enough, but then they have to tell enough. It can be interpret it in different ways. And then the problem is when you publish a book with a prophecy written and you write a prequel, you have to fit everything into it. 

 U1 

 6:46 

 Oh, yeah. 

 U2 

 6:50 

 When I finished the trilogy, I kind of thought I was done with it, even though I had all of this maybe set up from 1500 years ago. But then I started reading a few other fantasy books and came up with some ideas about how Janella and the nemesis that she ends up fighting in that final prophecy being not just her inner being, but starting out as someone whom she loved. And who went through a corruption arc, which is basically the premise of everything that happens towards the end of the book. So in order for me to do that, I had to set up the world as being a bad world. That bad world is something the prophecy is trying to fix and something that she is trying to fix. But then the cost of that is that at the end of it, there has to be a nemesis is there has to be that big villain. So if you see my blur, there is a villain at the end of it, and that villain emerges at the end of it in order to proceed into the trilogy series. 2s In a sense, having written the trilogy, the ending of the book was kind of foregone. It's a foregone conclusion. But the exciting thing for the reader is how they get there. And I believe I've put enough twists and turns to keep people 

 U1 

 8:10 

 going. Yeah, because I think I just got to even like a second POV, which I'm always up for that especially he's a human, from what I see. And I was just like, had to stop because I was like, oh, yeah, I had to interview the author. 1s Yeah, I just got to that. And so I'm very curious about how that goes, because you did talk about a forbidden love. And I'm like, oh, is this it? 2s You probably keep all your secrets. 

 U2 

 8:44 

 I have too. But then, you know, there's so many things I'm like, dying to tell people, but I can't. 1s The beauty of 2s who can I tell? I can tell my kids, who are not going to talk to any of my readers. 

 U1 

 8:59 

 Well, I'll be saying something once I get through it. You've talked a lot about your trilogy. How did you come up with this world to begin 

 U2 

 9:08 

 with? This story always fascinates people, but it's the truth. When I was sometime in I don't know, maybe sometime in residency, even though I was consumed by training to become psychiatrist, which is why I am, by the way, I had a dream. I had two dreams. And the first dream was about some miscommunication between a king and a queen who were living in two different lands. Then the second dream was about a battle taking place over a desert. And, yeah, that pretty much inspired the world. And if you read the first book, it's basically about the daughter of this king and queen trying to reconcile the both of them. 1s That's the world that I 

 U1 

 9:51 

 have, like, asking how it came out to be. I had one author like, yeah, I watched a video game, 3s and I'm like, wow. So it's always fun to 

 U2 

 10:02 

 ask inspiration in the strangest of 2s just just the other day. And when you're not even thinking about a particular genre, it just comes in. I mean, the other day, I was just walking just walking in the park with my husband and went back to a memory of me somewhere in Japan, and my brain was like, hey, this is a setup for a romance meet cute moment. I'm like, I'm not even focusing on that right now. What are you doing? But our creative brains are like, that right. 

 U1 

 10:35 

 I feel like I'm a little lost, just a little bit, because of the fact I'm still reading your book. So I'm still blind to everything 

 U2 

 10:43 

 that's going on, 

 U1 

 10:44 

 because I think I just read about the arena and literally sacrificing the humans to the serpents. I guess my mind was like, unless this was explained in the trilogy. What are the serpents? Are they like dragons? Are they literally snakes? Because I'm running. 

 U2 

 11:02 

 Yeah. So they're basically the Game of Thrones dragons, those big ones. 1s My trilogy has smaller dragons, so I think a reader called them Wyverns. I don't use that term. I use the term. I came up with a totally different term, but when you look at the word, you know, okay, it's some kind of dragon. Some kind of small dragon. Yeah. But then these are the predecessors of those small dragons, and I decided to call them serpents, and yeah, they're the big ones. 

 U1 

 11:31 

 Right? That's what I thought. But I was just like, let me clarify that before, because in my head, I'm like they described as dragons, but they used the word serpent. So I was like, I do like that we all need dragons in our 

 U2 

 11:44 

 books, especially now with fourth wing, right? I'm like, man, how did it become so popular? I have dragons in my books, too, and I have dragon riders. They're not a major a plot point, but they're there. 

 U1 

 11:58 

 I'll make sure to put it in my notes, advertising notes, I think. I did talk to a reader about how dragons are not incorporated enough in books unless there's especially the popular ones. But now it's kind of getting a trend now, so that's good. Was there any kind of challenges or rewards when it comes to writing fantasy compared to other genres? Have you ever entertained writing other genres? So 

 U2 

 12:24 

 fantasy is not the first genre I've written. It's the first genre I've published. I started out writing about vampires because I'm a 90s kid. At that time, vampires were more popular. And I'm not talking about the sparkly ones. The vampires I read about preceded Vampire Academy. So they were Anne Rice's vampire. Okay. Yeah. And I always tell people that the OG, morally gray guy is the vampire Lestette. Okay? Nobody can top him. He's the one who came around and say, I could kill you, but you'll love me anyway. That was the genre I was writing first. Somewhere along the line, like I said, because of the dreams, I switched to fantasy, and I really enjoy it because you get to world build, which is very different from vampire books. Vampire books tend to be more urban setting, so in this world, there's nothing much that you need to do besides maybe establishing some mythology or some like. 1s History. Fantasy is so different because of that. But last year, I branched out into writing romance. My first try, and that novel is now in the querying trenches. Okay. Probably not going to get very far. I'm very tempted to say I'm going to pull out and just self publish this too. To answer your question, these are the three genres I've tried. Fantasy, vamp, higher. I don't know where you put that. Urban fantasy, maybe? Yeah, 

 U1 

 13:46 

 urban fantasy romance. Yeah. So you talked about world building. How did you approach the world building? Because I know different authors have different techniques and even what's the struggles of doing creating your own system, your own world. 

 U2 

 14:01 

 I didn't really have an approach. I just thought, okay, this kingdom is going to be a bit more advanced. They have things like revolvers and tanks and maybe early electricity. That kingdom is a bit more backwards. Their streets are still dirty and all that, even though they have magic. But I'm trying to be a bit more systematic and more deliberate about it. Because what I did was I realized there were a few things missing, like religion and food. I'm not sure if you're aware in the part of the world that I live in, we're big foodies. That was one thing that was missing in my trilogy. And in my prequel, I don't really put in food a lot, although there is that one character 1s who's always eating. You'll figure out who it is soon. And then now what I'm trying to do is I'm working on sequels to my trilogy. I put in more food. They're eating, they're eating breakfast and they're talking. Characters are talking at the same time, naturally, characters get food poisoning, things like that. I was just writing a scene just now about someone who got food poisoning. So being a little bit more deliberate about making that fantasy world deeper and richer and tapping on what's available around us, that can be a challenge. And doing things like that part of the world, they could have certain things that mean this, which I never really explained in my trilogy. I'm being a bit more deliberate about doing that right now. And I think there are bits and pieces of that in all that glitters 

 U1 

 15:31 

 with Ooties being more written into the book. Is there anything else that Singapore inspired in this trilogy and in this standalone? 

 U2 

 15:40 

 Yeah, sadly, no. But 3s I don't know why it never occurred to me to put in more of my culture into my trilogy. And for the prequel, it's less of that because it was very easy. It's just one kingdom. We're focusing on one kingdom, a bunch of different creatures. So there wasn't much I needed to do in terms of that. But for my sequels, there is another kingdom that's coming into play, and that's very much like. Asia. There's going to be more food in there. Yeah, 1s one of the characters is introduced to Mango, and he's never had Mango before. It's 

 U1 

 16:19 

 always fun. 

 U2 

 16:20 

 It is. I enjoy writing that. Can 

 U1 

 16:22 

 you tell about the magic system that's been created in these 

 U2 

 16:28 

 books? So for my trilogy, there's essentially two types of magic systems. Although, as I alluded to, I'm not too in depth with defining how things work. My human characters who can use magic, it's a bit more systematized. I kind of wanted them to be a bit like doctors, where they're all trained in an Academy style thing to be general practitioners, but then their specialties come out along the way and then they specialize in them. But if you ask them to do a different type of magic, they can do it, but it drains them faster. So that's for humans, whereas pointy ear magical creatures, the Fay or the elves, they can do more generalized type of magic and they're only limited by how quickly they get tired. That's most of the distinction. I mean, yeah, I try to have some characters, again, be adept at certain things, others not. But I'm not too fixated on that. 

 U1 

 17:30 

 And I think I was getting introduced where they're like, humans have magic? That's impossible. What is this world coming to? Yeah, I thought that was kind of dramatic, but I thought that was interesting because it expresses the society and the culture and that it's threatening their way of life. And 

 U2 

 17:52 

 this is just a smidget 

 U1 

 17:54 

 of being introduced into this world. And I can already feel like, holy crap, what's going to happen? Especially with our main character, who she just got crowned and she's going to bring kind of the almost destruction, but at the same time the peace. 1s I thought that was a very good way so far, and I can't wait to see how that goes down. 

 U2 

 18:17 

 Can't wait for you to get past that. 

 U1 

 18:20 

 Right. One question is how do you balance the need for originality and innovation with the expectations and conviction of fantasy genre? Like, for example, fourth wink comes out. Has dragons, has this whole world or other books that you've read and trying to be more original in your own story? I would say that. 2s Almost impossible to be very original because there's so many fantasy books out there, and fantasy is not a new genre. Isn't it? You just can't predict what will become popular. So for me, it's about writing what I want while drawing inspiration from what's going on or what's popular. What do I mean by that? So Sarah J. Maas is so popular are right now. So are people like Holly Black who wrote the Crew Prince series. Yeah. So 1s I kind of used that, but at the same time, I was aware that I had to use my own voice and tell my own story so that it didn't become a copy. Right? 

 U2 

 19:28 

 Yeah. It's hard not to use elements of what's already out there because certain things are just fixed. I mean, when you say Faye or elf, people expect certain things. Right. When you say mage or dragon, then people okay, this is what I expect. So it's an expectation type of thing. It's about balancing fulfilling a certain expectation while at the same time telling your own story. It's never, never easy. 

 U1 

 19:57 

 Right. Because I think my husband wants to write a fantasy book himself, and he's like, I am not reading any fantasy books. I'm like, why? 

 U2 

 20:09 

 What I did that was I don't know if this spoils it, but my trilogy is fantasy. It's got your usual it's got dragons, elves, fairies, magical humans, blah, blah, blah. But the villain has an ability to do something that means that there is a presence of another type of creature, which is a little bit not so commonly found in fantasy. Okay. Yeah. Because you haven't read it. 

 U1 

 20:34 

 I'm like, 2s oh, boy. Okay. 

 U2 

 20:39 

 Yeah, that one. When most of my readers read my trilogy and they're like, oh, I wasn't expecting that type of thing in there, 

 U1 

 20:48 

 which is I think it's the best books. It's the unexpected. I did read a book like that, and it's always good to have the unexpected in there. So I'm looking forward to it now. Okay. More than ever, 1s what is your writing process? Like, do you outline? Do you prefer to just write it out and then hash out later kind of a thing? Do you have habits to make sure you write? Because you balance a day job and then you have family to balance. So, yeah, tell me all of that in a nutshell. 

 U2 

 21:20 

 Right? Yeah. At heart, I am probably more of a plotter than a pencil. Although I will admit that there is a beauty to pencing. 1s Usually for a first draft, what I do is I pant, but I have a very rough idea 1s without writing down too much things. Then as my draft proceeds, things become a little bit clearer, and then I put in more notes, things like that. And then usually what happens is when I go back and edit, that's when things become a bit more plotty rather than 2s necessity. 1s You have to plot better. As your story progresses. You can't keep pancing. Otherwise pencing. You pence yourself into a corner and then you're ah, I don't know. How did I get 

 U1 

 22:05 

 there? Yeah, there is an author that I connected with on Instagram. Her name is Liesel West, and she had a really good term for that process of writing that first draft. It's called a discovery draft. So you don't pant your whole way through it. You have a rough outline. 2s She basically put a name to the process. I already do, which is writing out roughly what you have, discovering what's happening, like discovering a little bit of this character's got this trait, or that character went through that experience. And then after that, it becomes a bit more of a solid story, solid, structured story. 2s That's kind of how I do it. But then day to day, you were wondering, right, how do I find the time? I always tell people that, in fact, if I didn't find the time or if I didn't take. The time to do this, which I do use as a very major form of self care for myself, then I wouldn't really thrive. Yeah. 

 U2 

 23:09 

 Wow. Up to a few years ago, 1s when I was just reading as a hobby, 1s I felt, okay, I think my husband and I reflected that my life is a lot more enriched now, and I feel like I'm taking care of myself more now that I get to write and carve out. Time to write. 

 U1 

 23:27 

 That's crazy that you say that, because I just was talking to somebody else about that, because I was very burned out in my own business, my actual day job, and I was like, I need something. I need something to just get my creative outlet out, because I was not creative. I was just dead inside. And it's always fun that something like that can just awaken us 

 U2 

 23:47 

 as people, and 

 U1 

 23:49 

 then it reflects in our daily life and with the people that we're with. So I love that, how you said that, because I definitely resonate I just said it yesterday, 2s and I like the writing process because I wrote it down, because I'm like, oh, that's not a bad idea. 

 U2 

 24:04 

 Well, okay. Yeah. So liesl L-I-E-S-L. Her last name is west. W-E-S-T or the pen name that she's going by liesel west. She's the one who used the term Discovery redraft. I don't know if it's original to her or I don't know if she pulled it from somewhere, but I know that she put a post on it, and I was like, oh, I love that term. I'm going to start using it. 

 U1 

 24:23 

 Right. Because you just get it out, and then you discover more about it, and then you've refine it after that. And I think that's really cool, actually. Yeah, because you got to get it out of your head first. Yeah. And I've learned the art of carrying a notebook wherever you go. 1s I used to think that that would make me look silly, but now I'm old enough. And you know what? I don't care. No. 

 U2 

 24:48 

 Who cares what you think of me and my pen and notebook? 

 U1 

 24:51 

 I'm pretty sure some people do some weirder things than that, and they're just 3s you can't escape it. It's just embrace it. What do you find the most challenging thing about writing Fan MC? And how do you overcome those challenges? 

 U2 

 25:07 

 The fact that sometimes things get so big you wonder how you got there. 1s I remember when I wrote the third book of my trilogy I had. Spreadsheet out. That was called Timelines and Threads because 1s it's multi point of view. The story is moving in three different places in the world before weaving together for the conclusion. I had to use spreadsheets to keep everything straight. This character is there. They're doing that now. And then at the same time there's happening. And it's not a pleasant experience because you have to get because it requires you to get organized. And unfortunately, it's par for the course. So when I wrote my prequel, that was a lot easier because everything flows linearly. What I had to write down was, this character belongs to that house. This character belongs to that house. That house is called this. Don't change the name halfway and just roughly come up with, okay, this house is called that because like that, even though it doesn't get into the final book, it's fine as long as I remember a little bit. Keeping things straight tends to be the hardest thing, especially as you write your series towards the more epic conclusion. So I tend to write in a more epic style for my sequels. I know there's this huge battle coming up. I haven't even gotten there, and I know it's going to be messy 

 U1 

 26:33 

 with your characters. Some people I've heard some instructions saying, have your character's personality written out way before you start writing. And I'm like, Is that really prevalent for you? 

 U2 

 26:45 

 I've heard that advice before. I see the benefit of it. I wish I could oftentimes I discover my character's character while writing them. Yeah. And then it's only then that kind of go back a little bit and say, okay, he's like that. She's like that. So that's the pancing part of me. The pancing? Yeah. I see the benefit of it. But then it's like you said, the discovery is when, as you're writing it, you kind of discover who this person is. As you're writing it, or character development, character growth. And that's kind of like what I like fantasy novels because you sometimes can see it. So how do you approach development of secondary characters? Because I being introduced into, I guess, her cousin, I guess her cousin and 

 U1 

 27:31 

 then her uncle's daughter is being introduced kind of in a way, or kind of being a rival because she wasn't chosen to be queen. So how did you approach those 

 U2 

 27:43 

 characters? Sometimes they just kind of pop up, and sometimes I know they need to be there. Okay. So I grew up with a huge family, so a lot of my characters, immediate supporting characters are family members or they're related in some way because I feel that the family dynamic makes things really interesting. So there's going to be that element that's my cousin and that's my cousin, but they're not directly related, that kind of thing. 2s To answer your question, sometimes secondary characters just pop up, which can be a challenge because you run into the danger of having too big of a cast. And I know that I've inadvertently done that with the stuff I'm writing now. So as much as it pains me, I know eventually I have to pare down, combine people. Yeah. I think it's something I have to accept. Yeah. I think one time I saw mean like, be nice to me or I'll kill you in my novel. 

 U1 

 28:43 

 Yeah. Or be nice to me or your name is going to come up and it might not be a nice person. People in your life can inspire you to write these characters. Are you worried about them going, hey, that sounds like me. Are you worried about 

 U2 

 28:59 

 that? Okay. The sad thing is, even if I have written elements of my own big family into my books, my family hasn't really read my books. Yeah. So I'm one of those people. I'm working pretty much in a silo. I'm not in danger of that. Now, the other danger I might run into to is, oh, I meet a lot of people every day, and these are patients, 1s do I write their stories into my books? And the answer is a straight no. I meet too many people to have a distinct story that sticks out. But I don't deny that meeting a lot of people on a regular basis 2s allows me to capture the emotions. That are going on in my characters. It could be someone who's grieving from the loss of a significant other in my practice. Right. And then I use that emotion to do something similar. Not that I say that a character lost someone, but I capture the grief, the tears, the sleeplessness, that kind of thing. 

 U1 

 30:06 

 Yeah, because I think before I jumped on, I was even reading about the human who, at a very young age, was thrown into the arena. And now he's recalling those emotions and those feelings about being in there the first time. About even seven or eight years later, he still feels it. So I'm like, now it kind of explains it a little bit with your background and everything, the 

 U2 

 30:28 

 emotions. I tell people there's no need for me to say that it's PTSD or anything like that. If I know what I'm doing, you'll know what it is, 

 U1 

 30:37 

 and it comes out. And I like that because sometimes people don't talk about trauma too much. 

 U2 

 30:44 

 Or sometimes I feel they overdo it. I don't know. They're broody, man. And this is their sad background and this is why who they are, but you don't actually kind of live it, understand the character and with their point of view and where they're coming from and why it's traumatic to them. We don't 

 U1 

 31:02 

 see that very often, and I like that a lot. So I'm looking forward to exploring more of about it. Especially since, like you said, your psychology background. 

 U2 

 31:14 

 Although, ironically, when people ask sometimes when they ask whether my novels have reps in it, I can't say that it's really mental health. It's just a bit of an irony. I didn't even think about that, which is very interesting. But I just like how you're exploring it and you're not focusing on it, I guess, in my world, because sometimes I i, like, want to go in the world to forget. 

 U1 

 31:42 

 Let's not rehash. 

 U2 

 31:43 

 Yeah. I mean, that's why books have content warnings, trigger warnings nowadays. I think it's useful. Although I might say that again, 90s kid. I grew up in a generation where there were no warnings about any nothing. This book looks popular. It's got this blurb. Just read it. Who cares how damaged you emerge? 4s Was when I was your age, in fact, a little bit younger, I read my first VC. Andrews book, so Flowers in the Attic, that was my 1s know, on hindsight, I'm like, oh, my goodness. And all of us in school were reading that. No trigger warning, no content warning at 

 U1 

 32:23 

 all. Oh, my gosh, I'm going to look that up now because I never heard of that one before. 

 U2 

 32:27 

 For okay. It's a really old book. VC. Andrews is notorious, though. I think she's from the south, it must be. And she writes it's like 

 U1 

 32:37 

 a horror or 

 U2 

 32:40 

 that's I don't even want to say the stuff that's in her book, no Flowers in the Attic, that's her first book. Very famous. 

 U1 

 32:49 

 Yeah. I'm just going to keep to my happy world. 3s Oh, I'm such a happy ending lover. I am kind of leaning towards some early gray characters a lot lately. We'll 

 U2 

 33:01 

 see what happens. They're fun. 

 U1 

 33:04 

 If you have any advice for any aspiring authors looking to go into the genre, just write indie. What advice would you give to anybody? The 

 U2 

 33:14 

 bottom line is, and the good thing about doing what I do is that sometimes I get to talk to kids, including my own kids. And I always say, if you want to write, you got to read first and read all kinds of stuff. Read comics, read fiction, read nonfiction, although I don't like reading nonfiction. But read anything you can get your hands on. Develop a good foundation for whatever language you want to write in. For me. It's English. And then in order to get started, you just got to start writing. Whatever you churn out in the beginning is going to be trashy, it's going to be cringey. But as you write, you refine, you read books about writing. You continue to read other people's books and learn how to in the beginning, you might be copying someone's style and someone's way of writing. Eventually you'll find your own voice. But that's how a lot of us start out. We go to the people, the books that inspire us. We try to write something similar, and then we create our own stories from there. 

 U1 

 34:17 

 I did an episode about reading one star reviews, and sometimes people have opinions about almost everything. Does that help you critique your writing, or do you just ignore it or you just like to just feed off the positive reviews? I might want to start asking that question because I'm kind of curious about how people respond 

 U2 

 34:37 

 to that. Yeah, I've gotten one or two star reviews that have no feedback. 1s Oh, that's hard. Yeah. But for this latest book, I've had a few readers. Handful of them did not finish. 1s The good thing is they explain why they did not finish. One of them really critical and said that I couldn't do anything right. So that was really sad. 2s But to be fair, that came on the heels of a handful of five star reviews. So I didn't take that one too seriously. One of them didn't finish because they felt the book was too heavy. Emotionally, I think they knew they could see that there was going to be some turmoil coming, and there is going to be so warning to you. And they didn't want to finish it because and they were so nice. They said, Right, 1s it's me, not you. Problem. Okay. But in general, what is helpful is if the reviews generally say the same thing, then I know, okay, this is something that I do need to work on. But yeah, I mean, as a writer, it's hard to not focus on the negative reviews or even wonder, why are people not finishing my book? Or why are people not reading my book? And as much as we tell each other, don't look at your reviews, it's very tempting. So, yes, I do feed off the good ones. 

 U1 

 36:00 

 Yeah. Because I think that when I was looking through it and doing my research on it, I just like, man, it's like, we need to understand why you didn't like the book. 1s As an author, I bet that helps critique a little bit. 

 U2 

 36:13 

 It does. But the best critique I've had are from the people who directly reached out to me and didn't put up reviews, if you know what I mean. Yeah, right. They're the ones who I mean. Yeah. I've had a handful of people who say, okay, I feel this could have been done better in this way or this book that you have with you. All that glitters is not gold. The first draft or the early draft, the first few chapters were read by some folks who gave really good feedback just based on the first few chapters. And then that resulted in me tearing down the whole first draft and then writing a whole new draft, which is what you have before you. And there are so many elements, the core elements of the story are there, but there are so many things that are so different about it, it's almost unrecognizable from the first draft. And so if not for that type of feedback, you wouldn't have the product you have before you. 

 U1 

 37:05 

 It is true. I like like that, but 

 U2 

 37:07 

 it stings sometimes. Yeah. No doubt about it. Yeah. And a lot of people say, like, oh, they put their hardest in it. You shouldn't say anything. And I'm like, it's good to have critique, but it's also a good way to you got to have. A good 

 U1 

 37:22 

 critique, not they can't do anything right. Well, can you do better? 

 U2 

 37:29 

 Yeah, but something my husband tells me, he's really super supportive of what I do, and he tells me that when you put your work out there, you cannot assume that everybody will like it. Yes, it feels like you're putting a part of yourself out there, but you need to disconnect a little bit from that feeling, though. That feeling was a lot stronger when I first published. It's kind of become a bit more yes, it's true. I can look at things a little bit more objectively. Although, no matter what, you shouldn't say anything bad about my book babies. Yeah. 

 U1 

 38:00 

 Book babies. 

 U2 

 38:01 

 They are. They are my book babies. 

 U1 

 38:04 

 I just want to thank you for just sharing your novel with me. I'm looking forward to finishing it and embracing your world. I probably am going to do the trology because so far, I've loved this world. It's good to hear. If there's anything you would like to say to my readers before we go 

 U2 

 38:24 

 okay, well, the first thing is you are the only one holding a physical copy right now. 

 U1 

 38:32 

 I'm so honored. And the only reason why I'm not holding the same proof copy that you have is because shipping costs twice as much to send a proof copy to me. It was cheaper just to send it to you and have you take some pictures and show me if things were working out. 

 U2 

 38:50 

 Yes. So you're the only one with a proof copy right now besides the warti one that I have. 

 U1 

 38:57 

 The other thing is yeah, my book is releasing. I'm very excited about it. It's the first I'm actually doing things properly. All my other books never got, like, a hike, excerpts, a proper launch date, things like that. This is the one where I'm doing it as properly as possible. The funny thing is, I don't even know what I'm going to do on launch day. Yesterday, I just posted on Instagram. Can you guys please tell me what I'm supposed to do? I'm thinking of posting pictures of my pets. 1s And everyone's like, yes, pet photos. I'm like, really? You want to see 

 U2 

 39:27 

 pet photos on launch day? Okay. Yeah. And the other thing that I want to say is that I'm not done with this world. Or rather, this world is not done with me. I have more stuff coming. 2s I don't know when it will come out because I still want to publish my vampire stuff, and there's my romance book somewhere out there, but we'll see. I have lots more stuff coming up. 

 U1 

 39:50 

 Yeah, 

 U2 

 39:52 

 I really thank you for having me here. I really appreciate 

 U1 

 39:55 

 it. Problem? So, for all the listeners, it's July 25. All that Glitters Is Not Gold by Linda Ling. It's going to be on Amazon and anywhere else where they can find this 

 U2 

 40:08 

 book. For now, it's just Amazon. So it'll be on Amazon and on Ku. Oh, 

 U1 

 40:12 

 kendall Limited. Okay. Yeah, I love it. 

 U2 

 40:17 

 I have no bandwidth to try and go wider, even though I know it might be a good idea. I tried. I can't. 

 U1 

 40:25 

 And then as you continue to grow, your skills will grow. Thank you for joining me, Ms. Linda, and I'm looking forward to finishing this. And this to be published on July 25. 

 U2 

 40:36 

 Thank you for having me. 



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