When and why did you begin writing? When did you first consider yourself a writer?

During my twenties, I wrote a couple of children's stories and collected a few rejection slips from publishers. I had always enjoyed writing while in school and held a vision of someday becoming a published writer. Over the next few years I did have a few articles published in local newspapers but it was not until meeting my late husband, author Don Pendleton in January of 1983, that I put my dream in action. Don was inspirational and encouraging. Within that year, I wrote my first novel. It remains unpublished and probably will never be published as it now stands, but completing my first actual book gave me the courage to write. After our marriage in 1985, we worked side by side, and he was a great teacher of the craft of writing.

I considered myself a full-fledged writer in 1988, with the completion of our co-written nonfiction book, "To Dance With Angels," which was then published in 1990. We also wrote Whispers From the Soul, The Divine Dance of Consciousness. 

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?

My father was an avid reader and that, I'm sure, greatly influenced my desire to read as a child, and, in turn, it ingrained my creative urge to write. But following that, it would have to be Don Pendleton who greatly influenced my writing and encouraged and supported my talent.

When I first met Don, he gave me copies of some of his lectures on writing and that was inspirational for me. His unusual and unique approach to writing is now available for other aspiring writers in our new "Metaphysics of the Novel, The Inner Workings of a Novel and a Novelist," by Don Pendleton with Linda Pendleton. Don's success with his original "Executioner" series of novels, and his ability to write sharp dialogue, fast-paced, action-filled stories centered around a true heroic figure, which he created with his "Mack Bolan" character, not only inspired me but gave me new understanding of the art of writing.

When we wrote the crime/suspense novel, "Roulette: The Search for the Sunrise Killer," it was again great to be creating as a writing team. The underlying theme of the book was difficult but we had a lot of fun writing the novel. The book examines the relationship of a married couple, husband and wife cops, married more to their badges than to each other and explores the challenges they endure, not only within their marriage but in their careers, as a psychopathic killer causes horror and havoc in their community. The book, first published as an ebook titled “One Dark and Stormy Night,” was an EPPIE 2001 Award Finalist.

Don and I worked great together as a writing team. We also had a lot of fun adapting and scripting "War Against the Mafia," the first "Executioner" novel to graphic Comic book format. Following his death, I adapted and scripted the second "Executioner" novel, "Death Squad." I had fun with that, too. "Death Squad" was published in 1996.

Our nonfiction book, “Whispers From the Soul” was published early in 2003.

Don and I also had something special that many writers do not have. That was the enjoyment we found not only working on the same project, but also the enjoyment of having someone to share our individual work with, chapter by chapter. A writer's life can be a lonely one, and if you do not have support from those close to you, it can be even lonelier. We also enjoyed being together twenty-four hours a day, whether side-by-side at our computers or doing whatever.

We also worked together on the business side of writing. Now and then, the business side of writing can interfere with the creative side, but as writers we soon learn that it is a necessary part of the game.

What books have most influenced your life?

I'm sure I have been influenced by many, many books over the years. One book that had a great impact on my life was "There is a River, The Story of Edgar Cayce," by Thomas Sugrue. My life long interest in the paranormal and spiritual aspects of life have greatly influenced my nonfiction writing and as a result have written books such as "To Dance With Angels," and the new books, "Three Principles of Angelic Wisdom;" "A Walk Through Grief: Crossing the Bridge Between Worlds;" and "Whispers From the Soul."

What is the most romantic book you've ever read? The scariest? The funniest?

The most romantic would have to be "The Bridges of Madison County." I loved Robert James Waller's love story. Another beautiful but bittersweet novel is Nicholas Sparks', "The Notebook." Both are excellent books that explore relationships and the strong bonds of love.

The scariest would have to be a Stephen King novel, but I have only read a chapter or two of any of his books. I cannot read King or anything along the horror line. They are much too intense for me.

It is difficult to choose the funniest. Nothing stands out in my mind, except that I have often got a kick out of several of Dorothy Gilman's "Mrs. Pollifax" novels.

What music, if any, most inspires you to write? What do you listen to while writing?

I enjoy soft-listening music in the background, preferably instrumental. Sometimes I have the television on and I find it easy to multi-task or to shut out the radio or television.

What are you working on?

I recently published by mystery, Deadly Flare-Up, and am now back to work on my third Catherine Winter, Private Investigator novel.  I have another manuscript in the works, as I usually do.  Trying to keep up with my blog and redoing websites. 

Isn’t it unusual to have so many projects going at once?

Not for me. I often work that way. Not that I have the manuscripts all out at once, but I tend to work on one thing for awhile and then switch to the other. It is hard to say if I enjoy writing fiction or nonfiction the most. It is a toss-up, I guess. Deadly Flare-Up was a male private eye, written in third person, and my Catherine Winter novels are first person , and I go back and forth as to which style I prefer writing.  At present, I don't have a nonfiction book in mind, but I’m sure that may change before long. My mind is often full of book ideas but I can’t do them all.

Any new books coming out?

Actually I have recently had several books narrated for Audible.com and soon To Dance With Angels will be done, as will Deadly Flare-up.  Most recently had two of Don's Ashton Ford Series narrated; the last two of his six book series, Heart to Heart and Time to Time.  

I do hope to have the Catherine Winter book completed by year's end.  

n closing:

Reading gives one a wealth of knowledge. I would like to share with you a quote that I fully agree with:

"The only true personal power comes from the mind and that mind has to be developed the same as muscles are developed–through use." – Don Pendleton

Copyright 2015 by Linda Pendleton, All Rights Reserved.

Linda Pendleton on Writing