An Interview With Linda Mahkovec, Author of “And So We Dream” With Lindas Book Obsession

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An Interview With Linda Mahkovec

March 9, 2022     Interview questions for Linda Zagon giveaway – And So We Dream

  1. What was the motivation for writing this particular book, AND SO WE DREAM?Many years ago, I wrote a very short story called “The Tower.” However, I knew that it wasn’t a full expression of what I wanted to say, and the idea stayed with me. I finally merged it with another storyline that I had also worked on over the years (same time and place, involving three sisters), and a larger story began to take shape. 
  • How is this book similar/different from your other books?

It’s similar in themes and tone. As with the WWII Christmastime series, although it’s set against the backdrop of war, it’s essentially an uplifting story with themes of family, friendship, home, and transformation. As with all my books, the main character is an artist figure. This is something I didn’t set out to do, but over the years I’ve realized that this is a thread that runs throughout my work.

It’s different from the Christmastime series in that it takes place in the summer of 1970. Also, this is my only book that could be called a coming-of-age story, with the main characters being twelve (Joey) and fifteen (Vita). As of now, it’s a stand-alone novel, though that might change. Storylines have a way of continuing once they get started in motion, and I’ve jotted down ideas for possible sequels.

  • How did you do research for this book?

Unlike the WWII books, I was there in 1970, so I mostly relied on recollection. I asked questions of people who were also there, and compared memories. For Vietnam information, I watched the Ken Burns’ documentary, and went to various web sites, including veterans’ sites. But the story is particular to one small town and to the key characters, who, for the most part are too young to be greatly affected. The war is faraway, more like a vague threat that is always there, in the same way as the effects of previous wars are also woven into the lives of the town’s characters. That said, there is a key character who is a Vietnam vet, Hogie.

  • What is a typical day in your writing life? For the most part, I’m a morning writer. My mind works differently first thing in the morning. I find the afternoon and evening are better for other tasks, such as research, editing, and proofreading. Every day includes at least one neighborhood walk, which I think of it as my “beauty walk”– finding which flowers are in bloom, looking for seasonal changes, and admiring the sky at dusk. I guess it’s a way of filling the artist’s well. And reading, of course. I’m always reading at least two books, if not more.
  • What advice can you give to someone that wants to be a writer?  I would advise them to just do it. Just write and describe and experiment with different forms. Know that only you can tell your story, whatever that is, whatever form it takes. Let go of fear, don’t allow for obstacles or negativity – they will not serve you well. Rather, take pleasure in the process, and make it yours. You’ll know what’s best for you – whether it’s writing so many hours or words a day, entering contests, joining writing groups or writing alone. And it’s important to finish something, to get your work out there. That sense of completion is a great motivator. 
  • What can you tell us of any new writing projects that you might have? There are several pieces in various stages, but the book that will come out next is a compilation of sorts. It’s different from anything else I’ve done – more playful and whimsical, stories within a larger story. I hope to have it out later this year. There’s also a possible short book for the Christmastime series – Valentine’s Day 1946. If I can work fast enough it will come out in January of next year.

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