Q&A With Stina Lindenblatt

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Q&A With Stina Lindenblatt

My latest Q&A is with USA Today Bestselling author of romance and romantic comedies that bring on both laughter and tears, Stina Lindenblatt. All of her books are parts of different series. Some of her series include, Pushing Limits, Lost In You, By The Bay & Copper Creek. Her upcoming release One More Secret is the beginning of the Hidden Secrets Trilogy, coming out on September 7th

Q: Stina, why do you enjoy writing in the romance genre so much?

A: I enjoy writing romance because I love the special intimacy between the couple that develops during the course of the story. I love writing about how they get to that point, the journey they take. And I love writing about their struggles that try to keep them from having their happily ever after. The genre also allows me to explore deep topics and provide readers with hope in the end. Because that’s ultimately what romance is about: hope and love. And we could all use more of those two things in our lives. 

Q: Stina, would you tell the readers of the blog and I a little bit about your upcoming release One More Secret, and how you came up with the concept for that novel?

A: One More Secret is about a woman who was recently released from a correctional institution after being wrongfully imprisoned for killing her abusive husband. Under an assumed name, she moves to a small town to start her life over and keeps bumping into an ex-Marine (Troy) who recognizes she could have PTSD. His best friend had ended his life the previous year due to his own battle with mental illness. Troy’s struggling with guilt because he feels like he failed his best friend. He’s determined to save Jessica from the same fate…even if she doesn’t want anything to do with him at first. 

The book is a dual timeline story due to the secrets Jess finds hidden in the house she’s living in. I’m not going to elaborate on what the secrets are because they’re, well, a secret.

The idea for the story came to me because my husband and I regularly donate to our city’s emergency women’s shelter, so I receive their quarterly newsletters. Jessica’s dead husband was a cop. I got the idea for that after Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. Soon after the incident, his wife filed for divorce. I wondered when the news was announced if she was a survivor of domestic abuse. I wondered if the disregard he showed for human life was something she had regularly witnessed at home. 

This led me to think about what would happen to a wife whose abusive husband was a police officer. How much harder would it be to escape him? Would she be able to escape him? Those questions became the backstory to Jess’s past.

Q: Who in your family and friends were your biggest supporters of your writing goals and talent? When did you know that being an author was what your calling in life was?

A: My husband and my daughter are my biggest supporters. When my daughter was five years old, I promised her I would get her a cat if I ever landed a book deal. So, for the next five years, when she blew out her birthday candles, her wish was that I would land a book deal so she could have a cat. Eventually, I landed a contract with Harlequin/Carina Press, and my daughter got her rescue kitten. Callie has been with us for nine years.

As for the calling…I was a reluctant reader as a kid. But one day I stumbled across the Famous Five series by Edith Blyton, which was a popular children’s mystery series in England. I couldn’t get enough of those books and decided I wanted to be a writer. I was nine years at the time. One of my friends and I even attempted to write a mystery book, but we had no idea what we were doing and soon abandoned the project. It wasn’t until I had kids that I started to write a young adult fantasy series (that I have since shelved) and did everything I could to learn the craft of writing. 

Q: Do you use bits and pieces of real people and places to create the characters and worlds within your romance books?

A:Yes. To both. Some of my books take place in real cities, such as San Francisco. The Carson Brothers series takes place in a fictitious town in Oregon called Maple Ridge. I based it on a real town in the state, and some of it is based on Banff, Alberta (which is located in the Canadian Rockies near where I live). Some of my characters are composed of bits and pieces of real people, especially in One More Secret

Q: Where is your favorite writing spot or spots where you plot, write and edit your work? 

A: I enjoy the quiet of my office, which overlooks my backyard. I can be typing away, and the next thing I know, a moose wanders past my window, or a deer, or a coyote, or a bobcat. 

Q: If you’re working on new projects now can you reveal any details?

A: I’m currently working on the third book in the Hidden Secrets Trilogy. I can’t say anything about it yet because…well, because it’s the third book in the trilogy. lol

Q: The entertainment industry is lacking in original content and needs it like something terrible. Does Hollywood have the rights to your work? 

A:*Chuckles* That would be nice. No, Hollywood doesn’t have rights to my work. I would need an agent who specializes in TV and film rights for that to happen. If someone asked me which book I would love to see made into a TV series, it would be the Hidden Secrets Trilogy. Some of the topics it deals with are relevant to so many people these days, and that includes mental illness.

Q: You were born in Brighton England and you’ve lived in England, Finland, Canada and The USA. I would love to travel someday. Out of all these places, which place was your favorite? Is Brighton a beautiful seaside town in England like they say? 

A: I’ve never actually lived in Brighton. My parents lived two hours away from the city, but the closest hospital was in Brighton. I was almost born right outside the hospital doors. My father had to drive along England’s narrow countryside roads and barely got to the hospital in time before my grand arrival. In the comedy movie version, they would have gotten stuck behind a flock of sheep on the road somewhere.

Finland has always been special for me. My mother was born there, and my family used to visit extended family there at Christmas or during the summer holidays. That unfortunately ended when we moved to the US. I was eleven at the time. I lived in Finland for several months (on two occasions) during my undergrad and during grad school. The first time I stayed with my grandparents, who didn’t speak English and my Finnish wasn’t very good. My grandmother and I bonded over old episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful, which was HUGE in Finland at the time. I would listen to the actors, and she would read the Finnish subtitles. We both agreed that the actor who played Ridge was muy komea (very handsome).