Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Interview with Canadian Author - Linda Ford

After Linda Ford kept me up until the wee hours of the morning reading her latest Love Inspired Historical, The Cowboy Tutor, set during the Great Depression, I decided to invite her to share a bit of the book's history.

But first let me tell you a little about Linda Ford.

Linda lives in Alberta, Canada. She's the author of more than 25 books, writing for both Love Inspired Historicals and Heartsong Presents. Her stories have been described as deeply emotional with a touch of humor, and I absolutely agree. 

The Cowboy Tutor, is the first in a three-book series, with the next books releasing in February and March.

The series centers around a family of three sisters during the Great Depression. What resonated with me the most in this first story was how firmly the heroine believes that God will see her through every crisis in her life.

She works hard, extremely hard, to keep her family together and from losing their home. Considering the world's current economic situation, and how our faith is increasingly being challenged by similar crises, I found it a timely book. 

Here's what Linda had to say about what inspired her to write these stories: 

I'm not sure what got me started on the idea of these stories. My brainstorming file suggests I was concerned with the circumstances of young women during the Depression.
Here is a bit from that file:
Mrs. Morgan has 3 lovely daughters who seem destined to be spinsters due to the lack of suitable single men. Most of them have been whisked away to relief camps or ride the rails looking for something better than what the Depression offers. But Mrs. Morgan isn't about to stand by and see her daughters denied the joys of marriage and a family. So she devises a plan...
I’ve always had an interest in the Depression, partly because my parents and grandparents lived through it. I also did human-interest articles for a newspaper and interviewed a number of seniors. They all told stories of strength, heroism and inventiveness in dealing with the Depression. 
 I know they probably didn’t look back at the time as ‘the good old days’. But I loved the feeling I got of people who faced incredible odds with humor and came out as victors.
I’ve learned some interesting tidbits in my research. First, in Canada we also call it the Dirty 30s (because of the violent dust storms.) I thought everyone was familiar with the term but my editors weren’t.
Paper was expensive so used carefully and as many ways as possible. Letters were written across the page then the page given ¼ turn and more words written across the original. I found it almost impossible to read.
Groceries came wrapped in brown paper, tied with string. The paper was folded carefully and used over and over. The string was added to the ball kept in the kitchen drawer and rationed for use.
I grew up on the prairies and have lived most of my life in an area that was deeply affected by the Depression. In fact, we don’t have a county. We are called the Special Areas. Most of the land is owned by the government and leased to farmers and ranchers. Before the Thirties, many settlers came to the area and broke a few acres.
But then the rains failed to come. The land dried up and contributed to dreadful dust storms. The settlers walked away leaving the banks with unpaid mortgages and loans. The government bailed them out and took over ownership of the land. The people of the area still face many of the same challenges of the Dirty Thirties.
As my family drove along the various roads there were many empty farm sites. Some were only an empty cellar but there were leaning barns and weatherworn houses. I never saw any of these without wondering what had happened to the people who once owned them. I would get lost in imagining their struggles, their disappointment, and lost dreams.
Sandra again: Thank you, Linda for visiting with us today. I love seeing glimpses of other writers' creative process and research.

Your turn blog readers: Linda's characters lived during the Great Depression, but our world faces similar challenges today? How might these challenges strengthen, or make us question, our faith?

Love Inspired Suspense author Sandra Orchard hails from the beautiful rolling hills of Niagara, Canada. Shades of Truth, the second instalment in her Undercover Cops series, releases in March. To learn more about her upcoming releases, giveaways, and to receive special book extras, subscribe to Sandra's newsletter and/or connect with her on Facebook.


  1. My Grandparents grew up in the Great Depression Era and were very frugal even during good times. I find myself doing the same in today's hard times. When adversity hits you do what has to be done. I watch what I spend very closely and right now we don't buy any luxury items.

    Linda, this might be a silly question but has your books influenced how you live today? Do you find maybe you are saving wrapping paper or reusing aluminum foil, etc? I'm just curious.

    You are a new author to me and I'm looking forward to reading your books.

    Blessings and much happiness in this brand new year!

    Judy B

  2. Judy,
    I had to think about your question. I've always tried to live frugally but even so, our culture is based so much on material blessings that sometimes I feel overwhelmed by stuff. So I guess the answer is I'm trying to imitate my grandparents' way of living simply rather than saving things. I saw my grandmother become almost a hoarder as a result of what she'd been through and rather than keep stuff, I try not to accumulate so much.

  3. Linda,

    I was a terrible hoarder earlier in my life. I really don't know where it came from. If paper towels were on sale, I couldn't buy just one 8 package I had to have 4 or 5. Same with toilet paper, laundry soap, fabric softener...well you get the picture. Our guest bedroom was loaded! I'm happy to say that I'm much better. I do buy a little extra now and then. My husband lost his job after 19 1/2 years with no unemployment benefits and our life style has changed drastically. The good news is, God has provided and so we continue with our Faith and Standing On HIS Promises! In ways, our life is much better because we trust God from second to second. In so many ways He has said, He will provide for our every need!

  4. Judy, what a wonderful testimony. Thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Judy,
    I echo what Sandra said. Although we may face difficult things in live our God is sufficient.

  6. I wish I could think of a quick question, but I came to work today and left the "important" brain at home--that said I do want to tell you I love to read your books. You are very good at capturing my attention and pulling me into the story.

  7. My parents were born in '22 so were tweens and teens in the 30s. I really enjoyed hearing about your stories, Linda, especially since I'm so familiar with the area where you live. (Didn't know it was a 'special' area, though!)

  8. Avery,
    Your comment is worth a dozen questions. Thank you.

  9. Valerie,
    I need to make it clear that the Special Areas is on the eastern side of the province. We no longer live there but my son and family does.

  10. Breaking News!!!

    Linda has a free read on the Harlequin site called A Cowboy's Promise. Here's the link:

  11. Thanks for pointing that out, Sandra.

  12. Nice to meet another Canadian author. Welcome Linda. I'll start searching for your books.
    As to the effect of hard times on my faith, I think it has made me more grateful. My heart overflows with the beauty of our natural world and my enjoyment of is doesn't cost a cent. What a generous, extravagant, profligate God we worship.

  13. Linda & Sandra, great post! I remember my grandparents telling me stories about the Great Depression (Sydney, Australia) & the strong community spirit that existed with neighbors sharing resources to help each other survive. Linda, I enjoy reading your books & your new series sounds like a fascinating read :)