ImageLinda Merlino is the author of  Room of Tears (July 23 2013),Hudson Catalina(2008-Belly of the Whale & re-release 9/14/12), Swan Boat Souvenir (self-published 2003) she began writing fiction as a young mother on the sidelines of endless soccer practices.  Linda wrote anytime any place.  A manuscript filled a carton in the back seat of her car.  Many years have passed since those early beginnings, but her work continues to be inspired by her children.

The author has a fascination with heroes and writes her fiction to honor ordinary men and women who react unselfishly in extraordinary circumstances.  She extends her gratitude to all who keep us safe and free.

Her hometown is outside of Boston.  She lived for many years in New York City and more recently calls Connecticut her home.

About the Book

Out of tragedies come heroes and miracles…

At 9:59 a.m. on September 11, 2001, Diane O’Connor’s life as a firefighter’s wife changes forever, shattering her faith. Four decades later, a note still hangs on her kitchen cabinet in Queens, the paper yellowed with age. Diane knows the scribbled sentences by heart; she’d left them the morning of 9/11 for her husband, Billy.

In the summer of 2041, Diane invites Friar Antonio Ortiz to her home. He is a man destined to become counsel to the first American pope—her son, Peter. Antonio asks no questions and arrives in secret, promising to wait nineteen years before passing Diane’s journal to Peter. Only then will Billy’s story be told, along with answers to Peter’s questions about his father’s last days.


Congratulations on the release of Room of Tears! From the moment you conceived the idea for the story, to the published book, how long did it take? 

Six years from start to finish on this latest book – I average five years from start to completion. 

11736839-23157339-thumbnailDescribe your working environment. 

I have a desk in a small office which I share with my dog.  Above the desk are quotes – many quotes-all of which inspire me to continue on my writer’s path.

As a writer, what scares you the most?

Going public is scary – the thought of sticking your neck out to be chopped off makes me weak, but the thrill of an amazing review makes my heart spin & twirl so it’s worth the risk.  Life is a dance after all.

When writing, what themes do you feel passionate about?

Writing is my passion and I ask myself everyday how can I live my life today.  I am fascinated by the concept of heroes. Many years ago I read writings of Joseph Campbell and began a life long study of mythlogy.  I believe the myths are guiding lights to our passions and finding our personal bliss.  The theme of the hero exists in my writing as a way to discover how the ordinary can become extraordinary within the blink of an eye.  In the words of Mr. Campbell “We have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us.”


What is your opinion about critique groups? What words of advice would you offer a novice writer who is joining one? Do you think the wrong critique group can ‘crush’ a fledgling writer?

I belong to a writer’s guild.  I joined about ten years ago and bless the day that happened.  Through this wonderful group of writers and artists I have found brilliant minds and incredible support.  I encourage novice writers to seek kindred spirits but to be weary of over critiquing.  There is a balance to consider – each voice has its own pitch and rhythm.  Run away from the over zealous critics but wear your thick skin and plow through the suggestions of those willing to be guides.  Be willing to listen – then to your own self be true.

Technically speaking, what do you have to struggle the most when writing? How do you tackle it? 

Time is the enemy.  Juggling a full time day job and the routines of life can infringe on my writing time.  I believe in having a sacred space but after saying that I can also write anywhere there is a plug to charge my laptop.  Make peace with time – discipline yourself- mornings work best for me and I’ve learned to use an hour or two at night a few days a week.  Write at least one sentence on a piece of paper -journal to accomplish this if you cannot find any other way.  Keep writing.

How was your experience in looking for a publisher? What words of advice would you offer those novice authors who are in search of one? 

Seeking an agent who can help acquire a publisher is still the preferred course of action.  Be mindful that each agent/publisher has its own particular guidelines – adhere to each as if it were the only one.  Seek independent publishers who are open to unsolicited submissions – follow their guidelines to the letter.  Above all be willing to do all you need to do beyond writing the book.  Writing is the easy part – marketing is the hurdle.

What is the best writing advice you’ve ever received? 

A simple piece of advice came from a professor teaching a three month seminar.  She began by telling us , a group of twelve writers, that if we considered ourselves writers then we must identify ourselves as writers.  When asked what do you do –  answer – I am a writer. 

Do you have a website/blog where readers may learn more about you and your work? 

My web site is:

My official Facebook author page: http://www.tinyurl.comozppnwt

My Twitter:

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