Fast. Fun. Suspenseful. Romantic.
Best beach read?
There’s no way I can choose just one. How about Summer Sisters or Forever by Judy Blume, Keeping the Moon or This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen, Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock and about anything Jane Austen.
Favorite vacation spot?
That’s hard because I love to travel so I covet vacation destinations all over the world. I guess the ideal would be someplace on a great beach with mountains nearby. And a well-stocked bookstore in town…
I used to dream of being a rich and famous pop star, but the reality is that I can’t sing. You know those really horrible auditions on American Idol? Yeah. That’s me.
Most embarrassing moment?
Well, since I do embarrassing things all the time, again it’s hard to choose just one. One of the worst was when I lived in Finland and got locked out of the sauna. Naked. Or when I was first engaged and I went to introduce my fiancé to some friends and I completely forgot his name.
Advice to aspiring writers?
Read, read, read! Write every day. Don’t let anything (or anyone) stop you.
I’ve been blessed by encouragement and guidance from a number of wise people, most notably Canadian author Marsha Skrypuch, who set my feet on the path I’m walking now.
Words to live by?
“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” — Woody Allen
Name: Linda Gerber.
Hometown: Dublin, Ohio.
Countries you have visited: Australia, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Germany, Guam, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Saipan and Switzerland.
Country you wrote about: Suomi (Finland)
Destination you would most like to visit:
Greece because I long to stroll down the whitewashed streets and swim in the unbelievably blue Mediterranean Sea, and Scotland because I proudly hail from the clan Couquhoun and would love to trace my roots.
Why did you choose to write about Finland?
Because Finland is an amazing and beautiful country. Also so my I could call my Finnish friends for help and they could giggle at how bad my Finnish has gotten since I lived there.
What was your favorite place to visit in Finland?
So many places! The National Museum in Helsinki, the island fortress of Suomenlinna, the Sibelius monument—which plays music when the wind blows through it.
What was your favorite food?
Anything by Fazer! (The chocolate people…)
What was your favorite souvenir?
Kalevala-inspired jewelry, Iitala glass, and a big SUOMI sweatshirt.
What was the most surprising/memorable cultural difference you noticed?
The Finns have their own mythology – the Kalevala – and it influences everything from national pride to the tenacity of the Finnish people. For instance, did you know the tiny Finnish army was able to hold off the giant Soviet forces in World War II? Those Finns are tough!
What was your funniest experience?
Getting locked out of the sauna. Naked.
Have you traveled anywhere “off the beaten path”? If so, what brought you there?
My friends Sirpa, Eija, Seija, Marit and Tiina took me many places “off the beaten path” —both physically and figuratively…Is your main character like you in any way? Are your characters based on anyone in your “real” life?
I wish I was like Mo! If I went off a ski jump hill, I’d drop like a rock. Mo’s character was very much shaped by the indomitable athletes at Women’s Ski Jump USA in Park City, Utah.
What made you want to become a writer?
I love stories. I love to read them, but I also love to tell them. To me, it’s like offering up a part of myself. Unfortunately, when I was in fifth grade, I offered that part of myself to my teacher, writing a story as a birthday present for him. He corrected the thing and handed it back to me. I was devastated. Couldn’t he see it was a gift? I didn’t share my stories with anyone else for a long, long time. I did keep writing, though. That was a part of myself I couldn’t quiet. Now I look at every story as a gift—whether I am on the giving or the receiving end of the equation.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell readers?
Read, dream and explore the world outside your own. Challenge your boundaries. Accept no limits. Keep moving back that finish line.
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