Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Rock Chick Writes: Linda Robertson, Shattered Circle & G*veaway


Today, I’m excited to welcome author Linda Robertson to the blog. She recently kicked off her blog tour for Shattered Circle, the newest book in her Persephone Alcmedi series. Linda has four sons, three electric guitars, and a dog named after Bela Lugosi—what’s not to love? She also was once lead guitarist I a heavy metal band. You can find out more about Linda at her website, on Twitter, and on Facebook.
Join Linda as she talks about music and the muse, and see the great tour giveaway at the end. 

ABOUT SHATTERED CIRCLE:  JUST YOUR AVERAGE MEGA-WITCH…It’s tough being a modern woman, but Persephone Alcmedi has it worse than most. Being the prophesied Lustrata has kicked her career as a witch into high gear, and juggling a w√¶rewolf boyfriend who is about to become king of his kind and a seductive vampire who bears her magical Mark isn’t easy either….Still, Seph’s beloved foster daughter, Beverley, is causing more trouble than these two men put together. The young girl’s been playing with a magical artifact that’s far more dangerous than she realizes. Now Seph must summon help from a mystical being so potent that even vampires fear him . . . and the cost of his aid may be more than she’s willing to pay. Seph, Johnny, and Menessos face threats from all sides—and a few from within. Will the forces of destiny cement their tenuous supernatural union, or shatter it forever?

Now…welcome, Linda!

HOW ROCK-N-ROLL MADE ME A WRITER
When I was 15, I wanted a guitar. Like most kids, I let my folks know when I decided that I wanted this expensive musical instrument. And I let them know the next day, and the next. I bought magazines. I studied the guitars. I picked one I wanted. And another. And another. I scoped out the classifieds in the local paper and pointed out the guitar ads.

This went on for months.

I wore my parents down.

One day I found an ad about a red Peavy Razor and a small practice amp, available together for a reasonable price. The seller lived not too far away. My dad actually took me to meet this seller. And I came home with a shiny guitar, a little amplifier, and big, big dreams.

A lot of kids want toys, gadgets, thing-a-ma-bobs, and a myriad of items that they think is cool and exciting in some manner, yet they never utilize that thingy as much as they could. (Speaking as a mother of four boys, I’ve seen it many times over.) Kids never change. And yet, there’s that thing that surprises you. Everyone has something that really brings out their determination. Their ‘I’m gonna do that if it kills me.’

That guitar had been the focus of my cycloptic vision for too long for me to hold it, get frustrated because I couldn’t immediately rock out and promptly forget about it. I’d been playing piano since I was 8. My piano teacher had ceased teaching me when I was 14 because she couldn’t teach me anymore. NOT because I had learned all she had to offer. NOT because I was a fantastic virtuoso pianist.

She said I didn’t play the music on the sheet anymore. I played the right notes all right. I played them in the right order. I just didn’t believe the time signature and note values were set in stone rules. I made whole notes into quarter notes, or vice versa. I improvised new melodies from existing songs. I played them the way I felt them.

So, without a book or a teacher, I made a chart. I plotted out the notes of every string, every fret. And from there, I took my piano sheet music and started playing songs by notes. This familiarized me with the instrument enough to build my confidence. Then a friend of a friend showed me bar-chords.

BAZINGA!

By the end of the week I could play damn near every AC/DC song ever. Rock-n-roll was mine!!

When I was 16 I was playing lead in a cover band. For a long time, I was the only guitarist, so all the weight was on my shoulders. By the time I was 17, we were the house band for a local bar. We played every Thursday night. It was wonderful! Scary! Kick-ass! Exhilarating!

The drummer from that band and I still play today, with other folks in the band. We are now known as HAGATHA’S BLUFF, but most folks call us THE HAGS because the three female members are all over 40.

Those lessons of determinedness, of the importance of honing your skill, those long days sitting alone in my room learning how to play a new song by ear, going over and over it, rewinding that cassette until it was ready to break, until my fingers were so sore…those days taught me how to proceed toward a goal by myself. They prepared me for the writing passion that was also blossoming inside me.

Thanks for the guitar, dad.

Thanks, Linda!

Now…as part of her tour, Linda is giving away ten copies of Shattered Circle. You can enter via Rafflecopter here:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also leave a comment to be entered for your choice of this week’s guest post/guest review books. Do you play a musical instrument? Have you ever played in a band? I tried to join a band when I was in high school, playing keyboards (I’d taken piano lessons for something like ten years), but my parents did not see this as a reasonable direction for me to take. So I hole up in my room and wrote. So…thanks, mom and dad! 

50 comments:

  1. thanks for the post, I'm so curious about this series, I have the first one to read in my TBR pile.

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    1. Hi Melliane-- thank you for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment.

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  2. I sing (badly I might add) but don't play an instrument. I did do backing vocals in a band once. The lead singer was even worse than me so nobody noticed my false notes :-p

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    1. Sullivan! So good to see you again! Singing is hard! The pros make it look so easy, but being in front of a crowd, without the radio to sing with when its all YOU is not so easy!

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  3. I have Vicious Circle, Hallowed Circle & Fatal Circle in the Persephone Alcmedi series. Shattered Circle would be a nice addition. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. Hello Roger Don't forget Arcane Circle and Wicked Circle! You'll be lost in the story-line without those!

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  4. GAH, I wish at least ONE of my kids would have stuck with the instrument they each HAD to have. But I think, from your story, that there is just a gene that allows you to "get it". So, okay, they didn't get the music thing (there were no music genes to work with, LOL). Maybe one of these days the "will work for food" gene will kick in...

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    1. Teri Anne-- LOL, yes I have boys and hope that the 'work' gene kicks in. One of the four has shown some serious musical talent. So even with a music gene in the mix, the odds aren't so favorable. :)

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  5. I love this serie!!!! And I can't wait to read the next one.

    Sadley I have no talent in music.....singning or playing an instrument. I tried sooooo hard in highschool but it was'nt for me (I guess I'm missing the music gene!!).

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    1. Marie-Claude--well you have the reader gene and that's wonderful! Thanks for reading my books. Hope you enjoy SHATTERED CIRCLE.

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  6. This is an awesome story - thanks for sharing, Linda!!! I love that your determination paid off like that, and I especially love the band name, lol!

    I played piano and the trumpet for years (everyone in the family plays two instruments), but once I got into college, I realized that while I enjoyed playing, the emphasis on getting everything correct was taking all the pleasure out of it for me, so I stopped.

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    1. Rebe--you know my son is gifted with a wonderful ear for music. He can play almost any movie score on the keyboard. He was doing this all with one finger. Just the melody line. I put him in lessons because I thought if he had lessons he'd blossom. Not so much. It took the joy out of it for him and he stopped altogether. So I took him out of lessons. Now he plays frequently, has evolved into two handed playing and music is a joy for him again. :) I say this: Play it your way!

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  7. Wow..thanks for your story. I wish I could play some kind of instrument. I only took a few classes in high school but the one instrument I enjoyed and was kind of good at, didn't last long :) It was the french horn but then I got braces and that went out the window..lol. I think your book sounds like a fantastic new read. Thanks for sharing and the chance to win a copy.
    Tanyaw1224(at)yahoo(dot)com

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    1. Tanya1224-- I love the sound of the French Horn! One of my favorites in the orchestra...but yeah...not with braces! Start at the beginning, with VICIOUS CIRCLE, if you give my series a try. You'll be lost if you don't read them in order! :)

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  8. I love it you're so multi-talented, Linda.

    I never really learned how to play the recorder in choir class - I was better at singing. My brother tried to teach me how to play guitar once but he's a lefty and I'm a righty. It never worked out.

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    1. Amber--lefty to righty, it would be difficult, maybe if you focused on being a mirror-image of him? Thanks for commenting!

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  9. I love this series!

    I used to be in my high school choir, so we had handbells that we would play. I tried playing the guitar once, but that hurt my fingers and my nails - and I had to give back the guitar I borrowed. I still want to learn how to play the piano though!

    Thanks,
    Leanne

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    1. Leanne--the handbells always make me think of that Christmas Carol of the Bells. I know there are way more songs for them though. I would encourage you to try the piano!

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  10. Great story, your band's nickname cracked me up. I used to play guitar but I plateaued at a certain point and lost interest. My brother carried on, he's still pretty good when he's not just screwing around.
    Thanks for the giveaway, Rock On!!!

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    1. Carl--if you got the chords down pat, you could still be a rhythm player. Good rhythm players are essential!!! Rock on,m yourself!

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    1. Sandy--aw! I bet there is something you ARE good at though. I cannot knit or crochet. Tried it several times. I stink at it! My friends all have made themselves these fabulous scarves...I make mine out of fleece. A quarter yard strip, cut slices into the ends, voila! :)

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  12. i've read the first book of the series and i liked it, have teh second on my to read pile as soon as i get the opportunity

    i can't play any instrument but even if i could i don't think i would have joined a band ^^ too shy i really prefer a book

    thank you a lot for this giveaway

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    1. Miki--oooh a LOT of people have told me the second, HALLOWED CIRCLE, is their favorite. FATAL CIRCLE, the 3rd is mine. The hardest part of being in a band for me is being in front of folks. Because they're looking at me, you know what I mean! /Nerves/ I still get nervous getting up in front of crowds to talk about the books too.

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  13. I was wondering what series to begin next and I guess this decides me. I can't wait to begin and hope (fingers crossed) that I win a copy of the latest one!

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    1. Katy--Yes please give my series a shot! And good luck!

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  14. I haven't had a chance to start this series yet, but I keep hearing such great things about it I really want to read it. No, I don't play an instrument and have never had the urge to play in a band. My younger sister does though, she plays percussion in a band with her husband.

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    1. Barbara--I am sooo glad people are saying good things about my series. Word of mouth recommendations are like gold!

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  15. I have enjoyed this series so far. Looking forward to the next book. I used to play flute in my high school band. Enjoyed your story of rock n roll very much.

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    1. Liz--YAY!! Thank you for stopping by and commenting, AND for having already read my books!

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  16. I can't play any instruments but I've always wanted to learn to play the guitar, piano and violin! Thanks for the intro to this new to me author!

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    1. Timitra--I've always wanted to play the violin or cello! Such warm tones!!!

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  17. I was in the school choir and we pretty much won every competition at state level, not bad huh?

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    1. jc--not bad at all!!! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  18. Linda, thank you so much for being here at Preternatura today! And thanks for stopping by and chatting with readers. All the best on your new release!

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    1. Suzanne-- Thank you SOOO much for hosting me today! It was my pleasure to chat with your readers. Rock on! --Linda

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  19. Used to play an instrument

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    1. bn100--thanks for stopping by the blog and leaving a comment. :)

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  20. I do have the first book in this series, looking forward to reading it. I never did play an instrument, though my twin sister and I received the back then popular for girls "blokfluit". A wooden thing with a horrible sound, we never liked. But my little nephew is a virtuoso on the saxophone, he is 11, and has been asked this Christmas to perform with the adults from the music school. He is awesome.
    But well, music school does not really give you the lessons you need for a "normal" job, so his parents don't know what to do, he is also extremely good technically.

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    1. Aurian--wow, that is really cool! I understand their concern, too. Orchestras aren't having the best of luck in these times. I wish the young virtuoso luck! And I wish there were still patrons of the arts so talented folk could expand their talents without the worry of getting by in this big bad world. :)

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  21. I always wished I were musically gifted but gave up after suffering thru several years of piano lessons.

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  22. I am a huge fan of the series and can't wait to read the new book! Thanks for the awesome giveaway!

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  23. I'm afraid my only musical ability is in the tips of my fingers (turning on the radio). Oh, yeah, I did play the kazoo with the kazoo band the year our football team went to the playoffs!

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  24. I tried to learn guitar but stop after 3 days and now I'm feel regret :( and no, I don't join any band

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  25. Wow great books. Never learn guitar, just piano a little and flute.

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  26. I used to play the clarinet in grade school. Also took piano for a while. But I had practice issues.

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  27. I never did learn to play an instrument but I wish my mom would have forced this issue when I was little. My husband plays the guitar and is self taught. I love listening to him and I love it when he can play from current artists. It's sexy :)

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  28. I am no good at playing music but I love listening to it. This sounds like a good book. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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  29. Enjoyed the post, thanks for sharing! As for instruments, I don't really play anything other than really simple guitar chords and the recorder when I was in school, so I admire those with musical talent!

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  30. I played the piano for YEARS. Too many years and tears, actually. I also took singing lessons. I have this kind of love/hate relationship with music!

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