Fun Fact Friday – Author Linda Carroll-Bradd

Life’s little moments – the ones that make you turn ruby red and you wish the earth would swallow you whole, aren’t always the disasters we see them as.  Sometimes those little gems are the ones that inspire a story.  Linda’s embarrassing moments certainly have.  Even if she isn’t using her embarrassing moments, Linda still takes a unique approach to get to know her characters.

Don’t forget to leave a comment at the end of this post for Linda to win a chance at a free copy of her book On With the Show.  You can also earn a chance to win by liking Linda on Facebook and leaving your email.

I want to thank Linda for sharing how she writes her characters. The post is all yours; take it away Linda!


casualWhen I create characters, I always try to imagine either their funniest incident or most embarrassing moment. From there, I imagine how he or she dealt with that event and then I have the kernel for that character. Often, the character’s reaction to the event proves to be the reason he or she makes a transformative change. I have had this fact confirmed by various writing craft books I read over the years. But I learned this truth the hard way.

I majored in Business Administration in college at a time (1970s) when the number of females enrolled in my degree program was only a small minority. Maybe I should take a step back and state that I was a shy and quiet child (middle between an older and younger sister). So quiet that some of my parents’ acquaintances were surprised when I appeared at a Little League game my dad coached or at the neighborhood swimming pool. See, they knew about my more outgoing sisters, just not me because I spent most of my time reading.

Fast forward to college and the requirement to give an oral presentation on a company of our choice—I think it was a financial analysis. I was the sole female student in the class. Of course, I chose the last possible day on the schedule. I remember my grip on the edges of the podium was so tight, my knuckles ached. My face flushed, my stomach knotted, my mouth dried, and I stumbled over the last few lines of the report. I remember looking up, seeing big black dots, and asking “Any questions?” And then I fainted dead away, taking down the podium on top of me.

To this day, I remember the embarrassment of lying on the classroom floor and having the instructor hover over me until a nurse arrived with a wheelchair. The humiliation of being wheeled through the campus and waiting in the Student Health Center until I was checked out and my boyfriend came to get me. Needless to say, I turned in my final paper under the instructor’s office door and skipped the last class session.  A decade later, I used this story when I was next required to speak in a public setting—my first meeting as president of a volunteer group. You know what they say about starting a speech with a joke. Now, I’m using the story as a fun fact.

I used that incident—at least, the embarrassment part—when I created the first meeting in ten years of characters who used to be a couple in high school. This is from On With The Show, released by The Wild Rose Press in November 2012.


I will be giving away a copy of this story to one chosen from those who leave a comment on this blog or who friend my Facebook page and leave an email address.





on with the showEvery Thanksgiving, Franzi Mueller returns to her hometown, Freedom Valley, to help with a musical show put on at the veteran’s hospital. After a decade of living in Houston, Franzi starts feeling nostalgic for the sense of community of her small Texas town. Too bad Mama has decided to play matchmaker and keeps pushing together Franzi and her ex-high school beau, Dietz Reinhardt. Local hardware store owner Dietz can see that her big city clothing designer job has worn Franzi down and he’s doing what he can to ease her load. Circumstances throw them together at every turn, and every glance and each touch ignites the old sparks. Can Franzi find what her creative spirit needs in Freedom Valley? Is time running out on this second chance for Dietz to win over her heart?


“Closing in five minutes.”

That deep voice she remembered so well. A quick glance told her not much had changed in the store’s decor. A little bit of everything and not much of anything. She forced a smile and strode to the wooden counter on the platform that stood half a foot higher than the floor. The man who’d spoken had his back to the door, a broad back that stretched the black t-shirt imprinted with Reinhardt’s Hardware, family owned since 1854. A fact the Reinhardt family was immensely proud of, but the crux of the reason she and Dietz had gone their separate ways. “Hello, Dietz.”

“Franziska Mueller…to what do I owe this pleasure?”

The smile on his lips didn’t reach his blue eyes. A fact she knew was totally her fault. “I just came in on the westbound train for my Thanksgiving visit and nobody was there to meet me. Erich Bruno happened by and he was driving me out to the ranch when he had to respond to a call.” Again, she sounded pathetic. Inside her coat pockets, both hands drew into fists. God, facing him one-on-one was harder than she’d thought it would be. “Can I use your phone?”

“Pay phone’s outside the door.”

Her body tightened. “What is with this town and pay phones?” She paced a couple steps and back. “Normally, I’d use my cell but the battery needs charging. I don’t have coins for a call.” Could she sound any more unprepared for life?

“So, you’re askin’ for a favor?” A black eyebrow arched over crystal blue eyes and he leaned an elbow on the counter. “Is that what I’m hearing?”


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25 thoughts on “Fun Fact Friday – Author Linda Carroll-Bradd

  1. Susan Macatee says:

    Funny story! I’m still scared to death of public speaking and remember having to do an oral book report in my Freshman high school English class. I was terrified and stumbled over my words, only to have the teacher try to lighten things up by poking fun at the book I’d chosen. I remember my classmates chastising the teacher and their looks of sympathy. But I never wanted to speak in public again.

  2. robenagrant says:

    Great interview. Your embarrasing moment caused me to remember two of my own. Ha ha. Oh dear, wiping away the tears. Your book, On With the Show, sounds great, I’ll add it to my TBR pile.

  3. mcdd says:

    Do you remember when I took that Speech class at DVC? The subject of my presentation was Euthanasia. Very nervous and unsure of myself, I began to express my views in support of it and started feeling a little more comfortable by getting key points across…until, the teacher held up his hand and asked me to stop.

    He told me, along with a full classroom, that he had just one question. He asked, “Are we talking about Youth in Asia?”

    Talk about embarrassement!

  4. mcdd says:

    Do you remember when I took that Speech class at DVC? The topic of my speech was Euthanasia. Nervous and with a churning in my gut, I began. I started to express my beliefs about it and thought I was conveying my message well, until my teacher held up his hand for me to stop.

    He said, with a full class in attendance, “I have just one question. Are we talking about Youth in Asia?”

    Talk about embarrassing!

  5. Robin says:

    I had the same thing happen in 10th grade history class giving an oral report. I didn’t consider my self out going in school. But I am the older sister.

    • Linda Carroll-Bradd says:

      Robin, Older sisters are expected to pave the way for the younger ones. I know my experience wasn’t too unusual but writing about an experience that many have shared helps make that essential connection with the reader. Thanks for commenting.

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