(Posted March 3, 2021)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve had stories in my head,” said Linda Hoover whose newest book, “Heart’s Desire,” came out in late December.
Hoover, who retired in October from South Charleston’s Houston branch of the Clark County Public Library, will hold a book signing from 2 to 4 p.m. March 13 at Village Chic, 17 S. Chillicothe St., South Charleston.
Hoover started putting pen to paper as a third-grader. From then through her teen years, she wrote fan fiction–riffing on stage plays like “Oliver!,” fashioning stories about real-life pop stars, and even writing herself into a story inspired by a television show about a wagon train.
Her writing continued to evolve as she entered into and moved through adulthood.
“I’ve always been a voracious reader, and I would get upset with how books ended. So, I’d spend hours rewriting the endings. Then, I got to thinking, why not write my own book?” Hoover said.
She got serious about the pursuit after the South Charleston Spectator published several of her columns and one of her stories as a 10-week serial. That story, “Mountain Prophecy,” would become her first book, published in 2016. She went on to release “Lighter Than Air” in 2018 before turning to “Heart’s Desire,” the first version of which she wrote many, many years ago.
“I did a big revision because I had learned a lot about writing since I first wrote it,” said Hoover, who had honed her skills through a course with the Institute for Children’s Literature and participation in Columbus Ohio Fiction Writers, a chapter of Romance Writers of America. She also is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers.
Hoover bills herself as a writer of historical Christian fiction for adults and young adults. All three of her books are set more than 100 years back in time, and all three contain elements of faith. From those commonalities, they diverge vastly when it comes to settings and storylines.
In “Mountain Prophecy,” set in 1918 in Appalachia, two young women disappear into an abandoned mine. The mountain families, who stand by local folklore, think the culprits are trolls looking for brides. Twin teenagers Dusty and Darla go about solving the mystery.
“Lighter Than Air” take place near Brighton, England, in 1900. The main characters, Justin and Elena, each must accomplish a task or their lives will never be the same. Unfortunately, they’re working against each other.
In “Heart’s Desire,” Hoover takes the reader to Boston in 1880, where Julia’s father has betrothed her to a wealthy man to cover up a secret. Julia has no interest in the man because her sights are set on Jacob, a middleclass jewelry store clerk.
“I am happy to have ‘Heart’s Desire’ out because I think the characters are so much fun,” Hoover said, adding that she enjoyed writing about the ways people socialized in the 1800s, from balls and dinners to ice skating and sleighing, as well as about the serious issue of class.
“Heart’s Desire” is the first in a series. Hoover is at work now on the second book.
“The series starts with romance then turns into a family saga. There will be more romance in each book with more of the characters introduced in the first book,” she said.
As of now, she is planning for the series to be a trilogy.
“We’ll see if I can get it all done in three…there’s a lot of story to tell,” she said.
All three of Hoover’s books are available for purchase on Amazon in print and Kindle formats.