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DSC_1324aGot a great guest today. All the way from sunny Dorset, I am very pleased to introduce you to Linda Parkinson-Hardman who is well, incredible. I am going to point you straight away to her website HERE so you can check her out after you have read this. There isn’t enough room here to say everything I would like to say. Linda, an extremely warm welcome here. Let’s begin with some easy questions while Hubby prepares a pot of tea. Lady Grey okay with you?

“Black Jacks” or “Fruit Salads”?

Gosh, what a decision could I have 50/50 please as I loved them both as a child. I’d also add in something like sherbet dips too 🙂

(Facing 50 is now salivating and recalling sherbert dips with fondness) Pixie and Dixie or Huckleberry Hound?

Definitely Pixie and Dixie, they were much the funnier of the two.

 M*A*S*H* or The A Team

The A Team when I was young and M*A*S*H as I got older and more politically aware.

The Rolling Stones or ELO?

Definitely ELO, but I can still do the odd bit of rocking along to the RS too.

I can do a great Mick Jagger impression. I’ll show you later. Can’t beat a bit of Mr Blue Sky though, can you? Please tell us one of your favourite short jokes?

Q: Why did the cow cross the road?

A: To go to the moo-vies

Hands up everyone who groaned at that joke. If you compiled a list of your favourite comedy shows what would be at the top of your list?

Porridge – and not just because I eat it for breakfast, Richard Bekinsale didn’t half look good.

So it wasn’t just me that used to lust after him then? What was the first record you ever purchased? (Mine was Snoopy versus the Red Baron!)

It was Donny Osmond’s Puppy Love.. I know sad isn’t it, actually I have his latest album too!

I can’t comment because I listen to him on Smooth Seventies Radio and still sing along to that song when I hear it. What one crazy thing would you like to do before you are too old to do it?

Run naked along a public beach in Dorset ….!

Could someone please thump Hubby on the back? He seems to be choking on his Garibaldi biscuit. Must have been the image you conjured up in his mind.! Let’s move swiftly onto some sensible answers now. What advice would you give to a writer just starting out?

Not to be phased by advice from other writers. We’ve all been there at the start, we’ve all wondered if we’re doing it right, we’ve all compared ourselves to the rich and famous and found ourselves wanting. However, we are all unique and will do the things we need to do the way we want to do them; there is no ‘right’ way, but there is ‘your’ way.

Why did you decide to write?

To provide an income for my social enterprise, the Hysterectomy Association. It seemed like a good idea at the time as you never find a book about hysterectomy on the bookstore shelves. I also started self publishing because publishers weren’t too keen on books about hysterectomy – there’s no market for it apparently! I like to think I’ve proved them wrong. Once I’d started self publishing and knew something about the process, it just seemed sensible to carry on doing that with my other books too.

Have you ever suffered from writer’s block and if so what did you do to combat it?

Nope, I just work through it. Although I am a past master at avoidance tactics; over the years though I’ve realised that this is just the universe’s way of letting me know that I still have some thinking to do.

Are you a person who is fixated on how many words you have typed or do you just write the story and then count the words?

Yes and yes – can I have both? The story matters because this is the meat of the work and sometimes it can only be told in a specific number of words; forcing myself to either increase or decrease them reduces the story to nothing. However, sometimes I love the idea of forcing myself to confirm and I sometimes take part in Friday Fictioneers, a challenge to tell a complete story in just 100 words, I’m inordinately pleased with myself when I meet the word count.

Do you find time to read? If so, what was the last book you read?

I always have several books on the go at once and at the moment I’ve got Thursdays in the Park by Hilary Boyd and The 100 Year Old Man who climbed out the window and disappeared by Jonas Jonasson next to my bed. I’m also reading several Indie author books for my Thursday Throng author interviews.

We’re a nosey bunch here so could you please tell us a little about yourself – something that doesn’t show up on your website. Surprise us!

I live in Dorset with my partner Steve and we run a small web design company. I’ve developed a six month professional development programme for companies to learn how to use social media to market their business. I started using the Internet back in the 1980’s and began using the web when it first appeared in the UK in 1993. I built my first website in 1995 and it’s still going strong as The Hysterectomy Association, with a couple of hundred thousand users every month.

Linda, many thanks for taking time out and appearing here today. I would like to wish you huge success with all your ventures particularly The Hysterectomy Association.

LIME_front_Web_SmLinda is the author of LinkedIn Made Easy: Business social networking simplified 3rd Edition. This has been brought right up to date for 2013 and is available from Amazon

The Kindle edition is available here

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