Interview – Linda Rondeau, author of “The Other Side of Darkness”

Welcome Linda. Is there a story behind this book?
On June 21, 2000 I felt a definite call from the Lord to start writing professionally. I had no idea where the journey would take, so I sat down and wrote a poem of dedication to the Lord’s call, The Song of Peace. The poem has a line, “there is light on the other side of darkness.” Many times, I thought about giving up. Whenever hit by looming doubt, I revisited God’s call and that poem. I kept moving forward, studying my craft and networking, occasionally publishing an article or story and obtaining an agent. On June 21, 2011 I received a call from my agent that Harbourlights wanted to offer me a contract and I accepted. Unaware of my poem, the editor changed the title from the working draft, Dawn’s Hope, to The Other Side of Darkness. I am humbled in all things to realize that God knew what the title of my first published book would be even before I fashioned the idea. This debut novel is my ninth. 

We certainly serve a wonderful God, who happens to have a sense of humor. Share a verse or Scripture passage with us that is special to you (and why it’s special). 
John 10:10b(NIV), “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” This verse comforts me in times of turmoil to remember that nothing can happen to me here without God’s permission. If He permits it, it is for His glory and/or my ultimate benefit.

What a wonderful verse. Are there spiritual themes you like to write about?
I worked for nearly thirty years in human services as a social worker, caseworker, and counselor. My writing deals mainly with relationships and how our early years influence our later ones. Always, God uses the cracks and disappointments of our lives to fashion something beautiful.

This is so true? Why did you choose a moose for Samantha Knowles to hit?
The moose began as a plot device. I needed her to hit something larger than a deer that would total her car. I saw pictures of a moose accident and the whole scene took shape. Before the story was completed, I had a near run in with one. A writer friend thought the incident prophetic.

Scary, I certainly wouldn’t want to be confronted with a moose in the road. What would you say was the major theme of The Other Side of Darkness?
The story is about forgiveness…not just for the wrong done to us by others but forgiving ourselves. Sadie Golden talks about a backpack of guilt we strap on ourselves, guilt that God has already forgiven us for and buried in the sea of His forgetfulness. Secondarily, the book is about finding good from the pain of our lives.

Beauty for ashes, and the oil of joy for mourning, as Isaiah says. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
What can I say? My life is in a whirlwind at the moment. Several months ago, I packed up what I could fit in my little Ford Focus and headed to Jacksonville, Fl. I didn’t know for how long. But, we sold our house in Malone and bought a house here. Now all that’s missing is my husband who can’t retire until June. It has been a growth experience for sure. I’ve been challenged in ways I never thought possible. Everything has become new…and God threw a book contract into the mix.

That certainly does sound like a whirlwind. You are the founder of Pentalk. Can you tell us what inspired you to start this particular group?
When talking to a writer friend at a local writer conference, I was hit with the concept of a mixed group. There are so many groups that are geared to a particular aspect of writing, such as marketing or craft development, genre, or religious or general market. Some groups deal more with critique or information. I wanted to develop a group where writers could support one another as well as learn about the craft, a place not only to “brag” or post their accomplishments, but a place to ask questions and receive guidance from writers who have traveled a little farther on the road. I thought of Walmart…a store that is a one-stop shopping place. I wanted to develop a writer group with that in mind. A place where writers can have it all. 

What advice would you give to a new author?
The best piece of advice I can give to a new author is . .

Be patient. Give yourself time to develop your voice and style. Too often new writers are in a hurry to get published. It’s like eating green bananas. Give yourself some time in the sun before you rush to get an agent or self-publish.

Wonderful words of wisdom. How do your faith and spiritual life play into the picture and affect your storytelling?
A friend, who does not profess Christianity, told me that who you are will subconsciously roar through what you write. I need to guard against making writing an idol, yet, at the same time, I worship when I write. I ask God to show me where He wants my stories to go. Sometimes, that direction is vastly different than my initial conception.

Thank you for joining us today, Linda, and giving us a small glimpse into your life.

You can find out more about Linda at her website: and if you’re interested in Pentalk, you can find it here:

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