Thursday, March 5, 2009

Launch Week Continues with Mystery Author #4

You may have spotted this unique aquatic creature on kc dyer's blog. And after spotting her, you may have wondered -- "Why stripes? Why not polka dots?"

And to that I answer..."Why not?"

All the better to disguise my mystery guest of the day -- author, adventurer, mother and bee-fancier. (Uh -- not really a bee-fancier. I made that bit up to justify the mask...)

Let's expose her for real and find out a little more, okay?

Tada! It's Linda Gerber, author of a bunch of really amazing books for teens including Now and Zen, Death By Bikini and out this year...Death by Denim! She and her family have lived and explored all over the world -- Finland, Japan, Hawaii and many other places. DEATH BY DENIM will be Linda's fifth book for teens, and she will be giving a signed copy away to a lucky winner drawn from the comments on this blog post.

Darby Christopher: Welcome, Linda! I like reading about all your adventures, since I appreciate a good adventure myself. Let's go back to the beginning. My story, A WALK THROUGH A WINDOW, is all about how different people came to live in Canada. You have lived in a ton of different places. Where were you born?

Linda Gerber: I was born in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains in Provo, Utah.

DC: And after all that travelling, where do you live now?

LG: Dublin, Ohio... for now.

DC: I know you grew up in a big family. Do you remember any special stories about your family that you heard when you were a kid? Can you tell me one?

LG: Some of my favorite family stories center around my grandma. She was petite in size, but huge in personality. The stories center around how she didn't like being told what she could and couldn't do. For instance, since she was the top student in her high school class, she was awarded a beautiful pin from Tiffany's and, because she was a girl, a scholarship to secretarial school. She was insulted and turned it down (the scholarship, not the pin!) because she didn't want to be limited to being someone's secretary. She paid her own way to university instead, where she studied accounting.

She was adventurous: she was one of the first women in Salt Lake Valley to ride in an airplane (and got her picture in the paper for it - I am not kidding). After university, she moved to Los Angeles on her own and scandalized her hometown by marrying a divorcée - my grandpa.
When my dad was a baby and it was discovered he was blind, the doctors told her to saw the corners off of the furniture so that he wouldn't hurt himself and to enroll him in a blind vocational school so that he could learn a useful "skill." She wasn't having any of that. She made sure he had every opportunity to learn and experience anything he was interested in, such as piano - she taught him to play by ear - and trains - she took him to the train yard so he could feel all the working parts on a locomotive. As a result, he attended school with his sighted friends, was involved in social clubs and wrote for the school paper. He never let anyone tell him what he could or couldn't do, either. He's been a university professor for over 40 years, writes books and leads study abroad tours. I think a lot of the credit for his attitude goes to her.

DC: That's amazing! Your family all seem to be adventurers in one way or another. Speaking of adventure, can you ride a skateboard?

LG: Ha. Sadly, no. Just ask my kids, who tried to get me on a snowboard last time we were in Park City. Same concept, I'm told. I fail.

DC: I've -- uh -- never actually tried to snowboard, either. So I'll let you get away with that one. Besides writing books, do you have a secret skill or talent you’d like to share?

LG: Oh. Yikes. Well, I also like to paint and sculpt. Back when I had more time for this sort of thing, I used to make polymer clay jewelry and Father Christmas dolls - sculpting their faces, painting the features, making intricate outfits and toy bags. I sold them for quite a lot at some of the local craft boutiques, but it still wasn't worth the time that went into them. It was a labor of love, though. Kind of like writing.

DC: Hmmm. One of the things I love is red licorice. What’s your favourite treat?

LG: Good dark chocolate. European chocolate, preferably, since they know how to do it right!

DC: European chocolate, eh? I've seen a little bit of Europe through this -- ah-- special kind of window near my grandparent's house. So, if you had a chance to walk through a window into the past, where would you go?

LG: I might like to go back to my pre-highschool days and give myself a navigation guide for the next several years. And a few hints about the tech market... : )

DC: Wow that sounds like a practical idea! I wish I'd been able to control where I was going, too. If you did go back, is there anyone special you’d like to meet?

LG: I would love to have known my grandma when she was young.

DC: I would have liked to meet her too. She sounds really cool. So, what are you working on now, Linda? Can you tell me a bit about your latest project?

LG: My next release is DEATH BY DENIM, which hits the shelves in May. The continuing saga of Aphra and Seth goes international!

DC: I love Aphra and Seth! I read all about them in DEATH BY BIKINI and DEATH BY LATTE. Where can I learn more about you or your books on-line?

LG: Stop by my website: or, for giveaway contests and the latest updates, come hang out at the blog:

DC: I'll do that. Thanks, Linda!

Don't forget if you'd like to win an ADVANCED copy of DEATH BY DENIM (It's not even due out until MAY!!), then leave a comment below and you could be a winner. One entry per blog post, please -- but you can enter as many of the different draws this month as you'd like.

What are you waiting for? We'll have a new mystery author tomorrow for you to enjoy, but for today I'd like to thank Linda Gerber for being my guest on Darby Speaks. Thanks again, Linda!


UPDATE: We have a winner! Check here: to see if it is you!


  1. Ooh, great interview with Linda. She seems to have led quite the adventurous life. I look forward to hopefully reading her series!

    stephxsu at gmail dot com

  2. Linda is awesome. I still have a copy of Death by Latte in my room but never had the chance to get to it.

  3. I would love to win this book!

  4. I wanna read Death by Denim!!! I loved the other 2 books in this series :)
    bunnybx at gmail . com

  5. What a great story about your dad! I'm sure that led to your own sense of exploring the world. Best wishes for much success with the new book.

  6. Linda is awesome, and it sounds like she comes from some awesome people. Love the stuff with her grandmother, thats my kind of lady.

  7. Linda rocks! I would love to win Death by Denim!

  8. Great interview. I love the stories about Linda's grandma and all the adventures.

    Cheryl S.

  9. great interview and WOW for your grandmother and your dad!

  10. The stories about your grandmother are awesome!