Have you ever experienced the whispers of the unknown? Have chills raced through you when you knew something would happen before it occurred? Experiences like these and so much more are part of the mind-tingling exposure Linda Stirling shares with us in Confessions of a Sunday School Psychic. She explores the challenges she faced as a child who knew she was psychic; how the religious beliefs of others affected her; and how she ultimately came to believe it’s the God-energy connection that allows psychics to see what they see. Travel with her as she sees the spiritual world unfold in a multitude of ways, some of them frightening and some of them heart-touching . . . all of them unforgettable.
Confessions of a Sunday School Psychic by Linda Stirling is the most amazing book that I have read in a long time. It not only chronicles the journey of a psychic, it also explains the issues that she faced in coming to terms with her gift due to her religious background. This book is packed with inspiration, wisdom, and information that are beneficial to us all. The words of love and wisdom in this book would be an inspiration to anyone who reads it. I enjoyed the wealth of information and life examples that Ms. Stirling gave about spiritualism. I, myself, grew up in a religious upbringing but always questioned the strict beliefs about ghosts, psychic abilities, past lives, spirit guides, angels, and God in general. In reading this book I found myself smiling and nodding my head in agreement with much of what Ms. Stirling wrote. However, she gave me insight into some areas that I had not considered before. This book will make you think and delve deeper into your beliefs. I recommend this book to anyone who yearns for enlightenment.
She has authored eight books, seven of which were published by another publisher, and the latest was published through her own publishing house imprint, Circle of Light Books. The eBook version of her #1 Amazon Kindle bestselling book Confessions of a Sunday School Psychic had an Amazon ranking exceeding the rankings of recent releases from Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, Sylvia Browne and other visionaries. Upcoming books by Ms. Stirling include Psychics and God; The Vibration of You; and Circle of the Forgiven.
Linda Stirling has worked with hundreds of writers, helping many achieve their dreams. Using strategies she’s refined, she recently took one writer’s humor book to #9 overall bestseller rank on Amazon Kindle within forty- eight hours of publishing, allowing his book to rank above Bill Cosby’s latest release—and above a million-plus other Kindle books. Using strategies she teaches, she took her own self-published book, Confessions of a Sunday School Psychic, to #1 in two Amazon categories. She has taught creative writing since 1988 and has been a writer and editor for thirty-five years. She knows writing and publishing inside out, as she co-owned a publishing company and was Executive Editor for another publishing house. With the changes in both publishing and marketing that have taken places in recent years, Linda believes she is in a unique position with her combined experiences as a marketing expert, teacher, writer and publisher to position writers for their best opportunities for success.
“Linda Stirling is a guest who’s easy to work with and delivers far more than expected.” Nancy Battye, producer of the Nancy Battye Mentor Series and Attitude of Gratitude Series.
As a speaker, Linda has been a guest on numerous radio programs, both within the United States and internationally, addressing topics ranging from forgiveness, to intuition, to how to get published, and more. She’s been included on programs with other speakers such as Ariel Ford, Jeneth Blackert, Hans Christian King, Colin Tipping, Dr. Alex Ford, Marie Diamond, Harrison Klein, and more.
Group speaking engagements include many events where she was the featured speaker, including Women of Visionary Influence, Willamette Writers, Extraordinary Young People, Nike, etc.
2013 engagements include participation in an upcoming documentary film Journey to Infinite Freedom.
Before we begin the interview, Linda, can you tell us a little about yourself and your novel?(you may want to say “book” instead of “novel” and eliminate my first sentence)
The book is nonfiction, so it doesn’t fit the category of novel. Although Confessions of a Sunday School Psychic reads in places as if it was a paranormal work of fiction, the book is based on my experiences and how they have affected my life and the lives of others. I’ve always had psychic experiences, but they increased big time when I came close to death several years ago. I’d been in a car wreck and over the period of a few years my health got worse and worse, to the point where I couldn’t walk without the support of a cane and, eventually, a walker. When my pain reached a point where my doctor wanted to put me on drip morphine, my spirit rebelled and I went into a multi-day meditation to try to find a way out of what I was experiencing. Coming out of the meditation, I connected with my Higher Power in a way that, among other things, powered up my psychic ability beyond what I’d ever experienced. As if that wasn’t enough, my physical challenges were no longer present. There’s more to that, but as they say, “read the book” for more.
Confessions of a Sunday School Psychic is the first of my eight books that I’ve self-published. I’ve had my own publishing company and was executive editor for another house, but the changes since that time are enormous and much more open–and lucrative–for those who self publish. Publishing has entered what I call “new paradigm” publishing. I’ll not elaborate, however self-publishing just seemed the best route for me to start with an eBook format and then go into print. The eBook is currently available and the paperback launch is scheduled for July 1, 2013. Technically, the book is published by Circle of Light Books, which is a new publishing house I’m launching soon. That’s where what I call “new paradigm” publishing comes in, a form of publishing where both author and publisher benefit instead of the author getting a tiny percentage of the income.
I’ve been published since the 70s in various publications and have written everything from radio commercials to books. In addition to running publishing houses, I’ve taught creative writing for thirty-some years, and work as a book editor. As you can see, I’m a bit obsessed with anything related to books and writing. I read three or four books a week, so I love to hear about new books that are wonderfully plotted and well-written. A pet peeve is finding self-published books that are so poorly edited I have to put them down. Writers put so much heart and soul into their work, I want them to succeed! We all have to do our best when we’re competing with a million-plus new books on the market each year. Marketing is a huge part, of course. That’s why I’m so appreciative of forums such as this one who help writers connect with readers.
Now on to the interview.
- When did you start writing? My first memory of any importance around my writing was during my freshman year in high school. Too shy to ask anyone else to participate with me in a mandatory open-to-the-public talent show, I resorted to reading a piece I had written. When I saw people in the audience wiping tears from their eyes, I realized the power of words and specifically how I could affect them with my writing. I just wish I’d saved that piece!
- What/who inspired you to write? This will date me, however I started reading The Boxcar Children books in the early sixties. Back then, first-graders sat in a circle and had to take turns reading aloud the “Dick and Jane” books, where each trite sentence sat there in painfully boring plainness before me while the other children struggled to read aloud. Somehow my teacher knew I could read on my own, so she took me by the hand one recess and took me to see what was to become my greatest treasure that year: a small bookshelf with about forty books. The Boxcar Children books became my escape, a chance to look at different settings and experiences that transported me from my small world. I knew someday I wanted to be able to engage others in the way those books engaged me.
- Who has been the most supportive? I didn’t have support until I already had published books. Since that time, my children would have to be my biggest supporters, though I have many others who encourage me. Oddly enough, I think those who were least supportive have contributed most to my successes. There’s an obstinate part of me that takes over when someone tells me I can’t do something, you see. Back in about 1982 I was working for a newspaper and I said something about my ambitions to my boss. She laughed out loud and started to give me a list of reasons why she felt I couldn’t succeed. In my head, all I was hearing was “I can, I can, I can.” Why I share this with you is because I think writers have to have that stubborn insistence that they will succeed. If they can be talked out of writing, shamed out of their choice, or manipulated in any way, then they shouldn’t write.
- What writers inspired you and what about their work do you most like? They aren’t the writers who would traditionally come up, instead they are writers who are not well-known, yet I admired them for their persistence and how they cared about the success of other writers as much as their own. M.K. Wren was one of them, and she wrote a series of cat-as-character mystery books. Her books are hard to find now, so I’m grateful I have them–not because of the writing, but because of what she instilled in me through her kindness. Another writer I respected early on is Steve Perry (the Portland, OR author). He never takes himself too seriously. He’d sit around talking to writers and when challenged about his Conan the Barbarian books (he was a contributor to some of the books written after the death of the original writer), he’d say, “Yes, I call this one Conan the Hot Tub” and that one is “Conan the New Roof.” What that taught me was writing could be looked at as a way of earning a living, that writing could be a business as well as a craft. I don’t think I can talk about writing inspiration without mentioning the editors (who also have books) who inspired me. My finest teachers of craft were Gerald Gross (Editors on Editing: What Writers Need to Know About What Editors Do) and Renni Browne (Self-Editing for Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself Into Print).
- What is your favorite piece of writing by them? The writers I listed inspired me more because of their character and their knowledge than what they wrote. What inspires me now is anything I read (and I read 3-4 books a week) that has a fresh turn of phrase or a clever way of presenting information that’s outside the tried and true. I’m blessed to feel inspired regularly by many writers.
- Have you collaborated or plan to collaborate in the future? I’d never say I won’t collaborate, however I don’t have any projects in mind.
What future projects do you have in store? I’m excited about the next book that expands upon the psychic theme: Psychics and God. It’s a project designed to blow away old notions that psychics are evil. In it, I’m reviewing other psychics and they discuss a number of topics around how they get their insights. Other books include: The Vibration of You (a book about how you can change how you affect others and how you empower yourself); Circle of the Forgiven (a memoir);and Starting Over Strategies: Own Your Life Through Entrepreneurship. I’m also intermittently trying to rework a suspense novel (my only fiction work) that I started years ago.
- Are you currently working on a project? All of the above! I perpetually have books in the works.
- What is your favorite poem from your own work and why? There’s no poetry in my work, though I will share with you my own slogan: In all you do, BE the blessing.
For the lighter questions
- Do have any writing quirks? I had to toss any aside when I worked in newspaper. If you can’t work in the midst of chaos, you can’t function there. Come to think of it, I do like to write at Starbucks, so maybe I’m inadvertently recreating that pulse of the newsroom.
- Do you snack while you write? The opposite. Sometimes I forget to eat.
- Do have a special place that you prefer to write? Anywhere there’s a keyboard or a pen and paper.
- Do have certain amount of time that you have set aside to write each day? It depends on the week and the teaching and editing work I have scheduled. An average might be about twenty hours a week.
- Do you listen to music when you write? If so what type of music (genre and/or songs)? Only if someone else puts something on!
- Anything other interesting information that you would like to add.
Writing is the best of all worlds for me. I go through the process of creating and then I get to share what I’ve written with others. When I get letters from readers saying how I affected them in one way or another, that is an amazing gift that causes my heart to sing in gratitude. Of course not everyone agrees with me, and that’s fine, as letters of that type just show me that I need to provide more evidence or write a bit differently. Either way, good or bad, I kick into gear. Like I tell the writers I work with, “You’re a creator. Go out and create.”
Goodreads: Linda Stirling