Linda Gerber

I feel like I've known Linda online for years, but I finally had the pleasure of meeting her in person last summer in Orlando. And what a lovely person. Fabulous author, too. I'm excited to have her here today, on a US Holiday no less.


YA author Linda Gerber recently returned to life in the Midwest after four years in Japan, where she served as the Regional Advisor for the Tokyo chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Her books - TRANCE, THE DEATH BY BIKINI MYSTERIES series, S.A.S.S. NOW AND ZEN, and S.A.S.S. THE FINNISH LINE - have been honored as ALA Popular Paperback, Junior Library Guild, Women’s Sports Foundation recommended read and Literacy Lab recommended read selections. Her next book, CELEBRITY is due out Spring 2012.

Currently, Linda lives and writes in Dublin, Ohio with her husband, her kids, and one very naughty puppy.


Just in time for summer reading: All three of the hit Death by Bikini Mysteries - Death by Bikini, Death by Latte, and Death by Denim - are now available in one fabulously priced volume!

Aphra Connolly was living a quiet, teenage life. But that was before devastatingly handsome Seth Mulo turned up at her family's island resort. And that was before a girl-the strings of her bikini top tight around her neck-was discovered dead on the beach. Without warning, Aphra is plunged into a vast conspiracy that takes her from Seattle to Paris to Italy. And, in the end, Aphra and Seth will be lucky to escape with their lives-and hearts-intact.


MAUREEN: What’s your favorite holiday?

LINDA: Christmas. I love the music, the decorations, the magic of Christmas, especially when there are little kids in the house to get excited about it.

MAUREEN: What’s your favorite movie of all time?

LINDA: There are so many great movies, I can’t choose just one! So let’s go with some of the most oft-quoted movies in my house. Those include Princess Bride, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, O Brother Where Art Thou, Singing in the Rain, Return to Me, Only You, Bandits, The Importance of Being Earnest, Much Ado about Nothing, and Nacho Libre. What can I say? We’re eclectic.

MAUREEN: I think I share the same sense of humor as your family. :) Where do you most like to read and how often?

LINDA: I don’t require a special place. As a busy mom, I take my reading time wherever and whenever I can find it. I never leave the house without a book tucked into my purse (even easier now that I caved and got a kindle.) For me, reading transports me to another place anyway, so I’m not picky about where I am when I enter that world. (Although, now that I think about it, I wouldn’t mind a lounge chair on a white sand beach with crystal blue water gently rolling in and a cabana boy on hand to provide Diet Cokes, fruit plates, and fish tacos…)

MAUREEN: I <3 your reader's fantasy... What’s the first book you remember reading?

LINDA: Well, obviously I read books before this one, but the first book I remember being completely, hopelessly, stay-up-all-night-with-a-flashlight-under-the-covers sucked into was Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. I was in elementary school and knew right then that I would be a reader for life.

MAUREEN: What really scares you?

LINDA: A blank page. (It also kind of thrills me with its possibilities…)

MAUREEN: Do you believe in ghosts?

LINDA: Yeah, if it can be Jesse from Meg Cabot’s Mediator series.

MAUREEN: Hiking boots or high heels?

LINDA: Flip-flops.

MAUREEN: :) What’s the best vacation you’ve ever been on?

LINDA: Wow. Another cop-out answer from me. It really is hard to choose one best vacation, so I’m going to go with the most recent one. I just returned from my daughter’s graduation trip and I’m still in the afterglow of it all. It was just the two of us in Greece and Italy, wandering off the beaten path, taking pictures, sampling the food, and meeting some truly fascinating people. Love, love, loved every minute.

MAUREEN: That sound fabulous. What turns you off like nothing else?

LINDA: Small mindedness and prejudice.

MAUREEN: What’s the most romantic thing anyone ever did for you?

LINDA: When we were starving students in college, my dear husband managed to find the money, time, and babysitter for our one-year-old, and surprised me with a trip to Denver to see Les Miserables on stage because he knew how much I loved the music. I was so excited when the actual play began, I started to cry as soon as the house lights went down and the orchestra struck those first notes: “ba-BA, dum-da-dum!” My DH has managed a lot of sweet surprises since then, but the thought, planning, and sacrifice that went into him making that dream come true when we were struggling students was such a sweet and romantic gift, it will always be one of my favorites.

MAUREEN: What’s the first thing you do when you finish writing a book?

LINDA: Read!!! The final weeks of finishing a manuscript are always very single-minded, head-down, power-through for me, so I miss being able to curl up and enjoy a book. I’m too focused on the WIP. So when I’m done, I reward myself with the luxury of doing nothing but reading for the pleasure of it for a day or so.

Then I face reality and clean the house.

MAUREEN: If you were given a chance to travel to the past where would you go and why?

LINDA: Right now I’m researching 17th century Scotland for a new project, so I’d really love to travel there. Of course, I’d want to take my 21st century hygiene with me...

MAUREEN: What do you like on your burger? (and do you take your burger veggie or beefy?)

LINDA: I’m not really much of a burger person, except for the occasional beefy splurge at a fantastic local joint called Graffiti Burger. I’m boring with toppings - just lettuce, tomato, cheese, and their sekrit Graffiti sauce. Best thing ever.

MAUREEN: My mouth is watering. What do you do to unwind and relax?

LINDA: This will be a big surprise: read.

MAUREEN: Do you believe in alien abductions?

LINDA: I don’t think so... although there have been times I could swear my children were abducted and replaced by alien beings.

MAUREEN: LOL. What was your favorite subject in school and why?
History (love the stories although I never was that good at memorizing dates and such), and English (Literature, yes! Grammar, no.)

MAUREEN: Do you remember your grade one teacher’s name?

LINDA: Yes. She was Mrs. Ammott and she had this... er... really interesting beehive hairdo. She used to get mad at me because I would whisper the answers to my friends during circle time and for some reason, she didn’t want me to do that.

MAUREEN: What dreams have been realized as a result of your writing?

LINDA: I didn’t realize it even was a dream until after I was published, but one of the biggest thrills for me as an author is to get notes from kids who say they were never big readers, but after they found my books, they are hooked. I’m a strong believer in the impact of books, so it thrills me to be a part of a person discovering the joy of reading. I also love hearing how readers have been inspired to take up writing themselves after reading my books.

MAUREEN: What would you say is your most interesting quirk?

LINDA: My kids say I have a song for every occasion. They thought this was normal until they realized their friends’ parents didn’t have a musical rebuttal to every argument. In my defense, sometimes lines from songs fit a situation really well. And I don’t sing at my kids all the time. Sometimes they get movie quotes.

MAUREEN: Which era would you least like to have lived in, fashion-wise and why?

LINDA: Already lived through it: the 70’s. To my horror, there exists photographic evidence of a certain purple polyester jumpsuit my mom dressed me in when I was a kid. Cruel and unusual. (The jumpsuit, not my mom...)

MAUREEN: Ha! My sisters and I had matching purple fringed fake-suede vests in the 70's. (Maybe late 60's. Dang. Dating myself.)


MAUREEN: If you could relive high school, would you?

LINDA: No way. Not unless I got to take everything I have learned since then with me. Even then, probably not. I didn’t hate my high school experience, but I was happy to be done with it. It doesn’t feel like it when you’re in the midst of cliques and proms and popularity (or the lack of it) and testing boundaries and exploring, etc, etc., etc., but there’s a big world outside of high school. I’d much rather relive parts of that world instead.


What are your summer plans? Tell us about it for a chance to win a signed copy of The Death by Bikini Mysteries for your beach (or poolside) reading pleasure!


  1. I don't know what yet but I have Unearthly, XVI, Swear, and Die For Me on the list of to be reads now list.


  2. I've got a huge TBR pile that keeps getting higher. Right now I'm reading Veronica Roth's Divergent and LOVING it.

  3. Welcome Linda! And no, no amount of money in the world could tempt me to relive my high school years, lol.

  4. Great interview! I can't say I have any big summer plans other then some lawn work, house work and maybe get some reading in. Your books sound great. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Sorry to be late to the party and welcome to GLIAS, Linda. Memorial Day here is always a "work on finishing projects" day. So I was painting a door and sanding cabinets for my office. No laptop time.

    But welcome and great interview. Summer plans...hmmm. Write, write, National conference, write, write, grand kids, write, write, and a trip to British Columbia.

    Congrats on your new release!

  6. Linda, welcome to GLIAS. Terrific answers. And I love your qualifier. Travel back to the past. Definitely, with antibiotic soap, undergarments, etc. etc ;)

    Okay, would I want to go back to high school. I'll pull a Linda. Yes, if I could take with me, all I know now ;)

    Thanks for being here!

  7. Hi Linda,

    Congrats on the release of THE DEATH BY BIKINI MYSTERIES. Must tell my niece (ravenous reader) about these!