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Featured Author: Linda Ulleseit

September 21, 2014


Linda Ulleseit was born and raised in Saratoga, California, and has taught elementary school in San Jose since 1996. She enjoys cooking, cross-stitching, reading, and spending time with her family. Her favorite subject is writing, and her students get a lot of practice scribbling stories, essays, and reports. Someday Linda hopes to see books written by former students alongside hers in bookstores.



On a Wing and a Dare (Flying Horse Books, book 1)

Flying horses…it’s what comes after the wizards, after the vampires, after the Games. In Tremeirchson, a barn leader’s children are expected to follow their parents into the sky, becoming riders of the magnificent winged horses that are the medieval Welsh village’s legacy. Neither Emma nor Davyd, however, want to follow that tradition. Sixteen-year-old Emma risks losing her family by following her heart. Eager to take her place in the air, she longs to ride a forbidden winged colt born in barn of her father’s biggest rival. She also dreams of the rival’s sons, not sure which she truly loves. Bold and exciting, Evan will someday lead his father’s barn. Davyd is quieter, more dependable, with an ability to get things done. Her father disapproves of both boys and pushes her toward an ambitious newcomer. He also insists she ride the colt he’s picked for her. Davyd, also sixteen, is plagued with a secret—he is afraid of heights. Refusing to become a rider means public humiliation, his parents’ disappointment, and lifelong ridicule from his brother, Evan. He reluctantly prepares to join his family aloft in the Aerial Games that provide the entire village with its livelihood and tries desperately to think of an alternative. As Tremeirchson’s barns prepare for the Rider Ceremony, winged horses suddenly start dying. Shocked, the adults hesitate, mired in tradition and politics. Is it a disease or poison? Accidental or purposeful? Someone must discover the answer and act before all the winged horses in the world are gone forever.

Find it on Amazon!

In the Winds of Danger (Flying Horse Books, book 2)

Nineteen year old Nia is shocked when she is secretly offered the leadership of Third Barn. This new barn full of flying horses will need someone confident, experienced, and innovative, so why are both warring factions pursuing an untried girl? Suspicious that both sides want a puppet instead of a leader, Nia races to discover their secrets before making the biggest decision of her life. Some of those secrets are unknowingly buried in the disconnected memories of a young groom named Owain. Terror and guilt haunt Owain’s dreams – and then a face from his nightmare arrives in High Meadow. Owain looks for answers in his past and uncovers a dangerous plot that could doom High Meadow’s future. How can he foil the plot and save his people as well as the winged horses?

Find it on Amazon!


Why did you choose to self-publish?

Initially I signed with a small independent publisher in New Hampshire. I was with them for a year. My idea was that they would handle the publishing and some of the marketing and make my book available to bookstores through a major distributor like Ingram. I knew I would need to market the book as well. So the book was released and I went to work marketing it. When I got my first royalty check, I was given no information at all about how or where my books were selling. I had no way of knowing if a particular appearance, blog tour, or promo worked, so how could I plan future efforts? I did a book signing at my local Barnes and Noble bookstore. They bought 30 copies of my book through Ingram, which I signed and sold. I never received a dime from my publisher. When I inquired, I was told by the time the bookstore, the distributor, and the publisher took their cut there was nothing left for me. That was completely unacceptable. We parted amicably.

I had published a couple of anthologies of my students’ work through Createspace, so I re-released ON A WING AND A DARE through them. Four more books followed. I like being self-published because I have control over book promotion pricing and visibility to every sale. I still get excited when I sell a book in some random place like Denmark! I also enjoy the higher profit since I don’t have to share with anyone.

Which authors or books influenced your writing the most?

Two of my all-time favorite authors are Anne McCaffrey and Diana Gabaldon. My flying horses were partly inspired by McCaffrey’s Dragonrider series. A reader once told me my book reminded her of McCaffrey—high praise indeed! A tribute to McCaffrey is a reference in ON A WING AND A DARE to a character with a love of bubbly pies. Diana Gabaldon meticulously researches her historical tomes, which I kept in mind as I researched mine. They are also cross-genre, which I love. They can be science fiction, romance, or historical fiction.  I call my flying horse books historical fantasy. They were intended to be Young Adult, but I have a solid core of adult readers, too.

As far as books go, I read a lot of historical fiction, fantasy, and young adult. It makes sense that those genres would show up in my own books since those are what I know best!

What are your current projects / What are you working on next?

I very much enjoyed the writing of UNDER THE ALMOND TREES, which came out in May. It took the lives of three of my female ancestors and turned them into a novel. The family stories were interesting to explore with relatives and formed the backbone of the novel. I just didn’t have enough information to write a biography, so I filled in the blanks with fiction.

Now, with SPIRIT OF ALOHA, I am doing the same sort of thing with my husband’s grandmother. She was born and raised in Hawaii when it was a territory of the United States. Her mother died when she was a baby. Her father left her with a Hawaiian family and moved to the mainland when she was in elementary school. She married at sixteen and had three children by twenty. Then her husband left her. Through all of this, she always embodied the very Hawaiian aloha spirit. By writing her story I hope to discover exactly how she did it and pay her tribute at the same time.

Anything else you would like to mention?

I know that genres rise and fall in popularity. Historical fiction very rarely seems to be one of the top sellers. In Young Adult, wizards and werewolves have been replaced with paranormal and dystopian. As a teacher, I know there are plenty of young people out there who read other types of books besides what is trending. I feel completely vindicated when I sell the first flying horse book to a young person at an event, then they contact me almost immediately to say they had to go buy all the others immediately!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. September 21, 2014 8:27 AM

    Thanks for being a stop on my blog hop!



  1. Back to School Blog Hop | Books, Books, Books,

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