Saturday, August 1, 2009

Meet Linda Asato

Linda grew up in the Canadian woods on her father’s lumber camp. She and her younger sister shared a bedroom in a 3-bedroom house that her father and his men built on the edge of a small river within sight of the saw mill and planer mill. Her family life was one of security, encouragement, and love, which helped to foster her talents of writing and playing the piano. Not having access to TV or other entertainment sources, Linda found herself interested in life itself, and when she wasn’t taking long walks in the woods with her two dogs, she became interested in oil painting landscapes, taking photos with her camera, fishing, playing the recorder as well as the accordion and piano. Helping her mother with the huge garden in the summer and harvesting the crops in the fall nurtured her love of plants and gardening, which later became her area of study at the university in Edmonton, Alberta.

She began writing poetry at the age of nine and shared her poems daily with her Grade 3 teacher who supplied her with fancy notepaper on which to write them.

Later, she took to writing short stories, and her teacher at that time mentioned to her parents that she had a unique way of viewing things from the other person’s perspective.

During her 3 years of attending University, she wrote numerous poems, two of which appeared in two separate anthologies of poetry. During the last year, she married Brian Smith and completed her Bachelor of Science. Moving to Thompson, Manitoba, the couple had two kids, a boy and a girl that kept Linda busy raising a family for the next few years. She was divorced years later and raised her two kids mainly on her own while running her own Janitorial business to keep the family financially afloat.

As her own kids grew up and left home, Linda worked for many years both as a teacher and also as an executive at a boarding ranch school where kids lived and worked together as well as studied. It was here that she wrote many courses including workbooks for the education of the students.

Years later, she moved to Florida where she endeavored to continue her writing and even editing for others. As a ghost writer, she wrote a book on mortgage traps as well as a book on improving one’s credit score, plus many other shorter reports. She has edited for others over the past 4 years.

Her first picture book for children, “Spider in Our Mailbox,” is now published by 4RV Publishing and illustrated brilliantly by Ryan Shaw.

I asked Linda some questions about her writing.

Q: You were raised in the forest in a lumber camp in a very caring and religious family. How did this affect your writing?

A: When I was young, I became very close to nature, animals, plants, trees and the outdoors. Many of my poems reflect this. I also have a deep spiritual side of me that is actually not like the usual one you would see in someone brought up going to church at least twice a week. Many times this comes out in my writing, although very subtly.

Q: How has your educational background affect the subject matter of your writing?

A: I had a very good education and great teachers. The most important thing I learned in school and also from my father was to question everything and to investigate. Therefore I love to do research and this helps me to write about subjects that I initially have no inkling about.

Q: What hobbies, interests, or activities do you participate in during your leisure time?

A: I garden and spend time outdoors with my two cats and the two dogs that I am taking care of at the moment. I often take my camera with me and take pictures of the environment around me. Then, of course, I teach piano so I enjoy playing my electric keyboard and composing music as well.

Q: What keeps you writing?

A: I get these awesome ideas for a book or an essay and I just can’t keep from writing it down. I also get such a thrill when I write something I am inspired to write that I want to experience it over and over again.

Get in touch with Linda:

Website: Linda’s Writing Web

Blog: Linda’s Writing Desk

Publisher: RV Publishing LLC

Illustrator: Ryan Shaw


  1. I have actually met Linda in person, twice. We have been friends for about six or seven years, even though I'm in Oklahoma and she's in Florida.

    It's always good to learn more about our friends. Thanks, Nancy.

  2. I love Linda's book "Spider in the Mailbox." Good luck.

  3. Fascinating interview. I've enjoyed learning more about Linda.

    Children’s Author
    Write What Inspires You Blog
    Donna M. McDine’s Website

  4. Thanks, Nancy, for a great post. Linda, you've had so many accomplishments. I know how difficult it is to raise two children on your own. Your book looks wonderful.


  5. This is a fascinating post, Nancy. Linda - you've obviously had a very varied life and it's nice to meet a fellow teacher and children's writer. I went to your website and your book looks like a lot of fun and the pictures are great! Are you working on another picture book? Do you plan to have a book of your poems published at some stage?


  6. Thank you for hosting me. I enjoyed the comments others made. Good post.

  7. Thanks for visiting. I very much enjoyed hosting Linda. She's had a very interesting life!

  8. Linda, good luck with your book!

  9. Nice review and interview, Nancy.

    I like spiders, Linda.

    Thanks for sharing, ladies.