linda collison's Sea of Words

charting a course from imagination to publication

Audiobook Now Available

Looking for Redfeather

Looking for Redfeather, a coming-of-age-on-the-road novel (and tongue-in-cheek homage to Jack Kerouace) is now out as an audiobook, read by actor Aaron Landon! Great listening for your next road trip!


spotlightspring.fwLooking for Redfeather (Fiction House, Ltd.) has been named the Spring recipient of Literary Fiction Book Review’s Spotlight Award. A full review and author interview will follow.

Literary fiction has always been my favorite form of literature. I love the imagery well-crafted words create; I read to find human experience revealed in a character’s thoughts, emotions, and observations. For me, a good novel isn’t so much about what happens — it’s about who it happens to, and how it changes them, or how it changes those around them. Literary fiction is also about setting and the power it has to shape our lives. When I read a good novel I feel connected not only with the characters but with the author. I hope to connect with others through my stories.

If you ever wanted to run away from home, I think we might connect through Redfeather. There are no zombies, no shoot-outs, no bodies in the trunk (only stolen wine and a little weed. Oh, and LaRoux and Ramie’s guitars.) But there is action, adventure, heartbreak, love, and friendship. Although it’s about teens, I believe mature readers will best appreciate its subtleties.

I recently adapted Looking for Redfeather for the stage and I put together a sound track on Spotify. The one song that isn’t available commercially is Outlaw Trail, written by Matt Campbell (my youngest son) and performed by Red Whiskey Blue. To hear this song, check out our book trailer on YouTube.

Looking for Redfeather is also available as an Audible audiobook, read by actor/singer Aaron Landon (plays Pesto on Disney’s hit series Crash and Bernstein.)

The novel was a Foreword Reviews finalist for Indie Book of the Year 2013.

Looking for Redfeather BOYA 10003076_10203553731672707_1146057099_n


Looking For Redfeather; A Contemporary Novel About Three Runaway Teens in the American West. It’s not Jack Kerouac’s road trip!

What is the purpose of a book cover?  What does each of these say to the potential reader? Which do you like, and why?

A special thanks to Seymour Hamilton, author of the Astreya Trilogy, Margaret Muir, author of many books including The Black Thread, Uncanny, and Under Admiralty Orders; the Oliver Quintrell Series, and V.E. Ulett, author of Blackwell’s Adventures.  I am greatly appreciative to them for their comments and suggestions on cover design.  Thanks to my husband Bob Russell, and to graphic designer Albert Roberts.  I get by with a little help from my friends!

Water Ghosts


Albert Roberts’ original design is my favorite. But does it lead the reader to believe the main character is female?  Does the photograph convey the right tone and setting?

Cover design by Albert Roberts

Cover design by Albert Roberts

Thanks for your comments.

The rights to all photos shown purchased from Big Stock Photos


Sinking ships make for sensational stories and Erik Larson’s Dead Wake; The Last Crossing of the Lusitania does not disappoint in that respect. Yet this historical account of the 1915 disaster that played a role in America’s entry into the Great War is more than a lurid tale. It is a well-researched historical account written in an engaging novelistic style.  As popular history and as nautical literature it is dead on — or ded on, in deduced reckoning terminology.

Unlike a novelist Larson invents nothing; he doesn’t have to. He credits a wealth of information available for the abundance of significant details he incorporates. His scope is broad – he tells the story from multiple perspectives, including Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, the German submarine that sank the passenger ship with one torpedo (not two, as has sometimes been reported.) Yet Larson never presumes to know anyone’s thoughts, nor does he invent dialogue.

What especially drew me was the rich array of materials available to help tell the story in as vivid a manner as possible – such archival treasures as telegrams, intercepted wireless messages, survivor depositions, secret intelligence ledgers…Schwieger’s actual war log, Edith Galt’s love letters, and even a film of the Lusitania’s final departure from New York,” says the author in his ‘Sources and Acknowledgments’.  What he chooses to show can sometimes be damning (as in the case of Woodrow Wilson and the British Admiralty) but mostly it just renders the historical characters fully human.

Larson achieves a cinematic illusion of being there with his marvelous, minute details, his choice of verbs,  and by employing the actual words people wrote or spoke.  He brings us on board both the Cunard luxury liner and the U-boat by explaining necessary nautical and technical concepts clearly and simply, without ever detracting from the story.

As the story progresses the chapters become shorter and shorter, quickening the pace and adding to the suspense. Even though the reader may know what happens, there is far more to the story than just facts and fatalities, who drowned and who survived, and who was at fault. Working with a wealth of related facts and observations, weaving multiple viewpoints together for a multifaceted view steeped in historical context, the author never lets the sprawling narrative founder. At the heart of this complex historical account is a good nautical story.



Water Ghosts, my own ship disaster story,  coming soon from Old Salt Press!

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