I'm delighted to interview Linda Evans Shepherd today and find out "The Linda Evans Shepherd Love Story." Above are photos of Linda and Paul at their wedding, and then recently. Linda, tell us a little about yourself and about your latest novel.Linda:
I’m a busy author and speaker, the president of Right to the Heart Ministries, founder of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, a TV host, and a host of a syndicated radio show.
My novel Potluck C
lub was an idea that came to me as I was driving through the mountains of Colorado with my family. It was an idea so vivid that I picked up my cell phone and called my friend Eva. After several dropped calls, I was finally able to relay the concept. Eva said, “Let’s do it!" So that’s how the prayer and potluck club of Summit View was born. Eva and I had a blast creating the six characters, three of which are mine and three of which are Eva’s. We take turns writing and reacting to the plots and situations that arise.Kristy:
What's your web address?
Kristy: How long have you been married?
Linda: Twenty-eight years.
Kristy: Since you have a marriage of longevity, you must be doing something right. Do you have any words of advice to offer? Insight? Encouragement?Linda: A successful, happy marriage is never an accident. It happens when two people decide to love each, regardless of life's circumstances. Paul and I have had our share of difficulties, especially when our dear baby daughter was injured in a car. Delightful Laura survived her injuries but lives a life of extreme disability. Paul and I love her despite her special needs and we love each other despite our own shortcomings. Paul and I do not view our life together as tragic, but as an adventure where God and love overcome everything. We've pushed past our former pain to find real joy as well as marital bliss.Kristy:
Great answer, Linda! Now, back to your love story. If you were a Christian before you met him, were you praying for a husband (as opposed to just trusting God with your entire future)?Linda:
Paul and I were great friends for years. I wouldn’t go out with him because he wasn’t a believer. This came as a great shock to Paul who’d never been turned down for a date before. After my rebuff, we spent hours on the phone together, discussing matters of love and faith. Paul ended up at a large Christian gathering in San Antonio with his friends from McNeese State. I, too, was attending this same event with my friends from Lamar University. Though there were 28,000 students there, and neither knew the other had plans to be in San Antonio, Paul and I ran into each other everywhere. In fact, it was then, while 40 of my college friends and I were praying for Paul, that he came to Christ.Kristy:
How did you meet him?Linda:
I first met Paul when we were 12-years-old at a drama workshop at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. I thought he was horribly gross and remember thinking, “Who would ever marry a boy like that?” Little did I know it would be me. Tee HeeKristy:
Was it love at first sight, or did love come softly?Linda:
I didn’t see him again until we were 17, when I was out cruising the streets with one of my girlfriends. Ellen knew Paul and we stopped in to see him at his job at a tennis store. I didn’t recognize him at the time, but I did notice he was cute. We didn’t date then, but became great friends. I told all my girlfriends if Paul were ever to become a believer we’d end up married. When Paul did come to faith, then transferred back to Lamar, I knew it was just a matter of time before we marched down the aisle together. The poor guy never had a chance.Kristy:
How long did you date before marriage?Linda:
How long did you date before you kissed?Linda:
BLUSH! Our first date. It was just that we saw the movie, Heaven Can Wait
. The kiss, I guess, couldn’t.Kristy:
Tell us about that first kiss…where were you?...what was it like? (Remember, I write Christian romance. That's why I included this question. WINK)Linda:
Awkward but nice, so nice we tried it again the very next date!Kristy:
Tell us about the time/occasion you told him you loved him.Linda:
I didn’t wanna scare him off, so I waited till he told me.Kristy:
Tell us about the proposal.Linda:
This is an embarrassing story. I hadn’t expected the proposal to be so soon. Stunned, I asked Paul to give me a week to decide. But my mistake was, I told my mother who told her best friend who told her daughter, Jodie. Jodie called me just as Paul was re-proposing to me in the living room. Unbelievably, when my mother called me from the kitchen to pick up the phone, I did. Jodie demanded to know if I was engaged while Paul was down on one knee waiting for me to answer the very same question. I told Jodie I had to tell Paul before I told her then hung up. I smiled at Paul and said, “Yes! I will marry you.” (It’s a wonder he didn’t run away after that!)Kristy:
Tell us about your wedding. How many bridesmaids? Flowers you and they carried? Colors?Linda:
It was a great day. We got married in my church’s picture perfect wedding chapel. I had three bridesmaids who wore pale blue gowns. Each carried a single pink rose. I had a larger pink rose bouquet. When we left the church, instead of getting into Paul’s car, which had been painted with embarrassing slogans, we stole Paul’s brother’s car and drove it to where my car awaited down the street.Kristy:
Did you buy, borrow, or make your wedding gown? What was it like?Linda:
We bought it. It was a lovely white lace, traditional gown.Kristy:
Did he smash the cake in your mouth, or was he a gentleman and gently put it in?Linda:
We were kind to each other and did not smash cake into each other’s faces.Kristy:
Where did you honeymoon?Linda:
Galveston Island, Texas.Kristy:
Thanks, Linda, for sharing your love story with us. I'm sure my readers enjoyed it! Ahhhh, how romantic!