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An Interview with Linda Joy Walder

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Linda Joy Walder has written poetry in her mind daily since childhood. Her debut collection of poems, Running Naked in the Snow, is deeply rooted in a lifetime of magical and mournful occurrences.

As the Founder and Director of The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation, a trailblazing not-for-profit organization, Linda has led the global community for over 20 years in fostering acceptance, valuing and supporting the diversity of adults diagnosed with Autism.

Linda resides in Charleston, South Carolina, with her beloved human and furry family.

What inspired you to start writing this book?

I was sitting on my back porch during the pandemic in a surreal state of mind, a mixture of grief, metamorphosis and peace, and the poems flowed through me expressing these emotions and more. I shared a few of my poems with a renowned local poet who unbeknownst to me had just started a press. He offered me the opportunity of a lifetime to have my debut collection published by Free Verse Press.

Tell us the story of your book’s current title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

In the back of my mind I always imagined that if I ever was to have the good fortune of having a collection of my poems published, it would be entitled Running Naked in the Snow, after a magical experience I had with my children, when my son actually ran naked in the snow. It is a beautiful metaphor of freedom, unadulterated and unconventional…pure joy in living in the moment. My son showed me this and shared such a powerful revelation of how to live.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

“Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell

“As” by Stevie Wonder

“Works” by Joan Armatrading

What books are you reading (for research or comfort) as you continue the writing process?

I am inspired by all natural and contrived art forms.

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I am the Founder and Executive Director of the first not-for-profit organization in the world to focus exclusively on adult autism since 2002. The Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation is all-volunteer run and is named for my son Danny Fiddle in his memory. Danny inspired the title of my debut collection of poems. For more information visit

Additionally, I have a web platform focused on creativity, resiliency and poetry where I share monthly offerings of hope and inspiration, which you can find here.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

For me writing is like breathing air; it is intrinsic to my existence. I have had the calling to write for my entire life.

Where is your favorite place to write?

On my back porch and at home in general.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I write daily inspired by nature, music, encounters and experiences. There is no particular ritual, it is more about feeling the urge to express.

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

There is no such thing as a perfect reader! All readers perfectly bring themself to the work and individually experience it. Hopefully a poem will resonate with the reader and perhaps inspire their own creativity and ways of looking at and experiencing life.

Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.

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Atmosphere Press is a selective hybrid publisher founded in 2015 on the principles of Honesty, Transparency, Professionalism, Kindness, and Making Your Book Awesome. Our books have won dozens of awards and sold tens of thousands of copies. If you’re interested in learning more, or seeking publication for your own work, please explore the links below.