Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Linda Moore Interview - Attribution

Photo Content from Linda Moore

Linda Moore studied art history in the Prado while at the University of Madrid. She earned degrees at the University of California and Stanford before opening an art gallery that showcased contemporary Hispanic artists. She has served on art museum boards, edited and published exhibition catalogs, contributed to anthologies, and written for art journals. Born in the Midwest, she enjoys traveling the world, spending time in Kauai with her grandchildren, and she lives in California with her husband. Attribution is her first novel.


Greatest thing you learned at school. 
When you make a mistake on the piano and the nun hits your fingers with a ruler, keep playing.

When/how did you realize you had a creative dream or calling to fulfill? 
In fifth grade, two artworks I made were chosen to be exhibited at the University of Wisconsin. I was from a big family, and it was a rare time when I got the full attention of my parents.

Beyond your own work (of course), what is your all-time favorite book and why? And what is your favorite book outside of your genre? 
To Kill A Mockingbird is almost a cliché but I love it and I believe others do too, because it speaks quietly about topics that make the rest of want to scream at the moon.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. 
Pub date is Oct 11, so I am not there yet. But what has rewarded me already is reading reviews of readers who speak to how they enjoyed the story and learned something about Spain, about art, about life.

If you could have written one book in history, what book would that be? 
Don Quixote – compelling characters, an interesting story, and layers of meaning about universal and timeless themes.

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book? 

Why is storytelling so important for all of us? 
We have the possibility to find ourselves in the stories of others. Making that connection diminishes the solitary existence that is part of the human condition.

Can you tell us when you started ATTRIBUTION, how that came about? 
I attended a lecture in 2010 at the San Diego Museum of Art given by a young curator who attributed a four-hundred-year-old painting. His journey was riveting, and I thought it would make a great story.

In your new book; ATTRIBUTION, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it. 
Cate Adamson struggles to deal with her family’s grief over Cate’s brother’s death and she leaves the Midwest to complete her art history doctorate in New York in attempt to focus her parents on the future. An impossible faculty advisor blocks her dissertation, and she despairs she will fail the program until she finds a painting in the basement of the university. She believes the art work is a Baroque masterpiece and she takes it to Spain to search for experts and documents to prove it.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your characters? 
 I completed the novel with the subplot about Cate’s younger brother drowning. I know you might find this hard to believe, but when I’d finished that draft, it hit me that this was my story, my younger sister drowned in the north of Spain when she was twenty. While I wrote it, I did not think consciously about that connection. It was a story that came from deep inside me and obviously, I needed to tell it.

  • 1. Professor Jones is modeled after three different professors from my grad school days.
  • 2. The Met in NYC has a Velázquez portrait they have reattributed several times.
  • 3. The Columbus Library in Seville where Cate does research dates from 1539.
  • 4. The Madrid and Seville settings, bars, restaurants, libraries and museums are real places.
  • 5. The rotunda of the Prado no longer has a banquette nor anywhere to sit.
  • 6. Discovering a masterpiece is more common than most people think. Flea markets, the Goodwill, attics of relatives, church storage rooms all have yielded priceless artworks.
  • 7. The slow train between Madrid and Seville no longer operates.
  • 8. The 110-year-old Ritz Hotel in Madrid where Cate meets with Jones is now called the Mandarin Oriental Ritz and has been remodeled with contemporary interiors.
  • 9. In the first draft, Cate had a NYC boyfriend. He got in her way and mine too, so Cate and I took him out of the story.
  • 10. I visited Spain three times while writing Attribution and made changes based on what I learned.
What is the first job you have had? 
Making donuts at the bakery inside a grocery store at 5 am.

What is your most memorable travel experience? 
One standout is Aldabra Island in the Seychelles. Seven researchers live with 100,000 giant land tortoises who roam this atoll. The lagoon stretches twenty-four miles across and each day empties with the tide and refills again. Unlike anywhere. I have a long list of memorable experiences from all the continents and over 100 countries I’ve visited.

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today? 
My sister dying made me realize at twenty-five years old that we control nothing, and life is short. Time took on a new urgency---don’t put things off, make use of every day, tell people you love them, you might not get another chance.

Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew? 
Many times. A poor student I tutored signed a loan contract with a rip off university. I told him to call and cancel it and they refused. We called them back together and I reminded them about contract laws and told them the student would be there in fifteen minutes to pick up the contract and destroy it. They backed off. The student went to a community college for a few hundred dollars and the cost of books.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be? 
Work less, worry less, enjoy more, especially when my children were young.

What event in your life would make a good movie? 
Setting a Guinness Record for traveling the farthest south (78°S latitude) of any vessel, military, research, private, into the Ross Sea of Antarctica, directly South from Tasmania. Saw the Southern lights, jumped into freezing water, endured three weeks stepping on land only twice, and set foot where no human is recorded to have been. Exceptional.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of? 
Losing someone I love. I guess that is a common fear.

What is the weirdest thing you have seen in someone else’s home? 
A shrunken human head. Also, in Bhutan they paint giant penises on the sides of their houses.

Art historian Cate Adamson, still grieving the death of her brother and desperate to succeed, leaves her troubled parents in the Midwest to complete her doctorate in New York, only to find herself assigned to a misogynist advisor. She attempts to impress him until she discovers a hidden painting, possibly a Baroque masterpiece, in the university basement. Risking her career, financial disaster, and further alienation from her family, she flees to Spain with the painting to consult art experts.

Antonio, an impoverished duke, clings to the decaying legacy of the House of Olivares. When he meets Cate on the train to Seville, he joins her search, and together they uncover evidence in his five hundred-year old library to support the painting's provenance including a document about the artist's final years that will shock the titans of art history. But Cate vacillates about revealing the truth, fearful that it may destroy her career, her family's expectations, and her future with Antonio.

Written with vivid prose, rich references to seventeenth century Spanish art, compelling characters and a historical puzzle, Attribution is the story of one contemporary woman's journey to understand the past--and unlock her future.

You can purchase Attribution at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you LINDA MOORE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Attribution by Linda Moore.


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