Meet the Central Florida Reporter Who Wrote a Romantic Thriller Under a Pen Name

By Merrill Knox 

Alive at 5For central Florida news reporter Linda Bond, the inspiration for her debut novel struck at a moment when she least expected it: while she was on the air.

“I was sitting on the anchor desk with my co-anchor, and I was reading a story on an adventure vacation. And I turned to him, and I said, ‘that would be the coolest setting for a romantic thriller,'” Bond tells TVSpy. “So that’s kind of how the idea started.”

Said romantic thriller, Alive at 5, is out today from Entangled: Ignite. The book follows TV news reporter Samantha Steele, who teams up with a “gorgeous thrill-seeker” undercover police officer to investigate a suspicious skydiving death. Bond, a central Florida reporter known under a different name on the air, agreed to write and market the book under a pen name as an extra level of separation between her reporting career and her writing career. As a longtime veteran of the station she currently works at, she didn’t want to risk her credibility with viewers.


“I just want to make sure that people know what they’re getting. That’s why I’m separating the two,” Bond says.

Bond, who is the mother of five, found time to write during odd free moments, such as before her kids’ soccer games. Although she was careful to keep her writing and reporting careers separate, never working on her novel in the newsroom, she said she found writing fiction to be a liberating experience after more than 20 years as a reporter.

“I don’t have to worry about getting the facts right, I don’t have to worry about anybody suing me, hurting someone’s feelings. As a journalist, the weight of your words, they can change somebody’s life,” Bond says. “They can change somebody’s life for the better, but they can also change somebody’s life for the worse. That’s kind of a responsibility that you carry every day, knowing that. With fiction, it’s just whatever you can imagine, whatever your heart desires, you can create.”

Bond says the book would never have been completed without both a supportive family and a supportive workplace, as well another driving force: “It’s just desire. If you really want to do it, you find a way,” she says. “As long as I can do both, then I’m going to.”

Watch the trailer for Bond’s book below: