Sunday, June 04, 2006

Lynn Coleman Interview -- and another winner

Because the winner of Waiting for Summer's Return didn't send me her mailing address, I have chosen a new winner. So Ane Mulligan, you have a week to contact me with your address.
Now let me introduce you to a wonderful lady. I wish I had paid more attention when she first asked on a writing loop I was on for people to join her in forming American Christian Romance Writers. I was not one of the original members, but I did join in only a few months. Of course ACRW eventually became American Christian Fiction Writers. Lynn has been an inspiration to me for years, and I love her sweet spirit. It is with great pleasure that I share this interview with you. Remember to leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Fighting for Bread & Roses. The winner will be chosen on Saturday, June 17.

Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.

Goodness, this varies from character to character and story to story. There’s always a bit of me or what I’d like to be in every character I write. However, there hasn’t been any one character that I could say is me. I like the ability to focus on others and develop their life stories over retelling mine.

What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?

Hmm, with regard to writing, I’d have to say going out and purchasing items my characters would use. Unfortunately—or fortunately—this hasn’t stopped. I recently purchased a Nikon F1 film camera just because it was my character’s favorite camera. Now I’m trying to learn how to take pictures with it. I brought the camera to my dad and he showed me how to use it. Personally, I love digital cameras. But hey, I’m a techno kind of gal.

Techno gal, huh? That's interesting, but I also share that love with you. When did you first discover that you were a writer?

I never thought of myself as a writer when I was working on my non-fiction books and articles. I thought of myself as providing information for others in similar circumstances as myself. But once the fiction bug hit and I started working on the craft of writing fiction, then I felt the Lord calling me to be a writer.

Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.

Well, I love a good mystery and suspense book. I’ll even read sci-fi if it is written well and, of course, that’s to my particular taste. I thoroughly enjoy Christian romance novels, also. As I develop as a writer, and in particular my historical writing, I’m finding that I’m fascinated by historical documents, journals, diaries, newspapers, etc. They’re hard to get your hands on, unless you live near a historical society, but I love reading them.
I worked on a two-year American history course for a publishing company, and we had access to early American books and documents. I have to admit that they fascinate me, too.

What other books have you written, whether published or not?

Fighting for Bread & Roses is my first suspense novel. My prior books have all been with Barbour and are in the Christian romance genre. Titles starting with the first book published in Feb. 99 are: Sea Escape, A Time to Embrace, Mustering Courage, Lizzy’s Hope, Southern Treasures, One Man’s Honor, Cords of Love, Raining Fire, Lambert’s Pride, Hogtied and upcoming release this winter, A Place of Her Own. Novellas in the order printed are: When Love Awaits (in Keepers of the Light), which was recently re-titled Light House Brides. The Shoemakers Daughter (in Once Upon a Time), which was recently re-titled Fairy Tale Brides. After the Harvest (in Prairie County Fair), The Snowstorm (in A Currier & Ives Christmas), Hook, Line & Sinker (in Kentucky Keepers). Collections or repacks of some of my books include Sea Escape in a Collection called New England, and Key West, a collection of four of my novels: A Time to Embrace, Lizzy’s Hope, Southern Treasures and One Man’s Honor.

Wow, that's a lot, and I've read all but a couple of them, at least in their first editions. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?

Am I sane? I think life is busy no matter what your occupation or family situation, so I don’t see myself running doing this and that any more than any other person. I think the key to keeping oneself sane is to spend time with God and try to look at life and my life situations through His eyes rather than my own. After all, He knows how everything will turn out, I don’t.

How do you choose your characters’ names?

This is one of the fun parts of writing that I thoroughly enjoy. Once I know a little bit about the characters or the story I start by going through a baby book on names and their meanings. Lately, I’ve been looking through geneology sites for regional names during the time periods I’m writing about, if it’s a historical book. For example: in a book proposal I just sold, Corduroy Road to Love, a historical set in North Carolina in 1830, I found that the Scot Irish were one of the two immigrant lines that moved into that area. So I decided on Olin Robert Orr for the hero’s name and Ida Mae McAuley for the heroine. Both of the surnames were names on censuses during that time period in the area around Charolette, N.C.

What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?

That’s easy, my marriage, my children and grandchildren. As much as I love writing for the Lord and writing fiction, my first love and greatest responsibility is to the people He’s given me in my life to minister to.

If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?

You know, I never thought about being an animal. I guess my first thought would be a porpoise. They swim in the ocean, seem to enjoy life and are considered to be one of the smartest animals. Now if I could be so smart…

I had to put some fun questions in here, too. What is your favorite food?

LOL, I have too many. Chocolate is a cure all for just about anything, but a nice juicy steak with a fresh baked potato with lots of butter, sour cream and salt and pepper with a side of fresh asparagus spears isn’t half bad either.

What would you like to tell us about the featured book?

Fighting for Bread & Roses has recently won the bronze medal in Foreword’s Book of the Year contest and is a finalist in the Christian Retailer’s book of the year awards. But apart from the awards and positive feedback I’ve received about the book, I suppose what I love the most is the protagonist, Lindsey Marc, who in several ways has pieces of me in her. Thankfully, my life is not as chaotic as Lindsey’s when I go on research trips.
Thank you, Lynn, for that peek into your life. I am eagerly anticipating the next book, and I pray God's richest blessings on this work He has called you to.


Michelle said...

I LOVE Lynn Coleman books. I've read several and she's definitely an author that I feel confident picking up without even checking the back to see what the book is about. :-)

Lena - I love your interviews. I always learn something so interesting about the authors!

L. Harris said...

A great interview. I really enjoyed this peak into your writing life, Lynn!

Margo Carmichael said...

I wish I had paid more attention in those days and become a charter member, too. Loved reading about Lynne. Wish she were coming to the conference this year. Enjoyed the long lunch she shared with you, me and others in Nashville. She's a blessing. And who says there's no such thing as a free lunch! What a day.

Hugs to both of you!

Margaret Daley said...

Lynn, I enjoyed your interview.


Georgeanne said...

Great interview. Lynn is now more than a name on a book to me. I wonder if she knows how playful Dolphins are and that they guide ships and people, often to safety. Ummmm. Could this trait also inspire her great writing?

Jane said...

I'm fairly new to the field so I'm not familiar with Lynn's work. I appreciate the insight and look forward to becoming familiar with it!