Welcome, Lynette.Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
You know, I addressed this question in a different interview and I said, “I don’t put much of myself into my characters.” But now that I think about it, I probably put more into the characters than I realize. I write from heart for the faith element in every book and as my faith is who I am, I have to say that goes in to each and every book. As for the characters themselves, probably a little bit. I think I put more into my March 2009 release, A SILENT TERROR, than any of the others. People who know me are going to think the heroine in this book is based on me. But she’s really not anything like me except the fact that she wears hearing aids and teaches at a deaf school. Other than that, there’s nothing much about me in the story. So, to sum up that rather long-winded answer, in some stories, there’s more of me. In others, not so much. How confusing is that??
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
I don’t know that I have ever done anything particularly quirky. While I’m not big on quirky actions, I do have several quirky aspects to my personality. Recently, it was suggested I apply to be a “drug-dog” for the local police department due to my highly sensitive sense of smell! Seriously, I hate the smell of most perfumes or scented lotions, fragrances, etc. I even asked my doctor if I could have my sense of smell surgically removed. Whenever I go to church or conferences, etc, I always make sure I sit where I can easily leave if someone with perfume sits near me. I know, it’s crazy, but I get terrible migraines if I’m exposed too long to these scents. That’s pretty quirky according to those who know me.
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
I’ve always had stories running around in my head. As a child, I would crawl in the bed at night and let my imagination run wild, making up characters, plotting (even though I didn’t realize that’s what I was doing at the time) and creating whole new worlds as I fell to sleep. As an adult with a six month old, I realized that I still liked to make up stories, so one day, I had a glimmer of an idea. I sat down at my little old VERY SLOW laptop and started pounding out the story. And it was AWFUL, but I loved the whole process and so the journey to publication began.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I love, love, love anything written by Brandilyn Collins. Robert Liparulo’s GERM fascinated me. Dee Henderson’s THE NEGOTIATOR was my favorite out of all of hers. I like Ted Dekker’s earlier stuff, especially BLINK. Karen Kingsbury, of course. Camy Tang is hilariously funny and reading her stuff always puts me in a good mood. STEALING ADDA by Tamara Leigh is my all time favorite Chick Lit book right now. I howled with laughter. Terri Blackstock is awesome. I love all her stuff. I could go on and on, but I’ll stop there.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
I self-published a book called Gift of Grace back in 2005. I’m not a really big fan of self-publishing, but I did it and regretted it. I’ve also written two other manuscripts that have never—and will never—see the light of day!
The books published by Steeple Hill’s Love Inspired Suspense line are:
· Lethal Deception –released February 2008
· River of Secrets – released August 2008
· Holiday Illusion – to be released November 2008
· A Silent Terror- to be released March 2009
· A Silent Fury – to be released September 2009
And I’ve also signed a three book deal with Revell. Those three books will be out in 2010.
How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
Well, I’m a runner. I like to run, run, run. However, I do have to stop and crash every once in a while. Writing and plotting out a story is what keeps me sane second only to spending time with the Lord. I’m very fortunate to have a wonderful family who allows me a lot of time to myself when I need it. My husband is awesome and will actually tell me to go take some time and do something just for me! Honestly, the Lord is gracious and always provides in every area of my life.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Um…well…uh…you see…okay, you’re going to laugh because it’s so stupid. I pull them out of the air for the most part. I go down the alphabet, starting with A. Anna, Amy, Ariana, Alana, Abigail…etc. and pick one I like the sound of. Same with the hero’s name, but I pick a different starting letter than the heroine’s. See? Told you it was dumb.
That's not dumb. We authors are all different, and we do things differently. What you do may help another author. What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I think I have two. My children, first. Definitely. I was just sitting in church this morning with my arms around them and just had to stop and thank God for allowing me to be their mom. They’re so precious and God has just gifted my life with their presence. Second would be getting published. The fact that I have books out that people like to read is simply stunning to me.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
A dog. Because of my sniffer that I told you about earlier. Only I’d like to be my in-laws black lab because he is king of their house and is spoiled completely rotten. Oh yeah, that would be the life!
What is your favorite food?
Black Bean soup and chicken Caesar salad at Panera Bread. Pineapple, pizza, and refried beans. Told you I was weird. Oh yeah, and chocolate ice cream.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
I think it was the whole little children under my feet thing. I wanted to put them first because they deserved it and finding time to write while fixing bottles every couple hours kind of slowed things down a bit. Learning the craft and just persevering were the biggest obstacles, but like I said, God knows when the timing is right for publication, so waiting on Him is the most important thing. Although patience can certainly be a massive road block for someone who is incredibly impatient!
I don’t know that I have overcome it. I just know that God has put me where He has for a reason and He’ll work out the details like providing time to write, time to network, time and money for conferences, etc.
What advice would you give to an author just starting out?
Never ever give up. Pray a lot, write a lot, and never stop learning. Expect rejection and be willing to learn from it. Immerse yourself in the writing process. Writer’s conferences are wonderful, but can be expensive. Plan in advance. If you can’t go, look at the schedule, find a class that you would attend if you were there, then buy the CDs. Most conferences record their sessions. Get a mentor and/or a critique partner. Most of all, keep giving your writing to the One who gave it to you in the first place. Trust God. His timing is perfect.
Thanks for inviting me to be on your blog, Lena! It’s always a pleasure to answer questions and interact with your readers. God Bless!
And thank you for being here, Lynette.
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I still have three missing winners:
R. Byuel and Cheryl (Shyrackmom)