Thanks for coming along today, Lynn.
Big thanks right back to you!
Since we met, you’ve been writing a great deal and searching out different publishers for your manuscripts. Your enthusiasm about the experience is
Yes, I’ve been on a ferocious learning curve. I started writing fiction in the fall of 2011 and a year later I had my first contract before I even knew anything about the business other than what an enthusiastic reader would. I was so naïve I thought the cover artist would actually read my book! So I learn something new every day—it’s inevitable since I’m such a newbie. When I went to my first writing conference in the fall of 2012, I decided on a whim to pitch to editors while I was there. I didn’t even know what a pitch was the first day and the next day, I was doing them. And now I take every opportunity to meet people in the business and mention my work. I’m old enough now to have very little shame!
What genre do you write?
I write contemporary and science fiction romances. So far both of my contracts are for contemporary books, but I’msearching for a publisher for my Sci-Fi stuff. I’ve written four so I need toget them out there. My stories have sex in them, it’s on the sweet side, but my characters definitely enjoy themselves. I often joke the only time I get bogged down in a first draft is when my characters finally become intimate and thenall they want to do is have sex. It’s hard to get them to stop their shenanigans and get back to the story! I’m a fairly private person, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to do writing a sex scene for the first time, but they have turned out to be my favorite things to write.
I know you are branching out and trusting yourself to write even greater
things—can you share how this has come about?
I guess I’m learning to trust my point of view more and realize I have to write true to myself and not what I think others will like. And having gone through the editing process twice, Ifind that my first drafts are stronger than before. I tend to read thrillers when I take the time to read fiction and the pace and attention to detail I appreciate in those I’m trying to apply to my romances. My first book,Bent Boot Road, was a very fly by the seat of your pants effort. I didn’t plan any of it and there are some parts I would like to tweak now. I have learned to give myself time to make a chart of scenes I want to write, put my characters' backstories in a notebook for reference (and not in the book!), and trust the story will happen whenever I have time topen up the document.
I hear from you intermittently and suspect that’s because you give your family quality time. How do you manage to write with your busy schedule?
I hope I’m spending quality time with my family! Some days between running errands, picking up, laundry, cooking, and cleaning, I feel like I haven’t looked anyone in the eye all day. I am a stay- at- home mom to a very smart and sociable five year old and he keeps me pretty busy with Legos, art projects, and games. When he’s at preschool, I devote at least an hour and a half of that time to writing. It’s the only part of my day I have to myself, so I have to focus and crank out the work when I can. Sometimes I grab another hour in the afternoon, or a half an hour in the evening, but I like to talk with my husband, so some of my evening has to be with him. It’s important for me to exercise, and cook a healthy dinner every day, so those activities take up time too. The older I get, the more I wish I had an extra hour or two every day because there’s so much out there I want to do.
What inspires you to write?
To put it simply, it’s a rush like no other. These characters, conversations, and situations pop into my head and the act of using words to make sense of them is such a creative thrill. I used to paint and the feeling is very similar; there’s nothing like using the skills you’ve spent so much time practicing to create in a medium that others can appreciate (or not, as the case may be). And the therapeutic benefits are incredible. I sat down to work on this interview after having a terrible morning filled with parental stress, personal failings, wasted time, and terrible PMS, and now I feel so much better!
We’ve become critique buddies over the past while and I value your input and feedback—do you find that having other workers critique your work is helpful? What does it provide?
Well, you were my first and you were very gentle with me ;)! I have to say, you have been wonderfully supportive, especially through all my egregious grammar disasters, that it’s made me a happier, more confident writer. No one had read any of my fiction before I submitted my first manuscript to editors. The editors were my first audience and I wouldn’t recommend that approach to ANY writer. I made some terrible mistakes and I’m embarrassed about them now, but I didn’t know better.
Mostly I love to hear that something makes sense, that the characters I’ve created behave in a reasonable way, and it’s not boring. I tend to write ferociously fast, and what I think is perfectly clear might not be when someoneoutside my brain takes a look at it.
Do you have a goal or a dream regarding your writing?
Other than the obvious goals ofgetting my stories published, I have to admit to a fantasy. I’d love to have one of my books optioned for a film production. Not because I’d think fame and fortune would follow, but just because I love movies so much and would get to learn about the process as a sort-of insider. I’m fascinated by costume, make up, set construction, and love to listen to the director’s commentary on the DVDs of my favorite films. My poor husband falls asleep in self-defense whenever I get one started. Sorry honey! I love the classics, I love going to movie theatres and eating popcorn while watching the trailers, I love rwatching
something over and over again. Just love the way films incorporatvisuals,
storytelling, and music in one fabulous package.
What are you working on right now? We’d love a brief synopsis.
Oh, that’s a great question. Just yesterday I was hit hard by inspiration and I’m in the planning stage of a new contemporary. My heroine is a progressive feminist living in a small town and my hero is a charismatic guy who’s been playing the field after his divorce. So she’s out of place and he’s most definitely not her type, but he’s not going to be able to resist her! But that’s all in planning right now. I nearly finished with the first draft on a Sci-Fi romance I wrote last month. My heroine is a
scheduler for the construction of a new planetary settlement and she has to work with a local liaison, a curmudgeonly cartographer. He’s grumpy because he’s ready for a break after mapping the entire planet and now he has to deal withthis woman obsessed with schedules who’s trying to get everything done before the first settlers arrive. They fight a lot. And I got to create this soggy jungle world with these strange tree animals living on top of huge floating peat bogs. Great fun!
AND I’ve been polishing another manuscript to have ready to pitch to some editors this summer. That one involves a school bus driver with a summer job chauffeuring some movie actors on location. Love blooms in the cornfields!
Thanks for coming today and sharing, Lynn. It’s been wonderful connecting with you.
Again, thanks for hosting me and thanks for all your help and advice, you’re the best!
Find Lynn at: www.lynnraewrites.com