We are here talking to Lynnette today. She has a new release. Check out the interview below and her
What started your writing career?
I grew up overseas without electricity or TV, so I was a reader from my very early years. I loved to immerse myself in story and sometimes wouldn’t reemerge until hours later. Eventually my love of story turned the bend to me beginning to pen my own stories. Or I would read a book and think “it could have been so much better if they’d done it this way.” I started several books, but never finished one until I was doing some research about the town I lived in at the time and found some tidbits from history that I knew had to be told. That research turned into my first published novel, Rocky Mountain Oasis.
You were born and raised in Africa?! Did that have any kind of influence on you as a writer?
For sure! I often tell my kids that I wish anyone who interacted in politics in our country would be required to first live for 2 years in an African village in the middle of nowhere. But we aren’t here to talk about politics (thank goodness!)
When you’ve seen people living in truly abject poverty and watched them live overcoming joy-filled lives despite their circumstances, you can’t help but be changed. When your best friends growing up lived in a mud and brick home and slept each night on a grass mat on a hard cement floor, yet were more than happy to share their meal of corn porridge and vegetables, it can’t help but change you.
I hope I am a more giving person because of my upbringing. I hope I am less judgmental of poverty. I hope I am a writer who shows that no matter your circumstances in life, there is One who can give you joy beyond measure.
One story I wrote, that I likely wouldn’t have written were it not for my upbringing is the Sonnets of the Spice Isle serialization. The research for that book was heartbreaking, even though some of it I knew to expect.
I’m very thankful for my rich heritage.
Are you a full-time author or do you have another job?
For many years I worked and wrote. Now I am privileged to be a full time author.
What is the hardest part of being an author?
I have to pick one? Haha. Okay, I’d have to say the self discipline. I’m my own boss. There’s no one leaning over my shoulder making sure I get my work done for the day. And some days the words come much easier than others. On the hard days, it can be a challenge.
How has becoming a published author changed your life?
I love being able to wake up in the morning and go to work at a job that I love (as much as anyone can love a job, I suppose. :) ) I love being able to share Truth through story. I love the reader friends that I “meet” through social media or emails—those whose lives have been impacted by my stories. So…maybe not changed my life, but certainly given it a lot of fulfillment.
What genre(s) do you write and what drew you to it/them?
All the stories I write are stories that share Truths from God’s Word. For me, it is important to use the gifts He gave me to return what measure of glory I can to Him. So under the main banner of “Christian” I’m published in historical romance and contemporary romance. I also have a fantasy story that I’ve been working on for years, but no published fantasies yet.
What is it about historical fiction that appeals to you as an author?
I love writing about a simpler time, and yet showing that people of those times struggled with many of the same sins and issues that we face today. I’ve sometimes gotten negative reviews because readers say a sin I presented in the story would have never happened “back in those days.” I don’t believe that. I believe sin has tripped people up since Eve ate the fruit, since Cain killed Abel, Since David, a man after God’s own heart, stole another man’s wife and had that man murdered to try and cover it up.
What is the craziest thing you've done in the name of research?
Ha! Well…one of my stories required my heroine to be tied up, hand and foot, and gagged. I needed to accurately be able to write what that felt like and how she might escape from that, so I had my husband tie me up. :) The look on my son’s face when he walked in to find me tied up on the floor with his father standing over me while we both laughed like ninnys…that was priceless.
What is a typical writing day for you like?
After getting my daughter off to school, I generally check email and Facebook. I might do some promotion or work on my website for a bit. I try to write from 10 – 2 each day, but try is the optimal word there. I also run a cover design business, so I sometimes have clients that I’m working with on certain days. Sometimes I don’t get to my writing till 11:30 at night what with sports schedules and family time etc. Some days I get no writing done at all and other days I get 3-5,000 words in. It just depends on the day. I love the flexibility of working for myself.
When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve dabbled in writing since I was in junior high. But it wasn’t until I was finally able to complete my first novel and it got accepted by a publisher that I realized I might actually be okay at it.
What do you find the most challenging part of being a writer?
I always want to include a message of Truth in my stories. Nailing down exactly which one truth I want to bring out in each story can be a struggle. There is often more I would like to share, but the more you try to pack in the more it gets watered down, so picking just one message is important. I think that’s often my hardest task.
How do you come up with the ideas for your books?
Ideas are everywhere. They come in a dream. They come when you are standing in line at the grocery store watching a three year old throw a temper tantrum. The come while you’re in traffic listening to the radio and you hear a snippet of a testimony, or a line of a song. They come during sermons. Sometimes they come from secondary characters in a book already written. I love that moment when I’m hit with a new idea! So much fun.
If you weren't a writer what would your dream job be?
Hmmmm…. Hard to answer when I’m doing two of my dream jobs at the moment. What kind of job would let me travel the world for free, stay in luxury hotels all along the way, and not require me to sell my soul to do it? I’d want that job! haha
What is your favorite book/author?
Unfair! Only one? I’ve put off answering this for at least an hour… and I still can’t pick just one. So I’ll give you my favorites in no particular order. As I glance over at my bookshelf, the first series I see is the Theyne Chronicles by Angela Elwell Hunt. Oh what great stories! Medieval castles and knights and damsels in distress—what could be better?
Bodie Thoene has long been one of my favorite authors. I love how she brings to life the Jewish culture and opens my eyes to things in the scriptures that I never saw in quite that light before. Pick any one of her books and you are going to have an amazing read.
Jeanette Windle is another favorite. She’s a fellow missionary kid, so that endears her to me too I suppose, but wow can that lady write! My favorite book of hers is DMZ— a pretty American journalist finds herself in the South American jungles, captured by an evil drug cartel. Add in a handsome undercover CIA agent, a harrowing escape, and lots of adventure and you have a can’t-put-down story.
Linda Windsor is also a favorite author. She knows how to make clean romance pop and sizzle. And her humor catches me off guard and often has me laughing out loud.
I could go on to mention other favorites like Louis L’Amour, James Fennimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott (waving my thanks to Mr. Bannister, my high school English teacher), Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon, Denise Hunter, Susan May Warren, Francine Rivers, Linda Chaikin and Tamara Leigh. I could tell stories about each one and why I love what they do.
Learn more about Lynnette here