Today’s author, Lynn Rae, recently published her first contemporary romance, Return. She’s already got some interesting insights into publishing and some helpful writing advice to share, and she’s also been great fun to work with.
Please give her a warm welcome and feel free to ask any additional questions in the comments section below.
1. Can you tell us a bit about Return?
Return is a contemporary romance set in a small Ohio town. My hero, James Winchester isn’t your typical lead in one of these stories; he’s kind, quiet, and an accountant! But that doesn’t mean he’s not a passionate guy. It just takes him a little longer to admit to how he feels about Evelyn Prentiss. There’s a church ice cream social, a county fair, a mystery, and some hanky-panky too.
2. When did you decide you wanted to pursue writing as more than a hobby?
I attended a local writing conference in the fall of 2012, pitched to some editors on a whim, and one of them offered me a contract a couple of months later. Until I saw that email, I never considered my writing as something someone else might actually enjoy.
3. Can you give us a brief rundown of your writing process?
I mostly work from characters first. They take shape in my mind along with whatever inciting incident brings them together. I fill up a composition book with as much backstory, scene breakdowns, and motivations as I can, then I just sit down and start. Usually by that point the first five thousand or so words are already in my head so it’s easy to get into it.
4. What’s the hardest part of the writing process for you and how do you make it easier for yourself?
Constant interruptions are my only problem. I’m a stay at home mom, so some days it seems like there’s a question, phone call, or need to cook something every fifteen minutes of my day. There are days I retreat to the bedroom and close the door, after making sure everyone has been fed and watered, of course.
5. What’s your take on writer’s block? Does it exist, and if it does, how can you cure it?
I don’t have writer’s block. I don’t have time! If I don’t put in two hours a day on my work, either writing or polishing, I get cranky and that makes my family sad. I don’t want to make my family sad, so I write.
6. Why did you choose an ebook publisher over a traditional publisher?
I never really considered a traditional publisher because I never really had an overriding goal to be published by one of the big houses. I was happy to find someone who liked my work well enough to take a chance on it!
7. What was it like to work with an editor for the first time?
Nerve-wracking! I’m not an English major and never even considered writing fiction until a couple of years ago, so the nitty-gritty of writing for publication was the great unknown. But I’m a hard worker and I learn fast, so every edit I’ve gone through has been smoother and quicker than the one before. The best thing to do is to learn from your mistakes and avoid making them when you’re revising your first draft, that way the editor doesn’t have to point them out to you.
8. If you could give an aspiring writer only one piece of advice, what would it be?
Write every day. Don’t wait to be in the mood, or to already know how the scene is going to work or what your characters are going to do. Don’t let the laundry or Facebook distract you. Waiting for inspiration is procrastination.
9. What modern author do you admire most and why?
Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters. She writes believable characters, uses settings very well, and I trust her plots to make sense and entertain me. In her real life, she is an Egyptologist, so with my background in anthropology and archaeology, she writes about things I’m already passionate about.
10. What are you working on now that readers can look forward to?
I’m actually trying my hand at a sci-fi ménage story right now. I’m putting my own quirky spin on it, so I have no idea if it’s going to be marketable.
Lynn Rae makes her home in central Ohio after time spent in the Great Black Swamp, beside the Ohio River, and along the Miami and Erie Canal. With professional experience in fields ranging from contract archaeology to librarianship along with making donuts and teaching museum studies, Lynn enjoys incorporating her quirky sense of humor and real-life adventures into her writing (except the naughty parts). She writes sci-fi, contemporary, and historical romances.
You can purchase a copy of Return here.