Lynette Sowell’s interview

» Posted on Oct 7, 2008 in Blog | Comments Off on Lynette Sowell’s interview

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Lynette’s interview:

1. What made you start writing?
I first started writing in fifth grade when a teacher made me write. He gave us a list of 25 words, and told the class to write a story that used all of them. I ended up covering the front and back of one sheet of notebook paper, and back then I assumed writing was something anyone could do. But then games like Let’s Pretend came naturally. During the rest of grade school and into my early years of high school, I continued to write until life got in the way. Then in the late 90’s I discovered Terri Blackstock’s Sun Coast Chronicles and those books made me want to write something like them. I didn’t realize that Christian romantic suspense even existed.

2. How long have you been writing? When did you sell your first book?
After discovering Terri’s books, I finished my first book in late 1998. I kept writing and submitting, and writing some more. A number of rejections later, I received my first novella contract in 2005.

3. How do you handle rejections?
When I received my first book rejection back in 1999, I have to admit I cried. All that work to finish the book, and it was rejected because it was too similar to others in the market. Back then, I didn’t realize that I’d received an excellent rejection, especially after having a full manuscript requested with my very first submission. The editor encouraged me to continue submitting. I didn’t realize then, either, that a busy editor won’t ask to see more work just for something to do (grin). So now, I realize rejections are part of the business. Sometimes that doesn’t make them any easier because I don’t work on a project I don’t love. And when someone else doesn’t love what I love, well, it’s disappointing. But I let myself feel blue for a little while and move on (after a dose of chocolate, of course).

4. Why do you write?
I write because the ideas come, and making up stories has always been a part of my life. Also, I pray my words make a difference in someone else’s life.

5. What would you be doing with your free time if you weren’t writing?
I’d be reading more, that’s for sure. My TBR pile keeps growing and growing.

6. What are you working on right now?
I’m writing a historical romance set in 1895 Newport, Rhode Island, among the seaside mansions of the Vanderbilts and Astors and other golden families of that era.

7. Do you put yourself into your books/characters?
Sometimes! Not purposely, but I think it’s natural that a little bit of the writer always sneaks into a book or characters.

8. Tell us about the book you have out right now.
My first mystery, A Suspicion of Strawberries released this spring with the Heartsong Presents Mysteries book club, and now it’s available in the general market. It’s the first book in the Scents of Murder series. My heroine, Andromeda Clark, runs a homemade soap shop in Greenburg, Tennessee, and when one of her customers dies of anaphylactic shock caused by strawberries, Andi sets out to find a murderer and save her business.

9. Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing and let the Lord show you the way. Learn to finish what you write, and fight off discouragement. You’ll find the right story, your own voice. I started out wanting to write like Terri Blackstock, and while I’m sure I’ve learned a lot from reading her books and from other authors, in the end I can only truly write like myself.

10. How important is faith in your books?
It’s very important, but to me faith isn’t something that should be forced into the story. It needs to spring from the characters and what they’re experiencing, and where they need to grow.

11. What themes do you like to write about?
Belonging. We all want to belong, and know our place in this world where God’s put us. Many of my characters struggle with this.

12. What is your favorite book you’ve written and why?
The Wiles of Watermelon has just released to the Heartsong Mysteries book club, and I wrote it during a particularly difficult time of my life. I really enjoyed continuing a character’s story and seeing how she grew and changed. Plus, in this mystery there’s two bodies for the price of one (grin).

13. What is your writing schedule like?
I work a regular 8 to 5 day job, so I write several evenings during the week for an hour or two, and also write on the weekends. It’s not always easy, but I make it work.