LAUREN LYNCH has lived in nine of the United States, but currently calls a log cabin in North Carolina home, along with her husband, teenage son, two dogs, a cat, five chickens and even the occasional bat.
What inspires you to write?
I’m a book lover. I think that, in itself, inspires me to write. I was a quiet, bookish kid—the firstborn of two bookworms—so I spent a lot of time alone, lost in fantasy worlds. I also enjoyed historical books featuring courageous girls: the Little House on the Prairie books, “Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank, Corrie Ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place.” My family moved a lot when I was young and these stories helped me approach each new situation with as much bravery as a shy girl could muster. The true-life stories I read inspired me to rise above my circumstances. Fantasy tales from authors like J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle provided an escape from reality and never failed to fuel my imagination. Now, I enjoy creating stories that combine the inspiration of history with the limitless adventures of fantasy.
Tell us about your writing process.
I spend several months researching the historical location and characters, immersing myself in the details I pull together until it comes alive in my mind and I’m dreaming about it at night. Once I have a strong mental image of it all, I pull out a pad and brainstorm, sketching out the details as they pop into my mind. I form a very rough outline, adding more details here and there as I’m inspired. Once I’m that immersed in it, details even come at night and I keep a pad near my bed to jot down notes. I start with a beginning and end in mind — and a rough idea of how I get from start to finish, but the middle develops as I write. For me, immersion is key.
For Fiction Writers: Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
Only in my dreams. Empathy has always been one of my strongest gifts. I use that skill to get inside my characters’ heads, then I think, act and create dialogue from their unique perspectives.
What advice would you give other writers?
Never give in to your doubts. Never give up. Never go a day without reading and writing something … anything. (Or, if your glass is half full … persist, persevere and proliferate 😉
How did you decide how to publish your books?
For me, I never considered anything but self-publishing. It was a combination of opportune timing, technical advances and my unique skill set — something my career in graphic design gave me the ability to do (like cover design and book formatting). I’ve always loved a challenge, and self-publishing just seemed like the way to go for me. I never really visualized myself attempting the traditional route … maybe I’m a control freak? Or a rebel? I have great respect for the publishing industry and those who chose that path, it just wasn’t the right one for me. The only advice I can offer new authors making this decision is to evaluate your own personality and skills. Do enjoy working independently or do you prefer team work? Self-publishing is a LOT of work and requires self-motivation, but then you reap ALL the rewards.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
Exciting and full of options. Some writers will always prefer going the traditional route and having the support of a team (and it does seem like a luxury at times to have that option). I think the traditional path will survive just fine. With all the developments in self-publishing, the playing field has not only leveled, but flooded. I think the standards will continue to rise. The opportunities are endless. eReaders are a cool development, books will continue to become more interactive. Yes … exciting.
What do you use?
Professional Editor, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?
Speculative Fiction / Historical Fantasy
What formats are your books in?
Both eBook and Print
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