Hello again, Everyone!
I am happy to say that the trip to Oregon was fantastic, despite a few annoyances of flight delays and a stomach bug. However, all that aside, kayaking was had, waterfalls were adored, zip lines were conquered, and my wife and I enjoyed giving our friends the “Switchback” tour of Bend complete with breweries. If you haven’t read that book, it revolves around the world of women’s downhill mountain biking and it’s set in the Bend, Oregon area. Either way, if you love the outdoors, you must check out this state.
Top left: Hosmar Lake in the Cascade Mountains. Top right: Crater Lake zipline overlooking Klamath Lake and Mt. McLaughlin. Center: Smith Rock State Park. Bottom: Tumalo Falls
Ahhh! I could stare at these all day, even though this website won’t let me arrange them how I want. Argh! Anyway, I cannot wait to go back. Sadly, I have work to do. So, in other news, I’ve made great strides in finishing my latest book. The official title is This Time and the cover design is nearly finished. I am so excited (and nervous) to get this one out and I am hoping for a mid-August release. I am also still hard at work on my screenwriting.
As for the author features, I am working on filling out the year schedule, but I can tell you that next month will feature a romance favorite, Jae. Stay tuned here and on Twitter for more updates and teasers from my work in progress.
On to current business: This month I am proud to feature blogger and debut novelist, Lynn Lawler. Her first book, Awakened By Fate, is a lesbian romance about personal transformation with a paranormal slant. Lynn has long been active in promoting lesbian fiction, including my own, through her blogs and podcast interviews. Now, I am more than happy to help spread the word of her new work. Please welcome, Lynn to the Author Meet & Greet!
How did you get started writing fiction?
I have always wanted to be a writer, on some level. What got me started was one night when I was at home watching tv, I saw a documentary about the twentieth-century author, Willa Cather. She was a strong woman living in a time where she was expected to be prim and proper. She wrote for a magazine for years until one day she decided to publish her first book. I took that as a sign for me to start my first manuscript.
I was always a reader, with my all-time favorite author being Mary Higgins-Clark. She writes suspense and mystery. I have always admired her strong female leads. No one goes crying for some guy to come to rescue her. No, the protagonists do it on their own.
I have been a big fan of TV and movies and often wondered what it would be like to create my own stories. Often, I would rattle around a character in my head and see where I could lead them. It wasn’t until I started on my first manuscript that my protagonist was actually able to come to life. I enjoy stories that deal with the paranormal and love watching Asian horror films.
There’s so much that goes into actually publishing a book. Have you learned anything from your author interviews that have helped you in this journey?
Yes. I have been exposed to many walks of life from my authors. They have shown me many things and have enlightened me. I read books from authors who live outside of the US and it is a real treat being able to ‘visit’ the places described in the books by reading.
I know authors who have gone the traditional way as well as self-publishing. I chose the first because I didn’t want to deal with all the ends that go with the latter. What I’ve found from most authors is that it is up to you to self-promote. However, there are many resources available to help get your name out there with Iheartlesfic being one of them. I have watched many authors over the years become very successful by believing in their work and having creative ways to promote themselves and/or others. I see others out there promoting blogs and other promos and it works.
This is your first published book. What have you enjoyed most about the experience so far?
I love being my own boss and choose my own hours and work as few or as many as needed to get my projects down, or at least further to completion. I am able to travel to places to research for my stories. It was fun going to Hawaii when I was writing Awakened by Fate. Also, there are a few places here in CA that I visited that went into the book.
I love writing, plain and simple. I love creating characters and making them work in the story. I love the dynamics I put with other characters.
You live in California, so for relaxation do you prefer beaches or mountains?
I love the beach. We take road trips to a place called Point Dume, which is along the Pacific Coast Hwy (PCH) north of Malibu. While driving on PCH, we get the most incredible views of the ocean. I grew up near farmlands in Michigan so the ocean to me is even more spectacular. The beach is long, and they can get some high swells. The highest I’ve seen is maybe 6 ft. I love the negative ions that the ocean kicks off into the air and the spray feels soothing against my skin.
The mountains are a place I want to visit for a future road trip. I would like to go up to Mt. Shasta to visit. It is said that there is an energy vortex under it, like the one in Sedona. When I was younger, I used to go to the Coconino National Forest in Arizona to go hiking in the woods by myself. I had quite a spiritual experience as I trekked the trails.
Do you have any favorite music to get you in a creative mood?
I listen to alt music and relaxing sounds to get me into the creative mode. However, with the stories I have in my head, I’m in touch with the characters and have found the writing to be easy. Then there are times where I sit and write with nothing by the cats purring in the background.
You mention you enjoy playing “Tomb Raider.” I enjoy most anything with a female action lead. If you could have any trait of Lara Croft’s, what would it be?
I really love the protagonist, Lara Croft. She is independent, intelligent, and wants justice. I love how she takes charge of situations and never falters down. And when she does ‘die’, the game just goes back to the last checkpoint and she is back.
It would be her bravery. I’ve seen her confront ‘dangerous men’, as she says in Legend. She is very quick to respond, intelligent, and is grounded. Another trait she has that I admire is her poise. In Tomb Raider Cradle of Life, she goes shooting targets while riding a horse in a dress side saddle.
Lara has done a lot of research and knows a lot about what she is doing. However, she isn’t afraid to take a risk on things, most of which work out in her favor.
What’s up next?
I am hard at work on three other manuscripts, two of which are a series. I am planning on releasing one of the books later this year for publishing. I have a story about a woman who undergoes a very horrific experience that actually is her walk of life and we get to watch her as she walks through it. I have another story that features romance as well as other paranormal activity. The end is quite a surprise. I have another that is a fantasy story involving strong women who go on an adventure that they hadn’t planned on.
What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?
My first favorite guilty pleasure is playing the Tomb Raider games on my computer. I even use a controller and I’m very good at most of the maneuvers in the game, including timed runs.
My second guilty pleasure is chocolate and I love to bake. I have a recipe that I based off a few other recipes for my chocolate cake and frosting. I plan to share the recipe on a future blog on Lynn Lawler’s Book Blog.
Care to share a fun fact about yourself?
I am a cat person, having a few felines at home. We enjoy playing with them and I do have special voices for them. Sometimes they respond, sometimes not.
Also, I love to play chess online and watch Dodger’s baseball.
I have always loved the outdoors and spend a good amount of time sitting out in my backyard, enjoying what life is offering.
Thank you, Lynn, for taking the time to chat here on the Meet & Greet. She was kind enough to share two excerpts from “Awakened By Fate” with us. Have a look and then grab a copy for your next weekend read.
Until next time, all the best,
She did her best to blend in, walking around, drink in hand. Then she saw Holly. This time she wasn’t letting her get away, so she locked in on her.
Arching her eyebrow, Holly said, “So you’re back, I see. How would you like to go do something bad?”
Jackie felt her heart race like she was running a marathon. Her nipples hardened and her insides quivered. Smiling, she replied, “What did you have in mind?”
“Whatever you’d like.”
Jackie led her to the pool house. She imagined feeling the warmth of the woman’s smooth naked skin against hers.
They slipped into the darkness. The glow of the full moon provided their only light. Closing the door, Holly was suddenly all over her. “Are you ready for the ride of your life?” Holly asked.
Jackie barely got, “Oh, yes” out of her mouth when Holly’s mouth was upon hers. She worked her tongue into Jackie’s mouth and their tongues danced. Reaching behind Jackie, she unzipped her dress and gently moved it over her shoulders. It fell to the floor and Jackie kicked it away.
Jackie shuddered. After a quick debate, she decided not to confide in her. After all she didn’t know Lisa very well and didn’t want to burden her with her problems.
“Listen, the reason for my call was that I wanted to know what you were doing next Thursday. If I’m not mistaken, don’t you have that day off?”
“Well, I was wondering if you’d like to come over and see my sculptures.”
Energetically, Jackie replied, “I’d love to come over and see your work. Recently a friend took me to an art gallery and they had one sculpture artist.
“I just love working with plaster. Sometimes I paint them. Tribal looks are my favorite. I have a picture of one that I recently sold that I’d like to show you.”
“I wished it was next Thursday already. I know I’m in for a real treat.”
“It’s a date then. How about around 6:00 p.m?”
After Jackie hung up the phone, she went to the kitchen and refilled her glass. Plopping on the couch, she thought about her vision she’d witnessed of Lisa.
I wonder if Lisa is going to hit the big time? Why else did this come to me?
“I know, why don’t I try a meditation and see if anything comes forward,” she said aloud. She prepared.
It didn’t take her long to get relaxed since she was already drunk. Closing her eyes, she began deep breathing. Soon the white glowing screen materialized. At first, all she saw were colored shapes. Then people started to materialize.
Suddenly, Jackie saw herself among the crowd. Loud voices and music were all around her, clear as day. The smell of beer and smoke filled the air. With awe in her eyes, Jackie looked amongst the people huddled in front of the Bowtie Club.
A group of people emerged from the bar and walked over to the curb. One person met eye contact with Jackie and gave her a strange look. Jackie looked away, not caring what it meant. Looking around, she recognized a woman whom she used to know down at the corner. Jackie moved in closer.
A chill crept up her legs, so she walked more briskly. Once at the corner, she met eye contact with her friend. However, the woman just kept talking like nothing at all. No matter how much Jackie waved, she could not get her attention. Disappointed, she turned to walk down the street. When she got to the corner, she turned and continued walking.
Out of nowhere came the loud barking of a large dog. Frantically, she bolted down the street as fast as she could. To her horror, the dog chased her!
I’ve got to get to safety, and fast too!
The next thing she knew, she was back in her living room and rubbing her legs, trying to get warm and out of breath. She tried to rationalize what had just happened and had no success. And then a dog reacted to her. Frightened, she left all the lights on and before she went to bed.
CONNECT WITH LYNN:
Instagram: Lynn Lawler’s Instagram page
Google Plus: Lynn Lawler’s Google Plus page
LinkedIn: Lynn Lawler’s LinkedIn page