Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Chat With Lynette

No, I don't mean me. I mean Lynette Eason, author of Lethal Deception, available now from Love Inspired Suspense. If you're a reader of what my buddies and I like to call LIS, you know that you must get to Wal-Mart, or wherever you get your LIS books every month, as soon as you know the books are available. Because they fly off the shelves, with good reason.
Lethal Deception is Lynette's first published novel, and I had the chance to ask her a few questions about her book, and about writing too. Here's what we talked about.

Where'd you get the idea for your book?

Lynette: I was sitting the Department of Motor Vehicles thinking I would NEVER get out of that “jungle” when I just started brainstorming the first chapter of Lethal Deception. I had a screaming two year old in front of me who became the daughter of missionary friends who needed a guardian. I threw in a few bad guys, a hero to the rescue and a loving God and voila! I know, that’s a really weird way to get a story idea, huh?
Lynette: Oh, that makes perfect sense to me. People-watching is a great way to find ideas.

What process do you go through as you write? Are you a plotter, or a pantster?
Lynette: Oh boy. This is kind of a hard question for me. I’ll get a little smidge of an idea from something and then I’ll have to place my character in the midst of that idea and see what happens. But before I can really develop the story, I HAVE to do a character sketch. I use Randy Ingermanson’s layout. It’s the only one I’ve found that works for me and lets me get to know my characters. Once I’ve got the characters down, I move on to the synopsis. At this point, it’s not really a synopsis, it’s a brainstorm page…or 10. Once I have all that down, I can start writing Chapter 1. Usually the synopsis/story changes as I write it, but at least the synopsis helps keep me on track, and I know I have to get to the next scene.

Before I was published, I would edit the synopsis as I wrote because I knew when I submitted the manuscript, I’d have to submit a synopsis, too. So, using this method, when the manuscript was finished I had a “matching” synopsis to go along with it to submit.

As far as revision, I find that I really write a pretty clean first draft. And that’s simply because I catch a lot of mistakes as I go. I’m not one to waste time on constant editing. I write, editing as I go to some extent. When I finish the manuscript, I print it off and read it out loud to myself…and anyone who is unfortunate enough to be within earshot. At this point, I generally send a copy to my critique partner. As I read it aloud, I find mistakes, holes in the plot, things I need to address, etc. I make note of those on the printed version, then change them on the computer, print it out again, read through it again, see if I missed anything, fix it if I did, then send the thing off to my editor.

Who's been the biggest influence on your writing?
Lynette: Dee Henderson and Brandilyn Collins have been huge influences. I wanna be like them when I grow up…ha. Seriously, I LOVE suspense, the weaving of the characters, the faith element, the mystery, the “scariness”. It’s all just like a great big puzzle waiting to be solved. Dee and Brandilyn do all of this beautifully.

Tell us about the day you got "the call."
Lynette: I was at work and my cell phone rang. Now, normally, I wouldn’t have my cell phone on, but my son was showing signs that he wasn’t feeling well that morning, so I kind of expected the nurse at his school to call me and tell me to come get him, so I just kept the phone on. When it rang, I thought, “I knew it! Rats.” I didn’t mind going to get him, I just didn’t want him to be sick! But…it wasn’t the school, it was Krista Stroever! I wanted to scream, but managed to hold it in…at least until I hung up. It was incredible. I couldn’t believe it. Then I just started thanking God!

Any advice for those who'd like to write for Love Inspired Suspense?
Lynette: Oh my, just keep writing. I know that doesn’t help much, but it’s true. You just have to keep at it. Believe me, I know how hard it is to keep at it and keep getting rejected. The best thing, I think, is to find a mentor who writes for the line. And read the books… Which I know most people who want to write for Steeple Hill DO read the books, but just thought I’d mention it. Go to any and all conferences that you can afford, join a critique group and just keep at it. Really, I very firmly believe it’s all about honing your skills and perseverance.

When does your next book release?
Lynette: My next book is RIVER OF SECRETS and will be out in August 2008. HOLIDAY ILLUSION is out November 2008 and then the new series starts off with a bang in March of 2009 with A SILENT TERROR.
Lynette: I'm marking my calendar!
Thanks, Lynette, for stopping by today. I enjoyed hearing about your books, and your writing journey.
Meanwhile, y'all stop by Lynette's web site at www.lynetteeason.com. You can learn more about Lynette, and her books.

No comments: