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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Spotlight On Author Lynn Kurland

Happy Monday Everybody,

The edits for All's Fair In Love & Lion are doing all right. I'm working on several ideas for promotional items, and fun little tidbits...which, I will reveal sometime in the future. I'm very excited about several things and hope you'll enjoy them, too.

I know it's been a very long time since I've done an author interview. For that, I do apologize. However, I promise, it's worth the wait!

Lynn Kurland is an author I discovered when I was in high school (many moons ago). The first book I read by her was probably This Is All I Ask. When I started reading her, she didn't have a lot of books out, but now Lynn has two series--Paranormal/Historical Romance following the MacLeod & de Piaget families, and a fantasy one full of magic. I haven't really read her fantasy books; however, the MacLeod/de Piaget books are awesome (and there are a bunch of them, now, I'm happy to say). My favorite is probably Stardust Of Yesterday.

This interview is actually a dream come true for me. I went total fan-girl when Lynn agreed to the interview. She was very sweet, worked with me, and we've had some nice chats, and the interview was a lot of fun to read her answers.

I hope you enjoy getting to know her as much as I have. So without further ado, I give you...Lynn Kurland! (I apologize in advance for any spacing issues--Blogger doesn't paste stuff from a word processor very well).

Me:  Several of your novels are paranormals--time travels & ghosts. What made you decide to take your stories in that direction?

Lynn:  Well, it's partly because I love a good ghost story and partly because I think it would be so cool to get to go back in time and see for myself what history looks like.

Me:  You also have a fantasy series out, could you tell us a little about those?

Lynn:  I'm a big Tolkien fan, but I've made no secret of my wish that he'd put just a little more romance in the Lord of the Rings series! My first editor made a miracle happen and offered me  the chance to write fantasy so I jumped on it without hesitation. So now I get both the fantasy and romance to my specifications. :)
As a little aside, there have been a few moments in my writing life that were so awesome as to be a little surreal. The first was when I saw Stardust of Yesterday in my local grocery  store. The most recent is getting a hard copy of Dreamspinner, opening it up, and seeing a map of what's in my head right there in print. I was really fortunate to have my good friend, Tara Larsen Chang, use her considerable illustrator talents and enormous amounts of patience to put that together for me. Her illustrations are absolutely amazing and if we can ever put something else together, I would love it.

Me:  Do you have a favorite sweet treat? If so, what is it?

Lynn:  Anything chocolate!

Me:  You get questions about which character will have a story (you know I'm voting for Royce, Kendrick's best friend) who do you get the most requests for and do you think that character will or won't get his or her own story?

Lynn:  I get the requests for, in descending order, Phillip de Piaget, Joshua of Sedwick, Royce,  and even occasionally for Nazir. (I think Nazir might just continue to hide in the shadows, sharpening his swords.) Phillip's already at least on my mental schedule. About Royce, hmmm, I'll have to give him some thought. I like the thought of doing something with Joshua, but I'm not sure that would ever happen unless it was sort of a secondary thing in a book about someone else.

Me:  A lot of your stories take place in England and Scotland, have you ever been there?

Lynn:  My husband's family is British so yes, we do try to go at least for family reunions every few years. I keep trying to talk my husband into just pulling up stakes for a couple of years and heading to Cambridge so he could get his PhD, but no one in the family seems too excited about the idea. Well, except me, of course. :) Ah, for castles that don't require a transatlantic plane ride to get to!
Me:  What is your advice to aspiring authors?

Lynn:  My advice always has been to write what's in your heart and that hasn't changed, but boy has the market changed! I think with all the ability we have these days to get our stuff out there digitally, it's almost even more difficult to find an audience than it was twenty years ago. I've been doing this a long time and I still get a little overwhelmed when I think too much about the business side of it.
For me, especially in light of that, it still all boils down to this: write what you love in a way that you would enjoy reading it and worry about the rest later. It doesn't matter if you sell 10 books a year or 100,000 books a year, the only thing you can control is what happens between you and that blank page. You can't control your sales, or your audience, or your reviews. All you can do is write what you love and hope there are readers out there who will love it as well.

As for more practical advice, I would suggest the following:

1) Get a good grammar book and use it. (I love the Transitive Vampire and its spin-offs, but I like the thought of gargoyles using gerunds properly.)

2) Make the majority of what you read quality stuff, not crap. If you pick up something and it's poorly written, read the last five pages to figure out what happens, then get rid of it. Great writers stand the test of time because they're great writers. What you put into your head is what's eventually going to come out on the page, albeit ideally through your voice. Read the good stuff!
3) Write. A lot. I can't stress this enough. The only way you'll become a fabulous writer is to practice, practice, practice.

4) Concentrate on what you can control, which is you and the page. Let the rest of it go until you have to deal with it.

5) Enjoy it. :) Lots of people say they want to write a book and lots of people never get around to it. You're living the dream!

Me:  How did you get started in the writing business?
Lynn:  I actually headed into college as a classically trained musician with thoughts of making a career out of opera. (I'm not sure that would have worked out; I like being home at night and would rather work in my pajamas!) A robust case of mono sort of derailed me during my last year of college and after reading a few romances, I found myself wondering if I couldn't write one myself and have it end the way I wanted it to. (Still scarred from not enough romance in LOTR, as you can see!) I can't imagine doing anything else now. It's a million times better than performing because I get to have control over everything--scenery, plot, costumes--and everyone. And I get to do it in my pajamas. :)

Me:  What's your favorite Holiday & why?
Lynn:  I honestly at the moment can't decide. I'm getting to the point where I'm always looking forward to the next one coming up! I'm just grateful for excuses to get together with family.

Me:  Which of your characters would you want to meet, and why?
Lynn:  I think I might be getting old, but instead of a sword-wielding hunk, I think I would like to sit down for an afternoon with Soilleir of Cothromaiche, from the Nine Kingdoms series. I have a tendency to feel like I have to solve everything for everyone around me instead of just sitting back and letting them work things out for themselves. I think this might be an occupational hazard created by getting to direct--occasionally--the lives of people in books. :)

Me:  In your opinion, what's harder--writing or editing?
Lynn:  Writing, definitely. I am really a terrible writer--I live in fear of getting hit by a bus with only a rough draft on my computer that my editor would then have to take and try to make sense of!--but maybe a tolerable rewriter. It's much easier to edit something already on the page than create it from scratch.

Me:  Anything else you'd like to add?

Lynn:  Just a thank you to you, Bethany, for having me over to your cyber living room, and another in what will always be an endless number of thank yous to everyone who continues to part with their hard-earned money for my stories. It has truly been a remarkable journey so far.  I'm so grateful for the emails I get, the life stories I've heard, and the wonderful people I've gotten to meet through simple little books I wasn't even really sure initially would ever sell. Thank you for loving these characters as much as I do and giving these books a good home on your bookshelves!
 
Have A Marvelously Magical Monday!

10 comments:

theresagrillo said...

What a great interview!!! Loved learning more about you, Lynn!

Teri Thackston said...

Great interview, Bethany. And, Lynn, I will definitely check out your books. They sound wonderful...and you offer terrific advice for writers, too.

Bethany said...

Tessy,

Thank you. Also, thank you for dropping by and commenting. :-)

Bethany said...

Teri,

Thank you so much. Her books are a lot of fun.

Thank you for dropping by and commenting. :-)

Tonette said...

I'm getting caught up here on your post that I somehow missed! Thanks for introducing me to Lynn Kurland.Not only do her books sound interesting, but I am more intrigued by her responses...she really seems like a nice lady, with intelligence.
I will be looking her up and reading her work.
Thanks for the tip. You were right; this was a great interview!

Bethany said...

Tonette,

Awesome! I hope you enjoy her work. She is REALLY nice.

Thank you for dropping by and commenting :-)

Evangeline said...

Thank you Bethany for a great interview with Lynn Kurland. She had wonderful advise to aspiring authors like me. With suggestions being flown at me left and right, it was good to hear (or read) a confirmation that said to be true to yourself.
Thank you, again.

Bethany said...

Evangeline,

First off, what a pretty name!

Second, you're totally welcome. I understand being a newbie and getting a lot of different advice. Been there, myself.

Thank you for coming by and for commenting! I hope you'll come again. :-)

Susan J. Berger said...

I just found this post while looking for info on Lynn. I want to interview her for my blog and I want to thank her because she is one of the authors who reminded me I get t make up my own rules for time travel and then stick to them. Thanks for a delightful interview.

Bethany said...

Susan,

Glad you enjoyed the interview. Thank you for dropping by and supporting Lynn! Best wishes with your writing. :-)