The Mistress of Pennington's Tour

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Welcome fellow Wild Rose Press author, Lynda J Cox...

Welcome, Lynda! I think this is the first time we've met so I'm very much looking forward to learning more about you and your writing. I am just about 100% in love with the dog in your author pic - just SO beautiful!!

Okay, let's get on with the interview...

1)   When and why did you decide you wanted to be a published author?

I’ve been writing since I was sixteen.  Long before there was anything such as the Internet with its plethora of fan-fiction sites, I will admit to writing a fan-fic, complete with (on recollection) the requisite Mary Sue of the worst of all fan-fiction.  However it wasn’t until I already had kids that I decided I wanted to be a published romance author.  I wrote my first western historical romance on a typewriter and started sending it out to agents.  I didn’t know a thing about writing, genres, POV, plotting…so needless to say, the rejections came in fast and furious.  I saw each of those rejections as a learning experience and kept on writing. 

2)   What is the best and worse thing you have learned from an editor/agent?

The worst thing I ever learned from an agent was to doubt my own voice.  For a short while I had signed with an agent who could only be termed “the agent from hell.”  I should have known there was something not quite right when she was in the AOL chat rooms looking for new clients but like so many others I put it down to this agent just starting her own agency and needing clients.   This agent wanted to change everything about the romance I submitted—so much so that I truly began to doubt my own voice and my ability to write.  In retrospect, this agent wanted me to write the story she “always wanted to write.”  The best thing I ever learned was from my editor at The Wild Rose Press—Susan Yates—and that was to trust my instincts about my voice and that I am the only one who can tell the story of my protagonists.  Susan never said as much in so many words, but her style of editing is so gentle and yet so laser sharp that the final product is light-years away from what I originally submitted in terms of quality.  Yet she never once tried to take over the story or change my voice. 

3)   Favourite author/s?

I have to pick?  Seriously?  I have a few, if you’re going to insist.  My new favorites are a few of my fellow Roses—Willa Blair and Vonnie Davis both write incredibly well and pull their readers into the story so much so that you don’t want to leave at the end.  I also really enjoy reading Jack Whyte’s Cameloud series—which is his spin on the Arthurian myths.  But, if I was stuck on a deserted island with only books by one author, those books better be J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series.  I will admit to being a totally unabashed Harry Potter geek.

4)   What is your typical day?

Define typical.  During the school year, I have to adjust my writing times because I teach at a university.  Those early morning classes do not lend themselves to late night writing sessions, which is my preferred time to write. 

5)   Share your blurb or short excerpt from your latest release with us.

The Devil’s Own Desperado blurb:
He's everything she fears…

Wounded gunfighter Colt Evans stumbles onto a remote homestead never expecting to find compassion. But beautiful Amelia McCollister is like no other woman. Suddenly, his dream of settling down with a wife and home is within reach—but only if his past never comes gunning for him.

She's everything he dreams of…

Amelia had to grow up fast after outlaws murdered her parents, leaving her to raise her siblings alone. With a young brother who idolizes shootists, she dreads having a notorious gunman in her home. But as Colt slowly recovers, he reveals a caring nature under his tough exterior that Amelia can't resist.

Just when Colt starts to believe he can leave the gunfighter life behind, his past returns, bringing danger to them all. Can a shootist ever hang up his hardware? Or will their dreams disappear in the smoke of a desperado's gun?

6)   Who would you cast to play your hero & heroine in a movie?

Wow…that’s one I’ve never really thought about because they are really their own persons.  They are probably the first couple I’ve written without a frame of reference to another person.  That being said, if this were made into a movie this week and I had a say in who was cast (and budget was not an issue) I could see William Levy (Cuban born American actor) as Colt—or as my pool boy, come to think of it.  I’d also have no problems with Emma Watson as Amelia. 

7)   Did you plan this book? Or write it as it came?

I didn’t plan this book, it wrote itself.  And, I certainly wasn’t planning on writing it when I did.  I was eye-ball deep in writing my creative project and the 25 plus page critical introduction to said creative piece for my master’s degree in English when Colt walked into my imagination, hand in hand with Amelia, and he demanded that I write their story.  Usually I can push ideas and characters to a back burner when I’m working on one project (and my whole scholastic career was on the line with that master’s creative project so there was a lot of impetus to push them away for a while) but Colt just would not take “not right now” for an answer.  So, in between writing the scholarly critical introduction, finishing the creative project and working as the director of the Writing Center for the university where I now teach, I wrote The Devil’s Own Desperado.

8)   What surprised you the most when you became a published?

The biggest surprise was the utter normalcy of my life.  Yes, when I got the contract, saw the cover mock-up, read the final galley, I floated somewhere up in the stratosphere for several days each time.  And when I came back to earth, I went right back to working on the next manuscript.  I decided a long time ago, when I was finally published, I was not going to be a “one hit wonder.”  So, it was go right back to writing.

9)   Do you have a dedicated writing space? What does it look like?

I have my own little cabin.  We purchased a small storage unit that looks like a tiny Western homesteader’s cabin, finished it out on the interior with insulation, paneling on the walls, hardwood flooring, recessed lighting, a built-in work space, and covered one long wall with built-in book shelves.  It has heat in the winter and is kept cool in the summer by all the maple trees surrounding it.  My favorite place to sit is on the porch of the cabin because it overlooks the rest of our property.  It’s rather like being a homesteader—with electricity.

10)                   What’s next for you?

Right now, I have the next romance set in the small town of Federal, Wyoming Territory sitting on my editor’s desk.  I’m waiting to hear from Susan if The Wild Rose Press will pick this one up.  It’s the story of Dr. Archer and Rebecca, two peripheral characters from The Devil’s Own Desperado.  And I’m polishing up Marshal Taylor’s story and working on a fourth story set in Federal.  

I can be “found” at the following locations and the The Devil’s Own Desperado  can be found at the last link:

Great interview, Lynda! I wish you all the luck in the world with your writing and hopefully lots and lots of sales. Okay, over to you guys! Comments??

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