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Talking books and such

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Here’s the deal. I write stories. Sometimes. When there’s a free moment between being a waitress for my kids and folding laundry and watching OC marathons on the Pop channel. I do it because I love it. And I’ve done it for a really long time. When I was a young thing, I’d read the latest Babysitter Club book and then sit down and immediately write my own sequel. (Sorry, Ann M. Martin. That’s what fan fiction looked like in the 80s.)  My best friend and I started writing our own series together in the sixth grade, called The Hawaii Twins. When we studied WWII in high school, I wrote a novel about swing kids who were trying to escape the Nazis. I love stories. Movies. Theater. Music. Anything that tells a good story.

During great times in my life, I’d write. During difficult times in my life, I’d write. I went off to college and in my Liberty University dorm room (which was in no way as cool as the dorm rooms are now), when Leah, then Courtney, then Laurie (year after year of roommates) would take off to class or to hang out with friends, I’d turn on Caedmon’s Call (or Matchbox Twenty or Dave Matthews or Rich Mullins or Christmas music or whatever) and I’d write.

But even before those fun college days . . . a story came to me. I spent a year at a school in Longview a very long time ago. It was a difficult year for me, to be honest. But it’s where I met Amber. And Joy. And Krisha. And Lois. And Micah. And Charisa. And Mary Jane. And Karissa. And Wes. And Paul. And Erika and Efrain. And Leticia. And Dairisha and Blanca and Melissa and Rachel and Sharon and Tim and Miss Michelle and SO many more awesome people. And in that tiny little dorm room that I shared with FIVE other girls, I started writing a story about seven friends. Seven twenty-somethings who are in and out of each other’s lives. Who love each other like family.

Over the years I’ve written and rewritten that story. Reinvented certain characters. I’d go back to it when I had the urge. The story, the characters had been there for me when I’d needed an outlet, when I’d needed to feel creative, when I’d needed solace. I didn’t want to give up on them. The bottom line-it was a story in my heart that still wanted to be told.

So, while I was pregnant with Lily, I pulled up a blank document and decided to start fresh. I’d write it all over again, the way I’d want to tell it right now. So I did. And I loved every minute and I cried at times. It’s hard to describe how I feel about this novel, because it’s been part of me for so long. It’s who I was then, and it’s who I am now.

And I’m ABSOLUTELY thrilled to tell you that it will be published, and as of now, will most likely be released at the beginning of next summer (I’ve just signed the contract so I still need to dive into the editing and rewriting process, and books, you know, take a super long time.) I’ll keep you posted on the process. I cannot wait to share this story with you, loveys. I just know that when I finally see it in print, I’ll bawl and howl and laugh and jump up and down like a crazy person.

Can’t. Wait.

Just a thought. Having the heart of a writer means that there are stories inside of you that you need to tell. Some, you will write and they’ll stay in a drawer or on your laptop for forever (and if you pull them out and take a look, you’ll think, Yeah, that needs to stay hidden in this drawer!) I’ve written stories that will never see the light of day. They were and are stepping stones, learning opportunities, practice and so on. And for some of us, it takes a very long time to get any traction with our writing. Doors close. Opportunities seem to dry up. We get discouraged. I think this happens to 90 percent of writers. (Some people are super lucky and everything always works out. I am not one of those people.) Sometimes, things happen when we’re not expecting it. We’re busy living life and loving our people and working hard. And sometimes we need to take initiative and make things happen, or at least try. Start that business. Indie-publish that novel. Save up for that trip.

By the time my novel will be published, it will have been nearly twenty years since those characters first showed up in my mind. (Crazy, I know. Now I feel super old.) But you know, there doesn’t have to be an expiration date on our dreams and goals. Life changes and we change and our hopes change. Good things can happen. Go after it, lovey.

My new editor sent me an email, telling me why she connects to the story and how excited she is for us to work on this project together. I couldn’t stop smiling after reading that email. It’s been a long road, but there’s an end in sight and a story to be told.

Coming soon, Loveys. Good things.


P.S. In the meantime, my sister is doing a giveaway of my novel Looks Like Love!  Go here to try to win a copy!

Also, follow my author page on Facebook to keep up with the publishing process as I go along!







Author Interview with Lynn Rush!

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Lynn Rush began her writing career in 2008, since then producing eighteen paranormal romance novels. She is actively involved with Romance Writers of America (RWA) and its special interest chapter Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FF&P). Lynn has both an undergraduate and graduate degree in the mental health field. When Lynn’s not writing, she spends time enjoying the Arizona sunshine by road biking with her husband of fourteen years and going on five-mile jogs with her loveable Shetland Sheep dogs.

BB: When did you discover you were a writer? Are you someone who’s scribbled away all your life? Or did a moment come where you just suddenly had a story in your head?

LR: Wait, I’m a writer? Really? *smile* It’s still weird to call myself a writer or hear someone call me that. But I am, and I’d say that realization came to me when I signed with an agent. I had to smile at the second part of this question, because I get asked that a lot. And ironically the answer is no. I never spent time scribbling down stories as a child. Writing was never a passion of mine, nor had I ever aspired to be a writer. It just kind of found me one day when a story popped into my head. I’m glad it did, too, because I really enjoy this journey.

My stories usually pop into my head at random times. It could be while having lunch with a friend, waking up from a dream-filled sleep, or while on a long run or bike ride. Like once, I was up in Sedona, AZ, for a “write-fest” with my good friend, KM Wilsher, and I said, “I’m not sure what I’m gonna write this weekend, so I’m going for a run and see if anything comes to me.”
About three miles into the run, I was sucking-dust up this steep hill and an idea hit.

I ended that weekend with nearly 30,000 words on Tainted Cadence.

BB: What genre do you write and why?

LR: Paranormal Romance is my genre of choice. I write to the twenty-something crowd. I’ve heard it termed New Adult and that’s pretty accurate. I’ve got a couple of novels that are for those who are a little bit younger (Frostbite and Light of Truth)—like maybe 16 and older, but for the most part, my target audience is the twenty-something crowd.

I love writing paranormal because it just intrigues me. I’ve always been into the crazy TV shows like Charmed, Heroes, Buffy, Angel, Dark Angel . . . So I’m not surprised my writing went that direction at all. And I love romance, so it came together just fine.

BB: What’s your writing process? Outline first? Ending first? Surprised as you go?

LR: Oh, wow, ending first? Do writer’s write endings first? I never would have guessed. But then again, I’m still pretty new to this writing-gig. I’ve only been seriously writing since 2008, so I learn every day.

My process is totally Seat Of The Pants (SOTP). I get such a rush sitting at my computer, staring at a blank screen, and have only the beginnings of an idea in my head to get me started.

I mean, I woke up one morning with a sentence on my mind. I wrote it down, and it morphed into Frostbite. I just finished the third book in that series a couple of months ago.

The only kind of planning, if you can call it that, I do is a quick mind map. It’s just a box with the character’s name (if I know it) in the middle, then a bunch of random thoughts/ideas/concepts flowing out from it. Other than that—I just sit and write.

BB: Name a few authors who’ve inspired you. What was it about their writing that moved you? Do you have any “favorite” books you read over and over?

LR: Frank Peretti was the first one to inspire me. I read his book, This Present Darkness, back in 2007 and loved the story. Piercing The Darkness was awesome, too. I loved how he described the various demons and how they toyed with humans. Absolutely loved it.

I’ve read the Twilight books over and over, and I’ve read a few of the Charlaine Harris’ Sookie novels multiple times. Bill Myers, too.
If I find a part in a book, I’ll go back and read it a few times, just to be reminded how well they wrote it. I try to learn a little from each book I read.

BB: Talk a little about your publishing experience. Did you get an agent first? Was that difficult?

LR: Publishing. . . well, in January 2010, I’d won a contest from which Violet Midnight was going to get published. I got my book cover (it was totally sweet, too), finished my first round of edits, but then the publisher closed its doors.

No more Violet Midnight in print.

My agent, Cari Foulk, from Tribe Literary Agency, has been shopping a few of my books around. Several publishers have shown some interest, but it’s early in that process.

In the mean time, I’ll keep on writing while I’m waiting. As far as finding an agent . . . it took a while, mostly because I started querying before I should have. *blush* I didn’t know what the heck I was doing all of 2008 and the first part of 2009, but after I got some experience under my belt, I went to a couple of conferences and took some classes to learn the craft, then I started querying again. It took me about a year to sign with an agent. So, press on, my writing friends!

BB: How important is faith in your novels?

LR: My faith is a part of everything I do. It’s the base of who I am, and my stories have a unique flavor as a result. I say unique because when writing paranormal romance, people expect a lot of—well—romance. So, I get to be really creative when it comes to that . . . But you’ll have to wait to read my books to see what I mean.

BB: What’s a “must know” about you?

LR: Besides how much I love to write? *smile* Everyone knows I love to exercise. My Facebook status updates are often about running and/or bike riding. It’s where I think, pray, and relax.

Funny story . . . I had a pitch session with an agent at a conference a long time ago, and when I sat down to start, she asked, “So, did you bike here from Phoenix?”

So, yeah . . . I do a lot of posting about my exercise. LOL.

BB: What are you working on now?

LR: I recently finished up writing Soul Saver and am working on editing my latest project. It’s so new I don’t even have a title yet. I stink at thinking up titles, so it’s usually the last thing I get done—and usually with a lot of help from my Blog followers and crit partners.

But NaNoWriMo starts November 1st, so I’m hoping to write the third book about Emma & Jake (Violet Midnight is the first book.) We’ll see what happens with that, though, because I’m a SOTP writer . . . you never know what I’ll wake up wanting to write on November 1st!

Catch the Rush