Author Lynette Rees
Q, What made you start writing and when?
A, I’ve always written as far back as I remember, I just think it comes naturally to me—
as natural as taking a breath in and out.
Q, How long have you been writing?
A, I remember writing short stories and making little books when I was in primary school. I always had a lot of imagination even back then.
Q, What genre of books do you write?
A, Romance in the following sub genres: contemporary, suspense, comedy and historical. I also write crime fiction under the name, ‘Lyn Harman’.
Q, Where does your inspiration come from?
A, I get ideas from everywhere and anywhere! I got the idea for The Honey Trap from a newspaper article about honey trappers who set up cheating partners for their wives and girlfriends. I suddenly thought: What if one of those honey trappers accidentally set up the wrong guy?
I sometimes get ideas for historical stories from actual events, for example, I’d read about the 1865 Gethin Pit explosion in the village of Abercanaid where I live [which happened just before Christmas that year] killing 34 men and boys and thought, “What would life be like for the villagers at that time? And so, ‘Black Diamonds’ was born, which was the first of the ‘Seasons of Change’ series of books.
Studying photographs are a good source of inspiration for stories and also listening to music as I let my imagination run riot!
Q, How do you plan your story line?
A, I don’t. I rarely plan. I’m a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type of writer. What I do though is think of a beginning, which often comes from a question I’ve asked myself about a situation. I also usually have an ending in mind and work from A to B. I find working that way I often surprise myself. For example, in my most recently published novel, ‘Red Poppies’, something happened which shocked me. It was a discovery about one of the characters that suddenly popped into my mind. I had to run with it. When I write I see events unfolding before my eyes like watching a movie on a big screen. I like to surprise myself as I tend to think, no surprise for the writer, no surprise for the reader.
Q, Do you write full time?
A, I try to work full time most days, though part of that time might be spent on promotion or editing and revision too.
Q, When do you do most of your writing?
A, I write best early morning or very late at night.
Q, What would you say to novice writers?
A, Don’t just talk about writing, do it! You can’t fix a blank page. Write and give yourself permission to write rubbish to begin with. You can always go back and amend it. Set your subconscious mind free and don’t edit and revise as you go along as it will kill the story stone dead. It’s a good idea to take the Nanowrimo Challenge. This is a writing challenge that takes place throughout November every year. The idea being to write at least 50,000 words in one calendar month. You can sign up for it online. In fact I know of someone who completed it in the early days and she eventually became a New York Times Best Selling Novelist! Her name is Lani Diane Rich. That Nanowrimo inspired novel became her first best seller called, Time Off For Good Behavior. I was fortunate to interview her for an article for, Writers’ Forum magazine a few years ago.
Q, Do you just write ebooks?
A, No, I’ve also written articles for magazines and websites. I also have several blogs. Two are to promote my books and there I write about all sorts of things. The other, is a Jack the Ripper blog. I used to run a ‘Catfished’ blog based on the well-known MTV show, ‘Catfish’. It was very popular and received lots of comments from the ‘Catfish’ themselves. I ended up closing it down though as several TV companies kept badgering me to provide them with people for the UK version of the show. The trouble was they needed the people who’d been catfished [i.e the victims] but only the catfish were contacting my blog and then for obvious reasons, they were anonymous! So, I wouldn’t have been able to contact them personally if I wanted to!
Q, Would you like to go into print?
A, I’ve been fortunate to see my work in print since around 2001 one way or another, whether it’s been printed in a magazine in Australia, Canada, America or over here in the United Kingdom or in book format. Seeing my work in print was the icing on the cake for me!
Q, Do you have any other hobbies?
A, Yes, I love tracing my family tree [which was the inspiration for one of my books], local history and history in general. I also love music, all sorts, my tastes are very varied. I love anything from The Beatles to Beethoven!
Q, What do you do for relaxation?
A, I like walking or listening to relaxing music.
Q, Have you got any other information about yourself or to help other authors?
A, Yes, never give up. Be persistent as persistence wins the day. I didn’t get published immediately. In the early days when I just wrote articles and short stories, I had to keep sending them out, but found after several rejections, I eventually found some editor somewhere liked what I’d written. If I’d have given up at the first hurdle I’d never have seen my work in print. The same with my books…in the beginning I tried several publishers until I found a fit. Nowadays, I have two publishers, one in the US and the other in the UK, and I’m also an Indie self-published author too. I find it gives me more freedom to do what I want with my work. I don’t have to restrict myself. Of course, self-publishing is a lot of work but it can be very rewarding. These days you don’t have to keep trying to get published as you can do it all yourself by using publishing platforms such as Amazon Kindle [to publish your ebook] and Create Space [to go into print]. Some self-published authors like, Rachel Abbot, have even made the best seller lists. So publishing isn’t as limiting as it was for me in the early days when I started out trying to get published. I say, if you’ve got the talent, go for it. Join some sort of creative writing group, whether it’s at your local library or online. It will keep you motivated and you’ll learn from other writers. Better to learn the truth about your work from strangers rather than to have friends and relatives tell you how great it is because they don’t want to upset you. If you feel inspired by reading this, then do something about it as soon as possible. I joined a creative writing group run by my local library back in 1999 and I literally haven’t stopped writing since, even though that same group no longer exists!
Sallyann Cole of ‘Sally’s Sneaky Peeks’
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