Today I'm interviewing author Carol Lynne. She has been one of my favorite authors for some time and I have read everything she has written. I first talked to Carol about a year ago when I emailed her as a fan after reading her Men in Love series. She emailed me back right away. She has always been good to her fans. I would like to thank Carol for doing this interview with me. She was the inspiration that started me writing.
If you haven't had a chance to read her work, I would suggest you try it out. She's brought me to tears, made me laugh, and caused me to fall in love with her characters. Check her out at her website.
Q: What is your normal day like?
A: Well, besides taking care of two young children, I’m usually in front of my laptop. I generally only write about 7 or 8 hours though. The rest of the time I’m answering emails, talking on IM, or brainstorming future stories.
Q: What about writer's block?
A: I’ve been very fortunate and have never experienced writer’s block. Oh, there are times during the month when the last thing I want to think about is sex, but it goes away. Thanks god!
Q: What would you say is a true hero?
A: Of course the usual answer is someone who puts their own mortality aside and thinks only of others, and I totally agree with that. On a personal level my answer would be quite different. I look up to people who’ve been hurt in the past but can still let their guard down enough to let others in. It’s not an easy thing to do, and I admire those who can.
Q: How do you know if you’ve written a good story?
A: If the book makes me cry while writing it, I usually know it’ll touch others as well.
Q: Which comes first, the story, the characters or the setting?
A: Definitely the characters. My favorite part of any new book is exploring the characters in depth.
Q: What’s your favorite thing about writing?
A: I enjoy the freedom and duality of writing. At home I’m mommy, but when I log on to my laptop, I become Carol Lynne. It’s like having a secret garden in your own home.
Q: Do you have a favorite character?
A: Well, don’t tell Jake and Cree, but the more I write about Nate, the more I like him. I’d have to say he’s every character I’ve written rolled into one man.
Q: Which of your books did you have the most fun writing?
A: That’s a toss up between All Play and No Work and Karaoke at the Tumbleweed.
Q: Which book was the hardest to write?
A: There are actually two that were difficult to get on paper. Finnegan’s Promise was written soon after my father’s death. I cried ninety percent of the time writing that one. The other would be my upcoming Ellora’s Cave release, No Longer His. That particular book helped me deal with a lot of issues I’ve been carrying around in my hip pocket.
Q: Why do you write in this genre?
A: Gee, I’m asked that all the time, and you know, I’m still not sure. I think it has something to do with my inexperience with healthy M/F relationships. It’s much easier to imagine two men loving each other for me.
Q: Do you ever feel weird writing gay erotica?
A: Not at all. It might if I wrote it because it was the hot genre or for the money, but I write it because I truly love it. How can I feel weird about doing what I love?
Q: What project you're working on now?
A: I’m presently working on another book in the Cattle Valley series, and I’m getting ready to wind up the Campus Cravings series.
Q: How did you come up with Cattle Valley?
A: Actually, I’ve caught quite a bit of flack for my gay men in the Campus Cravings books. I hear people say no way can there be that many gay men in that town. Well, I live close to Kansas University, and I’m here to tell you I haven’t even tapped the surface.
So, when I decided to create a new series, the last thing I wanted was to hear the same remarks. I wanted the books to be about the characters and not how many gay men were in a particular town. That’s when I came up with the idea of Cattle Valley. There, it doesn’t matter what your sexual orientation is. The stories are simply about the characters.
Q: You have Men in Love, Cattle Valley, Campus Cravings, and the Good-time Boys. Any other series you're thinking about?
A: I just returned from a week at a working cattle ranch in Montana. I’m hoping to use my experiences to write a new series. There will be cowhands, wranglers, and guests. It should be a lot of fun, and I do love some cowboys.
Q: What made you want to become a writer?
A: Here’s another answer people don’t like. I never even considered writing before I turned forty. One day I woke up with a story in my head. I wanted to read a ménage, but I really wanted the men to touch and love each other. At the time, there weren’t many out there. I started on the internet and searched for the book that was on my mind. When I was unable to find it, I sat down at the computer I’d inherited from my father only two months prior and wrote Branded by Gold. That first book took me two weeks to complete, and I was hooked. I never imagined I could use my wild and crazy dreams in such a way.
Q: What's the best writing advice you've ever received?
A: Write what you love, because readers will be able to tell the difference.
Q: What's your favorite thing about writing? Your least favorite?
A: Doing something so incredibly rewarding. I love when a reader emails to tell me how much they’ve enjoyed one of my stories. Sometimes I feel guilty because not everyone gets that kind of feedback from their job.
My least favorite part would have to be putting my stories out there to be criticized. I know it goes hand in hand with my favorite part, but there it is. It’s not that I hate it when someone doesn’t enjoy one of my books, but when someone comments, and they haven’t taken the time to read the book, it really bothers me.
Q: Do you find your books draw you in and it is hard to let go once you have finished?
A: Yes and no. When I’m writing, I feel totally immersed in my characters. By the time the book is finished, I’ve given those characters what they needed, and I’m ready to move on to the next lonely souls.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who has an idea for a book, but doesn't know where or how to begin?
A: The biggest advice I can give anyone is to find a routine and stick to it. You may only have time for thirty minutes a day, but make sure you give yourself that every single day. Even if you’re stumped and don’t know what to write next, sit in that chair. Getting the work ethic down is the most important part in my opinion.
Q: What is your favorite quote?
A: Gee, I’m not sure who said this, probably someone long dead. "If you have to crawl to live, stand and die." That quote brings tears to my eyes every time I read it or say it.
Q: Tell us one thing your readers might not know about you?
A: Having double jointed hips isn’t necessarily a good thing. LOL