A few years ago I did an interview with Seriousreading.com and I thought I would share it here. For reference, “SR:” stands for seriousreading.com and “LM:” is me. 🙂
Here is the link if you would like to view it on the Serious reading website:
Interview with Lynda Meyers, author of “Finn Again”
SR: What are your views about elaborate synopsis of books at the back of the cover? Do you think they reveal too much?
LM: A back cover description should be like good lingerie. It should invite the reader in, hinting at the depth of the story without revealing too much.
SR: Have any of your past loves inspired characters in your books?
LM: Yes. But I’m not going to tell you which ones 😉
SR: What works best for you: Typewriters, fountain pen, dictate, computer or longhand?
LM: I write on the computer because I can type faster than my hand can write. Unfortunately, I still can’t type as fast as my brain can think! But writing longhand is still really important to me. I always journal longhand because it slows me down and helps distill my thoughts into something I can really dig into.
SR: When did it dawn on you that you wanted to be a writer?
LM: Pretty much as soon as I could read. I started out writing poems and keeping a small diary, then I started writing stories, music, non-fiction, etc. I still write across all those media, because I feel like each one has its own place in my heart and in my process. I try to let whatever it is that’s in my heart come out in the way it needs to without forcing my writing into one funnel.
SR: How do you think your writing style has changed over the years?
LM: I don’t know how to answer that exactly. I think every writer evolves and refines their style and their voice over time. I know I’m a better technical writer now than when I started. I write cleaner, tighter, and have less editing to do. But I think the biggest change is my voice. I think every writer starts out imitating other voices. It takes a while to find your own and I feel like I’ve finally done that. Hopefully, as I go forward, my books will have a similar feel, even though they’re vastly different from one another. That similar feel is what helps readers to feel like they’re having a conversation with an old friend.
SR: What, according to you, is the hardest thing about writing?
LM: Editing. No question. Once the story has been birthed I hate having to pick it apart. I don’t mind grammar checks and tightening sentences and making things cleaner. But large edits that adjust the theme or characterization are the bane of my existence as a writer.
SR: What would you say is the easiest aspect of writing?
LM: Watching the movies that happen in my head and transcribing them onto the page. I don’t feel like an author, because I don’t feel like I make anything up. I feel more like a scribe or a journalist. I track down the story and then I just stay on it until I feel like I’ve accurately reported what I’ve discovered.
SR: Writers are often associated with loner tendencies; is there any truth to that?
LM: I can’t speak for other writers, but I am definitely a loner. I like to be alone, I enjoy traveling alone, and when I need to recharge and gather my thoughts, I get on my Harley and ride – alone 🙂
SR: Have you ever left any of your books to stew for months on end or even a year?
LM: Absolutely. I have some that I keep trying to push out the door but the timing isn’t right and every time I try to work on them it just doesn’t feel right. I have two complete novels that are fully written – one that I finished in 2006, but I know that it’s not time for them yet. Sometimes laying something down for a while gives you a better perspective. I always try to lay a finished novel down for at least six months before I re-read it.
SR: Do you read and reply to the comments of your readers?
LM: I do! I love to get feedback from readers and I really enjoy honest feedback and am happy to enter into conversation about books or blogs I’ve written.
SR: Tell us about your writing style, how is it different from other writers?
LM: I try to be as authentic and conversational as I can in my writing style. Because I’m trying to communicate that which I see and hear in my head as I am seeing it, nuance and pause and inflection are everything. Sometimes communicating that way breaks conventional rules of grammar and style, but if it’s authentic to the way a character speaks or a specific narrator would tell the story, then I write it that way anyway. Because I started out writing poetry, cadence and pauses and spacing of words and the way they flow together are very important to me, so if the writing calls for it, I will start sentences with “And” or use the dreaded ellipsis 🙂
SR: Do your novels carry a message?
LM: While I don’t start out trying to convey a specific message, I think there are certain themes that tend to end up in my books. My stories are almost always character driven, and end up being transformation stories, mostly because I believe that’s what life is all about – the evolution of our thoughts and feelings and how that affects our relationships with the world, with others, and most importantly, with ourselves.
SR: Who is the most supportive of your writing in your family?
LM: My kids – they are my biggest fans. They are my test readers, my feedback experts, my designers and music writers and readers. They love my books and are super encouraging, even though historically it has me holed up in my office for hours on end when I’m in the middle of a project. For a while, every year I participated in NaNoWriMo. I would throw myself into my writing and I barely cooked or cleaned. My son lovingly referred to these times as “No Mom November.”
SR: Do you have a day job other than being a writer? And do you like it?
LM: I do. Although currently it’s technically a “night job”. I am a nurse in a Neuro/Trauma ICU. I love being a nurse. Always have. It allows me to travel and write and do the other things that I love. However, I have dozens of books in me and not enough time in the day, so my goal is to work less and write more. I’m moving toward that.
SR: Do you like traveling or do you prefer staying indoors?
LM: Both. I love traveling, but when I’m not traveling, I’m kind of a home body. The introvert in me craves quiet and solitude, especially after being at work or on the road traveling and having to talk and experience a lot of people and places.
SR: Do you enjoy book signings?
LM: I do actually. But only because I get to interact with readers and talk to them and learn about how the books have impacted them. However, I’m not big on public appearances in general, and in fact the fear of that is what kept me from publishing for many years. I’m getting better at it, but it still makes me really nervous.
SR: They say books die every time they are turned into a movie; what do you think?
LM: I disagree with that. I have seen some fabulous film adaptations of books. I’ve also seen some terrible ones. I think it’s true of anything. But readers will read and movie goers will watch and some readers hate movies and some movie goers don’t read. It’s only the hybrids that get caught in the debate, and they’re pretty much doomed on both ends anyway 🙂
SR: Did the thought to give up writing ever occur to you?
LM: I don’t write for other people, so no. I will always write, because it is in me and it is how I process the world. It’s a part of me that finds its expression in many different ways. I will always release it the way it feels best, regardless of others’ thoughts or opinions on the matter.
SR: How critical are you in your evaluation when you are reviewing someone’s work?
LM: I am as critical with others’ work as I am with my own. I want to read something that keeps me reading and doesn’t distract me with grammar mistakes or choppy sentence structure. Characters have to be believable within their genre, and it has to keep me interested. If I find myself thinking about my grocery list in the middle of the page, it’s not well-written. I don’t have time for books that can’t keep me from my chores.
SR: Do you believe you have done enough to leave a legacy behind?
LM: Well, this question has nothing to do with writing but I will answer it anyway. Yes. Everyone should try to live a life worth remembering and I believe I have led a very interesting life.
SR: Can you tell us about your current projects?
LM: I actually have three sticks in the fire at the moment. I’m working on the release of the prequel to Finn Again called Truly, a paranormal time travel fantasy, and also a non fiction book about female motorcyclists.
SR: When can readers expect your next book in print?
LM: Great question! Hoping for summer for the release of Truly, but that depends on a couple of factors beyond my control.
SR: Have you received any awards for your literary works?
LM: Yes. Letters From The Ledge won three awards in its first year of publication. The Next Generation Indie Book Award, A New York Book Festival Award and a Hollywood Book Festival Award.
SR: In case one or any of your books honor the big screen, which book would you like it to be?
LM: Letters From The Ledge. No doubt. Mostly because I saw it as a movie in my head the entire time I was writing it. I could see the scenery, the characters, the camera angles, the music fades, all of it.
SR: Tell us about an interesting or memorable encounter you had with a fan.
LM: I have had a lot of interesting encounters with fans, but probably the most heartwarming and memorable was a young woman who wrote to me and said “I feel like reading Letters From The Ledge healed me in ways I didn’t even know I needed to be healed.”