Here’s what Spotlight is about; it’s an interview that promotes you! It will feature questions that are formatted to your needs. Questions will be focused on your work, upcoming work and some personal [but not intrusive] questions for your fans to get to know you more!
Lynette Willows, co-author of “No Gentleman Is He”
Carley Bauer, co-author of “No Gentleman Is -He”
About your writing;
When did you start writing?
Lynette Willows: From a young age, but never did anything with it until a history teacher with a love of English complimented me on a rather eccentric Roaring Twenties report and presentation I did for her class. She gave me confidence to continue, though I still wouldn’t show my work to anyone. Then when all my boys grew up and moved out, it was only then I decided, along with my co-author, to write towards publication.
What inspires you to write?
Lynette: Everything and everything. It can be anywhere from a stray comment from a stranger to an in-depth documentary or story that I want to turn into fiction.
How has writing change you as a person?
Lynette: It has given me confidence, and the strength to overcome the nay-sayers in my life, including myself, my own worst critique. Now I can work through them, putting them aside.
Adding some fun;
If you spend the rest of your life in a novel or novel series, what novel would it be and why?
Lynette: “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Despite the rampant racism in that small town, there were mostly good people. And as a small town girl myself, I found I understood how they felt and thought.
Share a couple of your favorite things and or things you like?
Lynette: Camping in the mountains, as in real wilderness camping. Also fishing, gardening, dogs, and I will chase the occasional storm in my area for the adrenaline rush.
What couldn’t you live without?
Lynette: Coffee…and the husband. I’m still deciding which one comes first. (just kidding, darling)
Have you read anything that made you think differently about writing?
Lynette: I’ve read Agatha Christie since I was a young girl, as well as Conan Doyle and Harper Lee. They all have wonderful storytelling skills and a way with words. I’ve always aspired to not copy them, but have as strong as voice as they have.
What do you look for in a publishing company as they will end up representing your work?
Lynette: My publisher is the most author friendly publisher in the business, I believe. However, for now they are strictly an ebook publisher and while I understand why they stick to that medium exclusively, especially for romance which traditionally are the best sellers, for my other genre novels I would probably seek ebook and print both.
How do you stay confident in yourself especially by putting yourself out there in the internet world?
Lynette: By letting things slide off my back if they bother me. I have to believe in my book, my co-author Carley Bauer, a truly gifted writer, and most importantly in myself. I’m a good writer, and I just keep telling myself that.
How do you handle rejection? What advice can you offer to moving past it?
Lynette: Learn from it. Figure out the source, evaluate it, and if they have no ulterior motive other than business or trying to help you, I take it to heart and strive to do better. For those who criticize or reject your work out of more sinister motives, I ignore them.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Lynette: Write, read, write some more and read even more than you write. And learn the tools of your trade like grammar, punctuation, etc. You don’t have to be a University professor, but you at least need to know the basics if you have any hope of making it. If you think about it, you can’t be a master carpenter and build houses if you don’t know how to use a hammer.
Featuring your work and or upcoming work;
Tell us about your book [s]
Lynette: “No Gentleman Is He” is the first in our Sons of Liberty series, set during the Revolutionary War. It’s also our debut novel. It’s co-authored by Carley Bauer and I. We have made considerable waves by not only co-writing and co-crediting the novel, but that she’s American and I’m Canadian and we’ve never met! Apparently it’s almost unheard of. We also had a huge debate with our publisher about whether it should be historical drama or historical romance, it was that well researched. It was ultimately decided to be published as a romance with a lot of editing as a result. We included a lot of facts, a battle scene (another huge debate ensued since according to formula, battle scenes do not belong in romance), and various other elements we managed to get past the publisher and editors. But for both Carley and I, our goal was to ultimately publish a romance that had more substance, more plot (since most romance are character driven), and more sophistication. We also like strong, flawed characters with personality. I think we’ve accomplished that. We’re pushing that envelope even further with Book 2 of the series, which is halfway done.
Who is your favorite character and why? [If you can share without spoiling your work]
Lynette: Both Cassandra and Colton were wonderful to work with. Also, almost all the secondary characters are equally well developed. I guess what I’m trying to say is, I have to say all of them. How’s that for diplomacy? (don’t want to make anyone jealous or they may refuse to show up in the next in the series.)
What character do you hope readers understand?
Lynette: Colton, because I couldn’t get his past life, that made him who he is, past the editors. I really wanted to get his background in there in more detail, but was unable to. I’m hoping I was still able to get his personality accurate through my writing so the reader will still understand him as I do.
Do you have a favorite part of your own book (s) ?
Lynette: The suspense scenes, since I love writing action, especially the battle scene during the outbreak of hostilities at Lexington and Concord. It was exciting, and apparently a few male readers have agreed with me, which is gratifying. My enjoyment must have shown through.
Have you had trouble writing about any of your characters?
Lynette: Not once I got to know them from birth to the time of the story. Once you know someone, fictional or real, you tend to feel easier about describing them accurately. At first, writing for Margaret, who by the way was Carley’s character she introduced, was difficult because I couldn’t get the same voice that Carley gave her, but after a while I couldn’t help but absolutely love her immorality and cattiness, and she became a delight to write for. I’d love to write her own story, but it couldn’t be a romance since she is so faithless…but honestly, she is a delight to write about.
What would you like readers to get from your book (s) ?
Lynette: A strong sense of history, excitement, entertainment, and memory. I want readers to go back and read the book a second time, to get the finer nuances from the story. It was an exciting time in history, where in all honesty, the underdog won the day. I wonder if Americans even know how close they came to losing that war and coming to grief because of it. It was a hare-brained, passionate, reckless endeavor that, through a series of flukes, mistakes and good luck, they were able to pull off.
In your book (s) what had been the hardest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Lynette: Compromise…not only with my co-author but with the publisher. But when you’re dealing with good, talented people, it’s really not that hard once you swallow a bit of your pride.
How is this world a better place because of your books?
Lynette: Wow. That’s an ego-inducing question, isn’t it? I would give a tongue-in-cheek response, but I promised myself I would behave. So, I’d like people to take our book as an example of “honesty in history and fiction”. I’d like to see more research in books, even fiction, unless it’s an alternative history novel, of course. There’s no reason for a writer to be lazy, even if it is “just fiction”.
If you could meet any of your own characters, who would (they / it) be?
Lynette: I based Colton’s lead hand, Tom Hardwick, on my husband in many ways; a man with integrity, with that “aw shucks” cowboy modesty. I love that!
If you had to write a scene for a character of your choice that would put them in an awkward situation how would it go?
Lynette: Jackson Lee, Colton’s best friend. Nice thing is, we’re actually putting him in such a situation in Book 2, since he will be our main character in that one. He’s a practical joke playing, confirmed bachelor and fervent member of the Sons of Liberty. In Book 2, which we’re working on now, the joke is finally on him!
What do you to for marketing?
Lynette: I focus my attention on readers. They are the ones who have the control, and I have great respect for them. I should…I AM one. I market to them, not writers which so many authors make the mistake of doing. And readers, I’m glad to say, have become far more sophisticated than previously, and demand more from the authors. They keep me on my toes, and I love them for it.
Promote your books in a sentence or less:
Lynette: Colton Rolfe’s growing resentment toward the Crown in 1775 America, and his assistance to Sons of Liberty missions is complicated by the discovery that Cassandra Brooks, the woman he offers the scandalous, male-dominated position of steward of his Virginia plantation, is the daughter of a titled English nobleman. Suspicion, distrust, passion and lust dog them every step of the way as Colton forces her north with him, to warn his compatriots of impending raids and arrests by the British. Be in the action when hostilities break out in this American Revolution historical romance adventure.
What are you working on now?
Lynette: The second book in the Sons of Liberty series, where more surprises and adventure await. It’s set the following year from “No Gentleman Is He”, in 1776 when things really heat up!
Where “No Gentleman Is He” is available:
Tirgearr Publishing: http://bit.ly/14szfmN