Today, The Write Way Café would like to welcome our very own Lynn Crandall.
When did you first have the thought you'd like to write a book? Was that first thought related to writing romance?
I got the bug when I was very young, but I didn’t do much about it. I wrote a play for church that was performed and I told my little sister stories. Then I grew up and got busy doing other things. About 15 years ago I read a book by John Gardner, On Becoming a Novelist. It blew my mind how much it resonated with my heart and soul. That’s when I decided to write and writing romances seemed like the most likely thing for me.
What was your path to getting this book written and published? What type of research did you do?
The concept of wanting to portray sisters came to me first and I worked out from there the characters of Sterling Aegar and her sister Lacey as private investigators and detective Ben Kirby. I have a background in newspaper reporting so I had knowledge of police procedures, to a degree. I talked extensively to a detective to get accurate information about the field and also to a therapist to be able to portray effectively characters with emotional wounding.
Where did the idea for your story come from?
I like the idea of portraying ordinary people. To me, with my background in newspaper and magazine writing, ordinary people are fascinating. Perfect heroines and heroes are fun to read about, but flawed, vulnerable average characters simply trying to live their lives are more inspiring to me.
Why did you pick the setting you did?
The adage, “Write what you know,” came into play in picking my setting for Dancing with Detective Danger. I have always lived in the Midwest, so I know it. But I don’t expect that every book I write will be set in mid-size, Midwestern America.
Are your main characters completely imaginary or do they have some basis in real people? Do they reflect aspects of yourself?
It’s hard to get away from embodying the characters, but they are not me or anyone I know. I feel my research enables me to create three-dimensional fictional characters, and hopefully readers relate to them.
Did you face any blocks while writing the book, and if so, how did you handle them? If not, what's your secret?
I am always facing blocks of some sort. Usually if I am blocked, though, the solution is to get to work in some way. Doing more research always fuels more ideas and simply putting my writing brain to work opens up ideas, too. The hard part is believing it will happen and getting to it. It’s easy to procrastinate.
What have been surprises you've encountered while writing the book and after?
Surprise! Promoting the book is a lot of work! When my first book was published things were very different in the publishing world, so with this book I’m learning a lot in terms of promoting it myself. If only I could clone myself and make one of me a publicist.
What did you learn? For instance, what did you learn about yourself, your process, the writing world, working with family members, and private investigators?
Learning has been an ongoing process because I want to write in such a way as to model possibilities for human growth, so I’m constantly exploring possibilities. I’ve learned so much from reading fiction, amazing applications to my own personal growth, so I know it can happen. I started out writing with the idea that I needed to write an epic novel in order to be a serious writer. That was in my own head. I learned to value the writing I do, regardless of outer approval, and that I like what I write. I write romances because I like exploring relationships and I want a happy ending.
I have to do thorough research or my story will fizzle out before I’m done with it and I don’t always have patience for that. I want to sit down and pound out an amazing story. It doesn’t work like that for me.
Tell us about your writing space and how or why it works for you.
I work in a corner of a room in my house. I’ve been working in this space for so long it feels like when I sit down, I’m where I belong. I love to write, so I love this spot. I have everything I need within reach because often my cat is on my lap when I write. So I have a pleasing calendar on the wall, little things that inspire me sitting on shelves, and a laptop, among other things. Outside my window are birdfeeders and two bird baths that attract my attention in warm weather and cold.
What are some of your favorite books and why?
I love classics, like Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte, and Persuasion and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin, but I always have a paranormal romance in my Kindle or in print. I love Bitten, by Kelley Armstrong, and all her other books. I enjoy her story worlds and her characters, a lot because of the imaginary qualities that, to me, have elements of reality.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on a story about Lacey and how she survives and triumphs even in the situation of her husband’s death.
Learn more about Lynn and her writing at: