Interview & Contest: Lynn Michaels

Jen: Today we are excited to welcome Lynn Michaels to Romancing the Book.  Lynn, will you please share a short bio with us?

Lynn: Happy to, Jen. I’ve written and published 16 books and 2 novellas, all romance. Three of my Harlequin Temptations (Remembrance, Aftershock and Nightwing) were nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s RITA award. I’ve received 2 Romantic Times Magazine awards, Best Contemporary Romance and Best New Romantic Suspense Author. Other than that my life is pretty much like everyone else’s. I clean my house and do the laundry. I buy my own groceries and pump my own gas. My husband Michael and I live in Independence, Missouri with our 2 grown sons and 1 grandson. Our second grandson is due to arrive on January 28, 2012. We’re very excited!

Jen: Tell us about THE PATRIOT and where it can be purchased.

Lynn: As you might guess from the title, The Patriot has a military background. The hero, Ellison Quade is ex-Navy. Six years before the books opens, Quade took the fall for Admiral Hiram Whitcomb when a diplomatic mission went bad. He ended up facing a court martial and did time in the Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks. Now the Admiral’s granddaughter Hallie Stockton has run away, and the Admiral needs the best to bring her back. The best is Quade, so he gets his chance at justice and revenge. Hallie is caught in the middle, but she’s tough and smart and outfoxes Quade. This story has more double crosses than a game of Tic-Tac-Toe. It was so much fun to write! Originally a Harlequin Temptation, The Patriot is now available as an ebook at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords and All Romance Ebooks.

Jen: At what age did you discover writing? When where you first published? Tell us your call story.

Lynn: I started writing in sixth grade when my class formed a writers club. At the end of the year the other kids quit, but I kept at it. By the time our two boys were in elementary school I had boxes full of stories in the basement. Michael told me, “If you don’t do something with this stuff I’m going to make wallpaper out of it,” so I sent a proposal to Avon for their Velvet Glove romantic suspense line. The title of the book I sent was “Inspected by Number Nine.” Avon published it as “Like A Lover” in October of 1984. I was washing the dinner dishes when I got “the call”. I was so stunned I dropped the phone, fortunately not in the dishwater. If Michael hadn’t pushed me, I’m not sure I would’ve ever had the courage to submit anything to anyone.

Jen: Are there any other writers, published or not, in your family?

Lynn: My grandmother, my dad’s mom, wrote poetry. Michael wrote a poem when our grandson Zachery was born. Here’s the first stanza: “Zachery the baby king, omnipotent in his royal swing. The picture of a regal boy, whose benevolent rule we now enjoy.” Zack is almost thirteen, and he has two novels started on my computer: “Castle of Chaos” and “Welcome to Zombieland”. The zombie book is pretty good, and yes, Zach is a fan of “The Walking Dead”.

Jen: Do you have a theme, object or person that appears in all of your stories?

Lynn: I love cats, so felines appear now and then. There’s a lynx and a calico cat in my vampire novel Nightwing. Last Christmas, I self-published a novella, The Cat Before Christmas, as an ebook. A New York publisher wouldn’t have touched the story because one of the main characters is a Siamese cat named Wiki. My favorite theme is redemption and second chances. The Patriot is a good example. Quade has lost everything that ever mattered to him, his family, his Naval career. A character that has nothing left to lose is great fun.

Jen: Is there a genre you’d like to write? Is there a genre you’ll probably stay away from? Why?

Lynn: I loved Jules Verne when I was a kid so I’d love to come up with a steampunk idea. I’ll likely never attempt science fiction; too much math and science for me.

Jen: How much of your actual life gets written into your fictional stories? Have you ever written yourself into a story?

Lynn: A high point in my actual life could be a trip to the grocery store. That would put readers to sleep on page 3. When it comes to characters self is the baseline for most writers. I’ve written myself and probably everybody I’ve ever met in my life into my books; a little bit of my fourth grade teacher in this character, a dash of my friend Kathy in that character. Unlike me, my heroines are never at a loss for words — they always have a snappy comeback. My husband Michael is the funniest man on the planet. I get some of my best lines from him.

Jen: Do you feel as if the characters live with you as you write? Do they haunt your dreams?

Lynn: My characters not only live with me as I’m writing their story they live forever in my head. I can check in on them and see what they’re up to any time I want. Don’t spread that around or the men in the white coats will come for me. There are days when I think I’d like to go with them, but I can’t. I have more books I want to write.

Jen: If THE PATRIOT was made into a movie, which actors would you cast as the main characters?

Lynn: I tailored Conan, Quade’s nemesis, after Arnold Schwartzenegger when he played Conan in the movie. That was before he became governor and, uh — well, you know. Hugh Jackman does dark and dangerous really well so I think he’d do very nicely as Quade. Hayden Panettiere would totally work for me as Hallie.

Jen: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?

Lynn: I can’t say it’s a favorite, but Cormac McCarthy’s The Road still haunts me. I’ll never write science fiction but I love Anne McCaffrey’s The Ship Who Sang. James Lee Burke writes amazing mysteries. I never miss Elizabeth Berg or P.D. James. At the moment I’m reading The Talk of the Town by Fran Baker. Wonderful book.

Jen: What has been the highlight of your career to this point?

Lynn: Receiving the Best Contemporary Romance Award from Romantic Times Magazine in 2002 for Mother of the Bride. The book opens in Kansas City and ends in the Missouri Ozarks. The RT Conference was held in Kansas City. It meant a lot to me to receive the award in my hometown.

Jen: What’s next for you?

Lynn: I have several ideas: two paranormal suspense, a romantic comedy trilogy, and two more novellas. I can’t decide which one to work on. It’s tough to be a Libra.

Jen: Where can you be found on the web?

Lynn: My website, http://www.lynnmichaels.us My blog, http://lynnmichaels.blogspot.com. Twitter, @LynnMichaels2. Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/!/lynnmichaels2

Jen: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?

Lynn: What are you absolutely sick of reading? What would you love to read if only you could find it?

Contest details:

  • We have three ebook copies of The Patriot up for grabs. 
  • The contest is open to readers over the age of 18.
  • You must leave a meaningful comment for entry.  This means your comment needs to be more than “please enter me in the contest”.
  • A valid email address needs to be included in your comment.  If you’re worried about spam, please modify your address, such as admin.bookblog AT gmail.com.  You can also send a message to this email after your comment has been posted.
  • While following the blog isn’t required, it is appreciated.
  • The contest ends on Sunday, November 20.

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