Jen: Today we welcome Lindsay McKenna to Romancing the Book. Lindsay, will you share a short bio with us?
Lindsay: Lindsay lives her life as a risk taker, and it shines through the books she loves to write: romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance novel in 1981. The rest is history.
Since then, Lindsay has published 145 romances, historical, contemporary and paranormal series books and mass-market novels. Usually she writes six books a year, depending upon the demands in other departments of her life. She became an Indie in 2015, and own hers own publishing company, Blue Turtle. Presently, she is writing on her new family saga, the Delos Series.
Since she first rode a horse at the age of three, Lindsay has loved horses and considers herself “horse crazy.” At age thirteen, she rescued a two-year old mustang stallion from the chicken feed factory for $45 dollars and brought him home. She proceeded to tame the sorrel stallion with love and affection. It’s no surprise that later in her life, she had an Arabian horse farm in Ohio for nine years. She and her husband, David, bred, raised, trained and sold Crabbet line (English) Arabians.
When she was sixteen, Lindsay picked night crawlers and sold them to sporting goods stores in order to pay for flying classes. She was the only one at her school of over 650 teenagers to hold a student-pilot’s license at age seventeen! By the time she graduated at age eighteen, she had logged 39 hours of flying time.
She joined the U.S. Navy at age 18, in her father’s footsteps; he was in the Navy during World War II (and had the USS Fletcher, a destroyer, shot out from under him by the Japanese).
After three brutal days of nonstop, eight-hour testing in Navy bootcamp, Lindsay was told that she had the highest mechanical score since the WAVES (women in the navy) had been formed back in 1943! As no mechanical jobs were open to women in 1964, Lindsay was asked to pick another career field. She chose meteorology because it was about nature and had mechanics to it from a science perspective. She became an AG3 (E-4), Aerographer’s Mate third class, by the time she left the military.
From 1980-1983, she was a volunteer firefighter in West Point, Ohio. She also took several types of training from the Ohio Fire Academy in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. She was the only woman on a 20-man volunteer department and did everything they did—very well, she’d like to add!
Because of her background in emergency situations, in 1996, she took training at Yavapai College, Cottonwood, Arizona, to become a registered Emergency Medical Technician in the state of Arizona until 2000. Her background in knowing what to do in emergency and accident situations is reflected in her books.
Because she went into the military, this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing the first military romance novel (Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre within the romance field! Her many experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette. And her latest Shadow Warriors series and Wyoming series for Harlequin.
Today she lives outside Sedona, Arizona. Her husband, David, a retired civil engineer, helps Lindsay care for the fruit orchard, greenhouse and the many flower planters. They have a golden retriever named Cody.
Lindsay loves to hear from her readers and loves to know what they’d like to see her write next. Please visit her Web site at www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus, giveaways to my subscribers!
Jen: Please tell us about your newest release and where the idea came from.
Lindsay: I wanted to create five books for the Delos Series foundation. It took me five years of creating this new family saga and romantic contemporary suspense. I created a free prequel to Book 1, “Last Chance,” to draw the readers into Nowhere to Hide. Book 2, 3 and 4 were about the children of USAF General Robert Culver and his Turkish-Greek wife, Dilara Badem-Culver. I have 15 books written on the saga-series, thus far, and have a schedule laid out for 5 books and/or novellas a year on the Delos series for my readers. Those who loved the Morgan’s Mercenaries series, which became 45 books strong and was a global best seller, will fall in love with this new family who lives in a very different world than when I wrote about Morgan, Laura and their children in the late 1980’s.
Jen: What what age did you discover writing? Tell us your call story.
Lindsay: I started writing at age 13 and worked at my craft for 22 years by myself (there was no RWA around) and finally broke into print when I was 35 years old. I’m one of the longest working authors from the group that started out in the 1980’s and there aren’t many of us still writing! But I sure am because I love to tell a good story.
Jen: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Lindsay: I don’t think you can do one without the other, or some variation on it. A book will fall apart without a plot. And it can’t become magical unless you open yourself up for it to download into you.
Jen: What I haven’t named?
Lindsay: I have no desire, no passion, to write about. I write only what makes me excited and passionate to get the character’s story out. Why?
Jen: What kind of research did you do for this book?
Lindsay: I flew down to Costa Rica, to the Monteverde Cloud forest of the northern part of the country. I stayed seven days at the resort of Tabacon, taking lots of photos, making lots of notes and asking locals a lot of questions.
Jen: Who has influenced you as a writer?
Lindsay: For Whom The Bells toll by Ernest Hemingway . He wrote a WW1 love story with a sad ending…but it inspired me to want to write love stories, so writing for the romance world was a perfect fit.
Jen: If this book was made into a movie, who do you see playing the main characters?
Lindsay: Channing Tatum for ex-US Navy SEAL, Cav Jordan and Kate Upton as Lia Cassidy
Jen: If you were able to travel in time, where would you go and what 3 things would you take with you?
Lindsay: Rome at the time of Gaius Julius Caesar, 100 BC. I would take salt, sugar and an old fashion camera that didn’t need a battery to be charged.
Jen: What’s the most interesting comment you’ve received about your books?
Lindsay: My readers emails and letters touch my heart. When I’m having a bad day, they lift me out of the ditch, dust me off and inspire me. So often they write that something in one of my books gave him an ‘aha’ or epiphany moment that has changed their lives in some remarkable way. I believe books can reach out and touch others and be very healing to them in some small or large way.