Name: Leslie Lynch
Let’s just say I have gray hair!
Where are you from:
Born and raised in Montana, and live near Louisville, Kentucky now.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’ve had three careers in my life: Registered nurse, pilot (flight instructor in light aircraft), and now, author. I am married to a wonderful man, and we have three grown children and two grandchildren.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
I just released a holiday novella, Christmas Grace. Here’s the blurb:
No one wants to celebrate Christmas this year.
Not Ella McKendrick, who, on the cusp of success as a potter, is tasked with her husband’s company party on too-short notice. She gives up her first pottery sale to pitch in, but the joy of the season is diminished.
Not Gertie Wycliffe, Ella’s mom, a new widow who is doing everything she can to avoid her first Christmas alone. No one understands the grief and terror she feels—maybe because the craziness of a seventy-four-year-old woman signing up for skydiving lessons is all she lets them see.
Not Natalie Shaw, Ella’s pregnant daughter. Natalie’s husband is deployed halfway around the world, and she believes that ignoring the holiday might blunt her loneliness.
Then disaster strikes, not once but twice. Three generations; three untenable situations. Three women who come together for each other, and remember what’s most important about Christmas.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
Like so many authors, when I was kid, probably as soon as I could use a pencil. I have vivid memories of writing and performing plays for my parents when I was even or eight years old.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I knew I was good at it in Junior High and High School, and took a class in writing in college – but like so many (again), sadly left it to get a degree that would pay the bills. In the past fifteen years, I couldn’t hold it back any longer.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
Reading other books! I especially liked Linda Howard at the time, and she sparked my imagination. I was a pilot for a company that provided services to the local radio stations for traffic reports. The reporters showed up at about 6:30 in the morning, and I was very often the only person on the field. One day I thought what if…and Hijacked was born.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I’m not sure what you mean, but my writing is very powerful and gritty, challenging yet uplifting. The stories I write (so far) are contemporary, mainstream with romantic elements. They have happy endings. J
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Hijacked was pretty obvious. The heroine is a pilot who gets hijacked by the hero…
Unholy Bonds is a story where the victim of a crime, her fiancé/new husband, and the perpetrator all find that they are bound together (unwillingly) by the crime. Hence the title…
Opal’s Jubilee is a story about a young woman from the fictional Appalachian town of Jubilee, Kentucky. But the word has another, deeper meaning based on the Jewish custom of forgiving debts during the Year of Jubilee.
Christmas Hope is a novella where two unlikely people find hope in the season and in each other.
I wanted my second novella to have a similar theme and name in relation to the first. I can’t say any more without creating a spoiler for Christmas Grace!
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My author tagline is Out of Darkness, Into Hope. All my novels deal with gritty, realistic, and sometimes difficult subjects, but they are intended to bring healing—and hope—to readers.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
All the books are written in very realistic terms. Readers should find them easy to visualize in their minds, and should find the characters to be flawed yet likeable.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
In some cases yes. I’m a pilot; I understand Lannis in Hijacked. I’m a mother, and like so many women, have lost a baby to miscarriage like Opal in Opal’s Jubilee. However, I’ve never been hijacked nor have I been in prison. Christmas Grace is based (in part) on my experiences as one in the sandwich generation, taking care of those both older and younger than myself, like Ellie. I haven’t had the experiences of widowhood or having a high risk pregnancy like Natalie, but I’ve seen women struggle with both situations. Unholy Bonds is based on newspaper, radio, and television documentaries on Restorative Justice, which I have never experienced but am drawn to.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I love books by Linda Howard, Emilie Richards, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Diana Gabaldon, and Suzanne Brockmann. Deborah Smith wrote some a while back that I loved and still re-read.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just picked up Hush by Karen Robards.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Not really new. I recently discovered RaeAnne Thayne, who’s been around a while. I’ve been reading literary fiction for a Masters in Fine Arts program: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson and Ahab’s Wife by Sena Jeter Naslund. Both are new to me, but not new authors.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
I am working with a talented voice actress, Carol Dines. We’ve produced Hijacked and Christmas Hope in audio. Christmas Grace is in production; we hope to have it up in December.
I’m working on a book that was influenced by Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson on the faults of the death penalty in the United States. If you’ve read my books, this one will feature Christian Hasselback from Opal’s Jubilee. The characters are already surprising me!
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My two critique partners, Sandy Loyd and Caroline Fyffe, and Louisville Romance Writers, especially Heidi Howard, Joan Kayse and Lisa Tapp as my biggest cheerleaders.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Yes. I would have made it longer! There’s a lot of stuff packed into it, and I keep thinking of things I could have included if I’d had more time.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
From reading. Words have always fascinated me.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
“Want a bodyguard?”
Christian Hasselback scowled at his partner’s amused question. “Hell, no. I can take care of myself.” If a highly trained homicide detective couldn’t take on a pacifist or two, it was time to turn in his gun. And his badge.
He hit save, waited for the computer to do its thing, and snatched up his trial notes. He stood, groaning at the ache in his quads and thinking dark thoughts about his sadistic personal trainer. The kicker was that he paid good money for the guy to cause pain. Chris hadn’t noticed masochistic tendencies in his own personality before, but there you go. First time for everything.
“The news says there are quite a bunch of them today. And they’re getting rowdy.” Josh Boone turned his laptop so Chris could see the protesters. The news camera panned over the Hall of Justice building, then narrowed in to capture the twenty or so people waving signs and chanting.
Deep Six the Death Penalty!
Down with Death!
And Chris’s favorite, Unplug Old Sparky! That one was wielded by the only silent protester of the bunch, most noticeable because of her utter stillness. Tall, blonde, and with the toned arms of an athlete, she radiated calm amidst the fray.
“Bunch of bleeding heart liberals,” Chris muttered. “Bet not one of ’em has seen a murder scene.”
Josh gave a wry smile, then sobered. “True. But look at Joe. He spent twelve years behind bars as a result of shoddy police work. If he’d been on death row…”
“That was more than shoddy police work, Boone. You know that. His conviction wouldn’t have stood the scrutiny of the automatic appeal.” Chris straightened his tie and reached for the suit jacket he kept at the office, batting the dust from the shoulders before donning it.
“Don’t tell me you’re going all soft-hearted on me.” Chris leveled a glare of disbelief at his fellow detective. “Should I buy a bag of marshmallows for you while I’m out?”
Copyright 2015 Leslie Lynch
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I really love Diana Gabaldon, author of Outlander, etc. I love her unique voice, her distinct characters, and her use of language.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
No. I’ve set them all where I live, so the settings are nearby.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Marion Sipes of Dreamspring Designs designed Hijacked, Unholy Bonds, and Opal’s Jubilee. Kelli Ann Morgan of Inspire Creative Services designed Christmas Hope and Christmas Grace.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Figuring out how the characters were going to get through the impossible situations they start out in!
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I admire the strength and courage of my heroines.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep at it, take classes, and find some critique partner who will challenge you while being both honest and supportive.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
There is always hope.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
No, but the one that had the biggest impact was probably A Wrinkle in Time Madeleine L’Engle.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love to laugh. Irony in daily life is a great source of mirth. Crying? Losing a good friend to death.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I am a Christian; I would love to be able to see and speak to Jesus. I also love the story of Juan Diego and Mary, Our Lady of Guadalupe; I’d love to meet him. Humble and humorous…
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
Well done, good and faithful servant. If I am Christian, serving God in goodness is my highest goal in life.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
When I have time: pottery, quilting, gardening, hiking.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I don’t watch much, but I’m a sucker for the sappy Hallmark Christmas movies this time of year!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Food: Vanilla ice cream with homemade peanut butter fudge topping. It’s a family recipe and tradition. Colors: Teal and coral. Music: Most anything Irish.
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
I can’t imagine!!! I’ve been extremely blessed in that I’ve accomplished much of what I could have ever hoped for in life.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
Pinterest: Leslie Lynch
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00KOUT20U
Links to books:
Unholy Bonds: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00L893I6A
Opal’s Jubilee: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M07L1NG
Christmas Hope: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00O7AGF12
Christmas Grace: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016SRSAR8
Christmas Hope appears in Romancing Christmas, a box set:
Christmas Grace appears in Christmas With You, a box set that will release on November 15, 2015: http://www.amazon.com/Christmas-You-Uplifting-Romance-Novellas-ebook/dp/B017ALT5CA