Name Lesia Flynn
Where are you from?
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I write contemporary romantic comedy.
I am the youngest of four in my family, with my eldest sibling fifteen years older than me, the others 14 and 1 year older. The age difference was rather like having two sets of parents, meaning, I couldn’t get away with anything! Lord knows I tried.
While northern Louisiana is where I grew up, my summers were spent in the country at my grandparents’ home in southern Arkansas. I have incredible memories of running through gardens, feeding chickens or watching the cows work away at salt licks, and lounging on ginormous tree trunks in the afternoons.
As for education and work life, my second grade teacher prognosticated that I would someday be a writer and my college counselor tried desperately to guide me into library science. Of course, I then studied Graphic Design at LA Tech University. (Maybe I should write books about rebellious, opinionated women?) As life has its humorous way, I was a librarian and now I write books with occasional jaunts into the world of graphic design.
My college sweetheart and I have been married for thirty-two years. We have two children who daily amaze me. And I love my rescue cat who thinks he is supposed to keep me safe.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
REMEMBERING SKYLINE (Skyline Mountain Book 3), part of the MISTAKEN IDENTITIES anthology with Bambi Lynn and Amy Boyles, will be in print for the first time in March 2016, followed by a stand-alone (both in eBook and print) in April 2016. The fourth book, SKYLINE RESCUE will be available in June 2016. Later this year I have a brand new (uber secret!) series coming out that I can’t wait to tell everyone about. Stay tuned for that reveal later in the year!
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I wrote for fun as a child, even enjoyed a bit of journalism in high school. But I didn’t really consider writing seriously until my oldest child was in school. Why? Well, haha, you know that person that checks out every book they can find at the library, reads them in 24 hours, returns the books and repeats? Yeah, that was me. I read at least 7-10 full length novels a week for several years. The reading is what made me consider writing. The idea of writing books terrified me, but I couldn’t forget it. And I couldn’t forget the stories inside my head. So I put my fingers to the keyboard and got over myself. 😀
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I think it was when I completed my very first manuscript. It was so liberating to type the closing scene of that first book. I had a very real sense of accomplishment for myself, even if no one ever read the book.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
While I didn’t (and probably won’t) publish the first book I wrote, it did inspire the first story in the Skyline Mountain Series, RENOVATING CHRISTMAS. The characters of that first book needed a bigger world, so to speak. And everyone loves a Christmas romance, right?
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I aim for humor and a lighter, wackier side of life. We all need more laughter, right? And of course it’s southern because I am southern.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I searched for city names in Alabama when I originally started the Skyline Mountain Series. Somehow Skyline did not show up in my search efforts. Being an Alabama transplant, I wasn’t familiar with the real town named Skyline that’s located on Cumberland Mountain. Imagine my surprise when two Skyline locals brought it to my attention that there really is a town named Skyline on a mountaintop! I promise, it was purely coincidental.
The context of RENOVATING CHRISTMAS is what I drew the book title from for that first book. In hindsight, I should’ve named it SKYLINE CHRISTMAS, but at the time I didn’t realize it would be a series. The following three titles also came from the context of the books.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I think if there is ever a message in anything I write it is hope. Romance is a great subject for communicating hope, the idea that something better is sure to happen if you don’t give up. Hope. It’s the happily ever after for me.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
The series is contemporary and you’ll find artistic vocations like my background affords. But there are leaps of suspension in reality, too. I mean, how many young, gorgeous, Italian millionaire bachelors are readily available in northern Alabama as in PAINTING SKYLINE, Skyline Mountain Book 2? I think the most realistic character in the series is Dicker. He’s funny, cantankerous, and reliable for making a mess of things, too. Bless his heart!
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
I believe the books that have influenced me most are the romance novels I watched my mother go to bed with every single night of my childhood. She would prop up in bed to read, usually some gothic fare covered in angst from the likes of Victoria Holt or Barbara Michaels, and would ultimately fall asleep with the book neatly laying on her chest and her glasses sitting on the tip of her nose. That picture of her will forever be printed on my mind.
My mentors are the books in print that I have read and reread over the years. Teresa Medeiros, Jayne Ann Krentz, Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, Sandra Brown, Lavyrle Spencer, Jennifer Crusie, SE Phillips, and many more. They always provide me with a different angle on the craft of writing.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Lynn Raye Harris’ HOT series. Kristan Higgins’ IF YOU ONLY KNEW is up next. And I can’t wait for Linda Howard’s TROUBLEMAKER and Susan Elizabeth Phillips’ FIRST STAR I SEE TONIGHT later this year.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
I’m enjoying books by Kimberly Kincaid, Liz Talley, and Nancy Naigle. Of course, Liliana Hart is always on my e-reader these days. And while I haven’t read historicals for a while, Bambi Lynn grabbed my attention with her GODS OF THE HIGHLANDS series. I also love a Cathy McRae highlands historical romance. Who doesn’t love Scotland? And Amy Boyle’s dystopian romances pulled me in from the first lines. Alicia Hunter Pace has been fun to read as well.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
REMEMBERING SKYLINE, Skyline Mountain Book 3, previously published as an eBook only, will be available in print for the first time within the anthology MISTAKEN IDENTITIES. It will also come out as a stand-alone in both print and eBook in April 2016. SKYLINE RESCUE, Skyline Mountain Book 4 comes out June 2016 to wrap up the Skyline Mountain Series. After Skyline, the uber-secret new series that I can’t wait to share with everyone comes out. There are some amazing women featured in this new series. Superpowers may or may not be in operation. 😀 I expect to publish the first in the series in late 2016.
Also, my titles will be available for purchase across all of the major retailers soon.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
My writers group, Heart of Dixie, a chapter of Romance Writers of America.
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?
I considered making it steamier but decided not to in order to stay close to the heat level of the series as a whole.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I was given an assignment to write about my home and draw a picture of my house in second grade. My teacher made a big deal out of what I wrote and kept my paper as an example for her other classes. I wish I could read that paper today, just for fun.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sure! The fourth book in the Skyline Mountain Series is SKYLINE RESCUE. It’s Bolton and Angel’s story of how they overcome past mistakes and find each other again. Also, Dicker, the cantankerous, resident curmudgeon of Skyline Mountain, finally gets a chance to redeem himself and may have a bit of an HEA all his own.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I won’t kid you, I’m no Grammar Nazi. So when I get edits back it’s usually a harsh thing for me to take in. That said, I am so very grateful for my editor and ARC readers who examine every word! Revisions are my challenge.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I have many favorites, but if there were only one it would be Linda Howard. There’s something about her voice that I love. Her books are loaded with strong, interesting characters, too. I’ve never been disappointed by a Linda Howard book. My all-time favorite is ALL THE QUEENS MEN.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
I do travel some, but not as much as I expected. Usually it’s for conferences or writer groups.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I did, using very limited software. I’m learning new, advanced software now and should have more compelling covers in the near future.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
I tend to lose myself when I’m writing, so finding real life waiting when I step away from the book can be a bit alarming. More times than not I find my office strewn with books, printouts, coffee cups, eyeglasses, etc. in the wake of writing. I’m not really sure what goes on, but I make a mess! My husband says I talk to my characters out loud a lot, too. I guess my fiction world becomes real for me while I’m writing it. So yeah, re-entry into the real world is the hardest part, every single day.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Absolutely! I learned I know a lot of words that aren’t in the dictionary. Words like “swaney” which is used like this: Well, I swaney! Can’t you tie that boat up any faster? Southern colloquialisms were clearly a huge part of my southern upbringing. And yes, “swaney” is in REMEMBERING SKYLINE, a tribute to my mother. My apologies to those of you who look words up on your e-readers. You won’t find “swaney” unless you look for southern sayings online. It is also often spelled swany.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
I would definitely advise writers to write daily. It keeps your story and your voice consistent. Plus, it’s a huge boon to your self-esteem to know that you are putting your dream in motion.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for reading my books! It amazes me every day that I get to write about what I love: love. Even more than that? I’m amazed that someone out there wants to read it. Thank you so much!
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Dandelion by Don Freeman was my first book to read on my own. I loved that book. I still have a copy, in fact. My first romance was a Harlequin category, circa 1974. I don’t remember the actual title, but it was part of a subscription my mother bought for me. I blew through those books like crazy!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
What makes me laugh? Melissa McCarthy. Always.
Crying is a bit more complicated. According to my kids I cry at the drop of a hat, for any reason whatsoever. Happy things, sad things, silliness, whatever. They all make me cry. But laughing is my favorite!
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
I don’t think so. I’ve met quite a few celebrities and other than Clint Eastwood (who is amazing!), they’ve mostly disappointed me. Not because they were anything less than who they are but because I had fangirl notions that were way out there. No one can live up to a fangirl’s fanciful ideas.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why?
I’m not sure I want a headstone. I rather like the idea of naturally returning to the earth or being scattered across the valley below a mountain. Really though, I have no idea. But there must be flowers. Blue Bearded Iris’ or majestic blue Hydrangeas.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I’m all over the map, really. I love reading, of course. I also enjoy music (pretty much anything but old country), gardening, art, travel, poking fun at my sister. I thrill at the experience of a set of Prismacolors nearby and a whimsical drawing waiting for me to add color.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Outlander, Downton Abbey, Grace and Frankie, Fixer Upper, Hallmark Channel, Melissa McCarthy anything, Adam Sandler movies. Oh! And that commercial for I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter with Thomas Beaudoin? Yeah, he’s pretty awesome!
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Blueberries are my new favorite food; Periwinkle and Apple Green my favorite colors; Joe Cocker’s You Are So Beautiful my all-time favorite song, especially the passion he performed it with. And I love Pharrell Williams song, Happy. Because it makes me happy! 😀
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
The possibilities are endless, but here are a few: Botanist, Landscape Architect, Furniture Designer, Children’s Book Illustrator.
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?
My website is www.LesiaFlynn.com but I love interacting with folks on Facebook at Lesia Flynn Author Page which also feeds into my Twitter account @LesiaFlynn.
A huge THANK YOU! to Fiona for interviewing me! I can’t wait to hear from y’all! Happy reading! ❤
Amazon Page: http://amzn.to/1pnOkbj
Facebook: Lesia Flynn Author Page