Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
First of all, thank you Fiona for having me on your blog. I appreciate your support. My name is Lynn Crandall. I’m not going to share my age. You can guess, but I won’t tell you.
Fiona: Where are you from?
I was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan in the United States. I have moved a few times and presently live in Indianapolis, IN.
Fiona: A little about your self (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
Here’s my bio:
Lynn Crandall, who also writes as Kelynn Storm, lives in the Midwest and writes in the company of her cats. She has been a reader and a writer all her life. After cutting her writing teeth as a feature writer for commercial and trade magazines, a reporter for newspapers and radio, and an executive editor for a communications company, an award-winning author, she tuned her voracious appetite for stories to writing contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. In her books, she enjoys taking readers on emotional journeys with relatable characters who refuse to back down, and face challenges and tribulations with heart and soul. She believes every love has a story, and hers is with one handsome husband and a large, beautiful circle of family, including her cats, Willow and Winter.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
Today, which is October 22, my contribution to the Common Elements Romance Project, Touch of Breeze, is releasing. This is a paranormal romance that joins around 70 authors’ books that are unique stories featuring five common elements: a key, a lightning storm, a person named Max, a haunted or presumed to be haunted place, and a stack of books. Here’s the blurb from my novella:
A rare white were-jaguar, she’s on a mission to save her twin brother from certain death. She didn’t plan on teaming up with a Jag Guardian who would just as soon break her heart.
Mortician London Satos works with the dead by choice. Using her were-jag ability to witness their final moments, she helps them pass over in peace. Those special moments contrast greatly with the life she leads haunted by an ancient Japanese spirit with revenge on his mind. On top of that, her twin brother is missing. Just when she thinks she has enough on her hands, Breeze Dawson stumbles into her path. Compelled by a guilty conscious, she thinks she must help him survive the evil spirit, but it doesn’t stop there. She is forced to team up with him to rescue her brother from an evil madman intent on using him to fulfil a diabolical prophesy.
Recently suspended from his job as a Jag Guardian, were-jaguar Breeze finds himself looking for anything to distract him from his troubled life. So when the beautifully captivating mortician needs help fighting battles on several fronts, he finds himself embroiled in a murderous plot that not only threatens his Guardian team but the supernatural community in general. Together, Breeze and London race to locate the mad man’s stronghold where he’s holding London’s brother, all the while fighting mutual attraction that will only complicate everything.
I also have a contemporary romance releasing November 12 titled Then There Was You. It is a runaway bride story of second chances for the two main characters to find their happy ever after.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I have always had an affinity for words. I started collecting pieces of paper with sayings and quotes and just words I liked when I was really young. I wrote my first play at age 12. It was performed for my church. LOL. I worked as a reporter and freelance writer for a number of years and have had a long list of articles published. My first romance novel was published in 1998 by Kensington. Since then, I’ve continued to write fiction almost exclusively. I love the way writing can inspire, move, and entertain.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I guess officially when I had my first article published in a newspaper. I kept repeating in my head the title the paper gave me, ‘Newspaper Contributor.’
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
I read On Becoming a Novelist by John Gardner and felt like I just arrived home. So I decided to try my hand at romance writing because I enjoyedthe developing relationships.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles mean a lot to me. Sometimes deciding a title is the starting point of the writing process. With Touch of Breeze I started with names and the main male character I named Breeze. Since it is a romance it made sense to me to sort of make a play on words using his name.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
I tend to use a lot of words and descriptions. I think that’s because I want to go deep into emotions and give readers specifics and details that can put them in the scene to experience. The challenge for me is to refrain from telling the story vs. showing. I think my experience with reporting and writing for magazines has influenced me in that regard and I’ll just catch myself telling. I think every genre has its features, but I enjoy expanding my abilities. My next plan is to write a sci-fi romance.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Well, that’s an interesting question because Touch of Breeze is a paranormal. But from my perspective, anything is possible in real life. Humans have only touched the surface of what there is to know about ourselves and our world. Beyond that, when I write shifter stories I try to make them very human in experiencing what we all do in life, but with the added element of being different, which we all sometimes can relate to feeling. I rely on expert sources, but turning reality into fiction is part of the art.
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I do to a degree sometimes. I always do first-hand interviews with individuals who have experience with elements of my story, so I go to them. The story may require me to take a tour of a funeral home, for instance, as in Touch of Breeze, which features a mortician as the heroine. This type of research happens before I begin actual writing as well as during.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
Wicked Smart Designs. I love the designer and the cover she designed! She has designed a number of my covers.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Oh, I always have underlying messages or themes in my stories. In Touch of Breeze it is love related – Love overcomes all. But in almost all of my books the primary theme is the characters finding their true selves, which involves facing hard truths and growing through challenges.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you? I have recently fallen in love with books by Suzan Tisdale. My favorite writers include Kelley Armstrong, Kat Richardson, and Juliette Harper. I enjoy their talent, expertise, and creativity.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
I would have to say the entity most pivotal to my career would be my local chapter of Romance Writers of America. Lots of support there.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I definitely consider writing my career. I’m excited that I have been able to forge a career in writing and sustain it over the years. It’s also my passion. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a business. I feel it’s important to recognize that in order to be successful.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I’m very happy with Touch of Breeze. I am always striving to improve my writing skill, and with this book I aimed to make it one that moves quickly and would keep readers turning the pages to find out what happens next. I feel I did that by ending chapters on important moments in motion.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
Hah, I learned about the field of mortuary science. It was fascinating, and I got to talk with a man who truly had a heart for his work. That inspired me to treat the topic with respect.
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I always make collages when I begin a book with images that relate to the story. For Touch of Breeze I included a pic of Alex O’Loughlin as Breeze, and Lucy Liu as London.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Be persistent and follow your passion. Your passion will always inspire you to overcome any obstacles.
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
I hope you enjoy the characters London Satos and Breeze Dawson for their passions and flaws. I am always wishing readers find satisfactory entertainment from my books, but also are in some way encouraged and inspired. I’m eager to hear from readers.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Once Upon a Nevermore by Juliette Harper.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
LOL, probably a Golden Book. I’ve been reading since I was very young. I’ll probably never forget The Poky Little Puppy. One of my most memorable reads was The Blue Dolphin. The first paranormal romance I read was Bitten by Kelley Armstrong. I got immediately hooked to read every book in her Women of the Otherworld series.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I love a good emotional drama on television or in a movie or a book for prompting me to feel touched enough to cry. I laugh a lot with my husband.
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet?
Why? I would love to meet Jane Austin. I would probably be dumbfounded but it would be heaven. I admire her drive and what had to be a strong sense of self.
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
I mainly just write, hike, bike, spend time with my family, spend time with my cats, and write some more.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
Presently I’m enjoying Evil – not sure where it’s going. I have many old favorite movies, including all the Harry Potter movies, and yes, I liked the Twilight movies and the books, and my husband and I are enjoying once again West Wing. It is amazing writing.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love to eat. Name one food and I probably like it. I especially like sushi! My favorite color is blue. I am in love with many different genre of music and have many playlists to write by. One of my favorite on my playlist for the next contemporary I’m writing for the three-book Love in Dunes Bay series planned for publication by Glenfinnan Publishing is titled Keep On Rising by Gold Brother.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
I have a number of projects I want to complete before I reach that point. But I imagine my life without writing would focus on being with my family, exploring nature more than my husband and I do presently, and maybe jewellery making. I love stones and other natural objects that I can imagine making into jewellery.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
Telling my family and friends I love them.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“She Lived.” It hasn’t always been easy, but I feel I am making conscious choices and expressing my values, which to me is truly living not just letting life happen or going through the motions.
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Readers can find me on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/LynnCrandallAuthor/ , can join my readers group at https://bit.ly/2p5jv0K, find my Kelynn Storm Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/KelynnStorm/?modal=admin_todo_tour , my Amazon author pages at https://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Crandall/e/B00AX9OA40and Kelynn Storm at https://amzn.to/2PaNUFv , and visit my website at https://www.lynn-crandall.com/ , where sign up is found for my newsletter.