Lynne is the author of one of my favorite new books, Circle Dance.
The compelling short story Deception will take you deeper into the lives of sisters Nicole and Theodora.
Her short story , Mother’s Day is a heartbreaking look at a young woman’s struggle with infertility.
To learn more about Lynne and enter the giveaway to win a free ebook copy of Circle Dance, check out the links at the end of the interview.
As a young child, I thought I wanted to be a lawyer – most likely because I was told that I argued so well that it was the best job suited to me! What I most enjoyed though was reading and making up stories. I didn’t actually begin to write fiction until after college, however, my childhood memories are strongly dominated by my making up elaborate stories for my dolls or creating scenarios and alternate realities for my friends. Even into adulthood, many evenings were laughed away with family and friends playing “Would you rather” games in which I presented them with two or more difficult choices that they must decide between.
I’ve always enjoyed writing – it was my favorite subject in school but didn’t really think about choosing it as a career. I went to graduate school, got a Masters in business and joined the ranks of the corporate world. Even though I was successful, I wasn’t fulfilled.
My sister and I decided to write a book together. We thought about what we enjoyed reading and agreed that stories about families and relationships spoke to both of us. Some of our favorite books were about ethnic cultures and it dawned on us that there were very few about Greek American families. From these musings came the idea for Circle Dance.
I have always felt blessed to be part of a heritage that is so naturally welcoming and kind. Being Greek connects us all in a way that I have difficulty explaining to my non- Greek husband. Circle Dance is all about those invisible bonds and shared traditions that have been handed down to each of us.
Circle Dance Synopsis:
Young, smart and beautiful with everything figured out – or so they thought. Born into a prosperous Greek American family, sisters Nicole and Theodora have achieved the perfect balance between the old world rich in Greek tradition and the freedom of life in America.
Headstrong and independent, Nicole plunges into life head-first, too often ignoring the risks. Her talent and astute business acumen make her the perfect heir to her father’s empire, but his old-world attitudes prevent him from giving the top spot to a woman. Nicole’s world spins out of control when she falls for a married senator who shares her heritage and her dreams. While struggling to navigate previously uncharted moral waters, she uncovers treachery and corruption that will break both her sister’s and her father’s heart. The decisions she makes will affect the happiness of those closest to her and will define the woman she is to become.
The young and conventional Theodora weds and quickly learns that marriage is not the paradise she envisioned. She must soon confront the growing suspicion that her husband is not the man he seems. Forced to endure the constant disdain and disapproval of her patrician mother-in-law, she resigns herself to the fact that she will always be considered an outsider. As she struggles to succeed at her marriage, she seeks the wisdom and council of her beloved Greek grandmother who has been happily married for over half a century. Ultimately she must come to terms with the reality of her own life and take responsibility for the role she has played in deceiving herself.
As the dramatic plot unfolds, the two young women must confront deceit and betrayal and their own shortcomings – while they struggle to preserve the values they cherish. Set in Baltimore, Annapolis and the tiny island of Ikaria, Greece, Circle Dance provides a view into the lives of a dynamic family that has successfully achieved the American dream without abandoning the customs and traditions handed down through their Greek heritage. Artfully intertwined plots bring generations together in a dance of rejoicing and mourning, loss and healing that will keep readers enthralled until the last page.
I write in several different genres: women’s fiction, short story, and thriller.
I used an outline when I co-wrote CIRCLE DANCE with my sister. I was necessary in many ways since we were writing seperately and the story needed to be cohesive. We found, though, that there were instances where our characters’ actions didn’t seem to be true to them. Years later we undertook a major re-write and allowed some of the plot lines to change and align better with who we know the characters were.
I now use a very loose outline but write much more organically. I have an idea of a beginning, middle and end but allow my characters to take me where they want. I have completely revised or even thrown away plot points depending on the progression of my characters. I enjoy writing in this manner much more than strictly adhering to an outline.
I write just about anywhere. We recently moved to the beach and have a room with a view of the water on the top floor of our house. I like to sit up there and write in one of the chairs – but it isn’t set up as an office per se. I also write in cafes, restaurants, waiting rooms – wherever I happen to be with a little extra time. I take my laptop with my most places, put in my earphones, and write.
I like to take pictures and have fun with digital scrapbooking and putting together digital slideshows.
CIRCLE DANCE carries a very important message. It’s all about the strength of family and the importance of honor and honesty – both in dealing with others and with one’s self. There are strong threads of redemption throughout the book as well. We hoped to convey that even though we can make the wrong choices in life – choices that can hurt or even destroy others – if we take responsbility for those actions and admit our mistakes – we can find renewal and start again.
I have a lot of favorite authors. For suspense, I always go to Dean Koontz who is a master of storytelling. He hooks me from the first sentence. I love the way he creates characters that I care about. His protagonists have great senses of humor and the way he writes women impresses me as someone who has admiration and regard for females. Even though they are thrillers, they usually have an underlying societal message that I find important.
My favorite classics author is C.S. Lewis. His writing is gorgeous, his worlds fantastical and I love his worldview.
For contemporary women’s fiction I love Liane Moriarty. Her writing is fresh and witty and I fall in love with her protagonists. My favorite of hers is WHAT ALICE FORGOT, which is the book I think every woman should read. It’s a fun read that packs a real philosophical punch.
I most definitely schedule my writing time or else it would never get accomplished. I spent too many years only dreaming of writing to realize that unless I am very deliberate about what I expect to accomplish in any given week, the time will evaporate without my writing a word. I have a journal where I record my goals for the week: either in terms of word count or time to be spent writing. It depends on what I’m working on at the time. I then make two columns – one plan and one actual and I keep track of what I actually produce compared to what I planned.
I think e-books are wonderful in so many ways: the reduction in publishing cost, the speed with which an author can now get her work out, and the ability to carry hundreds of books around in one device. I think there will always be a demand for print books – at least I hope so. I can’t imagine not being surrounded by books; they are my first choice in home décor. I think e-books will greatly reduce the number of print books sold but will not replace them.
I am working on revisions to my current work in progress – I’m working on a thriller that takes place in current day and deals with the changes on mores and values that society has undergone. There is a conspiracy thread running through the book that encompasses major spheres of influence and the role they have played in securing and manipulating these changes.
My sister and I have just started on a new collaboration. We’re very excited about working together again. This is a dual protagonist, first person novel about two women. I will write one woman and my sister, the other which will eliminate the need for us to merge our voices as we did with CIRCLE DANCE.
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