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Interview with Lynette Eason

Talented and well-educated with over thirty published books and numerous awards added to two degrees under her belt of romantic suspense fiction, Lynette Eason says the Edge of Your Seat!

Holding a Bachelors in business and a Masters in education, Lynette, do you think these backgrounds benefit you more in your writing career? How so? As we well know being an author is a business and we must always continue to learn and grow with our profession.
Well, thank you very much. I’ve definitely been busy since my first book came out in February of 2008. I know that my business and education backgrounds have benefited and influenced my writing career. Part of being able to write well is have being able to reference or pull from life experiences. Being able to incorporate that into my stories makes them richer, having characters full of emotion and experiences that readers can connect to.

Having written many suspense storylines, do you have any specific writing or brainstorming methods to conjure up new storylines?
I love brainstorming with other authors. One of my favorite buddies is DiAnn Mills. I recently attended a brainstorming weekend with seven other authors where we all gave input into each others’ stories. It was exhausting and amazing and I came away with a story I can’t wait to dig into! I’m also a member of a couple of online brainstorming groups. Having input from others is a huge help. Even if I don’t use everything thrown at me, the ideas usually spark something that I can build on. And that’s just priceless.

How did the idea for No Place To Hide develop? Did it stem from a location perhaps or another book idea that simply moved a different direction?
No Place To Hide is the third book in the Hidden Identity series. When I first started the series with No One To Trust, the idea actually came from my editor at Revell. She gave me about a paragraph of what she pictured as the main idea of the story and I took it and ran with it. It think it turned out pretty well. :-)

Why write romantic suspense out of all the categories and genres in the writing realm? What drew you to it? Did you try any other genres before honing in on your ideal one?
Romantic Suspense is the only genre I ever really considered seriously. Truthfully, I love historicals, but I’ve decided I’m not smart enough to write them. LOL. So I simply just enjoy reading them on occasion.

I grew up reading suspense. Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, the Boxcar Children, Trixie Belden, etc. and then I moved on to adult suspense. And while I still read secular mysteries, etc, I really prefer books without the sex and language. I can’t remember what book it was that I was reading, but I remember thinking to myself, “I can write better than this.” Ha! Well, it only took me eight years to get published.

How did you come up with your branding tagline – the Edge of Your Seat? It definitely shouts suspense writer! Was it hard to pin down or just hit you as the perfect one to encompass your writing?
I truly don’t remember how I came up with that. I just knew I wanted something that shouted suspense writer, so glad it was successful! LOL I think it sums everything up rather nicely.

You currently write for Revell as well as Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense, right? What is the toughest part about writing for two publishers with their different guidelines and rules? Are they so different you don’t have trouble? Was it more difficult at first?
The toughest part about writing for two publishing houses is learning how to pace yourself. Once you’ve proven yourself as reliable and able to turn a book in on time, Love Inspired Suspense will keep you as busy as you want to be—and more. Ha.

In the beginning, I wanted to write as much as possible and took every opportunity to do so. Now, due to life and other family obligations, I’m at the point where I want to write less. So it’s all about finding the right balance and being sure to make it work FOR you, not against you.

They do have different guidelines and rules. That’s a big plus actually. It makes it easier to compartmentalize things in my mind and keeps me from getting confused about what I’m writing. I might use the wrong character’s name or something every once in a while, but generally, the stories are unique enough that I don’t have trouble keeping them separate. It wasn’t any more difficult at first. It’s actually more difficult now. I have to keep thinking of new stuff! LOL.

As a writing teacher at conferences and workshops, etc., what is some of your top advice for writers that you share when you teach?
Keep writing. Never give up. If God has called you to write, then write. Yes, it’s that simple. And that hard. It’s not easy to sit down each day or even just when life allows you the time to work on your manuscript, but trust me, perseverance pays off. I’m a shining example. LOL.

One other piece of advice: If you want to be published, save the story of your heart for later, do your research and write what publishers are looking for. Again, just as simple and as difficult as that. 

After winning and finaling in numerous contests over the years, what would you consider the milestone award you’ve received so far? Why?
Oh wow. That’s a hard question. I have to say that each award comes with its own feeling of accomplishment. Of course, I absolutely love finaling and winning, but ultimately, that’s not why I do what I do.

I write because God has given me a gift and the opportunity to use it for him in a way that can bless others and bring people closer to him – all by making them lose sleep and have a few heart palpitations. (I hope!) Seriously, the writing is a ministry. The day it stops being that is the day I stop writing. So while it’s lovely and exciting to have my work recognized by my peers and those in the industry, the greatest award is the one I’m still looking forward to where God says, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

What books are in your To Read pile right now? Do you prefer reading physical books, e-books or a mix of both?
I have TONS of books on my kindle. I use my phone to read a lot. However, I have to say I do love the feel of a REAL, live, paper book in my hands. It’s not nearly as expensive if you drop it in the tub either!

But in my TBR pile, I have books by Ronie Kendig, Carrie Stuart Parks, Colleen Coble, Terri Blackstock, Lisa Carter, Deborah Raney, Angie Hunt, Dan Walsh, Richard Mabry, and others. I also read several secular authors and am currently reading Hostage Taker by Stefanie Pintoff. It’s my first one to read of hers and so far I’m really enjoying it. It’s really kept my interest. I also enjoy Lee Child, James Patterson/Michael Ledwidge and Lisa Gardner.

Any parting words?
Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity. I love ACFW and the opportunities the organization affords new and established authors. I also love to chat with readers and other writers on my facebook page, so please feel free to stop by and say hello!

Thanks for sharing with us, Lynette!

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