AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT: LYNN SPANGLER
Lynn Spangler has stopped by to chat with the Joyfully Reviewed Bunnies….
Whiskey Whispers of the Past, published by Astraea Press.
Tell us a little about Whiskey Whispers of the Past what inspired you to write it:
Whiskey Whispers of the Past takes place in a small town in South Central Pennsylvania. Chance Daniels is a former musician and recovering alcoholic who moved from the hustle and bustle of a large city to small town America to help battle his demons and open a music store. He meets Kendra Strafford, a small business owner, and both are immediately attracted to each other. They begin a standing weekday coffee date that slowly blossoms into a romance. Soon, the past catches up with Chance and he and Kendra try to unravel a rash of strange happenings taking place around them.
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I usually start with a rough outline in a spiral bound notebook as well as a character outline. I begin to write the story and let the storyline unfold as I go along. I write a rough draft of the story then go back in and do self-edits until I’m happy with the final product.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I write romances because they are my favorite genre. I read everything from sweet contemporary to erotic paranormal. It feels natural to write romances.
Do you have a favorite character you have written?
My favorite character is Kendra Strafford. She is a self-sufficient business owner who turned her love of crafting into her way of life. A candlemaker by trade, she loves what she does day in and day out. Kendra is strong-willed and soft-hearted. Her ability to see beyond the surface to what’s underneath makes her well-liked amongst the town’s people.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
Chance Daniels without a doubt. He is a recovering alcoholic. It took a bit of research and observations of some people I know to get the emotional and physical side of the addiction and recovery process down. Though Chance is self-assured, he does know he has a problem and struggles with it on a daily basis.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
The inspiration for the characters were based partially off real life and from the song, “That’s Why I’m Here” by Kenny Chesney. Kendra is based off of my crafty side though appearance and attitude wise is all her. Chance evolved from the character in Kenny’s song. Right down to attending AA meetings.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
The hardest part is staying on track, which unfortunately for me, never seems to happen. My stories morph part way through and I have to fiddle with the plotline, which I often do in my trusty notebook. I’m truly a pantser style writer.
Name one thing that our readers would be surprised to know about you.
I’m an old game show freak. I love the old Match Games, Card Sharks, and Press Your Luck from the 70’s and 80’s.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Nathan’s Crinkle Cut French Fried Chili Cheese flavored snacks. They are hard to find at times and I pounce when I find them.
What TV Show are you addicted to?
Where to begin? LOL. My favorites at the moment are Criminal Minds and The Voice. I love Blake Shelton and Adam Levine.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
Coffee and lots of it. I usually sit in my recliner with the Game Show Network in the background as I pen my stories.
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
Yes. Whiskey Whispers of the Past would not exist if it wasn’t for Kenny Chesney and his song, “That’s Why I’m Here.” It’s an excellent song to describe Chance and his addiction and recovery.
If your story was optioned for a movie, who would play your characters?
Adam Levine would play Chance and a honey-blonde haired Kate Beckinsale would play Kendra.
Where were you when you got your first contract? Who did you tell first?
I was at home communicating with the owner of Astraea Press and she offered me a contract. The first person I told, besides my husband, was my wonderful critique partner.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
I was sixteen and it was a spicy historical romance. Been addicted ever since.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Nora Roberts. I read one of her stories and she immediately became my favorite.
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and/or an all time favorite?
My favorite movie of all time is The Wizard of Oz. I can watch it again and again. I love the Scarecrow. I often find myself whistling his song as I walk around the house.
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m working on the follow-up to Whiskey Whispers of the Past. Conflicted Jewel takes place in the same small town on the same Main Street with characters introduced in the first story.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
I would love to co-author a story with my critique partner and wonderful author, Zee Monodee.
How do you pick your characters names?
I use Behind the Name a lot though Kendra was named after an old school mate.
Do you prefer the love at first sight approach or a steady growth throughout?
I believe in both instances and wouldn’t hesitate to write about either. I’ve seen both approaches work in the real world.
What is your reaction to people who say one of the following…”Oh you write romance, I thought you were a real writer”, “Romance isn’t a real writing career” or the ever popular “Oh, one of those books”.
A lot of people assume my stories contain erotic sex which they do not though at one time I did write erotic romances. I simply clarify the situation and most people seem satisfied with the explanation. I don’t work so some see it as a hobby which is fine by me. I’m doing what I like to do.
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of chocolate?
Dark chocolate or any kind with peanut butter.