Gail's Book Nook

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Looking Out the Window: Lynette Sowell Talks about Her New Book and Writing

Lynette will give away a copy of Cherry Blossom Capers! To enter to win leave your name and email address with a comment.
Welcome, Lynette. Congratulations on your writing. Writers often have been avid readers for a long time. Did you read lots as a child? If so, what did you read?
Yes, I definitely read a lot—in fact, my mother tells me that she read to me before I was born, so I'm not surprised that I've always loved the printed word. My favorites on the shelf when I was young: The Little House books, The Chronicles of Narnia, Little Women,
anything Nancy Drew or Trixie Belden, all were among my favorites.
How neat that your mom read to you before you were born. We'd like to know a little about your writing. Why do you write?
I'd like to say, “Because I have to,” but I don't know if that's a very good answer. I've always enjoyed making up stories When I was in grade school, I realized that I could. I put it away for a long time, worked on college, started raising a family, and finally one day something clicked inside me that said, “You need to really work on this.”

Tell us about your latest book.
Cherry Blossom Capers is a collection of four romantic mysteries set in the Washington, D.C. area. My coauthors and I came up with a group of four friends—one a White House chef (that's my heroine), a young lawyer, an archaeology intern, and a tea shop owner. Each woman encounters a mystery and danger on her road to romance.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
I've always been fascinated with the White House and all the comings and goings, the behind-the-scenes workings of the executive mansion. I read a news article some years ago that fueled the premise for my novella: what if someone is trying to sabotage a State Dinner, with international consequences? Enter my chef heroine and FBI agent hero.
Where do you get ideas for your books?
Like I mentioned above, sometimes news articles will give me that story nudge. Either that, or it's the setting. Especially with any of the historicals I've written, my wild imagination carries me away to a possible story line.
What themes do you write about?
Reconciliation, forgiveness, grace, belonging.
What is your writing schedule and where do you write?
During the last couple of years, my home life has changed as our nest has emptied. I now have an office where I can write. I've also been able to go part-time on my day job, which generaly allows me Thursdays and Fridays to write all day. That's the idea, anyhow. During the rest of the week, nights and weekends, I'll work on marketing and other efforts.
Are you a plotter or a pantzer?
I think I'm a plotapantzer, a mix of both. I need a general idea of where I'm going, the high points at least. If I don't know that much, I'll freeze up and won't know where to go. However, if I know too much, I'll start feeling like I'm writing a college assignment and that's no fun for anybody. I allow for some surprises, sort of like a happy detour on a road trip, as long as I get to where I'm going in the end and it doesn't slow things down.
Plotapantzer. I love it. Does your faith affect your writing? How?
Yes, it definitely does. Many times the spiritual theme of a book will emerge as I write the story and spend more time with a character. For me, faith is more than going through a religious ritual. It's about acknowledging God in each part of my life and making room for Him. Not always easy because like many of us, I tend to get in the way. I'm not one that writes a “preachy” book, per se, either. I don't think we have to “explain” everything, but let the characters live out whatever lesson they're learning.
What are you working on right now?
I've just started a book for Abingdon Press titled The Tempest's Course. It's a contemporary romance set in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and involves a big old home that once belonged to a whaling captain, a long-forgotten diary, a tattered and neglected 150 year old quilt, and a textile conservator who stumbles across a tragic story from the past that has consequences in the present.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Get your first book written, please! I know several people who are extremely talented writers, but can't get over that first book. You might not end up being rich or famous, but your book could end up touching someone's heart.
Thanks, Lynette.
About Cherry Blossom Capers
Tara Whitley, an assistant White House chef, doesn’t expect to become an amateur investigator. Then old flame and FBI operative Jack Courtland steps back into her life and recruits her to help uncover a plot to sabotage the next State Dinner.
But she doesn’t expect Jack to uncover feelings for him she thought had long since died. Can she trust him with her heart, or will secrets separate them again?
Lynette Sowell is the award-winning author of five novels and six novellas for Barbour Publishing. When Lynette's not writing, she divides her time between editing medical reports and chasing down news stories for the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. Lynette was born in Massachusetts, raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country with her husband and a herd of cats who have them well-trained. She loves reading, cooking, watching movies, and is always up for a Texas road trip.
Buy Cherry Blossom Capers
on Amazon, in hard copy or Kindle!:
Visit Lynette's Facebook author page:
and the Cherry Blossom Capers blog:
Lynette says, "Join us for tidbits about D.C., our book, recipes, and classic movie reviews!"
Sounds like lots of fun!


Miss Mae said...

Hi Lynette,

It's great to meet you! Love your book cover, and love the premise too!

Wishing you many sales!

*since I don't enter giveaways, please do not add my name*

Thank you!

June Foster said...

I love this creative idea - a fictional romantic mystery about Washington, DC.
June Foster

Anne Patrick said...

Sounds like a great book, Lynette. I wish you continued success. Gail, thanks for introuducing me to another great author.

Linda Weaver Clarke said...

Wow! I love the idea of a mystery romance series. If a person loves the first book, then they'll read the rest. I would love to enter this giveaway and write a review for it. Thanks,

Angie Adair said...

Sounds like great books!

Jackie said...

Washington, DC is one of my favorite places. What a great place for your book setting.
I was so happy to hear you say you are a combination of planning and SOP writing. That's how I am so far. I discovered for Nano, the more I plan the faster i write though.
Thanks for sharing today, & I'd love to be entered in your contest.

Anonymous said...

Lynette, your book sounds interesting. I'm finding first hand how much work for the authors there is in coordinating anthologies. Adding mysteries to that would be so much harder. I wish you the best with your book.

Judy said...

Lynette, this book is going to be a great read! I'd love to win a copy of it. Cover is beautiful!

By the way...I love your glasses! (I know this has nothing to do with your great interview, but I do love them!)


Lynette Sowell said...

Thanks, everyone, for stopping by! This was such a fun book to write with my coauthors. Our novellas are all very different from each other, but so are our characters. This was rejected once before, so we're doubly happy it sold. So for all those who are writers, "No" sometimes doesn't mean "No, forever."

And thanks for the compliment about my glasses! I really enjoy them. :)

Celia Yeary said...

Lynette--I like the premise of the book. While I'm not a mystery writer or evena reader..much..the premise could be used around any topic. I love that favorite colors.That really caught my eye.
I wish you sound like a very talented and dedicated author.

Jo said...

I'm intrigued! This book sounds like such a good book and would love to read it.


Marissa said...

Sounds like a wonderful book!


Courtney said...

Sounds really great!

kcmelone at yahoo dot com

Laurean Brooks said...

Hi Lynette,

It's nice to meet you. Interesting plot you have there. Who would have thought of using Washington D.C.? My son is being transferred there. (A Marshall for Homeland Security) Reckon he might show up in a future book? LOL

It seems we liked the same books-- Little House, Little Women, Nancy Drew. I read every mystery I could get my 10-year-old hands on. Loved 'em all.

Congratulations on this unique story. Hope it sells a million copies. You can certainly add my name to the drawing.

Merry said...

I was blessed to have a mom and an older sister who read to me. My whole family loves to get lost in books!
I'd loved to be entered for Cherry Blossom Capers it sounds terrific.
worthy2bpraised at gmail dot com