I am really pleased to welcome Author – Lyn Horner, to my blog today. Her historical novels are beautifully written and engrossing stories. You will find them difficult to put down. I enjoyed learning a little more about Lyn and I hope you do too.
Bio: Lyn Horner resides in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and beloved cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor. After quitting work to raise her children, she took up writing as a creative outlet. This hobby grew into a love of historical research and the crafting of passionate love stories based on that research.
The author says, “Writing a book is much like putting together a really big jigsaw puzzle. It requires endless patience and stubborn determination to see your ideas come to life, and once hooked on the process, you’re forever addicted.”
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I’ve always enjoyed writing. In junior high, when I wrote a history paper about the Marquis de Lafayette, my teacher had me read it in front of the class and the other students actually applauded. That was a trip! However, I loved the visual arts and decided I wanted to be a fashion illustrator. After four years of training at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, I worked as an illustrator and art instructor. Then my husband accepted a company transfer to Chicago and I stayed home after that to raise our two children. As stated in my bio, I took up writing as a creative outlet, and that, as they say, was that.
What can readers expect when they read your book(s)?
Readers can expect sizzling love scenes and strong emotions running the gamut from grief, fear and rage to family loyalty and everlasting love. They can also expect plenty of adventure, whether in 19th century America or current times in my new series. Oh, and they will also find a dash of paranormal (as in ESP) to spice up the mix.
How do you balance writing with the rest of your life?
Ha! That’s the trick for every author. These days most of my time goes into writing and promotional efforts, but I do take time out for family. Our kids are grown with families of their own. We see them fairly often, but it’s mainly my husband and three very spoiled cats who demand daily attention. Luckily, my DH is used to my crazy hours (often into the wee hours of morning) and need to hide away behind close doors when writing.
Can you describe a typical writing day for you?
Sure. I’m usually up between 7 and 8 in the morning. After feeding my four-footed children, I grab a cup of coffee and go through email on my laptop. This can go on for two or three hours, depending on how many interesting blog posts I take time to read. By then it may be lunchtime. After a bite to eat I usually settle down to write for the afternoon. Supper interrupts, then it’s back to work, sometimes on my WIP (work in progress) or a blog post, often until midnight or one o’clock, or until I can’t keep my eyes open one more minute.
I have three favorite spots: my living room recliner, propped up on the bed with books, papers and cats surrounding me, or in a hot bath with clipboard, notebook and pen. Ideas seem to flow best there, maybe due to the heat, or simply because there’snothing to distract me. I do have an office with bookshelves holding scads of research books, but I seldom actually write in there. Since acquiring my first laptop a few years ago, I’ve found it easier to sit with my feet up and my brainy little machine on my lap.
What are you most passionate about outside of writing?
My kids and their kids, without a doubt. Like most parents, I want to see them happy, healthy and prosperous. I also enjoy raising money for charities with a wonderful group of friends.
What genre(s) do you write? Why do you write the stories that you write?
So far I’ve concentrated on western historical romance with paranormal overtones. I love studying history and have enjoyed reading western romance since the early 70s. It was a natural choice for me to write. The paranormal aspect stems from my own experiences with ESP. Years back I had several prophetic dreams that came true, albeit in strange ways. For example, one night I dreamed the grocery store where we shopped burned down. The next morning we heard on the news that a store in the same grocery chain burned to the ground over night. How weird is that?
As I mentioned, I’m starting a new series set in the modern world. It opens in Ireland but will move to far corners of the earth. The main story line is built around ancient Irish myth. Ireland, Scotland and the Celtic world are special interests of mine.
That varies from book to book. My first book, Darlin’ Irish, grew out of an interest in the Irish immigrants who’d settled in Chicago and the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. The characters came second. However, when I decided to write a sequel, and later a third book in my Texas Devlins series, I knew who the hero and heroine would be in each story because they were introduced in the previous book(s.) I always knew Texas in the 1870s would become home base for my characters.
How do you go about developing your characters?
For me, it’s kind of a slow process. I have a general idea of what they’re like, but they appear kind of vaguely in my mind’s eye at first. As I begin to write they become clearer, revealing their good and bad points and their quirky traits. By the end of the book they’re very real to me. I always hate saying goodbye to them. Maybe that’s why I like writing a series, so I can see my old pals again.
Out of all the characters that you’ve written, who is your favorite and why?
Jessie Devlin, the clairvoyant heroine of Darlin’ Irish, is my favorite, partly because she was the first character I ever came to know, but also because her dream hero, David Taylor, is also my dream man. I’ve had a crush on him from the moment he met Jessie in the Omaha train depot. Shhh, don’t tell my husband! David is haunted by a ghost from his past, who comes between him and Jessie. Sometimes this make him treat her rather harshly, but inside he’s the epitome of what a hero should be, at least for me.
Can you share a little of your current work?
I’d love to. Keep in mind it’s not available yet. This is a serialized story consisting of nine, possibly ten novellas. The first book will be out sometime in October, I hope. Setting the scene, Lara is about to meet the man she hopes to hire as her bodyguard – to protect her from unseen enemies. Be prepared: Lara is not your typical romance beauty.
Engrossed in the task at hand, Lara had forgotten her appointment with the man who’d answered her advertisement in the The Kerryman, the local newspaper. Scolding herself for letting such a crucial matter slip her mind, she quickly rolled up the scroll, slipped it back into its tube and dropped the container in her knitting basket under the table. She nudged it beneath skeins of yarn with her good foot, making sure it was well hidden, then wheeled to the door and unlocked it.
“Come in,” she called, opening the door and backing away.
Una stepped into the room with a rolling pin gripped in one hand and flour dusting her apron. She partially closed the door behind her.
“Mum, he looks a bad un,” she whispered, worry lines creasing her brow. “Ye oughtn’t to be alone with him.”
Lara hesitated briefly then put the warning down to melodramatics. “I’m sure I’ll be fine. Please show him in, Una.”
“But mum, he’s –”
“Show him in,” Lara gently insisted, raising her hand to stave off further argument.
The Irishwoman issued a mournful sigh and nodded. “Aye, mum, as ye wish.”
While she went to fetch the man, Lara smoothed her long skirt and self-consciously fingered the jagged scar on her right cheek. She considered standing to create a stronger first impression but dismissed the idea with a grimace. Her injured leg wasn’t strong enough to bear her weight yet, if it ever would.
A man’s heavy tread accompanied Una’s footsteps up the hall. The door opened again and the plump Irishwoman warily ushered in a tall stranger. He halted just over the threshold to stare at Lara, obviously unprepared for her appearance. She stiffened self-consciously and gulped at the sight of him. He had to be six-foot-three or four. His coffee-brown hair was shaggy and several days’ growth of beard shaded his square jaw. Clothed in faded jeans, a dark shirt, black leather jacket and boots, with studded leather gloves protruding from one pocket, he looked like he belonged in a motorcycle gang.
“Mum, this is Mr. O’Shea,” Una said tightly, eyeing the man with a disapproving scowl.
Lara forced a stiff smile. “Thank you for coming, Mr. O’Shea. I’m Lara Spenser.” Receiving a silent nod in reply, she glanced at her housekeeper. “That will be all, Una. I’ll ring if I need you.”
Sticking out her chin, the woman appeared ready to argue but evidently thought better of it. “Aye, mum. Excuse me, sir,” she snapped at O’Shea, who finally deigned to step farther into the room.
As the door closed behind him, he cleared his throat. “Sorry for staring. I wasn’t expecting . . . .” He pointed toward her wheelchair.
“You needn’t apologize. Perhaps I should have mentioned this when we spoke.” She tapped her fingers on an arm of the chair, thinking he was probably more shocked by her scarred face. She’d deliberately not told him about her infirmities when he phoned yesterday. He was a complete stranger and in her situation it paid not to give out too much information. Besides, his Texas drawl had rattled her, causing her to stammer like a tongue-tied adolescent.
“Maybe so, ma’am, but my mama would skin me alive for my bad manners,” he said in those deep, achingly familiar tones. He added a genial smile that softened his rugged features. However, that smile didn’t reach his steel-gray eyes, eyes that watched her intently, making her stomach flutter and her hands sweat. Maybe she should have listened to Una.
Where can readers find more information on you?
Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?
White Witch (Texas Devlins Origins, A Prequel)
Darlin’ Irish (Texas Devlins, Jessie’s Story)
Dashing Irish (Texas Devlins, Tye’s Story)
Dearest Irish (Texas Devlins, Rose’s Story)
Thanks Lyn for spending time here. I will definitely be buying your new book. I really enjoyed the excerpt.