Today I have the privilege of presenting this interview with Lynette White the author who brought us Shadoe Van Ives, a star in his own right. Read along and learn some very interesting details in the life of Lynette White.
1. Lynette, what does your writing process look like?
Pretty boring actually. When I am writing I prefer absolute silence and I just sit down,either with pen and paper or at the computer, and start writing. Now editing, on the other hand, is pretty chaotic. I will have some pages at the computer, the work table, and my work bag at the same time. Believe it or not I actually keep track of that.
2. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?
Outside of writing deep into the night until my brain finally becomes a swirling mass of disjointed thoughts, not really. However, the ends of a lot of pens seem to get sacrificed in the process, left over habit from smoking. Oh, and my cat tries to help out by planting himself between the monitor and the keyboard. While he stares at the screen he voices his opinion, a lot.
3. Is there one book you have written that is your favorite? Which of your characters is your favorite? And which is the biggest trouble maker for you?
Right at the moment I would have to say Destiny Dawning, the final book of the Destiny Series. Now that my skills have increased one hundred fold I am really excited to put the final touches on that book and see the series come to a startling conclusion.
Favorite character is Shadoe Van Ives mostly because so many of his characteristics were borrowed from my son James.
Well that depends on what you mean by trouble maker. The hardest character for me to develop was Sander Van Ives because he is a very complex character. If you mean which one stirs up the most trouble without thinking of the consequences that would be Paulis Stenson.
4. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?
Without question Tracy Hickman sits at the top of that list and to have him as a mentor now is dream come true for me. The list is so long, but some of my other favorites are Rita Mae Brown, Raymond Feist, Sydney Sheldon, Margret Weiss, and Agatha Christie to name a few.
5. If you could cast the characters from your latest book in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?
My niece insists that Taylor Lautner has to play Shadoe Van Ives.
For Coriane Van Ives I think Selina Gomez would be a nice fit.
Daniel Radcliff would make a good Tamaron Carnell.
Richard Gere would make the perfect Sander.
He could pass as Taylor’s father right?
6. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?
I have to admit a dark secret here. The characters, world, races, everything associated with the Destiny Series was originally created as my D&D characters back in the early 80’s. Long before any concept of a book crossed my mind. The world was created when I moved from the role of player to DM in the early 90’s. After 20 years of role playing I retired and my world retired with me. After that, the whole book thing just kind of happened.
With that said, Shadoe was given his name as a symbol of the shady character he was. On the other hand I wanted his twin sister to be his direct opposite so the kinder, gentler name of Coriane was chosen, etc. As much to my surprise as anyone else’s was how the characters grew into their names when they made that transition from role playing to novels.
As far as current projects go: Some times I will spend time on the perfect name, but a good share of them come out of the phone book. You would be amazed what names you can find in a standard phone book and with a little tweek you are good to go.
7. What does Lynette White consider to be her best accomplishment?
As a writer? The fact that I went from having nothing in print to nearly 20 stories spread out across 10 anthologies, 1 honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest, 1 very successful progressive novel that I wrote with 4 other authors, and my debut novel The Enemy Within. All in a little over two years.
8. Where does Lynette White see herself in 10 years?
Sitting on a movie set overseeing the movie while writing my next best seller.
9. Were you already a great writer? Have you always like to write?
Honestly, I don’t see myself as a great writer. I see myself as good writer that is still improving. From the time I was young I liked to write stories and read. It wasn’t until high school that a teacher encouraged me to write. Still, three decades would pass before I seriously considered it as more than a casual hobby.
10. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?
The same advice I have been given by some of the most successful authors in the business. Write, write, write and when you don’t feel like writing than grab a pen and paper and start writing. The difference between a hobby writer and a professional is nothing more than discipline and practice.
11. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?
Right now I pretty content working in a reservation center booking hotel rooms. It is a fun job, with great people and I look forward to going to work everyday.
12. Are you a plotter or a pantster?
I am a total pantster. At best I might jot down a few notes before I start a story, but I have never done an outline or anything like that. Too many bad flashbacks from school. I have found that I work best when I just sit down and let the creative juices flow where they want than I go back and flesh out the story.
13. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?
I do read my reviews and I do respond to them. I am grateful for every one I get. And yes, I do respond to the bad ones as well. I recently received a bad review from a goodreads reader and it was pretty hurtful, but I did email that individual and thank them for their honesty. My advice on how to deal with the bad is if you are getting a few bad reviews than you probably need to lock away your pride for awhile and look at your work with a critical eye. If you only get one bad review in every twenty than it was probably just that your book was not a good fit for that reader. Shoot, there are some very famous authors whose books you will never find in my house because I don’t care for them. And yes, I have been guilty of posting a negative review on occasion.
14. What is your best marketing tip?
When I get that figured out I will let you know. I am seriously struggling with that right now.
15. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?
Editing!!! It is so tedious and slow that it drives me nuts, but oh so critical.
16. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author?
Erotica. I refuse to exploit the Human race’s insane need to breed.
17. In The Destiny Series who is your favorite character (Other than Shadoe Van Ives)? How about in your other books and stories?
That is an easy one, Dawson Owens. Dawson knows he is always one step behind Shadoe and Michelnick, but yet he trudges on. He is the epitome of a loyal sidekick.
As for my other works; that would have to be Kevin, found in the anthology Beyond the Mystic Doors. Kevin is an autistic child lost in a large park in the middle of a bloody gang war. When two rival gang members find Kevin at the same time the outcome is profound. I actually had the mother of an autistic child email me to tell me how that story touched her so deeply.
18. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?
Battle scenes are particularly tough for me because I am not knowledgeable in combat tactics. For that I bring a couple of experts to help me with the scenes.
19. Lynette what is your latest book? How many books have you written prior?
My latest release is Final Ships, the tenth Giant Tales anthology. In Final ships is the only serial story I have written for an anthology. The companion story is found in Lava Storms, the eighth book in the collection. Also released about the same time was Of Past and Future from the Good Tales collection. Giving me the total of 10 anthologies with stories.
20. What are you working on now? What is your next project?
I am just finishing up Enemy Unmasked, book two of the Destiny Series. I am looking to release it late this spring. In the fall I will start working on Darkest Night, book three of the series with a projected release date of spring 2016. This summer I am planning on entering another story in the Writers of the Future contest and a couple of smaller projects.
The following is some Crazy Questions That No One Ever Asks Authors, answer any you would like others to know about you.
1. What has been your biggest disappointment in life?
2. What is your greatest joy in life?
My son James, my kinda sorta adopted son Garrett, two wonderful daughter in laws and three beautiful granddaughters.
3. Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
This may sound foolish but it was moving a few months ago. If you have moved recently you know what I am saying. First is the drama of finding a place, than moving, than unpacking. What a nightmare! All you can do is take it one day at a time.
4. What is Lynette White’s biggest fear?
I really don’t have any. I firmly believe that fear is conjured by oneself and it is vanquished by oneself. I have a lot of things I don’t care to seek out like snakes, spiders that will kill me, extreme heights, and walking in some neighborhoods after dark. But I don’t really fear them. I don’t fear death, illness, losing everything I own, etc because I have faced most of them and came to terms with them.
5. What do you want your tombstone to say?
She never stopped dreaming.
6. If Lynette White had a superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation. That would be the best power ever.
7. If Lynette White was actually a super hero in disguise, what would her name be? What costume would she wear?
What do you mean if? I was a single mom for the better part of twenty years. My sons love to call me “Stubbs” because I can’t keep up their long legs and I hang out in t-shirts and jeans.
8. What literary character is most like you?
Mary Minor Haristeen from the Sneaky Pie books by Rita Mae Brown.
9. What secret talents do you have?
I can read people intentions. It is kinda of like reading auras. I have also been known to channel spirits.
10. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
11. If you were an animal in a zoo, what would you be?
A black panther
12. What is something you want to accomplish before you die?
Travel the world
13. If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?
14. What were you like as a child? Your favorite toy?
Believe it or not I was a sickly child, skinny, awkward, painfully shy and the victim of cruel bullies. That is why I turned to books. When I was lost in a book the world around me was so much easier to cope with than the real world I was living in. To see me now you would never guess it, but it was an uphill battle for most of my life. My favorite toys were the same as any girl’s, Barbie dolls.
15. Do you dream? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?
I do when I am not utterly exhausted. Recurring dreams? Yes, but they are usually a message I need to pay attention too. Recurring nightmares? Not so much.
Lynette White and Tracy Hickman at a mass book signing Feb 12, 2015. “What a surreal experience that was”.
Click the box for the revealing interview with Lynette White’s creation “Shadoe Van Ives”
Purchase all books by Lynette White here!