October 28, 2016

Lynn Cahoon - Cozy Mystery Author Spotlight and Interview

 Lynn Cahoon

About this author:
Lynn Cahoon is the author of the NYT and USA Today bestselling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. Guidebook to Murder, book 1 of the series won the Reader's Crown for Mystery Fiction in 2015. She's also the author of the recently released, Cat Latimer series. A STORY TO KILL, book 1, came out in mass market paperback September 2016. She lives in a small town like the ones she loves to write about with her husband and two fur babies. Sign up for her newsletter at www.lynncahoon.com

Where to follow this author:

When did your love of writing begin?
I always wanted to be a story teller. Even as a kid. But I'm very literal and I didn't see a 'writer' degree and I knew I needed a fall back career. Instead, I got a full time career, and a baby, so there was no time for writing. Fast forward a few years, and when I was divorcing my first husband and finding my voice, I remembered my love of writing. Then life intervened again, and I got husband number two with a strong love of darts. When I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in 2007, I realized someday wasn't promised and I started writing.

What made you chose this genre?
I love reading cozy mysteries. But it took a while reading the mystery genre, why I liked some books, and not others. It was the ones with the strong community and relationships that drew me in, not so much the blood and gore. 

Do you have a scheduled writing time, place and/or routine?

I wish. Actually, I get up early, before work, and write. I like my desktop, mainly because of the 40 inch screen. My husband keeps me in high tech toys. I plan for 10K a week, and my goal is to get 2K a day on weekdays, then my weekends are free. It never works that way. 

What do you do to get over writer's block?
I write. Honestly, I think writer's block is a writer not knowing where their story is heading. If I don't like what I'm writing, I might think about what I want to do differently, then I change the plan. But I don't think you get over a block by not writing. 

What was it like to get y our first publishing contract?
Crazy. I'd been targeting HQ American for over three years. They finally rejected my bull rider story, so I bit the bullet and sent it to a small press with a strong backer (Crimson Romance) and had a request for a full in an hour. My offer to contract came a week later. I was at work and turned to my cube mate and said, "I think I just sold my book." Each and every contract has had that sense of wonder with it. Wonder and gratitude. 

How has the publishing/writing world changed since you first started writing?
See answer above. I had told my husband that I worked way too hard on a book to sell it to a digital first publisher. However, when you target a book to a specific publisher and a specific line, there aren't many other places to shop it to after the publisher rejects it. Since 2012 when The Bull Rider's Brother was published, digital first has become not such a bad word in the lives of authors. I'm making good royalties on my digital books. Good enough that I'm thinking about giving up the day job, right as soon as my husband's life flight trip is paid off. 
You write about strong female characters. Are they modeled after anyone?
Kind of. My older sisters were all strong role models for me. My mom was widowed with five kids, including an one-year-old (me). I've always fought for my right to work without being told I'm taking a job away from a man with a family. Being my age, I have a different sense of the world, especially as a female. I want my characters to be strong and independent like I would have wanted my daughters to be, if I'd had any.

When you are not writing what do you like to do?
I love sitting on the beach watching the waves. I just got back from our vacation at OBX, NC and I'm already missing listening to the crash of the waves. 

Do you have any advice for beginning authors?

I've heard this from others. Write at least three books, start to finish, before thinking of publication. You have to learn what you like to write and your voice. Then don't be afraid of a digital offer. 

Do you have a favorite author or book you would like to recommend to your readers?
Robyn Carr. Love the way she writes small towns. And Stephen King - love his fantasy. And Deborah Harkness. The Discovery of Witches. I read pretty widely. 

Please tell us five random things about yourself

I love baking, cooking, and good food.
I'm kind of obsessed with Project Runway and Top Chef. (And any other competition show like that.)
I married a younger man the second time.
I'm a pretty good dart player (for a girl. Not my words - but I've heard them a lot.)
I love swimming, but don't do it as much as I should.

What I learned about this author:
Lynn is a breast cancer survivor. Like me she loves Project Runway and Top Chef. She models her characters after her older sisters. One of her favorite authors is Robyn Carr. What did you learn?

Stay tuned for the next author!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for having me over today Angela! For your readers who haven't tried one of my books, there are several that happen to be on sale (Digital)this week. (Tea Cups and Carnage; Murder on Wheels, and If the Shoe Kills.) Audible is featuring Guidebook to Murder as their daily deal today (10/28).

    I'm off to a mystery conference in a private club that makes my mystery muse tingle. But I'll check back soon.