Archive for June, 2013

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace Welcomes Chris Lynch

TWN WWW 300

 

Every Wednesday, I feature a writer and his/her workspace.  My aim is to get to know fellow writers better through their workspace and writing habits, and have them share some of their writing wisdom here.

Today, I am most eager to welcome Chris Lynch, author of that thrilling crime novel One Eyed Jack
.

One eyed jack novel - Wednesday Writers workspace

Welcome Chris!

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Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do for a living? What genre do you love to write? What are some of your hobbies or interests? Do you have a hidden talent?

Christopher J. Lynch - Wednesday Writers workspace

Author Chris Lynch

 

I work at the Chevron refinery in El Segundo where I’m an instrumentation instructor. I love to write hard-boiled crime novels and have published “One Eyed Jack,” the first book in a series about a professional blackmailer. I’m working on the second book in the series, “Russian Roulette” and it will be available this summer. I also have a children’s picture book, “Wally the Water Drop,” that I hope to have out by this summer as well.

When I’m not writing, I like to bicycle and mountain climb. I’ve summited Mount Whitney, Mount Shasta, Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, and Mount Kalapathar in Nepal. I once trained and led a group of blind hikers on a climb to the summit of Mount Baldy, at 10,064 ft. it’s the highest point ion Los Angeles County and the third highest peak in Southern California.

On Workspace

1.  Where do you do most of your writing?

I do most of my writing at home at my computer desk. Occasionally, I’ll take my laptop to the Coffee Cartel in Redondo Beach and write. To finish my first novel, I went up to the mountains and locked myself in a cabin for three days. I finished the final third of the book in those three days. The best part about it was, Kathy Bates wasn’t there to break my ankles with a sledgehammer. LOL

 

2.  Where did you get your desk?  How did you go about arranging your work area?

My computer cabinet was a kit that I assembled and painted. Nothing really special about it other than the fact you can make a mess, close the door and PRESTO – the mess is magically gone.

Chris lynch workspace - Wednesday Writers workspace

Author Chris Lynch’s workspace

3.  What are some important things on your desk?  Are there specific things you need to have around you as you work?

I’m pretty much a non-nonsense writer. I have a dictionary, thesaurus and miscellaneous office supplies on my desk. Sorry, but I don’t have a pet rock, a rabbit’s foot, candles, or any mementos in my writing space. The web and Facebook are big enough distractions without my having to cultivate any more. I also have a dry erase board that I use as kind of a perpetual “To-Do” list, and a calendar to keep track of my writing events (I usually do two events per month).

 

4.  What do you love most about your workspace? Do you have any favorite objects on your desk, or things you use often?

I like my workspace because it’s very efficient for me. Everything I need is within reach.

5. What’s your writing beverage?  What do you love to drink while you’re writing?

Coffee, and then more coffee, and then I usually switch to coffee to round it out.

Mount Baldy Group shot captioned - Wednesday Writers workspace

On Writing

1. Who is your favorite author?  Who inspired you to write?

I actually have two. Raymond Chandler is considered the Demi-God of the hard-boiled crime genre. Lawrence Sanders is a more modern version of Chandler, with a touch of clever wit thrown in for good measure. I don’t think any author did a better job of describing characters than either of these men. One brief passage and you had a crystal clear picture in your mind.

2. What’s your typical day as a writer like?  Do you have any writing related rituals or quirks?

I’m a morning person and that’s when I’ll write. I do a lot of note scribbling though, and try to keep a pad of paper and a pen always at the ready. The muse is tricky, and trying to snag her is sometimes like trying to catch the devil.

3.  Do you write everyday?  How many hours a day do you spend writing?  What are some of your worst writing distractions?

I wishI could write every day. At this stage of my life it’s just not practical. I mostly write on the weekends. When I do write, it’s usually for a minimum of 3 hours. Sometimes I can go for 6, but my but gets too sore. I usually set a goal of writing a chapter or two. But the most important thing is to have something worthwhile at the end of it. Unlike most writers, I usually revise as I go along. Distractions are the phone more than anything.

 

4. Why do you write?

Because I love it, and I love my character, and my stories. Anyone who is doing it for other reasons ($$$) I think is going to be in for a big disappointment. My greatest thrill is when someone who has read my book tells me that they couldn’t put it down. Satisfying your readers makes it all worthwhile.

 

5. Any writing tips or techniques or words of wisdom you want to share with us?  How about a favorite writing quote?

Write because you love it. You have to have fun with this or you’ll go crazy. That’s not to say it isn’t work, but a lot of endeavors in this world are work: gourmet cooking, gardening, wood carving, yet people still do them, and work hard at them. Why? Because they love them.

“All of the words to the next great American best seller are in the dictionary, you just have to rearrange them.” Mark Twain

 

CHECK OUT CHRIS’s Website and the trailer for his book

Christopher J. Lynch
Author of “ONE EYED JACK” 
http://www.christopherjlynch.com/
“One Eyed Jack” video trailer:  

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Thanks  Chris, for giving us a glimpse into your writing life.

Wednesday Writer’s Workspace is an ongoing series, and if you’re interested in being featured here, simply leave me a message in the comment box, and I’ll be sure to email you.

 

 

 

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Last May 17th, 2013, I had the pleasure of attending the Young Adult Summer Lovin’ Book Tour at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Redondo Beach (my favorite bookstore ever!)
I got to see Simon & Schuster’s top YA authors interact and got to know more about their works as well as their writing habits.

summer lovin book tour1
Present from left to right, were:

Kimberly Derting (The Body Finder series, The Pledge Trilogy)
Jessi Kirby (Moonglass)
Sarah Ockler (The Book of Broken Hearts)
Morgan Matson (Second Chance Summer)
Shannon Messenger (Keeper of the Lost Cities and Let the Sky Fall)
Suzanne Young (A Want so Wicked, A Need so Beautiful, Just Like Fate and The Program)

 

The authors started by introducing themselves in a fun sort of way. Each gave three sentences about themselves: One lie and two truths, and the audience had to guess which one was the lie.

And just to up the stakes, they gave away some sweet prizes (literally) of skittles and chocolate kisses.

Actually, they were so nice they ended up giving away the prizes to anyone who simply guessed–whether or not their guesses were correct.

summer lovin book tour throwing

 

YA Author Suzanne Young throwing a pack of skittles to the audience member with the correct guess

Here are some interesting tidbits I learned about these fabulous YA Authors:

Suzanne Young was a forensics champion in High School

Shannon Messenger once sat in the wrong seat at the Academy Awards, which was actually a lucky event because she got to sit in the front row along with all the nominees.

Morgan Matson was a cheerleader in High School.

Sarah Ockler wore PJ’s to high school throughout her senior year.

Jessi Kirby prizes the bag of chips that her favorite author Sarah Dessen gave her.

Kimberly Derting experienced a drive by shooting at home when she was in the 5th grade.

The audience had fun guessing each author’s lie and listening to the stories behind their truths.

The authors also talked about their books.  Halfway through their introductions, a theme started to emerge. Most of their books not only involved a love story, they also apparently included hot abs and a lovable pet dog.

 the program

The Program

let the sky fall

Let the Sky Fall

second chance summer

Second Chance Summer

the book of broken hearts

The Book of Broken Hearts

golden

Golden

the essence

The Essence

 

Afterward the authors encouraged the audience to ask questions.

The first question had to do with which author inspired them to seek out a writing career.

Suzanne Young was inspired by Stephen King. She started writing murder mysteries when she was young and all of them involved her friends dying.

Shannon Messenger started by writing screenplays. A Cameron Crowe screenplay was what inspired her love for writing, but it was Ella Enchanted which sparked her desire to write a Middle Grade Fantasy.

Morgan Matson also loved Stephen King. She read all his books, along with a variety of YA books which she had discovered along the way. Sarah Dessen is also one of her favorite authors.

Sarah Ockler began her writing career when she was 9. She wrote a story based on ET, which really impressed her teacher. Of course her parents sat her down to explain that she couldn’t publish that story because it had already been done, and she had to come up with her own stories if she wanted to get published. Sarah was also inspired by Stephen King. She discovered him one summer when she was helping with a yard sale aimed at selling her recently passed grandmother’s things. She found her grandmother’s collection of Stephen King novels and began reading them all.

Jessi Kirby wanted to be a writer when she discovered Judy Blume’s books at age 8. She started her writing career at an early age by writing bad poetry about boys who didn’t like her. She began her real writing career on her 30th bday when she first started writing the book that eventually got published.

Kimberly Derting is yet another Stephen King fan. There weren’t a lot of YA books when she was growing up so she devoured her mom’s books, which happened to include a lot of Stephen King novels. She wrote a horror novel after High School and actually got an agent interested, though it never got published. “The Black Tattoo” was the first YA book she ever read and it made her realize that YA was what she wanted to write.

summer lovin book tour audience

 Summer Lovin Book Tour Authors answering audience questions

 

I asked the authors if they had any writing rituals or quirks, and they gave some pretty interesting answers.

Suzanne Young has to have candy corn while writing. It doesn’t matter if candy corn is in season or not, she would find a way to get some.

Morgan Matson has to have more than one drink while she’s writing. Sometimes she has a cup of coffee, a bottle of water and some juice all spread out on the table. She likes to cover all her bases so she has no excuse to get up and stop writing.

Shannon Messenger’s writing quirk involves music, and depends on the book that she’s writing. When she wrote her first book she couldn’t write without music. When she began her second book, she couldn’t bear to write when there was music. The third book she wrote, she had to listen to just one particular CD to get her started.

Sarah Ockler needs to have coffee and some white cheddar popcorn when she’s writing—which her husband is kind enough to get for her.

Jessi Kirby said she needs caffeine and chocolate when she’s writing.

Kimberly Derting has a drawer full of gumballs which she likes to have while she’s writing, along with lots of tea. She also has a writing outfit—which consists of her writing sweater, and a comfy pair of sweats and uggs.

I had tons of fun listening to the authors and watching them interact with each other and with the audience members.  And the book signing afterwards was a source of joy as well. The authors were all so generous with their time — happily posing for pictures and chatting with fans.

They also gave out  postcards which all of them had signed.

The Summer Lovin Book Tour was definitely one of the best book signings I’ve been to.

 

summer lovin book tour2 with authors

Me with the wonderful YA Authors of Simon & Schuster

From L-R: Kimberly Derting, Jessie Kirby, Sarah Ockler, Morgan Matson,

Shannon Messenger & Suzanne Young

 

 

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