Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Broad Universe Blog Out: Lynn Flewelling

On this second post of the Great Broad Universe Blog Out, it's my pleasure to introduce you - for a second time to Novel Friend - to Lynn Flewelling! Lynn has posted here before about loving your characters, and I'm glad to host her again.
Lynn is the author of some fabulous books and has grown a loyal fan base with her characters that challenge sexual conventions. She is also hosting a writer's workshop in a CRUISE this spring!

Lynn, what made you into a writer?
The inability to stop daydreaming when I grew up.

So, please, tell us about your writing: What genre do you prefer to write? What books, stories, other publications that you've written are your personal favorites? Anything new coming up?

I am a fantasy novelist, author of the ongoing Nightrunner Series and the Tamír Triad. I have a few short stories in anthos to my credit, but that's not my forte.

My favorite short story is "Perfection," which appears in Elemental: The Tsunami Relief Anthology. All of the contributors donated the profits to the relief efforts for the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka.

As far as my books go, I'm especially fond of The Bone Doll's Twin, the first book of the Tamír Triad. It's dark fantasy, it's a ghost story, it's a hidden child story, and it deals with issues of gender and identity. As for the Nightrunner Series, they're all so different that I can't really claim a favorite. I modeled the series on the Sherlock Holmes model; a series of book-length adventures loosely tied together, but complete in themselves, although some of them are duologies within the series, rather than a single long epic. The main characters are rather dashing spies who solve problems with wits as often as they do with weapons. They are both men and end up becoming lovers as well, although that is not the focus of the books, just an aspect of their characters.

My upcoming publication is the fifth book in the series, titled The White Road. That's coming out on May 25. It's the sequel to Shadows Return—one of those duologies I mentioned. At the moment I'm at work on a sixth Nightrunner book, with a seventh under contract.

What's the best or most memorable piece of fan mail you ever received? What's the worst/weirdest?

I do get a lot of fan mail from readers all over the world. For the best, I can't really narrow it down to a single letter so much as a type: many gay readers have written to thank me for Seregil and Alec, heroes they can identify with. They've used the books to get through rough times in their lives, even to come out to family and friends. When I created the characters, I never imagined anything like that.

The weirdest fan letter, if you can call it that, was definitely one I got from a man who wrote to tell me, at length, in tiny hand printing, over six sheets of paper, how I was "destroying the fabric of the American family." The return address was a state prison.

What gets your creative juices going? Do you write to a music, and do you want to share your playlist?

Tea and music, both chosen to suit my mood. Lately I've been drinking a lot of matcha and listening to Tom Waits, Apocalytica, and the sound tracks to Alice in Wonderland and Henry V.

What is your favorite guilty pleasure (be it food, a habit, a show…)? And how do you rationalize giving into it?

"Ghost Whisperer" It's on Fridays when my work week is over, and it has ghosts in it. I'll watch just about anything that has ghosts in it.

What's the best thing about being a writer? What's the worst?

The best thing is that freedom to bring the visions from inside my head out into the world to see. I love entertaining people, and the fact that the stories I tell do that is deeply satisfying, but the actual creative act is the best of it. It's not always fun, but I can't think of anything I'd rather do.

The worst part is the isolation. Years ago I worked in an office with people I liked, and the socializing was a big part of my day. Working alone all day with only the dogs for company wears on me at times. So does being the only person at a party who does what I do. I don't live around many other writers. It's such a relief to get to a convention and sit around with other writers, comparing notes, bitching and complaining about the same things, talking shop and everyone around the table is nodding and saying "Oh I know!" It's good to be among your own.

What brought you to Broad Universe, and what do you like best about the organization?

A friend told me about Broad Universe and I appreciate it as a place that supports women writers. It's a great networking site, and I've met some great women through the organization.

What do you feel is the greatest challenge and the greatest asset of being a woman author?

To be honest, I don't think of myself in those terms most of the time. I am a writer. I write what I am moved to write and have been fortunate that my audience embraces both genders in equal measure. My agent is a woman and so is my editor. Perhaps that's smoothed my way? I don't know. As far as an asset, I think every author benefits from their own life experiences. We writers are who we are, the sum of all our parts, and we draw from it.

Any advice you'd like to share about writing?

Do it. Do the work. Write those awful stories and terrible books that you have to write on your way to becoming good. Classes and workshops can help, but you learn the most about writing by writing, and learning to look at your work with a critical eye. A good writer's group can be a wonderful resource and source of inspiration. Feedback can help you pinpoint weaknesses, and strengths in your writing. And, very importantly, when you're first starting out, don't worry whether you're "good enough." To publish? You're not. You won't be if you don't do the work. To write? All it takes is a willingness to apply pen to paper or fingers to keys on a regular basis and work on those basics: character, plot, theme, dialog, etc.

What is your favorite organizational trick for meeting all of your goals and deadlines?

Ha! I wish I had some!

What special appearances or events are coming up for you?

I'll be doing books signings at Mysterious Galaxy bookstore in San Diego on June 5, and another at some point during Comic Con, also in San Diego. In October I'll be a guest at Yaoi Con. I don't write yaoi, but because of the Nightrunner books, I have a lot of overlap with that fandom.

Most exciting of all, however, is the writing workshop I will be teaching aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise ship May 23-30. It's going to be a lot of fun. We'll be cruising in the Caribbean, and alternating between at sea workshop days, and four ports of call, days when people can get off the boat and explore exotic places. We still have some space in the workshop. The cruise price includes the cruise and all the amenities, including meals, and the workshop. For more information:

Find out more about Lynn at any of these places:
Email: lbflewelling@roadrunner.com
Website: http://www.sff.net/people/lynn.flewelling
Live Journal: http://otterdance.livejournal.com/
Facebook Personal Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=532719346
Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lynn-Flewelling/145593970532?ref=ts
Yahoo Groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Flewelling
Twitter: http://twitter.com/LynnFlewelling
"The LJ is my main hangout these days, but I repost to the FB fan page, Yahoo, and Twitter, too."
Lynn also has a special treat for anyone who comments!!! She will send bookmarks to the first 10 people who comment and the eleventh person to comment will get a signed copy of her newest release, The White Road, as soon as it comes out.
So, leave comments for Lynn!! (Or me, or anything - but leave a comment! J I will count you no matter if you are on LJ, Facebook, OR Blogger!)


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