This Week’s Feature Author Interview wit
Hi C.L. Lynch, welcome to the Indie Publishing Group website. Introduce yourself to us. Tell everyone who you are, where you’re from, what do you enjoy doing, hobbies and interests.
I’m C.L. Lynch! I live in Vancouver, Canada, although I have lived in several other places including the Caribbean and the Maritimes (Atlantic Canada). I live with my husband, two small children, several pets, and far too many dust bunnies. I work two-day jobs, and I try to keep those separate from my author-self. My biggest passion is reading. A lot of people ask me how I “find time” to read now that I’m a working mother, and tell me how they love to read but don’t have time for it. Well, there’s nothing like parenthood to help you prioritize your loves. I have lost a lot of things I loved, like long baths and video games, but you can take my books out of my cold dead hands. Maybe not even then. I may stipulate in my will that I must be buried with a good book, just in case the Ancient Egyptian view of the afterlife turns out to be accurate.
When did you start writing and why?
My first memory of writing is tapping out a story on my mother’s old typewriter. I’d start halfway down the page, bang out the story, fix all the spelling mistakes and typos with white-out, and then draw an accompanying illustration above it. My stories weren’t very creative – often they were painfully derivative. I wrote rip-offs of James Howe books and Jean Craighead George novels. When I was ten, I wrote my first real book on my parents’ new IBM computer, using Microsoft Write. It took me months. When I was done, we printed it out on our dot-matrix printer, peeled off the edge paper, and I made illustrations for it. Then my mother had it spiral-bound and laminated. I still have it. It’s called Follow the Animals Home, and it’s so bad. SO bad. I’m not sure what’s worse, the ridiculous purple prose or the bizarre plot. I think my favourite sentence is “the beaming sun rose in the sky until it reached the midpoint, where it stopped.”
Which is your favorite book you have written and what gave you the idea for it?
My favourite book so far is actually the sequel to my first book, but that isn’t ready for publication yet. The first book is called Chemistry and it’s the first book I thought was good enough for other people to read.
How did you come up with the title for your book?
Well, I was looking for single-word nouns, since my book is a twist on Twilight. My characters meet in Chemistry class, there’s a lot of discussion of formaldehyde/science, and they have good chemistry between them, so Chemistry seemed like a good name.
Who helped you with the cover? Or did your design it yourself? What was your inspiration for your cover design?
I hired Tugboat Designs and was pleased with the results. Since Chemistry is a twist on Twilight, I wanted a cover that would harken back to those roots. At one point in the book, my zombie hero offers his heart – literally – to the heroine, so I wanted the cover to be male hands holding a red heart, instead of female hands holding a red apple (Twilight’s cover).
What are some of the themes of your story?
There is a big theme of trust and acceptance. My heroine has a big chip on her shoulder – after years of bullying and ostracism, she has built up a defensive outer shell. She expects new people to tease her or hate her, and so she reacts in a way which tends to fulfill those expectations. Outwardly she seems very self-confident, but she’s actually a bundle of insecurity and social phobias. When she meets someone who sees past all of that, she has a lot of trouble with trust. I know people don’t go to zombie romantic comedy books looking for life lessons, but Chemistry is really about having true confidence in yourself and being willing to take a chance on love.
What’s your process when you sit down and decide to start writing a book? What is your process and do you have a system?
Most of my process involves figuring out the damn plot. I know the characters, I know key moments that I want to have happen, and I know the basic themes, but I struggle with putting together a nice, coherent story arc. So I will sometimes write down the basic plot points I want to get to so that if I get bogged down somewhere I can use it as a map to see where I should be heading. If I get really bogged down, I’ll jump to the next point and start writing there. I can always come back and connect the dots later.
Who are some of your favorite characters and why?
My two favourite characters are Howie, the zombie love interest, and Tim, my protagonist’s father. Howie is a really interesting character. In my first book, Chemistry, he might come across as a little two-dimensional – the sweet, adoring, slightly mindless admirer who thinks the sun shines out of Stella’s butt cheeks. But don’t let that fool you. His still waters run really deep, and I explore those a lot in the sequel, as well as the bonus story I wrote for my fans, which takes place in between those two books. He has a lot of anxieties and he’s an overthinker, but he’s extremely passionate. There’s a lot churning under the calm surface and it makes him really interesting to write.
My other favourite character is Tim Blunt, Stella’s father. He’s a riot to write, and I notice from a lot of my reviews that he’s a bit of a fan favourite as well. I don’t know where his personality sprang from – I think he’s an amalgam of several different men I know – but he serves as comic relief whenever things are getting too heavy. He’s an outgoing, quirky guy who loves to milk the fun and humor out of any situation.
Who are some of your favorite authors?
Oh God, I have so many. J.K. Rowling, of course. Terry Pratchett. Jane Austen. Jerry Spinelli. Peter S. Beagle. Rainbow Rowell…
Have you got anything you’re working on now?
I’m hard at work on the sequel to Chemistry, not to mention several bonus stories for my readers to have while they wait for History to be finished. I’ve made the first one available for free download and there are more to follow.
If you could have any super powers what would they be?
I want to be able to fly. That’s number one. FLYING. Then I would want epic writing skills – like, I write a single sentence and people weep tears of blood. I could go around slaying bad guys with a stroke of my pen…
If you could travel to any location in the world where would you go?
I love to travel, and there are lots of places that I want to visit, but if someone gave me a magic pass to go anywhere in the world today, I’d probably go back to Curacao, the island in the Caribbean where I grew up. I haven’t been home in so very long…
Where do you hope to be in 5 years’ time?
Location-wise: Still living in Vancouver – it has the world’s most perfect climate, where spring starts in January and summers are 20 degrees and sunny.
Life-goals-wise: I want to have published History and the third in the trilogy, Biology, and be moving on to all of the other stories I have crowding up my brain. There’s one about a giant squid and one about gnomes…
Thanks so much for taking the time to do an author interview. Take a minute and check C.L. Lynch out on the links below. C.L. Lynch’s book, Chemistry, is available now on Amazon!