Monday, February 4, 2013

Guest Author-Em Lynley and a Contest

Welcome to Love Romances & More Reviews Em Lynley. Comfortable? Let’s begin, shall we?

Please tell us a little about yourself and how long you've been writing. Have you always gravitated toward being an author?

I’ve always loved writing stories, from as far back as elementary school. I stopped writing after high school and concentrated on science and math at college and didn’t get the chance to write fiction. I worked for years as an economist and investment analyst, including in London and Tokyo. I even spent a year as an economist in the White House, which was an incredibly exciting opportunity. I lived in Japan for five years before moving back to California. I took some writing classes over the years, particularly food and travel writing, and then I worked in the wine industry for seven years. I started writing for fun, sharing it with friends and online about 6 years ago. Then I started writing full time when I got laid off from that job, during the big economic downturn a few years ago.

My favorite things are traveling and cooking. You’ll probably find at least one of those in every one of my stories, sometimes both. Finance is another common thread. I love finding ways to incorporate my personal passions into my writing.

How do you balance family life with your writing? 

Since I write and edit full-time it’s not an issue. I have an office where I can work during my work hours and shut out the rest of the world when I want or need to. I make time for friends and family since I have built-in time during every day for writing.

If you could trade places with a character in one of your books, who would it be and why? 

Wow, that’s a tough one. I love so many of the characters. It would probably be Josh Golden in “Lighting the Way Home.” He’s an accomplished chef who’s achieved what he wanted professionally and he has a wonderful loving family that he hasn’t appreciated enough. But the fact they were always there over the years, along with a wonderful man who was willing to wait until Josh figured out what he’d been missing. And he lives in Paris and New York City. Why wouldn’t I want to be Josh?

Anything your fans would be surprised to know about you? 

I spent a year traveling around Europe and Asia by myself. I had the most amazing time and I certainly never wanted to come home. I spent another five years in Japan and two in London, but that trip was incredible. I’ve used bits and pieces from my own adventures in my stories, particularly in Rarer Than Rubies (set in Thailand and based on some of my experiences) and Italian Ice, which takes place in Italy. I climbed and spent the night on the volcano Stromboli, just like Trent and Reed! I’ll be sharing more stories from my travels going forward. My favorite places in the world are Sienna, Italy and Jaisalmer, in India. Stay tuned for books that take place in both….

Dealing with writing deadlines can be a challenge. What do you do to cope with the stress? 

I do stress. I don’t cope well. I just know that I’ll stress and try not to take it out on everyone else in the house. I’ve learned that I need to take some complete mental breaks when on a deadline, which means not feeling guilty for taking daily walks or the occasional evening out for dinner. Lots of times a break is just what you need so you can go back to being even more productive afterwards.

Is there something special you do to celebrate when one of your books is released? 

I’ll have a bottle of wine and cook a nice meal. Both of those are things I don’t do when I’m busy with writing or edits because I don’t take the time and I want a completely clear head. But once it’s all over, I do relax and celebrate.

Tell us about your latest/upcoming release. What is this gem about?

My latest release was Brand New Flavor, from Dreamspinner Press. It’s the first book in my new Delectable series, featuring characters from the world of food and wine. Jay Brown makes the most amazing ice cream you can imagine, in flavors you probably can’t imagine. He and his ice cream catch the attention of a food writer who’s bored with his job. But many forces are trying to keep them apart and the story is about how they manage to overcome the challenges to get together. I had a blast writing it, including spending the day at a local ice cream place, asking questions and observing. I loved making up the flavors and talking with a chef to see if they would actually work together.

Anything coming from you in the next few months you want to share or are working on?

Books 2 and 3 of the Delectable series are scheduled to come out in the spring and summer. Lighting the Way Home is Book 2, and while the main characters are different, there is a thread connecting them and the characters in other Delectable books. I wrote Lighting with Shira Anthony, which was a new experience for me. We’re working on another project together right now.

Crush is Delectable Book 3, and the main character is a winemaker in Napa Valley. I got to use my experience in the California wine biz as background. And the research for that rocked, as you might guess!

For extra fun, I’m including recipes that feature in the book, so you can cook the same things for your friends or family. I’m really excited about doing that!

What is in your To Read Pile that you are dying to start or upcoming release you can’t wait for? 

Some recent additions to the list are: A Chip in His Shoulder by LA Witt, Frat House Troopers by Xavier Mayne and The Actor and the Earl by Rebecca Cohen.

I don’t get as much time to read for pleasure as I like. Usually my reading is 90 percent nonfiction research and only 10 percent of the time is it fiction just for fun.

Who is the one author that you would love to meet someday and why? 

I’ve been thrilled to meet so many of my favorite authors at GayRomLit, but one who I haven’t yet had the chance to meet is Josh Lanyon. I’m a huge fan of his writing and his interest in mentoring new authors. I hope he’ll be at GRL in the future!

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing? 

It’s the same thing I heard from my favorite authors when I was just playing around with the idea of writing, not thinking I could really write a whole book, much less get one published: take yourself and your writing seriously. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun. Have lots of fun. Don’t write if you find it’s not fun anymore. But keep writing until you finish your story. You can’t get published until you finish something!

If you’ve already finished one or more stories, then I’d suggest you work with a more-established writer as a beta reader or an editor to get advice on how to improve your writing. Good writing is a joy to read. I’ve learned so much this way and made some great friends in the process.

If we asked your muse to describe you in five words, what would they say about you?

My muse is now in the Witness Protection program and isn’t allowed to talk about me in public.

Anything else you want to add? Links?

My tips on writing and revising:


Contest information: Leave a comment to be entered to win an e-copy of Brand New Flavor. Please make sure your email address is there as well in case you win we have a way to contact you. Contest closes Feb 7th and winner to be posted in the comment section of this post.

BLURB for Brand New Flavor:
When artisan ice cream maker Jay Brown first meets food writer Cameron Clay at a charity tasting event, they get along like strawberries and chocolate sauce. Jay's unique flavors thrill more than Cameron's jaded palate, but after a delicious encounter in Jay’s delivery truck, where extra-creamy frozen treats are not the only delights sampled, Cameron loses Jay’s contact info—and any hope of a real date.

Desperate, Cameron convinces his editor to host an artisanal ice cream contest in hopes of drawing out the elusive genius. But more complications threaten to intervene. Will Jay even enter the contest? Or will the chance of a happily ever after melt away?

Buy Link:

1 comment:

Juliana said...

Thanks so much for taking the time with this interview! I so enjoy finding out what makes authors tick!
OceanAkers @