ROCCO WELCOMES AUTHOR LYNN CAHOON!
- Welcome Lynn! Tell us a little about your background:
Thanks ROCCO! I’m an Idaho native that now lives in the Midwest. I’m a 9 year breast cancer survivor who started writing because someday isn’t promised. I love talking to my imaginary friends and hope you enjoy their stories as well.
- You write not one, but two cozy mystery series. Can you tell us about them?
Tourist Trap is set in central coastal California in South Cove, a tourist trappy town. Jill Gardner is my amateur sleuth and she owns the coffee shop/bookstore and is dating the town police detective. My new series, The Cat Latimer mysteries, is set in Aspen Hills, a small college town near the mountains of Colorado. Cat is a young adult author and has opened a writer’s retreat in the house she inherited when her ex-husband died without changing the will.
- Can you tell us about your latest release?
A Story to Kill is Cat’s first book. Former English professor Cat Latimer is back in Colorado, hosting writers’ retreats in the big blue Victorian she’s inherited, much to her surprise, from none other than her carousing ex-husband! Now it’s an authors’ getaway—but Cat won’t let anyone get away with murder…
The bed-and-breakfast is open for business, and bestselling author Tom Cook is among its first guests. Cat doesn’t know why he came all the way from New York, but she’s glad to have him among the quirkier—and far less famous—attendees.
Cat’s high school sweetheart Seth, who’s fixing up the weathered home, brings on mixed emotions for Cat…some of them a little overpowering. But it’s her uncle, the local police chief, whom she’ll call for help when there’s a surprise ending for Tom Cook in his cozy guest room. Will a killer have the last word on the new life Cat has barely begun?
- How do you “get to know” your characters before and while you’re writing the books?
By writing them into the story. For the book I just finished, I had the opening scene in my head for months before I started actually writing. Then I started naming the new characters and why they are there. I learn as much about my town as I’m writing, more than I know in the beginning.
- How do you construct your plots? Do you outline or do you write “by the seat of your pants”?
I do both. I have a chapter by chapter outline, and I know where the turning points in the story should be. I typically know what I want to happen, but my characters know what actually happens, so I listen to them.
- Which do you consider more important, plot or character?
Character. Plot drives your story, but if you don’t care what happens to the people, you aren’t going to keep reading.
- What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a writer and what inspires you and keeps you motivated?
I love it when I work through a book, then read it and LOVE it. I enjoy being my first reader. And if the story makes me smile, or cry, it’s on track. I think sometimes I skim emotion and I’ve been working hard on adding that in without sounding too emotional. Fine line here. I’m okay with rejections because I figure someone is going to love the story. And there always is someone.
- Do you have an “How I got my agent” story you want to share?
I got my agent on the story that no one wanted – in a way. I’d sent the first book in the Tourist Trap series to everyone I WANTED for an agent (including my current one.) They all turned me down. I submitted it on my own to Kensington and got a contract, actually, four contracts, unagented. Then I got an email expressing interest in the film/movie rights for TT. I knew I needed an agent for that. And one of the five I approached was perfect for me. So now I have an agent. (but sadly, no movie deal)
- What are you working on now and what are your future writing plans?
I’m writing the last contracted book in the Cat Latimer mystery series. We’ll see where that goes once I turn that book in. And next year, I start writing a new Farm to Fork mystery series – with Who Stole my Goat Cheese as book one.
- What is a typical workday for you and how many hours a day (or week) do you devote to writing?
Since I’m still at the day job, I work first thing in the morning, some lunch hours, and at night when I need more words. I goal 10K a week, which gives me a book in two months. IF I follow my schedule. Add in the marketing, social media, and in person visits, and I’m working all the time.
- If you could take only three books with you for a year-long writing retreat in a gorgeous setting with no library, which three would you take?
Great question – The Stand – and probably, The Talisman by Stephen King (and Peter Straub for the second one.) And probably the latest in the Thunder Point series by Robin Carr. That way I could think about all the other stories as I’m re-reading the newest. Or I would cheat and say for my third book, the complete works of William Shakespeare. That way I get a classic in there and with a year to read, I should get it done. J
- What advice do you have to offer to an aspiring author?
Finish the book. Then another one. Then a third. Then look for publication. You need to know what you like to write and what is your voice.
- What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I went out shooting with a couple guys in the Idaho desert. I had met them the day before and since I was writing mystery, I thought it was a great idea. Not sure, looking back, I’d do that.
- What’s one thing your readers would be surprised to find out about you?
I throw pretty good darts for a girl. J And my husband and I count trail riding in our Side by Side as date night.
- What question do you wish interviewers would ask? (And what’s the answer?
What do you think of reviews? Actually, no, I don’t want to be asked that. Why write? Because I have to.
- Where can we learn more about you and your books?
My website – www.lynncahoon.com
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? .Day. Morning.
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Thor would want me to say Cat, but I’m kind of bilingual here. But Cat, I’ll say Cat.
Beach or Pool? Both. Beach is for walking, pool is for swimming.
Steak or salad? Salad.
Favorite Drink? Flavored sparkling water. Dasani Black Cherry if available.
Favorite Book? Illusions by Richard Bach I have it mostly memorized.
Favorite TV Series? Besides Project Runway or Top Chef? Right now it’s Lucifer.
Favorite Movie? Sleepless in Seattle. Always. Or a Harry Potter Marathon.
Favorite Actor: Matthew Mcconeheh… Although I can never spell his name. Matthew McConaughey – that’s it.
Favorite Actress: I’m a big Sandra Bullock fan. Mostly because she’s so relatable. Or Kate Hudson. Because she’s Goldie Hawn’s daughter.
Dirty Martini or Pina Colada? Pina Colada
Hawaii or Alaska? Hawaii
Finish this sentence: If I could meet anyone in the world, past or present, it would be Stephen King.
If I had just one wish, it would be to travel wherever I wanted to go.
If I could trade places with anyone in the world, it would be maybe Nora Roberts? I don’t know, I kind of like my life. J
Thanks for having me over!
Thanks for a great interview. You can find out more about Lynn at:
Twitter - https://twitter.com/LynnCahoon
website - http://lynncahoon.com/
Amazon author page - http://www.amazon.com/Lynn-Cahoon/e/B0082PWOAO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1
Lynn will give away an E-copy of Tea Cups and Carnage or Murder on Wheels (Winner’s choice) to enter, just leave a comment with your email address and the title of the book you’d like to win. Contest closes midnight,November 15!