TNA: Hi, Lynley, thanks so much for being here with us today. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us a little bit about yourself? Hobbies, interests, odds and ends things that make you, you.
Lynley: Thanks for having me. Well, let’s see. I’m thirty-something and live on the Gulf Coast with my wonderfully supportive husband. (Who has done the cover art for all my M/M titles) I signed my first contract in October of 2011 with MLR Press and my first full-length novel came out in September of 2012. When I’m not writing you can usually find me reading. I read a variety of genres and am always looking for new authors. Since getting published my reading time has gone way down. I’m originally from a small town in Indiana, but have lived on the coast for almost 13 years. I like to knit on occasion and always have time for Doctor Who.
TNA: Have you always written M/M Romance, or is that something that came along later in your writing career? What is it that drew you toward wanting to explore gay relationships in your writing?
Lynley: I’ve written stories since I was little. I think I wrote my first one when I was in the second grade. However, it wasn’t until I started writing M/M that I decided to pursue publishing. So from the start of my writing career I’ve written M/M. Although, recently I’ve made the decision to work toward getting some of my non-romance, fantasy stories published as well. But that’s still at least a year down the road.
I fell in love with M/M Romance for several different reasons. The biggest one being, LGBTQ rights and equality is a cause that is very near and dear to my heart. I have several people in my life who fall into the LGBTQ spectrum and I hope to show, through my writing, that people are people no matter their sexual orientation or identity.
TNA: What was your first published M/M title? Do you remember the precise moment you came up with the story idea and knew you wouldn’t rest until it was told?
Lynley: My first M/M book was, Scars. The character of Jace came first. I lived with him in my head for a few months before I sat down to write his story. He started out as an abstract being and slowly, over time, started to take shape. Once I knew who Jace was I sat down to write Scars. At that time I had no clue what would happen or who his HEA was. All I knew was that Jace was this soldier who had lost people in the war and was suffering from PTSD. The first draft of Scars took me five days to write. Five very long days. I was tied to my laptop from the time I got up until I was unable to keep my eyes open and was forced to go to bed. When it was all said and done, it was 125K words. I rewrote it twice before submitting it to MLR Press and the version they received was only 121K, which was cut to around 98K in edits. Jace wouldn’t let me rest until I told his story. No character before, or since, has demanded my attention the way Jace did. Once I was finished I sat it aside for around a week and then I read through it again. It was the first book I had written that I thought had potential and I was lucky enough that my editor for that book and Rocky’s Road, Kimberly, thought so as well.
TNA: If you could go back in time, to the moment you sat down and began writing that first book, what’s the one piece of advice you’d give yourself?
Lynley: To not be so hard on myself. It’s something I’m still trying to learn. I tend to be overly critical of my own writing. I want it to be perfect even though I know that’s not possible. I don’t ever want a reader to pick up one of my books and feel like I phoned it in. You might not like my characters or the way I write or the story I tell, but I hope you never feel like I didn’t give it my all. Because of that I am harder on myself than anyone else could ever be.
TNA: Let’s chat about your new book, A Life Interrupted. Will you tell us a little bit about it and how you came up with the idea for the story?
Lynley: A Life Interrupted is about an older couple that has been together since college. They have a great life together and then something happens that has the potential to change everything. This story is told from Dan’s perspective. I’m working on the sequel now, which will be told from Travis’s point of view.
This story idea actually came from a conversation I had with my husband. I was telling him about an article I had read about a guy in Great Brittan and he pops off with a ‘what if’ scenario. Now his idea was way out in left field somewhere, but it got the synapsis firing and the next thing I know Dan was waking me up at some ridiculous hour demanding I tell his story.
TNA: Would you care to share an excerpt from the book with us?
Lynley: Sure. Here you go.
Dan pulled the only chair in the room over next to Travis’s bed and took a seat. Tears blurred his vision as he took hold of the hand he knew as well, if not better, than his own. He ran his thumb over the scar on Travis’s index finger. He’d gotten it while chopping vegetables the first year in their new house. Dan remembered how scared he’d been when he’d seen all that blood and how calm Travis had been while he held his hand over the sink. In his typical calm manner, Travis had asked Dan to please hand him a towel and grab him some shoes, because he was pretty sure it was going to need stitches.
Dan traced the callouses on the tips of each finger, from years of playing basketball, playing guitar, and working with his hands.
He pressed the palm of his own hand to Travis’s, aware of its warmth. Travis’s hand was much larger… manlier, than his own. From years of working in an office, Dan’s hands were soft with hardly a mark on them. Travis’s hands were strong—working man’s hands.
Those hands he loved so much had defended him, had loved him, had comforted him, and held him up over the years. So many memories. Dan traced the pale indention at the base of Travis’s ring finger, where his wedding band should’ve been. The worn gold band was on a string around Dan’s neck, where he’d placed it when the nurse had given it to him a little over a week ago.
It was strange to see the hand he knew so well without that ring. Travis had worn it every day for the last twenty-odd years. Dan had placed the ring on his finger a year and a half after they first met in that horrible sports bar and not once had Travis ever willingly taken it off.
It was back before it was actually legal for them to marry, but Travis had wanted Dan to know he was in it for the long haul. So in true Travis fashion, he’d bought them both rings and right there in the living room of their tiny studio apartment, Travis had asked Dan to spend forever with him.
That day had been the happiest of his life. He could vividly remember the tears streaking down both of their faces, voices quaking with emotion, as they made promises to one another before slipping the simple gold bands on each other’s fingers.
TNA: Your MCs, Dan and Travis, have been together for twenty-two years, which is, or nearly is, the age of so many of the protagonists in romance novels. What made you decide to delve into the lives and trials of a more mature couple?
Lynley: Part of it was that so many of the MCs in M/M Romance are 20-somethings and I wanted to portray a couple that had been together for a long time. A couple that was settled and in a committed, monogamous relationship. Plus, I think for the story to work they needed to be older. I can’t really say more without giving too much away.
TNA: Did either of the guys give you fits as you were writing, not wanting to cooperate with where you saw their story going? If so, which one?
Lynley: Not really. The hardest part of writing Dan’s story was the emotions involved. In order for me to be able to write it I have to put myself in that situation mentally. That’s why, even though it’s not as long as Scars or Rocky’s Road, it took me twice as long to write it and even longer to revise. There were many times where I would shy away from it even knowing I needed to finish it and send it off. I’m a sucker for the emotional stories, which is why I tend to write them, but at the same time they take a toll on me.
TNA: I know this is sort of like asking you to name your favorite child, but of all the books you’ve written, do you have a favorite? If so, which and why?
Lynley: If I were to pick a favorite book, I’d have to say, A Life Interrupted. I love the story and no matter how many times I read it, I cry every time. If I were to pick a favorite character, however, I would have to say Nathaniel from, Scars. What most people don’t know is, Nathaniel is actually based on a real person and because of that he will always hold a special place in my heart.
TNA: If you could bring one of your characters off the page and into the real world, who would you choose and why? What makes him (or her) someone you think would make an impression, either good or bad, upon the world?
Lynley: Okay, this is a hard one. Like I said, for me, Nathaniel is very real because he’s based on a real person. But I think I’d have to go with Landon. He’s a nurturer and has this need to care for others, yet at the same time he likes to be in charge. Landon has this steadiness about him, this confidence, which makes those around him feel cared for in a way that only Landon can do. There’s no doubt that Landon is the one in charge and yet he does it in a way that isn’t mean or abusive or overbearing. He’s almost gentle in his dominance.
TNA: What would you say are the best and worst parts of the writing process for you?
Lynley: The best part is the beginning. I love not knowing what’s going to happen and being able to make the journey right along with my character. The worst part for me is the end. I never know how to end a story, which could be why I have a lot of partially finished books and only a few finished ones.
TNA: Are you a plotter or a pantser? Whichever you are, why do you feel that method works best for you?
Lynley: I’m a pantser. When I sit down at the computer I have no idea what’s going to happen. Most of the time I have a character in my head and that’s it. If I’m lucky I might even know who they are going to end up with. (Like I did with Rocky’s Road) But that isn’t always the case.
I think being a pantser works for me because I love being surprised. I get bored easy and if I know what’s going to happen then it takes the fun out of writing it and I lose interest.
TNA: If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
Lynley: I would want to be able to control time. The why should be obvious. As a writer there is never enough time in the day. I know that is true for a lot of non-writers as well, but I think it’s especially true for writers. Being able to pause time or speed it up would be great. You wouldn’t have to worry about meeting a deadline or waiting months to hear back about one of your submissions. So yeah, I’d want to control time.
TNA: If time travel were possible, where would you go and why?
Lynley: Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California, August 29, 1966. That was the time and place of the last concert the Beatles ever played. To have been able to see them play, live, for that final time would’ve been something to remember.
TNA: Would you care to share a little bit of information on any of your current WIPs?
Lynley: Well, as I said before, I’m working on the sequel to A Life Interrupted, which I’m pretty sure will be titled A New Beginning. I haven’t made a final decision yet on that title, so it may change. It will start a few months after A Life Interrupted ends.
I’m also working on Seth’s book. He’s a character that was introduced in Rocky’s Road. I don’t have a title for it yet.
The last time I checked I had somewhere around 250 WIPs, so I never know what I’m going to be working on or what book will be finished next. However, I do update my website weekly so anything new will be found on there.
TNA: And finally, would you kindly share with us all the places we can find you on the internet?
Lynley: Sure. You can find me at my website http://www.lynleywayne.com. I do my best to keep it up to date and I always blog to let people know what’s going on with my writing and books. I’m also on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@LynleyWayne. My Facebook fan page is: http://www.facebook.com/LynleyWayne and my Facebook personal page is: http://www.facebook.com/lynley.wayne.1. You can also find me on Linkedin and Goodreads as Lynley Wayne. I love hearing from fans so don’t be afraid to email me either. email@example.com
My cover art was done by http://www.cooleydesignstudio.com
TNA: Thanks again for taking some time away from your writing routine to be here with us today, Lynley. It’s been great getting to know a little bit more about you.
THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED