INTERVIEW | Lynn Emery

Lynn, describe yourself for our visitors.

I am a writer first, but professionally I’m also a licensed clinical social worker. My original family is small (one brother, one sister), but my extended family is huge! Our grandparents, aunts and uncles were more fruitful :o) I love listening to gospel music of course, but I love blues and R&B as well.

I’ve been a member of the same church since I was a baby. I’ve done a little bit of everything in church since I was a little kid because my mother “volunteered” me, a lot! Which is how I discovered that I have some kind of phobia about singing in public. To avoid being “volunteered” to sing I would quickly raise my hand to read a scripture, poem or some inspirational prose piece. Pretty sneaky, huh? Anyway, I realized that this didn’t make me freak out nearly as much. In fact, I became so comfortable that I started writing my own stuff. You see I knew I wanted to write fiction by age ten, mainly murder mysteries at first. So it was natural that eventually I started writing for church. Actually this happened when I couldn’t find anything that fit the themes our Baptist program directors would develop- at least in my not-so-humble childish opinion.

Today I’m part of the Pastor’s Aid Ministry and on the board of a new non-profit development center that has grown out of our church’s ministries.

How do you find time to connect with God?

Easy- since I need him every minute I just start talking to him. In the car, at the kitchen sink, sitting at my desk. Hey, I figure since he’s always up and ready to listen why not take advantage of it! Maybe I’m odd, but I figure since he’s omnipresent getting connected isn’t such a challenge, unless I’m scared or discouraged. But then I have to stop and remember God is good all the time.

Who are your favorite authors? Favorite books?

Sorry, but I have trouble with naming favorite authors. My list is so long you’d probably think, “Oh come on!” LOL But it’s true. I can give you a taste of what I like though- Walter Mosley, Ernest Gaines, J. California Cooper, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, Georges Simenon, Agatha Christie, Patricia Cornwell, JM Jeffries, Reon Laudat, and a long list of romance authors that I won’t try your patience by trying to list. Same thing with books- some treasures are The Green Mile, The Rainmaker, Mama Day, Love and Dust, Rage In Harlem, Devil in a Blue Dress, Emperor of Ocean Park, Rules For A Pretty Woman, Tangled Roots, Dirty Laundry, Blanche on the Lam. By now you’re getting the picture. And this is nowhere near being the complete list. I have so many books I love.

Tell us about your journey to publication.

I joined a romance writers group, even though I had no intention of writing a romance. I was encouraged to write romantic suspense. So I started a story based on a writing exercise we did in one meeting. A year later I attended my first writer’s conference and pitched that story to an editor. I was pleased (then scared) when she asked for a proposal. To my utter shock I was offered a contract six weeks after sending it off to Kensington Publishing.

Tell us about your current book?

I’m finally working on a straight mystery, no romance chaser :o) It is set in Louisiana. The heroine’s philanderer estranged husband is murdered. First her teenaged son is a suspect, then she becomes a suspect. Secrets of all kind come out.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

I’ve been reading news accounts of domestic murders for years. I became intrigued with idea of a woman dealing with her past and present at the same time she’s trying to figure out who murdered her husband as a way of protecting herself and her son. There is a twist to this story that I don’t want to reveal. I came up with it because the idea of a different kind of amateur sleuth’s sidekick really hit me out of the blue.

List your three most recent books.

My most recent fiction novel is Soulful Strut, December 2006. I wrote a small inspiration collection of essays and poems called Be Encouraged: Words of Sunlight for the Soul in January 2007.

What’s next for you?

Hopefully I’ll sell this mystery! I intend this book to be the start of a series.

Where can visitors find you online?

My main website is I have my library, book trailers, writing tips and a monthly newsletter full of eclectic articles.
I’m writing a serial suspense/mystery called A Darker Shade of Midnight The heroine is a the bad girl from the first book I sold!

I have an inspirational website devoted to positive news and uplifting commentary at Be Encouraged