Thursday 19 January 2017

Q & A With Author Lynda Young Spiro

Yesterday I reviewed There is Always More to Say by Lynda Young Spiro, here's the cover as a reminder...

I had so many questions after finishing this book and so I decided to ask Lynda if she would stop by the blog and answer some of these questions. I'd like to thank Lynda for stopping by and without further ado I'll leave you with her fabulous interview!

First question-bit of a cliche-how did you get into writing?

It all began when I turned 55! When I realised that I had been married for half of my life! I started to reflect, reminisce, and remember. I wrote these thoughts down. I read snippets to a friend one afternoon and she recommended that I turn my writings into a book. My story came from within all the words on paper that I had accumulated.

Do you write full time & if so, have you always done this?

I’m a part time writer and I’m also a part time examinations invigilator. A job which gives me plenty of time to think about what I’m going to write about when I get home. It’s seriously the perfect job for me. I’m also a full time wife and mother! 

Do you have a particular writing style or genre that you prefer? 
My own particular style of writing has been described as poetic. I’m afraid that I can’t describe it. Although people who know me say that I write in the same fashion as I speak - whatever that means!

How do you develop your characters as you write, are any of them based on real people?

Some of my characters are loosely based on real people. I don’t always know what my characters are thinking. I don’t always know what they are about to say, or what they want to do. It’s only when I start writing that it comes to me. But I like to be flexible and see what happens. I like to see where I get taken. I like to take time and listen to my characters. To get to know them. I was surprised where they ended up taking me at times. 

What was the inspiration behind There's Always More To Say?

I’ve drawn on my own experiences. And those of my friends. And of course my imagination.

What is your writing process-do you map it out first? Write a bit at a time?

When I started writing I didn’t have my complete story. I found my characters first. From my characters the theme developed and then the story came last. I actually didn’t write the book in sequence. I wrote it as individual pieces. I then placed them in order afterwards. I know it seems crazy but it’s how my mind works! I’m only beginning to understand my process now that I’ve started my second book. I can see that I’m writing in exactly the same way all over again.  

How much of you is reflected in your writing? 

I think a lot of my personality comes out in my writing. Quite a few of my friends have said that they heard my voice in their heads when they were reading There Is Always More To Say.

What kind of research did you do before/during writing There's Always More To Say?

The only research I did for the book involved looking for quotes to bookend the individual chapters. I really enjoyed doing that. And I knew immediately where to put each quote when I found an appropriate one for the relevant chapter. I wrote the whole book and then I sought out the quotes. Originally I was only going to put a quote at the start of each chapter. But I found too many that seemed so right that in the end I ‘topped and tailed’ the individual chapters.

How much attention do you pay to the reviews that you get? 

I pay a lot of attention to the reviews that I get. To each and every one of them. I appreciate the time that someone has taken to sit and compose a review. I want my readers to enjoy the story and reading the nice reviews is really, really lovely. At times I’ve been quite overwhelmed. I’ve been very touched by many lovely comments. And when a review is critical, if the same comment has turned up more than once, I’ll have a think about if there’s a good point there and take note of it, and hopefully learn from it.

Are friends and family supportive of your writing? 

My family are extremely pleased for me and very proud of what I’ve achieved. So are my friends. Everybody has been really supportive of my writing. 

How did you feel leading up to your publication day?

By the time publication day was finally confirmed I was more than ready! I was thrilled with having achieved my dream of writing a book and I just wanted it out there! 18 April 2016 was not only the publication date of There Is Always More To Say but it was also my 57th birthday! The book was supposed to have been released a month or so earlier but certain deadlines had been missed. I was more than pleasantly surprised when I was eventually given my birthday as the publication date. It felt like a good omen for me. So far so good!

Which other authors inspire you or are there any you particularly enjoy reading? 

I’ve enjoyed reading each and every one of Mitch Albom’s books. But my favourite one has to be Tuesdays with Morrie. I love the relationship between the young Mitch and the elderly Morrie and what they learn from each other. Mitch Albom has definitely inspired me to write about themes that seem difficult for some like, love, death, time and nostalgia.

Finally...what are you working on right now? 

I’m working on a few different projects at the moment. I’ve had a lot of ideas going around in my head - too many in fact! But things are finally beginning to fall into place.  I find the less I think about what I want to write the easier the writing comes to me! As well as shaping a second novel I’ve also found myself writing lyrics. Something that I had never considered doing but something that just happened. I’m also spending time promoting There Is Always More To Say which has been a great experience. I’ve been learning the process of how the author, editors, and publicists all work together to achieve the final product. I’ve loved the teamwork aspect of it all. The biggest surprise has been how welcoming the community has been – especially on mediums such as Twitter and Instagram. It’s a really lovely environment to have entered.

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