Monday, September 12, 2011


Lyn Horner, Author
Please help me welcome Lyn Horner to A Writer’s Life. Lyn, readers love to get to know authors. Please tell us about growing up.

Lyn: I’m an only child. Born in San Francisco, I was raised in Minnesota, my mother’s home state. My father was a Texan and it’s from him that I inherited my love of the Old West. I’m married to my high school sweetheart. We have two grown children, six grandkids and a passel of cats.

Caroline: I love cats, but only have two. I notice that you also have a memoir titled SIX CATS IN MY KITCHEN. Would you like to give us a small peek at that book before we go on to DARLIN' DRUID?

Lyn: Thank you. I also invite you to try my memoir, SIX CATS IN MY KITCHEN. Six special cats are the headline-grabbing stars, but I touch upon subjects such as grieving the loss of loved ones, living with a disability, and coping with major life changes.

Quoting reviewer Todd Fonseca, “Through her prose, Horner’s love of life, cats, and wonderfully engaging humor comes through in this high energy memoir. Reading Horner’s story is like chatting with a best friend over coffee on a Sunday afternoon – few things in life are better.

Caroline: Your book sounds inviting. Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?

Lyn: Diana Gabaldon is my favorite author. I adore her Outlander series. I also like Linda Howard and Iris Johansen. As you might guess, my favorite genres are historical romance (especially Scottish, Irish & western romance) and contemporary romantic suspense.

Caroline: We share a love of the same genres. Isn't Diana Gabaldon a lovely person as well as a great writer? How many books do you read a month? What are you reading now?

Lyn: I don’t read as much as I used to because I’m busy writing. Such a burden!  Even so, I read five or six books a month. Right now I’m re-reading KINSMAN'S OATH by Susan Krinard. When I find books I like, I often read them again and again.
Lynn's Memoirs
and her 6 cats

Caroline: So do I, and each time I get something new from them. When you’re not writing, what’s your favorite way to relax and recharge? I know you love your cats, but do you have any hobbies?

Lyn: Let’s see, I love to read of course, and I love movies. Some of my favorites are the "Lord of The Rings" trilogy, "Avatar," "Gladiator," "Last of the Mohicans," and "Red River" (the original black & white version with John Wayne and Montgomery Clift.) Gardening is my only outdoor hobby.

Caroline: At our house we're very grateful to Netflix so we can watch our favorite movies and TV series. Describe yourself in three or four words.

Lyn: Determined, imaginative & somewhat reclusive.

Caroline: Would you like to share any guilty pleasures that feed your muse?

Lyn: Dark chocolate, Celtic music and steamy hot baths. Oh, and an occasional margarita.

Caroline: You and I have a great deal in common. How long have you been writing?

Lyn: I’ve always enjoyed writing, but from the time my folks gave me a rudimentary oil painting kit, I set my mind on becoming an artist. I got my bachelor of fine arts and worked as an illustrator and art instructor for several years. Then I had two children, we moved, forcing me to quit work, and I found myself isolated at home with two small kids. To save my sanity I began to write as a hobby. That was well over twenty years ago. The ups and downs since then could fill a book.

Caroline: Writing does have a lot of ups and downs that mirror life. Where do you prefer to write? Do you need quiet, music, solitude? PC or laptop?

Lyn: I work on a laptop. My favorite places to write are in my recliner or on our bed with books and research notes spread around me. If I’m writing a blog or answering interview questions I can do it with the TV on, music playing, or my husband talking to me. But if I’m working on a book I need quiet. Solitude is best.

Caroline: Are you a plotter or a panzer?

Lyn: I’m a plotter. I use stickum notes to work out major plot points, then develop a loose outline. It undergoes changes as a book progresses, but having a plan keeps me on course toward my goal.

Caroline: Same here. What did we do before Post-It notes? Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration for stories?

Lyn: I am very often inspired by real events in my western historicals. For example, I use the Chicago Fire and our country’s first transcontinental railroad in DARLIN' DRUID. Most of my characters are purely fictitious, although I did include the real commander of Camp Douglas, Utah, as a peripheral character in DD.

Caroline: Tell us about your writing schedule. Do you set goals? Do you write daily?

Lyn: I set goals but don’t always meet them. I write nearly every day, starting by 6:30 or 7 a.m. First I check email, comment on some writing forums, and maybe write a blog. When all the “fun stuff” is done, I go to work on my current project. With interruptions for household chores, it’s more of the same until late evening, sometimes into the wee hours of morning.

Caroline: I'm so not a morning person and tend to be more creative late at night. What do you hope your writing brings to readers?

Lyn: Most of all, I hope to give readers a rollicking good adventure that draws them in and won’t let go of them until the very last word.

Caroline: What long-term plans do you have for your career?

Lyn: I will continue to write my stories and publish them as ebooks. If I’m lucky enough to build a loyal following of readers, I will be proud and grateful. Beyond that I’ll take one day at a time.

Caroline: Well said! Would you like to tell us what you’re working on now?

Lym: Sure. I’m writing book II in my Texas Druids series. Titled DASHING DRUID, it’s the story of Tye Devlin and Lil Crawford, troubled souls who find both comfort and conflict in each other’s arms. Like his sister Jessie, the heroine of DARLIN' DRUID, Tye possesses a psychic gift inherited from Druid ancestors. He can experience other people’s feelings – he’s empathic in modern terms – an ability that may save those he loves or get him killed. I hope to publish this book by late 2011.

Caroline: What advice would you give to unpublished authors?

Lyn: Learn your craft, research settings and time periods carefully, and write the best book you can. Join a critique group and edit, edit, edit! Be persistent. Don’t let rejection letters stop you. Keep writing, keep submitting, and consider publishing your own eBooks. They are now outselling all forms of print books.

Caroline: Tell us about your latest release.

Lyn: If psychics live among us, if they existed in ages past, is it possible such gifted beings also inhabited the American Old West? They do in my Texas Druids trilogy. Meet the Devlins, whose hidden talents lead them across prairies and mountains, into the land of cowboys and Indians, with consequences not even a Druid seer could predict.

Set in 1872, DARLIN’ DRUID is a blend of epic adventure, stormy romance and family strife, peppered by flashes of Druid magic. Jessie Devlin, daughter of Irish immigrants and survivor of the Great Chicago Fire, is descended from the “Old Ones,” her mother’s name for their ancient Druid ancestors. Gifted with visions of the future, Jessie dreams again and again of an unknown man who saves her from death. A prophetic vision convinces her the man is real and sends her west in search of him. But will her quest lead her to love or into a deadly trap?

Caroline: You've hooked me! I do believe in psychic abilities and several people in my family are psychics of one type or another.

Lyn: Here's the excerpt:

A woman’s shriek rent the air, interrupting his ruminations and jerking him to attention. The sound had come from inside the depot.

“What the devil?” he muttered. Cutting a path between startled travelers, he shoved open the door and stepped into the building. The stuffy interior reeked of tobacco and sweaty bodies. Finding a gap in the crowd, David caught sight of a red-faced young corporal. The trooper bobbed and weaved, arms raised to fend off blows being rained upon him by a woman in a brown poke bonnet. Her weapon was a heavy looking black reticule.

“Scoundrel! I’ll teach ye some manners, I will!” she vowed in a furious Irish brogue. Swinging wildly, she sent the corporal’s blue cap flying.

“Take it easy, lady!” he cried. “I didn’t mean no harm.”

Wondering what offense the man had committed, David shouldered his way through the crowd until he stood directly behind the woman. Slim and a head shorter than himself, she wore a calico gown, the same drab color as her bonnet. Some settler’s wife, he assumed. But where was her husband?

“No harm, indeed! Stand still, ye heathen, and take what’s comin’ to ye,” she ranted. As she spoke, the yellow-haired corporal spotted David’s uniform and threw him a desperate look.

Feeling duty-bound to step in, David cleared his throat loudly and said, “Excuse me, ma’am, but perhaps that’s enough. The corporal might be needed in one piece when he gets back to his post.” His remark drew laughter from several bystanders.

The woman snorted angrily. “Indeed? Well, I don’t give a fig whether the lout is in one piece or twenty!” So saying, she landed a solid whack on the corporal’s noggin that made him yelp.

“Get ’im, darlin’!” a man in the crowd shouted, egging her on.

Afraid the young soldier might retaliate, David reached out to grasp the woman’s arms, stopping her in mid-swing. “Ma’am, if you’ll just settle down . . . .”

“Let me go!” she shrilled, attempting to wrench free.

He should have complied with her demand, but some primitive instinct made him slip an arm around her and haul her back against him. A sweet scent of lilacs and woman washed over him, and he instantly grew aware of her feminine curves.

She gasped indignantly. “How dare ye? Bithiúnach! Muclach! Take your filthy hands off me.”

Glad he didn’t understand Irish, David cursed under his breath when she rammed her heel into his shin. It didn’t hurt much thanks to his leather boots; nor did the small fists pounding on his arms. But her frantic twisting sent the wrong signal to his male parts.

“Calm down, you little wildcat!” he growled. Releasing her, he stepped back before he humiliated himself.

Whirling around, the woman drew back her arm as if to slap him, only to freeze when their eyes met. A choked sound escaped her lips and the angry color drained from her cheeks. Seeing her sway, David grasped her shoulders to steady her. Her hands clutched his forearms as he returned her wide-eyed stare.

Her eyes were sapphire blue, so dazzling that he had trouble breaking their hold upon him. When he did, he noticed how young she looked – eighteen or twenty, he guessed – and what a beauty she was.

His gaze wandered over her smooth, creamy cheeks and dainty nose then lingered on her pink parted lips. Forcing himself to look elsewhere, he noted the dark auburn curls framing her brow. Her ugly bonnet hid the rest of her hair, but he bet it would look like silk when she let it down.

Then he noticed how rapidly her breasts rose and fell, and desire surged through him, swift and strong. He felt a loco urge to pull her into his arms and kiss her. Reluctantly dragging his gaze back to her sapphire eyes, he wondered what had come over her. A moment ago, she’d been mad as a hornet. Now she stared at him as if she were seeing a ghost.

Dazed by the sight of him, Jessie wondered vaguely if she was having one of her visions. Her gaze kept returning to his gray-green eyes. Crowned by dark brows with an eerily familiar slant, they matched those she’d so often seen in her dreams. Could this tall, uniformed stranger be the man she had left home to find? She hadn’t expected her quest to bear fruit so soon. And the longer she studied his sun-bronzed, square-jawed face, arrow-straight nose and unyielding mouth, the more she doubted he was the one.

Those rakish features were hard, not gentle, and his hauntingly familiar eyes did not caress her like the ones in her dreams. Instead, they devoured her, making her stomach flutter and her heart race. When he boldly stared at her breasts, they tingled as if he were actually touching them. Stunned by her reaction, she inhaled sharply, catching the scent of shaving soap and virile male. She wondered if he would kiss her.

Caroline: Intriguing excerpt to add to the blurb. I'm sure they've made readers want to read the book. Where can readers find DARLIN' DRUID?


Barnes and Noble:

Caroline: Anything else you’d like readers to know?

Lyn: See my vision of my book:

Caroline: How can readers learn more about you?

Lyn: My home page:

Blog site:


Thank you, Lyn, for sharing a new type of western historical with us today. Continued good luck with your writing career!

Thanks to you, readers, for stopping by.


Lyn Horner said...

Thanks again for interviewing me. It was fun! I love your site, especially the bois d'arc tree.:)

Tracy Smith said...

Great interview, Ladies. I've really enjoyed Lyn's work and look forward to her new and upcoming book!!

Have a really wonderful day!


Lyn Horner said...

Hey Tracy, nice to "see" you. Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the interview. I'm off to work on that new book you mentioned. Keep well and have a great day!


Jeanmarie Hamilton said...

Hi Lyn, it's great to meet you and find out about your books. Intriguing to have Druids in the old west. :-)

Six cats in the kitchen? That reminds me of coming home from college my freshman year and dealing with 10 kittens and 4 full grown cats in my mom's kitchen. She was raising show cats, award winning persians, at the time. :-) It was a little overwhelming even after living in a college dorm.

Good luck with your books!

Diana Cosby said...

Interesting series. I love cats as well, and have two of my own. :) I'm a big LOT fan myself. And, who doesn't love cowboys and Scots! Take care and I wish you continued success!

Nightingale said...

Enjoyable interview, excerpt and blurb! I enjoyed "meeting" you Lyn.

Maeve Greyson said...

What a great excerpt! I also want to check out the Six Cats book. Thanks for letting us get to know you better. :)

Lyn Horner said...

Hi Jeanmarie, I'm happy to meet you, too. Druids in the Old West? I figured why not? Irish legend is full of tales about the Old Ones, who I interpret to mean gifted Druids. And so many Irish migrated to this country, it follows that a few would possess psychic talents passed down from Druid ancestors.

Yup, six cats! They were a trial sometimes, but I loved them all. Your mom must have really had her hands full with that many cats and kittens. I now have only four, all strays we've taken in, and that's quite enough!

Happy day to you. Lyn

Lyn Horner said...

Diana, cowboys forever is my motto! I think you might enjoy "Western Romance, The Story of Us" -- a series I recently hosted on my blog site. Caroline was one of the contributors.

Thanks much for stopping by! Lyn

Lyn Horner said...

Nightingale, thank you! I'm so glad you enjoyed it all. I hope you'll visit my sites. Lyn

Paty Jager said...

Good interview Lyn and Caroline. It's always nice to learn a little more about a person. Darlin' Druid is up next on my kindle.

Caroline Clemmons said...

Lyn, so nice to have you today. So sorry the website and blogsite addys don't show up well. Nothing I did seemed to change that.

I love that tree, too, Lyn. My daghter loves taking nature photos and took that photo at the Dallas Arboretum.

Lyn Horner said...

Hi Maeve, thanks for your generous comments. I'm glad you enjoyed the excerpt from Darlin' Druid, and I hope you will like Six Cats In My Kitchen. That book was written straight from my heart.


Tanya Hanson said...

I always love meeting new authors, Lyn. What a hook...a descendant of the "old Ones." Great cover...oh, and i love the kitties.

Lyn Horner said...

Thanks, Paty. glad you liked! and I hope you enjoy DD. Lyn

Lyn Horner said...

Caroline, That problem with the site addys might be my fault. They showed up faint yellow on Windows Live Writer. I changed the color to blue, but I guess it's too light. Oh well, live and learn.

The Arboretum? I need to get over there again. It's been years. It's such a marvelous place, but I wonder how all the plants are faring in this terrible drought??

Lyn Horner said...

Tanya, I also enjoy meeting new authors and making new friends. the internet is amazing, isn't it?

Well, to tell the truth, that hook was exactly what I was looking for when I settled on Druids in the Old West. One N.Y. editor told me it makes my story unique and not to change it -- even as she turned it down. Boohoo! So now I'm selling it myself, and it's not doing too badly. He, he, he!

Lynne Marshall said...

Hi Lyn, from Lynne with an "ne"
I'm a Linda Howard fan, too. Also, I loved your list of movies. We sound compatible. However, I am a cat admirer, but haven't owned one since my sweet G.G. died several years ago because I am allergic to cats. boo hoo.
Best wishes for great success with all of your books!

Unknown said...

Lyn--I'm trying to imagine druids in Texas...but my brain doesn't go there! That's why I stick to plain old people.
You should have a good audience for this book--I know there are readers out there just looking for such.
Oh, but I do understand "Chocolate" and "Margaritas."
Very interesting interview and video--Congratulations on your release, and here's wishing you many sales!

Mary J. Forbes said...

Hi Lyn--I'm a Gabaldon fan too, as well as a Diana Cosby fan ;) <waving to Diana!) Recently, I discovered Marsha Canham. Have you read her?

Great interview, btw! Loved the excerpt!

Lyn Horner said...

Thank you for stopping by. It does sound like we have a lot in common. I'm so sorry you lost G.G. I know how painful that was. I too am allergic. I used to take shots, now just pills and inhalers. 9My allergies include several things besides cats.) I know I shouldn't live with one cat, let alone several. But when they come crying to my door, skinny as a rail, I can't say no. Hugs, Lyn

Lyn Horner said...

Celia, nice to see you here. I seem to recall you visited my site a time or two during the Western romance series.

Druids aren't for everyone, I know. But to be honest the Druid connection is just one component in my westerns. Fast paced action is a major factor, and of course romance.

LOL! Chocolate and margaritas could unite the world! thanks for your good wishes.

Lyn Horner said...

Mary, thanks for telling me about Marsha. I was already planning to check out Diana's books. Now I'll have two new authors (new to me) to try. Glad you enjoyed the interview and book excerpt. Lyn

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

So nice to get to know you today, Lyn. I'm with Caroline - we have a lot of things in common. It's always interesting to see how other authors spend their days and do their writing.

Autumn Jordon said...

Nice interview, ladies, and I really like the excerpt. A Druid in the old west. That's unique. I like it.

Rosanne Dingli said...

This was engaging, and confirmed what I already know about Lyn Horner!

P.L. Parker said...

Great interview Lyn! And the book sounds great!

Lyn Horner said...

Paisley, we all have our quirky ways of writing. It is fun to know how other authors work. Thanks for stopping by! Lyn

Lyn Horner said...

Autumn, I'm glad you like the idea of druids in the Old West. I hope you'll give them a read. :)

Rosanne, I've enjoyed getting to know you on the Amazon forum. Thanks for visiting me here on Caroline's site.

P.L., thanks much. I'm glad you liked!

Elaine Stock said...

Thanks for your inspiration, Lyn!

Lyn Horner said...

Elaine, what a sweet thing to say. Thank you!