welcome my friend Lyn Horner to A Writer’s Life. Lyn and I are in the same
writers group and have been friends many years. Here’s her interview:
Tell us about growing up.
I was born in San Francisco, CA, but grew up in Minnesota, where my mom was
from. We moved back there when I was four years old. I had two half-siblings
from my father’s first marriage, but never got to know them. I’m married to my
high school sweetheart, have two grown children and several grandkids.
I ever a bookworm! I loved reading and even enjoyed researching historical
school assignments at the local library. Guess I should have known I was
destined to be a writer, but back then I dreamed of being a famous artist. That
led to my first career in fashion illustration and art instruction.
Who are your favorite authors and favorite genres?
My favorite author is Diana Gabaldon. Her characters are like old friends I’m
compelled to revisit every so often. Other authors I love are Linda Howard,
Iris Johansen and Judith Ivory. As you might guess, my favorite genre is
Do you have a favorite quote that sums up how you feel about life?
At the risk of sounding trite, I love the quote from Forest Gump: “Life is like
a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” It’s so true.
Taking the bad with the good isn’t easy, but there’s always a surprise just
around the next corner.
Where do you prefer to write?
One of my favorite places to write is in my recliner with my laptop. Another is
on my bed with research books and papers scattered around me -- far away from
the kitchen and the refrigerator.
I’m blogging, checking email or chatting online, I often have the TV tuned to a
news channel in the background. When working on one of my books, I need quiet,
with the exception of soft music on occasion.
Are you a plotter or a panzer?
I’m a plotter. For my first book, I tried writing by the seat of my pants, but
it didn’t work well. My characters kept running off in odd directions, forcing
me to drag them back onto the main path. This cost loads of time and
Me, too. Do you use real events or persons in your stories or as an inspiration
Yes, I often include real historical figures as peripheral characters and
actual events to draw readers into the time and place. The most dramatic event
I ever incorporated in a story was the Great Chicago Fire on 1871. It formed
the backdrop for White Witch, the prequel to Darlin’ Irish, Texas Devlins, book
Do you set daily writing goals?
I work every day but I don’t set word count or page goals. I’m a fussbudget
about finding just the right words. Some days I might write only a few
paragraphs, others several pages. Cranking out a whole chapter in one day is
rare for me.
What do you hope your writing brings to readers?
First and foremost, I hope my stories take readers out of the workaday world
and carry them off on an adventure into different times and places. Ultimately,
I want them to love my characters and care what happens to them.
Share a fun fact readers wouldn’t know about you.
I love mint chocolate chip ice cream – way too much!
Can you give readers a blurb about your latest book?
I’d love to. Dearest Irish
Story) is the third book in my Texas Devlins trilogy, which features three
unusual siblings. Descended from a secret
line of Irish Celtic Druids, each of the three possesses a rare psychic talent
they hide for fear of persecution. Rose Devlin, the sheltered baby sister of
the family, has the extraordinary ability to heal with her mind, a gift that
has caused her great pain in the past. She also harbors a more terrible secret
that threatens her chances of ever knowing love.
Choctaw Jack, a half-breed cowboy introduced in Dashing Druid (Texas Devlins,
Tye’s story), straddles two worlds, honoring loyalty to his mother’s people
while struggling to walk the white man’s road. Like Rose, he keeps shocking
secrets. If they ever come to light, he stands to lose his job, possibly his
life. Yet, after accidentally discovering Rose’s healing gift, he risks
everything, kidnapping her in a desperate attempt to save his dying mother. As
he spirits her away to the Indian Territory
are threatened by natural forces and individuals who hate the sight of a white
woman riding with a red man. But the greatest risk they face may be caring too
much for one another.
This sounds as intriguing as your other books. How about an excerpt?
Lyn: Here you go:
In her rush to get going, Rose arrived at
the corral earlier than usual. Jack wasn’t yet there. Hearing a clang of metal
striking metal, she thought it came from behind the barn. Curious, she strolled
in that direction and found a large, open shed, from whence came the metallic hammering.
It was a blacksmith’s workshop, she realized. Acrid heat struck her as she
approached the open portal.
Wearing no shirt, the smith stood working
at an anvil with his back to her. Even so, she recognized Choctaw Jack by his
long, midnight black hair, tied back with a leather thong at his nape, and by
the healed red scar across his left shoulder blade. But what was he doing here,
working in the smithy? No one had ever mentioned he was a blacksmith.
Coated with sweat in the heat from the
forge, his muscular arms and torso gleamed like molten copper. Rose stared in
awe as he skillfully wielded his hammer and tongs. A strange excitement curled
through her insides at the sight. She must have made some sound, for he stopped
in mid swing and pivoted to face her. A startled look crossed his face; then he
pinned her with his black stare.
“Miss Rose,” he said with a nod. “Didn’t
think it was time to meet you yet.”
“Uh, nay, ’tisn’t. I’m early. I-I heard
the hammering.” She gestured toward the heavy tool in his hand. “I didn’t know
ye were a blacksmith as well as a cowboy.”
He shrugged one shoulder and mopped his
face with the bandana draped loosely around his neck. “Pays to know more than
one way to earn my keep.”
Nodding, she cleared her throat nervously.
“No doubt my brother and the Crawfords set great store by your skills.”
“Saves them a trip to the blacksmith in
town,” he replied with another one-shouldered shrug. “While I’m here.”
“Mmm. And what are ye working on?” Rose
asked, hoping her questions didn’t annoy him.
“I’m making up extra horseshoes. We’ll
need them on the drive to Kansas
“Ah, I see.” Feeling awkward, she
stammered, “Well, I-I’m sorry for disturbing ye.” She ought to turn and leave,
but her feet seemed rooted in place. Her gaze skittered across his broad,
glistening chest then darted uncertainly to his chiseled features.
He cocked a raven eyebrow and laid aside
his tools. Setting hands to his hips, he sauntered forward until he stood no
more than three feet away from her. His mouth curled into a smile. “I don’t
mind being disturbed by a pretty lady.”
“Y-ye flatter me, sir.” Flustered by his
compliment, so unusual coming from him, she fiddled with the open collar of her
shirt, touched her cross and stared at the ground.
“No. Just speaking true.”
Intimidated by his male scent and sheer size, she backed away a couple
She peeked at him from beneath her
lashes, seeing his smile give way to his usual expressionless mask.
“You afraid of me?” he asked, tone hardening.
“Nay, I-I . . . .” Hunting for an excuse for her nervous behavior, she
blurted, “I need air is all. ’Tis hot in here.”
He crossed his arms, muscles bulging. “A smithy has to be hot.”
“I know.” Rose cleared her throat again and licked her dry lips. “But
I’m not accustomed to the heat.” Which was true. Extracting a handkerchief from
the cuff of her sleeve, she dabbed at her damp forehead.
“If you can’t take heat, Texas
isn’t for you,” he said in a challenging tone.
Miffed, Rose met his onyx stare and snapped, “I’ll get used to it. Excuse
me. I’ll go wait by the corral.” She started to turn away, but his voice
sure you still want to ride out with me?”
“Of course.” Her pulse pounded in her ears. In truth, she was a wee bit
afraid to be alone with him, away from the safety of the house – perhaps more
than a wee bit – but she couldn’t bring herself to admit it. Besides, she
dearly wished to take Brownie for a real ride. “I’ve looked forward to this
day,” she added, lifting her chin.
He stared at her for a moment and said, “It’ll take me a few minutes to
finish up here. Then I’ll clean up and fetch the horses.”
“Fine.” Nodding, Rose swung on her heel and hurried away.
watched her hasty retreat. She might deny it, but she was
afraid of him. Once again, he wondered if it was his being an
Indian that spooked her. Scowling at the thought, he reheated the horseshoe
he’d been forming and hammered it into shape, reminding himself that he wanted
nothing to do with the red-blonde girl with shy blue eyes. Eyes that reminded
him of beautiful blue agates he’d once seen mounted on an ornate cross.
Where can readers find your books?
of my books are on Amazon.
are also available at Barnes and Noble. Here’s the link for Dearest Druid.
How can readers learn more about you?
Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you?
Since I’ve experienced clairvoyant dreams in the past, I strongly believe we
all possess untapped psychic powers. This is a topic I hope to explore further in
I agree, Lyn. Thanks for sharing with us today.