Interview with Lynne M. Hinkey

Published 2017-07-21.
Who are your favorite authors?
In no particular order because I love them all equally: Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Christopher Moore, JK Rowlings, and Tom Robbins.
What are your five favorite books, and why?
This is a tough question since there are so many favorites, and they've changed over the years. Books like Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time" and Hitchcock's "The Three Investigators" series were favorites when I was a kid and had a strong influence on my reading preferences. Now, Tom Robbin's "Skinny Legs and All," Christopher Moore's "The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove" and "Lamb," and Douglas Adams, "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," and "The Color of Magic" (or any of the books in Terry Pratchett's Disc World series, but since that's the first, I'll go with that) would all be up there.
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
My mother still has some of the hilarious poems I wrote when I was a kid. I remember sitting at my grandmother's dining room table writing them: Odes to my stuffed teddy bear, Oscar, the family dog, Muffy, and to my brother. In third grade, I wrote and illustrated a book of "School Rules." I'm not an artist--it's full of stick figures. Years later, my mother told me she and my dad locked themselves in the bathroom to read it so their laughter wouldn't hurt my feelings. They passed it on to my teacher, Mrs. Jones, who liked it so much, she gave it to her mother!
When you're not writing, how do you spend your time?
I'm a marine scientist, but to pursue my writing, I quit my full-time career and now am an adjunct biology instructor for the community college and online with UMUC. When I'm not writing or teaching, I do agility with my dogs, swim, and golf. And, of course, I read a lot.
What do you read for pleasure?
A little bit of everything. Fantasy and satire are at the top of the list, but I love mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, anything by Carl Hiassen, biographies, some historic fiction. What I don't read would be a shorter list: romance. And even that will sometimes slip into my reading list.
What is your writing process?
I'm still refining it, but I'm definitely a plotter. I spend a lot of time thinking through the story and mentally figuring out a timeline. Then, I outline. I've done that with post-it notes and index cards stuck on a bulletin board, and with a roll of paper and colored markers, each character getting their own color, with lots of arrows connecting intersecting story lines. Once I've done that, I don't strictly follow along, but I do know the major plot points I need to include to get to where I'm going.
What are you working on next?
I'm working on "A Rattling of Bones," a magical realism novel based on a short story I had published at Infective Ink a few years back. When one of an elderly group of golfers dies, his friends use a passage from the Bible to bring him back and restore their foursome. His presence has some interesting effects on everyone around him and it divides the Holy City (Charleston) in two as people take sides about whether this is an act of God or Satan. You can read the short story here: Once I've got the first draft of that finished, I'll return to the chupacabra to write the last book in the trilogy, "Ye Goddess! A Tale of Girls and Gods." If you've read either "The Un-Familiar," you'll have some idea of what's ahead. The story picks up a few months after "The Un-Familiar" with the Kiki coming out of her coma. As the new familiar to a goddess---or should I say THE Goddess--Kiki has her work cut out for her trying to bring a very, very angry Carmen del Toro, aka Mother Nature, under control and convincing her not to eradicate humankind from the Earth.
What inspires you to get out of bed each day?
I don't know if it's inspiration or necessity: my two dogs, Muggle and Lupin, and cat, Minerva get me out of bed. I'm the least regimented person I know and somehow ended up with three clock-work pets who live by their schedules. Breakfast is at 7 a.m. (or 6, depending on where we are with daylight savings time). They start jumping on my head and whining a few minutes before to make sure they eat on time. They're far better than an alarm clock because their morning antics put a smile on my face so I always wake up happy.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Can I have two answers? I was born and raised in upstate New York. I left there and moved to the Virgin Islands when I was 19. That's where I started to become the person I'd be as an adult so I that's where I really did my growing up. Both influenced my writing: New York because that's where I became an avid reader and started writing stories for myself and the Virgin Islands because that's where my inspiration lives.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love when the chaotic swirl of complex story lines tumbling around in my head all come together into a cohesive whole. When I first see the timeline filled with plot points spreading out in front of me, but only blank pages on the computer screen, it's a bit intimidating. In those early stages, I'm insecure and worry I'm not up to the task of capturing all the complexity and nuances of what I see in my head and hope to write. As I get further in and start to untangle it all, I get more excited to see if and how I can bring it together. It's very similar to how I feel when solving puzzles (I'm a big fan of all sorts of puzzles.) It's very fulfilling to know I've accomplished what I set out to do when I finish. That doesn't mean I've managed it completely to my satisfaction, yet, but I suspect all writers feel that way. That's why we write the next one.
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Books by This Author

Chupacabra Gift Set (Books 1 & 2 of the Chupacabra Trilogy)
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 149,220. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal
These raucous island adventures weave the myth and mystery of the chupacabra (Spanish for goatsucker) with some endearing island characters in a madcap look at science, belief, and the gray area in between. Is the chupacabra real or rumor? Find out here!
The Un-Familiar: A Tale of Cats and Gods
Series: The Chupacabra Trilogy, Book 2. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 73,680. Language: English. Published: September 21, 2016 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Paranormal, Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
This raucous island adventure weaves the myth and mystery of the chupacabra (Spanish for goatsucker) with some endearing island characters in a madcap look at science, belief, and the gray area in between. There's a beast of a storm brewing and only a god can stop it. But which one? The chupacabra returns--and this time, he's brought some friends (and an enemy or two).
Ye Gods! A Tale of Dogs and Demons
Series: The Chupacabra Trilogy, Book 1. Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 75,530. Language: English. Published: April 30, 2014 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Contemporary, Fiction » Humor & comedy » Satire
Jack Halliman sails to Puerto Rico seeking a cure for writer's block, but instead finds a dead body. When a second corpse turns up, Jack becomes one of two suspects. The other is the chupacabra. Jack has to find out who--or what--is responsible for the killings before he lands in prison. Again. Is the chupacabra real or myth? Dog only knows. (All proceeds go to animal rescue organizations.)
Marina Melee
Price: $2.99 USD. Words: 83,980. Language: English. Published: August 28, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
George H. Marshall III has it all - women, money, and his so-called career in the family oil business. Determined to prove that he is more than a spoiled, womanizing, over-aged adolescent, George buys Porto da Vida Marina on the island of São Jorge. How hard can it be to run a marina on a tropical island?