Interview with Lynne Cantwell

Published 2013-08-28.
Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?
Most people think of Indiana as being nothing but cornfields and the Indy 500. But I grew up in the woods, in a house about five blocks from Lake Michigan. I don't know that it's had a big influence on my writing to date. But I delved into it for background for one of the main characters of my upcoming series, "Land, Sea, Sky." Darrell is a Potawatomi Indian and hails from a little town not far from where I grew up. He has much of the same connection to the region's natural world as I do.
When did you first start writing?
I was in the second grade. The kid who sat in front of me in school brought in a book he had written, complete with illustrations. As I looked at it, I thought to myself, "I could do that." So I did. My first book was called "Susie and the Talking Doll" -- even at the age of seven, I was writing fantasy!
Do you remember the first story you ever wrote?
After "Susie and the Talking Doll," it's a bit of a muddle. But somewhere in there, I wrote a mystery, which I can't remember the name of now. And I wrote a series of stories about a group of paper dolls I'd made.
What motivated you to become an indie author?
My first novel, THE MAIDENS' WAR, was published by a small press. When I had SWANSONG ready to go, that press was not yet set up to upload books to KDP, and I felt very strongly that I needed to have my books on Amazon. So I self-published SWANSONG to both Amazon and Smashwords, and I had so much fun doing it that I've stayed indie.
What is the greatest joy of writing for you?
I love it when I get into the zone -- where everything's clicking and I don't notice the passage of time. I liken it to a runner's high, except I don't feel all sweaty afterward.

And too, I love connecting with fans. Feel free to stop by my Facebook page or my blog.
What's the story behind your latest book?
I'm just starting to work on the first book in the "Land, Sea, Sky" trilogy. This series is a follow-on to my five-book Pipe Woman Chronicles series. ANNEALED, the final book in the Pipe Woman Chronicles, culminated with Naomi Witherspoon mediating a power-sharing agreement between Jehovah and the pagan gods and goddesses. When CROSSWIND opens, it's ten years later, and the mortal powers-that-be are not going willingly into the new moral order. They gained a lot of money and prestige under the old system and they want to stay in power. So the gods have recruited certain humans to help these people see the error of their ways. I'm hoping CROSSWIND will be out by the holidays.
What are you working on next?
My next year is pretty much set with working on "Land, Sea, Sky". I'll have an anthology of the three short stories out at Christmastime, as well as the first book in the trilogy (the gods willing). Also for the holidays, I'll be releasing an omnibus volume of all five of the Pipe Woman Chronicles books.
What is your writing process?
I tend to write the first draft NaNoWriMo-style -- which is to say, I pretty much shut myself up like a hermit and write every evening and every weekend day for three or four weeks. Then I let it sit for a few weeks before I go in to do any editing. As a result of all my years as a journalist, I write pretty clean first drafts, so there's usually not a lot of heavy rewriting to be done. After that pass, I'll let the book sit for another couple of weeks, and then take one more crack at it before sending it to my editor. For a 60,000-word novel (the length of each of the Pipe Woman Chronicles books), the whole process, from beginning the first draft to publishing, takes three or four months.
How do you approach cover design?
I have some friends that know a lot more about graphic arts than I do, and one of them pointed me in the direction of Dreamstime, a royalty-free stock photo site. She found the cover art of SWANSONG for me (thanks again, Susan!) and it happened to be perfectly sized -- all she had to do was add the title font. Since then, I've bought stock photos and done my own covers in GIMP, which is a whole 'nother learning experience.
Who are your favorite authors?
Stephen R. Donaldson, the author of "The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever," is my all-time favorite. I'm in happy fangrrl anticipation right now, as the final book in that series is due out this fall. I'm also a fan of Graham Joyce, who writes speculative fiction, and Kent Haruf, who writes contemporary fiction. As far as indie authors, Laurie Boris and Chris James immediately come to mind, as well as Melissa Bowersock and my other fellow minions at Indies Unlimited. It's great to be on a staff with so much talent -- even if they do pay us in gruel.
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Books by This Author

A Billion Gods and Goddesses: The Mythology Behind the Pipe Woman Chronicles, Second Edition
Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 23,890. Language: English. Published: October 28, 2015 . Categories: Nonfiction » Social Science » Mythology, folklore, & legend, Nonfiction » Religion & Spirituality » Comparative Religion
More than forty deities have found their way into the twelve books of the Pipe Woman Chronicles story cycle. A Billion Gods and Goddesses: The Mythology Behind the Pipe Woman Chronicles is meant to be a companion volume to the novels, but it also serves as a wide-ranging introduction to the subject of mythology. Anyone curious about what others believe will find something to interest them here.
Seized: Book One of the Pipe Woman Chronicles
Series: The Pipe Woman Chronicles, Book 1. Price: $0.99 USD. Words: 64,410. Language: English. Published: June 16, 2012 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » Urban, Fiction » Romance » Paranormal » General
(5.00 from 1 review)
The winter solstice 2012 won't be the end of the world. It will be the beginning of the end....
Price: $3.99 USD. Words: 88,680. Language: English. Published: August 20, 2011 . Categories: Fiction » Fantasy » General
(4.00 from 2 reviews)
2012 Global Ebook Award Finalist! Based on the Irish tale, "The Fate of the Children of Lir," *SwanSong* is the story of a jealous half-Tslyddi woman who curses her four Wolleni stepchildren to 900 years as swans. But the curse goes awry and the children are only partially transformed. The childrens' journey, as they learn to cope with their changed lives, is one of hardship, tragedy, and triumph.