A Visit with Judi Lynn

CoockingupTroubleHow did you get started writing? 

When I was knee deep in diapers with my second daughter, my husband surprised me by paying for me to take a continuing education class at our local college:  Writing For Fun and Profit.  He babysat so that I could get out of the house and do something he knew I’d enjoy.  (Yes, he’s a keeper).  When I turned in an article for an assignment, the teacher told me that she thought I could sell it to Byline magazine.  I sent it and got back a check for $25.  I looked at my husband and said, “This is easy!”  Little did I knowJ

Tell us about your current series.

I wanted to write a small town romance.  I’d tried a romance bundle before, The Emerald Hills Collection, that included seven, short romances, one “lunch hour read” for each day of the week.  It was so much fun, I wanted to try a long version with the same feel, so Mill Pond was born.  Everyone knows everyone else, and there’ll be lots of happy ever afters.

What is your favorite part of writing?

I love the first gush of words when I start a book.  The whole first fourth is fun for me.  That’s when I introduce the characters, build relationships, and describe the setting.  Everything’s new.  My characters start walking and talking.  They come to life and surprise me sometimes.  It sets up what the book’s about and where it’s going.

What is your least favorite part of writing?

The middle muddle.  I’m a plotting nerd, but even with a plot point for each chapter, the middle starts feeling unwieldy, like the whole thing wants to sag.  I spend a lot of time trying to prop it up and make it keep moving, to add depth and complications.

What is your next project and when will it be released?

My second Mill Pond romance comes out in July.  When my critique partners read COOKING UP TROUBLE, they talked about Ian’s brother, Brody, as much as they talked about Ian.  One of them even told me she’d kick Ian to the curb and run away with BrodyJ  I thought that made him worthy of a book of his own.

What is most difficult for you to write?  Characters, conflict, or emotions?  Why?

Emotions.  I started out writing short mysteries—and those were plot driven.  They were more about clues and suspects than feelings.  Then I switched to urban fantasy—and those have lots of conflict, one small battle leading to a bigger battle until the big, bad battle at the end of the book.  There are more emotions than in the mysteries, but external forces drive the story more than internal ones.  When I wrote romances, I had to concentrate on internal conflicts, nuances, and internal dialogue.  It took me a while.

Was your road to publication fraught with peril or a walk in the park?CookingUpTroubleTour copy

My road was twisty and winding, and I think I walked from the East Coast to the West.  It was long!  That’s why I share what I’ve learned with my writers’ club.  I tell the new members, “Don’t do what I did.  Learn from my mistakes.”

Do you write under a pen name?  Why or why not?

I use a pen name for Kensington.  I self-published (with the help of Dystel and Goderich, because my agent’s awesome!) all of my urban fantasy bundles and novels under my name Judith Post.  Most romance readers aren’t into urban fantasy, and maybe vice versa, so I use Judi Lynn (Lynn’s my middle name) for the romances.

Do you have any rejection stories to share? 

I collected so many rejections over the years that I could have papered my writing room with them.  But oddly enough, to me, each rejection was a badge of honor.  It meant I finished a story and I sent it out.  I’ve watched quite a few really talented writers crumple under rejection, but when an editor passes on a story, it can be for a variety of reasons.  Maybe—which really happened to me—they just sold a mystery that hinged on Tarot cards.  Maybe they have so many stories waiting for slots, they just can’t buy any more.  And maybe—which I’ve been guilty of, too—you sent them a wonderful story that’s not the type they buy.  But the truth is, you can’t please everyone.  Writing’s subjective.  One person might love my story and the next person hate it.  Don’t take it personally.  It’s part of the profession.

Cooking Up Trouble Blurb:  Tessa Lawrence swore off men when she found her fiancée in the arms of another woman.  These days, she concentrates on caring for her small farm and running a bakery and farm stand out of its barn.  Ian McGregor moves to Mill Pond to build a resort on the property next to Tessa’s.  Tessa’s fine with that.  Mill Pond’s trying to attract more tourists.  The problem is, Ian understands business, but he’s never changed a tire or pounded a nail.  She finds herself helping him more than she expected, and spending time around Ian is a dangerous proposition.  The man’s far too good-looking and fun to be around.

Cooking Up Trouble by Judi Lynn Excerpt:

Grams raced into the barn on Friday morning and grinned at her.  “The news is all over town.”

Tessa shrugged.  “Mill Pond needs to find more to talk about.”

“Did you really dance, cheek to cheek, with Chase Carlton?”

“No cheeks were involved.  My boobs were smashed against his chest, and his hands groped my ass, but we never made cheek contact.”

Grams laughed.  “It’s about time!  No one knows what to think.  Chase told everyone he’d asked you to marry him.”

“I’m not sure shacking up is the same as marriage.”

Grams loved it.   “What a way to let the world know you’re ready to spread your wings.  I couldn’t have done it better myself.  Rumor is all the single guys in Mill Pond are ready to start courting.”

Tessa groaned.  “That’s not what I had in mind.”

“Oh, hell, enjoy it.  Tarnish your reputation a little more if you can.  It’s been spotless too long.”

Tessa shook her head and walked to the door to turn the sign to Open.  People rushed into the shop.  One of them was Ian.  He glared at her, grabbed her arm, and pulled her to one side.  Not one person went to the glass cases.  They all milled around, looking innocent, trying their best to overhear their conversation.

“Is it true you’re going to marry Chase Carlton?”

“What?”  Tessa stared at him.  “Where did you hear that?”

“I drove to Garth’s Gas station to buy gas for the riding mower this morning.  Garth said the rumor’s flying all over town.”

Tessa sighed.  “He only gave me a friendship ring.  We thought we’d fool around first to see if we’re sexually compatible.”   Mouths dropped open and when Ian growled, Tessa laughed.  “Don’t believe everything you hear.  I danced with Chase last night.  That’s all.”

P1030252Judi Lynn bio:  I started out as an elementary teacher because I love kids.  When I had two daughters of my own, though, and stayed home with them, I couldn’t get my old position back.  Rules had changed.  No one would hire a teacher with a Master’s degree—they had to pay us more—so I turned to writing.  Not exactly a get-rich-quick scheme either!  I sold short stories to mystery magazines and anthologies, and then got brave enough to try writing novels.  The journey’s been fun!

Buy Link:  http://www.kensingtonbooks.com/book.aspx/32318

Website:  http://www.judithpostswritingmusings.com/

Blog:  http://writingmusings.com/

My twitter handle:  @judypost

My Facebook author page:  https://www.facebook.com/JudithPostsurbanfantasy/

Rafflecopter Giveaway- Ebook copy of Cooking Up Trouble
a Rafflecopter giveaway

One thought on “A Visit with Judi Lynn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *