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Talking With Lynn McMonigal

Last weekend, I introduced you to Lynn McMonigal and her book, Summertime. Today, I'd like to share with you a talk I had with Lynn. Please don't forget to return tomorrow for my review of Summertime.

What three words do you think describe you as a human being?

Lazy, impatient, sloppy

How do you think others would describe you?

My husband, apparently, would not describe me as I describe myself. He seems offended by my above answer!! He says I am loving, caring, and persistent.

Please tell us what you are most passionate about outside of writing.

My sons and my church. Though today, I feel almost like I would trade my sons for… well, I don’t know what. But it would be nice to have children who listen every now and again!

Do you have any pets? If so, introduce us to them.

I have two pets. We have a female calico cat named Brownie and a male black lab named Bo. Or if you ask my 2-year-old, we have a “kitty” and a “Bo-kitty”

What is your most precious memory?

I think that would be my senior prom. That was my second date with the man who became my husband (a date that would not have happened if I had waited for HIM to ask me out!), and it was the night of our first kiss. I wasn’t real popular in high school, didn’t date a lot. But that night, I felt like the luckiest, most beautiful girl in the world. Sometimes, though, it’s hard to believe the man I am sharing my life with is the same shy, nervous boy that I went to prom with. “Shy” and “nervous” are not words most people would use to describe him!

What is your most embarrassing memory?

Oh my gosh! You want me to pick only one?? That would probably be on a field trip to the Waterloo Recreation Area when I was in sixth grade. We went hiking on The Bog Trail. The teachers and guides warned us all to be careful where we stepped. My foot slipped off a log and into the muck. When I pulled it out, my shoe was missing. It was one of the first times I’d worn my new canvas shoes with palm trees on them! And there was no way of finding the shoe, as we right at the edge of the bog. Our guide said it would probably show up in “100 years or so”. I had to finish the field trip and go back to school with only one shoe.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing with your life?

I’d be wasting away in a cloud of depression. No, really. I’ve been undergoing treatment for clinical depression for 4 years now. It wasn’t until I started writing, really writing a little every day and more than just in a journal, that I started to have more good days than bad.

As far as a profession, I really don’t know. I was 12 when I first knew that I wanted to be a writer. That was when my teacher encouraged me to start writing my stories on paper. In high school, I thought I would be a teacher and a writer. At one point, I was studying marketing and still thought I could do that and be a writer. I can’t think of anything else I ever really wanted to be.


In two paragraphs or less write your obituary.

Daughter, wife, mother, friend. Lynn loved life, loved her family, and loved her Lord. She enjoyed writing, scrapbooking, and cooking. No matter what, Lynn would strive to do her best to let God’s glory shine through.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cascades Wesleyan Church in Jackson, MI or to Kaylen’s Write to Heal.

Can you describe the time you realized you were indeed a “real” writer?

That was when I sold my first short story, “Building for Sale”. The moment I got the email that the story had been accepted, I KNEW I was a “real writer”. That was really all the motivation I needed to get down to work and finish a novel.

What is going on with your writing these days?

Oh, so much!!! I am busy editing my next novel, while plotting outlines for about three others. It is hard for me to work on just one thing at a time. Sometimes, the characters and I argue—they don’t want to do what I want and I don’t like the ideas they have! I find it’s best to step aside every now and then to work with other characters. Normally, when they realize I really don’t have a problem stuffing them in a drawer, the characters become much easier to work with!

What are your future goals for your writing?

Well, I have a schedule I have put myself on. There are five more books I plan to finish and publish before my youngest son starts preschool in 2011. I would like to find a traditional publisher for my work. Not so much for the money, but for the exposure. There is a Christian bookstore here in my hometown that won’t stock my books so long as they do not come from a traditional publisher. I would love to be able to walk into that store and see a shelf full of books with my name on them!

If that doesn’t happen, though, it’s OK. Writing is my gift from God, and I am trusting Him completely to guide and direct my career.

Can you describe a typical writing day for you?

Joyce, I have three sons, ages 8, 5, and 2. There is no “typical” day around here!!!

Normally, I have a good hour between when the older two get on the school bus and when the youngest wakes up. I try to get in some writing then, and of course I work during Seth’s naps. School will soon be out for the summer, though, and I have no idea how I will handle my writing schedule then.

Why do you write?

I write because I cannot not write. As I said before, it is a wonderful form of therapy. And I just love to do it. It still feels amazing to realize I have a job that I honestly enjoy and can’t wait to do. How many people can say that? I am beyond blessed.

What writer most inspires you? Why?

Karen Kingsbury. I don’t even have to think about that one! She is the first Christian author whose work was at all like what I wanted to write. I wasn’t sure if there would really be a market for the style of stories that I write. Then I read one of Karen’s books and I knew I could do it. Each and everyone one of her books touches my heart. I hope to be able to touch just one person with one of my books that way.

How do you define your writing?

Christian chick lit. Some call it inspirational, but that annoys me. I mean, yeah, I want to inspire people but it is Christ who guides me. I don’t like it when Christian is left out of it. If I have to leave Christ out of it in order to make a sale, then I don’t need the sales.

In one sentence—what do you want people to say about your writing in fifty years?

I just hope to be remembered in 50 years, and I hope there are more good memories than bad. I would like to have at least one person hear my name and think, “My relationship with Christ grew deeper because of what Lynn wrote.”

Can you tell us where to find more information on you? Website? Blog?

My website is Lynn’s Corner. You can find it at www.lynnscorner.wordpress.com

My blog is at www.lynnmcmo.blogspot.com

I suppose if you want to really know more about me, you could talk to my parents, sister, and best friend. Though I can’t promise what they will say about me…. Especially Lori, since she did have to be paid to be my friend.

Is there a place where readers can reach you?

My email address is lynnmcwriter@gmail.com or you can leave a message on my website. If you prefer snail mail, you can send a letter to me at
PO Box 1473
Jackson, MI 49204

Can you list all your book titles so people can look for them?

Forsaking the Call and Summertime. Be on the lookout for The Ladies of Faith this fall!!! I am also working on my first Young Adult novel, called Discovering Miranda. It’s about a 15-year-old girl who learns the mother she thought was dead is alive and well.

For new readers—what can they expect when they read your book(s)?

An uplifting story about God’s grace and forgiveness, in a real world setting.

Take as much space as necessary to speak to our readers—what would you like them to know about you and your writing?

I am one of six children—all girls. Between the six of us, my parents have 18 grandchildren. It’s a large family, but we have a lot of fun! We were raised in Jackson, MI, where four of us still live and where most of my books are set. One of my sisters is in Indiana and one is in Texas. I keep in contact with them through email and Facebook, but I miss seeing my nieces and nephews growing up. Growing up. HA! Some of them have already grown up. Jacquie is nearly 20, Eric has been in the Army for a little over a year, and Bekah is about to graduate in the top 5% of her class of over 800 students. I am very proud of these “kids” and of the strong men and women of God they have become. Don’t tell my sisters I said this, but I think they’ve done a pretty good job.

I was 12 when I knew I wanted to be a writer. It took 20 years to get my first book out, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I went through a lot of things, a lot of growing that was necessary for me to become the woman I am now. For the first time ever, I wake up excited about my work. Sure, there are days when my characters get on my nerves and I don’t want to deal with them (if all five of The Ladies of Faith survive for three novels, it will be a miracle!), but I feel so blessed to be doing something that I love. My goal is to be earning enough at my writing before my youngest starts school in fall 2011 to consider it a full-time job, and not have to find work outside the home.

Before I go, I just want to thank you, Joyce, for talking to me. I just enjoy telling stories, and I appreciate those who want to read them. Thanks for helping me connect with new readers.

**Everyone please take a moment to leave a comment for Lynn and let her know you enjoyed her visit!

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Lynn McMonigal said...

Thank you for having me, Joyce. I have really enjoyed being able to talk with you abut my work.


The Belle in Blue said...

Another great interview, Lynn! You're really getting good at this. By the time you make it to the Today Show, you'll be an old hand at it and won't be nervous at all!

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