Today I thrilled to have Lynn Kear stop by for an interview. Last week, I reviewed her crime novel, Black-Hearted Bitch. You can find the review here. Lynn and I started chatting via email weeks ago and I’m glad that we’ve become friends. Before I begin the interview I would like to congratulate Lynn. Her book, Black-Hearted Bitch has received an Honorable Mention and is now a Finalist in the 2013 Rainbow Awards. Great job! And now, please welcome my friend.
You have written biographies on Kay Francis, Agnes Moorehead, Evelyn Brent, and Laurette Taylor. Your latest book, Black-Hearted Bitch, is a crime fiction novel. What inspired you to write this novel?
I went through a period where I was reading lots of crime fiction, especially older stuff. I discovered pulp writers like Lawrence Block, Jack Ritchie, Cornell Woolrich, and Kenneth Fearing, and thought, oh, yes, I’d like to do that. It looked like fun, and it was.
Black-Hearted Bitch is about a female hit man. What type of research did you do to create your character and the plot?
My goal was to write something with lots of plot and a main character who does awful things but is still likeable. Since I’ve never known a hit man (at least I don’t think I have), I used my imagination to come up with the plot.
I’ve lived in Stone Mountain, Georgia since 2002 and often visit Stone Mountain Park. I’ve wanted to set a story there for a long time, so this was the perfect opportunity.
Are you working on the next novel in the Kell Digby series?
The next novel in the Kell Digby series is finished except for the final polish. I plan to publish it shortly after the first of the year. Black-Hearted Bitch is dark, but the second one is pitch-black. I’m toying around with the third novel now.
Do you prefer writing fiction or non-fiction?
Both fiction and non-fiction tell a story, and the process is similar, but at this point in my life I much prefer writing fiction. Non-fiction research consists of digging through databases and viewing grainy footage. While it’s a kick to discover new information and publish it, I’ve had my fun and now want to focus on writing crime fiction. It’s satisfying and challenging. Also, I can make up stuff which I can’t do in non-fiction.
What authors have influenced you the most?
I love great storytellers like Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens, and Daniel Defoe. I’m also a fan of early crime fiction writers like Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle, and James M. Cain. I read everything Carol Anshaw and Amy Dawson Robertson write.
I’m influenced by many things. Conversations I overhear. The way the sun hits a canopy of trees. A news story. Everything feeds my imagination and makes me want to work on a story.
What do you like most about writing? What aspects, if any, do you dislike?
I love everything about the process—coming up with the idea, drafting, editing, polishing. Writing is thrilling, fun, and rewarding.
I don’t like marketing because I don’t like asking favors. Publicizing my books forces me to ask lots of favors.
What’s your writing process like? Do you write at certain times of the day? Listen to music? At home?
I’m teaching a couple classes right now, but when I’m writing full-time, I work a couple hours in the morning, either drafting or editing. I also work two to three hours in the afternoon. I’m usually working on more than one manuscript at a time, sometimes two or three.
Every book has a soundtrack, though I rarely listen to music when I’m sitting at the computer and working on a manuscript. I take long walks with the dogs (often at Stone Mountain Park) and listen to my mp3 player while thinking about the plot, dialogue, etc. My taste is eclectic. Depending on what I’m working on, I might be listening to KT Tunstall, Kristina Train, Charlie Parker, Peggy Lee, the Boswell Sisters, or anything else that helps me ‘see’ the story.
What advice would you give to other authors?
Writers are a work in progress, and the best way to grow is to write, read, discuss, and teach. If you want to publish, you need to write, write, write, and write.
Thanks Lynn! I’m super excited to hear that the next Kell Digby novel will be published soon. I couldn’t put the first one down.
About the Author:
Lynn Kear grew up in Illinois and has lived in Georgia for more than two decades. Her published works include biographies on actresses Kay Francis, Agnes Moorehead, Evelyn Brent, and Laurette Taylor as well as books on reincarnation. Her newest book is the crime fiction novel, Black-Hearted Bitch.
You can find Black-Hearted Bitch on: