Sunday, April 10, 2011

Author Spotlight Interview with Lyn Horner

Author Bio
Lyn Horner is a baby-boomer born in San Francisco, raised in Minnesota and now residing in Texas with her husband and an ever-changing band of cantankerous, beloved cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn first worked as a fashion illustrator in Minneapolis, and later as an art instructor for Art Instruction Schools (famous for their "Draw Me" heads.) After quitting work to raise her children, she took up writing as a creative outlet. This hobby grew into an enduring love for historical research and the art of crafting stories out of that research. 

A member of Romance Writers of America, Lyn is a former vice president of North Texas Romance Writers and a semi-finalist in the prestigious Orange Rose Contest in 2008. Her first Kindle book, DARLIN' DRUID, has received glowing customer reviews. This epic western romance features a heroine with the gift of second sight. The author knows such a power truly exists, having experienced incidents of clairvoyance herself.

Lyn’s Website is and her blog is .

Lyn will be giving away a FREE digital copy of Darlin' Druid.  Just comment below the interview for your chance to win. I added a short form so your email address does not display publicly. 

Laurie:  Today I want to welcome Lyn Horner whose debut Western Historical Paranormal Romance, Darlin’ Druid, is currently available in digital format. Thanks Lyn for joining me today.  

Lyn:  Hi Laurie. It’s so nice to be here. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to discuss my new book.

 Laurie:  First off, tell us, what was the catalyst that got you on the path to a writing career?

Lyn:  After a move from Minneapolis to Chicago, I gave up working in the visual arts in order to stay home and raise my two children. But I soon realized I needed a creative outlet, and being a fan of historical romances, I decided to try writing one. That led to years of research, scribbling on notepads and hiding my little “hobby” from family and friends – because I was afraid to admit I liked reading and writing hot love scenes. Silly, right? Now I regard beautifully written, passionate love scenes as works of art.

Laurie:  I doubt you are alone.  I agree with you, emotionally charged love scenes can be really beautiful.  Who is your favorite author?

Lyn:  Diana Gabaldon, without a doubt. I love her Outlander series. The historical settings are so real that I feel like I’m actually there in 18th century Scotland, France and colonial America. As for her main characters, Jamie and Claire, they are like members of my family. Their love story is wrenchingly sad at times, hilariously funny at others and always entertaining. Diana is my idol!

Laurie: I also loved that series. So, what do you find to be the hardest part of writing your books?

Lyn:  Putting my butt in the chair and actually writing! I am easily distracted by all the other things I “need” to do: housework, gardening, ancestry research, reading, TV watching. I’d really like to be three people. Since deciding to publish my first Kindle book, Darlin’ Druid, I’ve also learned how much work is involved in self-publishing and promotion. Then too, I’ve been busy editing and designing my memoir, Six Cats in My Kitchen. I had fun putting together the photo pages and designing the cover, but it did take time away from my writing.  And, I am excited to announce that Six Cats in My Kitchen will be available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobel within the next couple of days.

Laurie:  And that brings me to my next question. Where do you research your books?

Lyn:  At first, I did all my research in libraries. Later, I began collecting books on subjects such as the great Chicago Fire, the history of the Union Pacific Railroad, Mormon history and culture, and Texas ranch life. I now own hundreds of wonderful books, some of which I still refer to, although most of my research is done on the internet these days. It saves loads of time, but I still love books. Maybe I shouldn’t admit that since my own books are only available in electronic format – something I hope to remedy soon -- but I’m kind of old fashioned. I enjoy the weight of a book in my hands, the scent of printed pages and the colorful covers lining my bookshelves. I’m anxious to see my own babies up there.

Laurie:  I bet it won’t be long before your books are in print! It’s obvious that the research you do is meticulous. Aside from that do you plot the event sequences with detail, also or does the story evolve “on the fly” as you write?

Lyn:  I used to be a pantser, but my characters had a habit of dashing off on some hair-brained course with no visible destination. Then I’d have to haul them back two, three, four chapters and set them on a more logical path. This took up way too much time. I’m now a confirmed plotter, although my plots may take some unexpected twists along the way. That’s okay as long as the end goal remains in sight.

Laurie:  LOL!! I’ve not heard it put quite that way before.  You put a little scene in my head that was hilarious! I pictured two ornery kids being dragged home by an irate mom. Do you use a pen name? How did you choose it?

Lyn:  Yes, I decided to use a pen name to allow my family their privacy. Lyn is a nickname. My husband started calling me that almost from our first date -- a hundred years or so ago. Horner is my maiden name. I chose it to honor my parents.

Laurie:  Lyn, you look great for a hundred-and-something-year-old! I understand, Darlin’ Druid is the first book in a planned series. Tell us more, please?

Lyn:  Yes.  It’s called Texas Druids. A wacky title? Perhaps, but it fits the theme of the trilogy, which is about three siblings: Jessie, Tye and Rose Devlin. They are descended from Irish Druid ancestors, and each one possesses a special psychic talent. The first book, Darlin’ Druid, available in Kindle and Nook formats, focuses on Jessie, who sees visions of the future. BTW, I have the book priced at just $.99 currently, and just for a limited time. The second book spotlights Tye’s empathic talent; the third will reveal Rose’s struggle to deal with her gift of healing. Since I write romances, all three siblings have a date with love. Where? In Texas, of course.

Laurie:  Do you have a short excerpt to share with us today?

Lyn:  Sure!  Here’s an excerpt from chapter one when David and Jessie first meet.

Afraid the young soldier might retaliate, David reached out to grasp the woman’s arms, stopping her in mid-swing. “Ma’am, if you’ll just settle down . . . .”

“Let me go!” she shrilled, attempting to wrench free.
He should have complied with her demand, but some primitive instinct made him slip an arm around her and haul her back against him. A sweet scent of lilacs and woman washed over him, and he instantly grew aware of her feminine curves.

She gasped indignantly. “How dare ye? Bithiúnach! Muclach! Take your filthy hands off me.”

Glad he didn’t understand Irish, David cursed under his breath when she rammed her heel into his shin. It didn’t hurt much thanks to his leather boots; nor did the small fists pounding on his arms. But her frantic twisting sent the wrong signal to his male parts.

“Calm down, you little wildcat!” he growled. Releasing her, he stepped back before he humiliated himself.

Whirling around, the woman drew back her arm as if to slap him, only to freeze when their eyes met. A choked sound escaped her lips and the angry color drained from her cheeks. Seeing her sway, David grasped her shoulders to steady her. Her hands clutched his forearms as he returned her wide-eyed stare.

Her eyes were sapphire blue, so dazzling that he had trouble breaking their hold upon him. When he did, he noticed how young she looked – eighteen or twenty, he guessed – and what a beauty she was.

His gaze wandered over her smooth, creamy cheeks and dainty nose then lingered on her pink parted lips. Forcing himself to look elsewhere, he noted the dark auburn curls framing her brow. Her ugly bonnet hid the rest of her hair, but he bet it would look like silk when she let it down.

Then he noticed how rapidly her breasts rose and fell, and desire surged through him, swift and strong. He felt a loco urge to pull her into his arms and kiss her. Reluctantly dragging his gaze back to her sapphire eyes, he wondered what had come over her. A moment ago, she’d been mad as a hornet. Now she stared at him as if she were seeing a ghost.

Dazed by the sight of him, Jessie wondered vaguely if she was having one of her visions. Her gaze kept returning to his gray-green eyes. Crowned by dark brows with an eerily familiar slant, they matched those she’d so often seen in her dreams. Could this tall, uniformed stranger be the man she had left home to find? She hadn’t expected her quest to bear fruit so soon. And the longer she studied his sun-bronzed, square-jawed face, arrow-straight nose and unyielding mouth, the more she doubted he was the one.

Those rakish features were hard, not gentle, and his hauntingly familiar eyes did not caress her like the ones in her dreams. Instead, they devoured her, making her stomach flutter and her heart race. When he boldly stared at her breasts, they tingled as if he were actually touching them. Stunned by her reaction, she inhaled sharply, catching the scent of shaving soap and virile male. She wondered if he would kiss her.

----End of excerpt----

Lyn will be giving away a FREE digital copy of Darlin' Druid.  Just comment below the interview for your chance to win. I added a short form so your email address does not display publicly.

Laurie:  Off to quite the auspicious start, huh? I really like it when there is great chemistry right off the bat.  And, I understand you also have an idea for a historical series set in Ireland. Can you give us a little preview of it?

Lyn:  Yes, this other series sort of on the back burner, for now, is set in Ireland. The first book is partially written. Opening just prior to the Irish Rebellion of 1798 – “The Year of Liberty” – the story will carry my conflicted main characters through the bloody uprising and lead them to a love strong enough to endure defeat. Titled Irish at Heart, this project finished in the semi-finals of the 2008 Orange Rose Contest. A sequel will star one of the supporting characters, a big, tough Scotsman with fists like iron and a heart in need of healing.

Laurie:  Sounds good, Lyn!  Let’s say your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

Lyn:  Ireland, absolutely! I’ve been there once on a whirlwind tour, but I’d love to go back and spend a week or two visiting the sites of the 1798 rebellion. That would be fantastic!

Laurie:  I should say so. Who knows, maybe you will get to visit again one day.  By the way, I am currently reading Darlin’ Druid and love it so far -  I’m about 40% into it and love that the magnetic attraction between Jessie and David evident from their first encounter just keeps getting stronger.

Thanks so much for chatting with me today, Lyn.  You have a delightful sense of humor and it has been my pleasure having you as my guest author.

Lyn:  I had fun, too, Laurie.  Thanks! 

Don't  forget to add a comment for an opportunity to win a FREE digital copy of Darlin' Druid. The lucky winner will be notified on April 17th. THANKS!!
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