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!!


Laurie said...

This is a test to ensure giveaway form works as expected. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lyn and Laurie! What an interesting interview. Please enter me to win the book, it sounds good.

Lisa said...

Sounds interesting thanks

Penny said...

Sounds like an interesting book and series. Lots of juicy parts.

Laurie said...

Hi Lisa and Penny, Thank you both from coming by and entering the giveaway. Good luck to you both. :)

Laurie said...

Hi Anonymous....also missed your post, sorry!! Thanks for entering and we appreciate you dropping by.

Leanore said...

I love this author, favorite western writer! Hello, Lynn. I met her on Jude's western thread. I was exhilarated that there were druids in Texas and I'm still looking for them. (just an inside joke) Great interview by the way, this blog keeps getting more splendid by the day!

Teresa K. said...

Hi Lyn & Laurie,

Loved the interview. And I love how you incorperated the Druid in with the western part.
I to am clairvoyant. It's hard to explain to people.
However, being Native American you tend to not question the Supernatural or the gifts that the Creator gives you.
Thank you for the contest.

Teresa K.

Sharon Buchbinder said...

Hi Lyn and Laurie--

Great post, intriguing excerpt and unusual combination of elements! Love the cats! We have 6 cats, too.

Wishing you lots of sales!


Laurie said...

Hi Sharon! Thanks for coming over...I always enjoy meeting other cat-lovers too!!! :) I just started reading Lyn's Six Cats in My Kitchen book and I am finding it completely delightful.

Laurie said...

Thanks for coming Leanore!! I'm glad you like the way my blog is evolving....your comments really gave me a lift!! :)

Laurie said...

Hi Teresa, You've been entered too...and I know exactly what you mean....some things happen and then something else happens that you never would have imagined, otherwise.

Lyn Horner said...

Hey everyone, I apologize profusely for not replying to your wonderful comments sooner. My only excuse is that I'm a writer. When I'm working I tend to forget everything else. So sorry!

I'm glad y'all enjoyed my interview with Laurie. She's terrific! Lyn

Lyn Horner said...

Lisa, yes indeed, DD does have some "juicy" parts. My daughter-in-law particularly likes the bathtub scene. :)

Lyn Horner said...

Leanore, you are a sweetheart! Thanks so much for your compliment. Haven't seen you on the western forum lately. Stop by and say hi when you get a chance. Hugs, Lyn

Lyn Horner said...

Eek! I got wrapped up in replying and almost forgot to pick up my husband from work. We have one car and when I need to use it, like today, I have to take Ken to work and pick him up after work. Thank goodness I looked at the clock just in time to get him.

Penny, I'm sorry. I addressed my reply meant for you to Lisa. Oops and double oops! I've been up late working the past two nights and my brain is a bit fried today. Please forgive me.

Lyn Horner said...

Theresa, how exciting! Clairvoyance is definitely a gift from the Creator. Anyone who doesn't believe it really exists should live in our shoes, my friend. I've often had premonitions that something was about to happen, but didn't know what. However, when I was pregnant I had prophetic dreams on several different occasions. The events didn't come to pass exactly as I dreamed but close enough not to be mere coincidence. Oh, and I also have a little Native American blood, either Cherokee or Choctaw.

Lyn Horner said...

Sharon, you're right at home here. Laurie and I are both cat fanatics. I'm glad to meet another.

Yes, I have combined two unusual elements. As I see it, there have always been some folks who possess special gifts, so why not in the Old West? Then too, it's fun to write a little bit outside the box.

Happy reading!

Barbara E Brink said...

Hey Lyn,
Your story sounds intriguing and your interview was fun to read. Diana Gabaldon is one of my favorite authors, I live in MN, and my daughter is an artist. We have so much in common:) Being clairvoyant, perhaps you can tell me if I'm going to win the free book or I should just go ahead and buy it now? :0)
Laurie, great interview! I'm glad I checked out your blog today.

Linda Swift said...

You know, I read this earlier and thought for sure I'd commented but I guess I didn't. So now I will. I liked this interview and the book sounds like a very good read. Is it still snowing up there in MN, Lyn. I hope not. I spend winters in FL as I like perpetual summer.
I wish you success with this book.
Hi Laurie, I like your new template. The buttons are cute.

Lyn Horner said...

We sure do have a lot in common! I hope winter has let up for you. Temps are in the 70s & 80s down here in Fort Worth. Nice, but we're also having lots of stormy weather.

LOL, no I'm afraid I can't predict who will win the book. Sorry! If you don't win, I hope you will buy DD while it's on special (through April.) Have a great day!

Lyn Horner said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed my interview with Laurie. I also love her fun new template.

From past experience, I'm guessing spring has finally sprung in Minnesota. It's warm and windy here in Fort Worth, making my allergies act up big time. (She says, coughing and grabbing tissue.)

Thanks for stopping by and for your good wishes!

Laurie said...

Hi everybody. I would like to announce the winner of this giveaway. The winning entry was selected using random number generator and is Teresa K! Congratulations Teresa!

MK said...

Lyn - Nice interview. I've already started reading one of the Druid books - steamy stuff. :)

Laurie - great blog!