This week we are shining the Spotlight on new adult paranormal author Lynn Rush. Having written 25 novels to hone her craft, she scored a book deal with her Wasteland trilogy and has unique experience of having her publisher open a new adult line showcasing Lynn as the line's flagship author. Read along as we take a peek into the life of this genre-breaking author and talk demons, male point of view and the hot new entry in romance, New Adult.
Welcome to the Spotlight Lynn, it's great to have you here! Hang around you for a bit and it becomes obvious you have remained devoted to a variety of sports over the years, including tennis, mountain biking, inline skating and running. It is just for the exercise or does it play into your writing process?
Oh yes! Tennis. Gosh, I haven’t played in years, but I still hold it very close to my heart since I was raised with it. Started in 6th grade and stuck with it through college. Even helped pay the bills in college a little! **yay** I was raised by athletes—my dad was a marathon runner my mom an avid tennis player. So, competition and training have been ingrained in my very DNA. So, when I started on this writing journey I can see how that trickled into the picture for sure! Writing takes time, dedication, training, and along the way you suffer little sprains and pulled muscles. So, I fit right in! It does help with the writing process, though. I spend hours on the road biking or running so the ideas flow freely while I’m out there enjoying the fresh air and warm sun! LOVE it!
Your stories are told from a male POV, highly unusual in the romance genre. Did you choose that twist and does it change how a romance story is told in any way?
The Wasteland Trilogy is all from the male POV, and I’m surprised it came out that way. For Wasteland, David just spoke to me, so I had to go with the first person. And when Russell and Durk started getting into the picture, they each needed their own voice, too. So, the results were three books, each with a different male POV. It’s unique, yes, but I’m so glad Crescent Moon Press took a chance with that **and** the New Adult category!
I think writing from the first person, male POV does change how the romance story is told, because men are not known for their high quantity of words. They are very introspective believe it or not, they just don’t blurt much of it out. Have you ever read the stat about how many words a guy says in a day compared to a girl? Give it a guess in the comments, let’s see if you guys are close---and no fair Googling it! **grin**
Second thing, men are visual. So, all of the Wasteland novels are visually stimulating. I’m getting a lot of feedback that they play out like a movie, which was what I intended since that’s how they came to me—in movie format.
What was the most difficult aspect of writing for you early in your career and how did you ultimately conquer it?
Early on there were two things: One: I had NO clue what I was doing. I didn’t know the craft. Heck, I didn’t even know what POV was! So, I had a lot to learn, but thankfully I found some AWESOME crit partners who held my hand and with their help, I kept writing, learning more and more with each novel, each class I took and each convention I attended. Of course I’ve gone back to rewrite a bunch, but that’s okay. It’s never a waste to write or rewrite. You learn every time you do it.
Second thing was that my characters were too old for YA but too young for Adult…so I was kind of floundering for a long time. Again, I just kept writing what I loved and thankfully this New Adult category came up. So, I’m stocked and loaded with NA novels to start shopping around!
In the Fall of 2010 you attended some editor pitch sessions here on SavvyAuthors that ultimately ended in a contract with Crescent Moon Publishing for Wasteland. Those endings make us happy, and we also love to hear stories about getting “The Call”. Can you tell us about yours?
Oh gosh. That’s a GREAT story. SavvyAuthors is even in the Wasteland acknowledgements because of how I got published.
I pitched in the chat room…believe it or not, I was able to type with shaking fingers that could have registered a ten on the Richter scale. Marlene was so awesome. Sweet, nice, and encouraging. She requested three chapters of Wasteland so I sent them the next morning. A few weeks later Steph emailed asking for the full. The very next morning I had a contract offer! What an amazing time.
I’m super honored to be CMP’s flagship author in the New Adult category. And that they believed in my half-demon, first person, male POV story!! I’m truly blessed!
You are heading to Denver for RomCom in June where readers will have a chance to meet you in person. What will you be doing while there and what can your fans expect when they attend?
I can’t wait for RomCom. It’s going to be fantastic. I’m involved in a few of the author/reader events throughout the few days, specifically the book signing event Saturday night.
Those are my favorite. I just love meeting the readers face-to-face, hearing about what they like to read. The best was when someone came up to me and said, “Oh, you’re Lynn Rush, my friend just read your book. I have to get it.” I mean, first, that just made my day. But second, I got to meet the reader! Putting faces to those who read my work just makes me smile! I love hearing what people thought about the stories. And yes, even those who didn’t necessarily care for it. It’s all good.
As far as what can they expect when they attend? RomCom is looking like it’s going to be TONS OF FUN. Lots of activities and interaction. From me personally? LOTS of energy. I’m kind of known for it. But I’m sure I’ll have some fun things to giveaway, last minute “meet me here” tweets and FB posts…just never know.
If you had to choose one book that has had the biggest impact on you, what would it be and why?
This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti. The way he described demons rocked my world. It was his writing that triggered the very first story I ever wrote (which will more than likely NEVER see the light of day it’s so bad!) But it got me going on this awesome journey.
You are a devout Christian who happens to write about demons. What is your take on the concept of demons, do you believe they exist and if so, what should we make of them?
Oh, and don’t forget, a devout Christian who writes ROMANCE! Ohhhh…watch out.
No, seriously…I believe demons are out there. Now, are they the scary, long-toothed soul-suckers I write about? Probably not. Do they float around invisible waiting to pounce like Frank Peretti writes about? I’m not really sure. What I can tell you, we, as humans, all have struggles whether it’s some form of addiction, food issues, depression/anger, mental health issues…whatever. Those things bog us down, our own personal demons. But there is always hope! That’s a key theme in all of my novels—and my life. There is always hope. How I face my demons is through my faith, family, and friends. We’ve got to live life together, it helps us find hope when things are bleak.
In April you launched a contest seeking submissions for the cover artwork that will grace Violet Midnight, the lead novel for your second trilogy due out October, 2012. Cover art is usually tightly controlled by the publisher so how did this innovative contest evolve, and how are the submissions looking so far?
That’s what is so unique about Crescent Moon Press. They are a boutique publisher—they have more leeway with how things are run. So when my PR people presented this fun event to them, they got involved. They are part of the entire process and still have final say, but it’s exciting to see what the artists out there come up with. So far I’ve gotten a sneak peek at one of the submissions, and it’s really evident to me the level of talent out there! So, if you’re an artist, send in your entry!!! June 15th is the deadline.
Awaited is your newest release (May, 2012) continuing the story arc begun in Wasteland. Can you give our readers a peek into the book and main characters?
Oh yes. Russell **le sigh**. We meet him in Wasteland. He’s the Guardian who goes head-to-head with David more than once in Wasteland. Russell was just too yummy—I had to give him his own book.
How about a little snippet from the novel to show a little bit of Russell?
I breathed into her, then turned and drew in a gulp of air and let it flow into her. A gentle scent of sandalwood and sugar wrapped around me. Coiled me in warmth. The woman flinched beneath me.Finally, what are your future plans? Will you stay with the trilogy format and the New Adult genre, and do you have any future stories on the burner you can share with us?
I tilted her to the side and water spewed from her mouth. A tremor rocked her little body. The crackle of a flame, and the scent of burning leaves filled the air. “There you go. Get it out.” I patted her back.
She flopped back and her eyes opened wide.
The same honey irises I’d seen a hundred times in my dreams stared at me. “Can you hear me?”
The lids hung heavy over her dilated eyes, then slid shut.
“No. No. Stay with me.” I patted her shoulder.
Durk joined me, kneeling beside her on the other side. I pressed my finger to her neck.
“She’s got to be in shock. Freezing. Get that fire going.” I peeled my shirt over my head as I stood. “Find all you can to get a small shelter formed around the fire.” I ripped at the belt securing my soggy pants to me. “I’ll warm her up.”
Wasn’t exactly how I’d dreamed I would first lay with a woman, but I’d be damned if I was going to let her die.
She was mine.
I love trilogies. Three seems about right to me. But hey, you never know with me. I go with what comes to my heart when it comes to writing, but for now, I’m thinking trilogy format works for me. New Adult is my primary. I have a few Upper YA novels completed as well, but they’d cross over nicely with the New Adult and adult audience. I just love that age range (16-25). I’ve always felt they’d been neglected because there was usually only the sweet YA romances and then the hot and heavy adult romances, so I’ve had fun writing for the “middle.”
Future stories…oh yeah! I’m going to focus on getting through the next four novels I have releasing with over the next eighteen months, but I’m sure I’ll find some time to write a few more stories. And who knows, I might even release a couple of my stories via self-publishing. You just never know…
Thank you so much for having me here. Your questions were super fun.
See You In The Paranormal…
Thanks so much for taking the time to chat with us today! You can learn more about Lynn by going to her website, Facebook and Goodreads. You can also follow her on Twitter.
For more information on our Spotlights, feel free to leave a comment or private message me from my profile page.
Driven to write, Lynn Rush often sees her characters by closing her eyes watching their story unfold in her mind. Book reviewers say that her plots are well developed, and the writing is strong and full of artistic details – stunning in both characterization and her action-packed storylines. A prolific author who began her writing career in 2008 now has more than 25 novels to her credit. Lynn Rush is a pen name that is a combination of two sources – Lynn, the first name of her mother-in-law, who passed away and Rush – since the author is a former inline speed skater and mountain biker. All of Rush’s books, including “Wasteland,” are dedicated to Lynn, her namesake. Rush holds a degree in psychology from Southwest Minnesota State University and a master’s degree from the University of Iowa. Originally from Minneapolis, Rush currently enjoys living in the Arizona sunshine by road biking nearly 100 miles per week with her husband of 15 years and jogging with her two loveable Shetland Sheep dogs.
Awaited Russell Leonard is a centuries-old Guardian who’s lost faith in his purpose. So when he’s charged with procuring the first female Guardian in over two centuries, he can only hope it’s the red-headed beauty who’s been haunting his dreams for months. And if it is, he intends to claim her as his. But when he finds his dream woman, Annabelle is mute and bears no Guardian’s Mark. He soon realizes she’s been tainted by an ancient evil. Russell must somehow release the secrets trapped within this delicate, mute beauty, to help her tap into the only weapon powerful enough to silence a millennia-old demon—her voice.
Ria Boulay, Spotlight On Editor, writes paranormal romance and young adult. A former paralegal now working as a judicial secretary, she previously spent six years as the general manager of, and writing for, a large, metaphysical website. With her husband and two utterly impertinent Italian Greyhounds, she divides her time between New Hampshire and Cape Cod. When not writing, she spends her spare time rescuing homeless gargoyles and relaxes by riding her Harley.