Monday, February 17, 2014

Q & A with Lynnette Austin!



1. Tell us about your latest release.

Can’t Stop Lovin’ You, the third book in my Maverick Junction series, is a contemporary Western with a sexy-as-sin cowboy hero and a strong, independent heroine. Ex-high-school-sweethearts, Brawley Odell and Maggie Sullivan find themselves at cross-purposes. Brawley returns to Maverick Junction to follow his dream as Maggie prepares to head to New York City in search of hers.
Brawley Odell figured his life wouldn’t be worth one plug-nickel the second he stepped foot inside Maggie’s shop. Too damn bad. He hadn’t driven the thirty miles from Maverick Junction to back out now. He was goin’ in.
After all this time, he’d come home…and she was leaving.
He grasped the brass knob and shoulder-butted the oak door. It flew open, the bell overhead jangling. Maggie Sullivan, all that gorgeous red hair scooped into a jumbled mass, stood dead-center in the room. Dressed in a skirt and top the color of a forest at twilight, she held a fuzzy sweater up in front of her like a shield. Those amazing green eyes widened as he stormed in.
Maverick Junction, Texas, is the quintessential small town, full of quirky characters and neighbors who watch out for each other. It’s a wonderful town with people who are caring, funny, and down-to-earth—and did I mention it’s full of cowboys? Because it’s a series, we get to spend time with the friends we made in the first two books, get to head to Bubba’s Roadhouse for more of his famous barbecue! So slip into those favorite jeans, a comfy T-shirt, cowboy boots and hat and come along for a good read.

2. What inspired you to start writing as a career?

My mind is crowded with characters, all clamoring for their own stories. Scenes pop into my head day and night. So…I write. My first story, which, for the good of the world, is hidden away in a deep, dark place, was started as I drove cross-country with my ten-year-old son and his friend.  While the boys chattered in the backseat, I wove a story about a Nazi war criminal hiding in plain sight here in America. Writing that story, beginning to end, was great practice. It didn’t take long to realize, though, that my true love was contemporary romance.

3. When you’re not writing, what do you do for fun and relaxation?

I love reading, puttering in the garden, and walking on the beach. I’ve rediscovered jigsaw puzzles and enjoy movies. You’ve Got Mail, The Proposal, The Holiday, Serendipity—I’ve seen them so many times I can lip-sync word-for-word. J  My new favorite? Frozen!

4. What is a typical writing day like?
Even though I continuously promise myself I won’t, the first thing I do is check my email to see if there’s anything that needs taken care of, anything that can’t wait. Then I pull up my WIP and get busy. I like to work in the mornings, but with tighter deadlines I’ve found myself working most of the day. At the beginning of a book, I figure how many words per day I have to write to meet my deadline and stay at the computer till I’ve met my goal.

I generally start by reading over what I wrote the previous day and making light edits. Then I pick up where I left off. I’ve found it works so much better for me if I don’t stop writing at a chapter or scene end. I usually quit for the day right in the middle of a scene. That way, when I turn on my computer, I remember where I was headed and can jump right back in. I’ve already set the stage. This helps eliminate what many call writer’s block. There isn’t any where-do-I-go-today moment. I’m already on my way.

I seldom reread what I write that day. By the next morning, I can see it through fresher eyes and make better decisions. Besides, it’s extremely important to keep the story moving forward. It’s really easy to tweak and fiddle around with what you’ve written, but that’s not going to get you to where you can type “the end”.

5. Do you have an interesting writing quirk or habit?

I write in the shower. I know… What can I say? When that water starts to flow, so do the ideas in my brain. I’ve had the extreme pleasure of having two of the finest critique partners with whom a writer has ever shared her work. A couple times a year, we go on retreats where we spend the week absolutely immersed in our writing. It drives them crazy when I go in to shower and come out with an entire scene written. I don’t know why or how. I am, however, grateful. J

Nearest Thing to Heaven, the second book in my Maverick Junction series, takes places during the winter holidays. I wrote that book in Georgia in the dead of summer. To connect to that incredible feeling the holidays bring, I actually decorated a Christmas tree in my office, lights and all, and played country Christmas music nonstop on Pandora radio.  J 


6. What’s coming up next for you?

I’m busy putting together a proposal for another Texas-based series, starring two brothers and a sister. I’m really excited about it and think it’ll be a lot of fun. Another book, To Live or Die in Dixie, is in final edits—final author edits, that is.


7. How can readers connect with you online?

I’m fairly active on social media and readers can find me at:
            www.authorlynnetteaustin.com
Twitter@LynnettAustin


 Blurb:


Which to choose? The cowboy or the Big Apple? CAN'T STOP LOVIN' YOU pits handsome veterinarian Brawley Odell against hometown girl Maggie Sullivan. Maggie views the invitation to design heiress Annelise Montjoy’s wedding gown as her golden ticket out of Maverick Junction, Texas. At every turn, though, she bumps into Brawley, her high school sweetheart. He'd left her for college and a career in Dallas. But, now, country right down to the tips of his cowboy boots, he's returned to take over old Doc Gibson's practice while Maggie dreams of escape to New York City's fashion district. Brawley's never stopped loving Maggie. Can he talk her into hanging around long enough to give him a second chance? Long enough to talk her into designing a dress for her own wedding-to him?

Excerpt:

 

Brawley Odell figured his life wouldn’t be worth one plug-nickel the second he stepped foot inside Maggie’s shop. Too damn bad. He hadn’t driven the thirty miles from Maverick Junction to back out now. He was goin’ in.
After all this time, he’d come home…and she was leaving.
He grasped the brass knob and shoulder-butted the oak door. It flew open, the bell overhead jangling. Maggie Sullivan, all that gorgeous red hair scooped into a jumbled mass, stood dead-center in the room. Dressed in a skirt and top the color of a forest at twilight, she held a fuzzy sweater up in front of her like a shield. Those amazing green eyes widened as he stormed in.
“We need to talk.” He ignored the woman at the back of the store who flipped through a rack of tops.
“What the—?”
He held up a hand. “Don’t speak. Not yet.”
Her mouth opened, then closed.
Anger boiled in him, but he needed to find some modicum of control. Taking a deep breath, he held it for the count of ten, then slowly released it. “Did you plan on telling me?”
Her eyes narrowed, but she said nothing.
“You’re invited to New York City for a showing of your new line, and you don’t share that with me? I have to learn about it secondhand?”
“Last I heard this wasn’t about you, Brawley. In fact, my life, my business has absolutely nothing to do with you.”
His jaw clenched. “Anything that affects you is my business, Mags.”
She snorted. “Get real, Odell. You gave up any and all rights years ago.” Her head tilted. “Why are you even interested? You want to attend so you can show off your latest Dallas Cowboy cheerleader? Maybe order her trousseau?”
He shot her a deadly look, one that had made grown men back away.
Not Maggie. She actually took a couple steps toward him. The woman had no survival instincts. Another reason she had no business heading off to New York alone.
She tapped a scarlet-tipped finger on her chin. “Oh, that’s right. There’d be no trousseau for your honey, would there? Maybe a weekend-fling outfit for your date du jour? A one-night-stand set of lacy lingerie.”
“Shut up, Maggie.”
“Make me.” Her eyes flashed.
This time the look in his eyes must have warned her she’d treaded too close to the edge. She stepped back.
“You challenging me, Maggie?”
When she wet her lips, his gaze dropped to her mouth, followed the tip of her pink tongue as it darted out.
“Only one way I could ever get you quiet,” he said.
Her hand shot up. “Don’t even think about it.”
“No thought required. Been wanting to do this a long time now.” He closed the distance between them and dropped his mouth to hers. Fire. Smoke. Hell, a full-out volcanic eruption.



Bio:



Lynnette Austin loves Starbucks, Peppermint Patties, and long rides with the windows down and the music cranked up! One of the great things about writing is that daydreaming is not only permissible but encouraged. Somebody Like You, Nearest Thing to Heaven, and Can’t Stop Lovin’ You are the first three books in her new Maverick Junction series, contemporary romances set in Texas.

4 comments:

Pat L. said...

Sounds like a good story. Will have to look into her books.

Kerryn Reid said...

Go, Lynnette! Love your merry-go-round pic.

Marisa said...

I love your typical writing day! Love this story, too!!! :)

Diane O'Key said...

It's a fabulous series, Lynn! Keep 'em coming!!
Diane