INTERVIEW: LYNN CRAIN

Long and Short Reviews is pleased to welcome Lynn Crain, whose newest release is “A Lover for Rachel”–a short story about a young woman, Stonehenge and a wizard—available from Shooting Star Books.

“I just love the log line on it: The magic of love comes to everyone, ” she told me. “I couldn’t think of a thing and my cover artist had the story and when she sent me the cover, there it was. How special is that?”

She’s currently working on about ten new projects, she told me, so wouldn’t/know where to start is telling me about what’s coming up.

Margaret Mitchell inspired her to write the summer she turned eleven. Her family was just about to move from Ohio to Nevada and Lynn started to keep notebooks of what she was writing. She was so inspired by Rhett and Ashley, Melanie and Scarlett, that she could hardly contain herself. She wanted to write the next Gone with the Wind.

“How do you develop your plot and characters?” I asked.

“Interesting question. Sometimes I don’t, they tell me how it’s going to be and I move along the line they have chosen for me. Sometimes I write down ten things I want to happen in a chapter, sort of a loose type of outline and go from there. Sometimes, I know the characters and not the plot, or know the plot and not the characters. By the time I have the first third of the book done, I have both down pretty well and will go back to clean up anything that doesn’t fit before I move on.”

In May, Lynn and her husband moved to Vienna, Austria, for his job. They looked for a space they felt was “old Vienna” and found a wonderful flat next to Palaces Schwartenberg and Belvedere.

“I have the coolest writing space. My window looks out over the grounds of Schwartenberg and I can see the garrisons of Belvedere out it. I have a glass desk that I call the love desk as it is covered in the word love in a lot of different languages. My husband and my son picked it out for me. I have a supply cabinet, a printer cabinet and lots of boxes still as we’ve never got our bookshelves ordered yet,” she said with a laugh.

She tries to keep her writing schedule aligned with her husband’s work schedule—he leaves for work around 8 in the morning and comes home between 6 and 7.
“If he works at night, I work. If he wants to play, I play,” she told me. “It just works out better that way.”

There are times, however, she will go through periods where family and personal situations make it impossible or nearly impossible to write. She’s never really suffered from writer’s block, per se, but she did tell me, “I do suffer from actually NOT sitting my butt in the chair and getting done what I need to write. That to me is totally different than being blocked from my muse. I write something every day be it fiction or non-fiction. The key for me is to not stop writing. I have more ideas than I have time. I’m thinking about selling them!” She laughed.

I asked Lynn how she distinguished between pornography, erotica, and erotic romance.

“For me, erotic romance is like any other romance except the love scenes are hot and use all the words. There must be a HEA or a HFN ending. Erotica is sex for sex’s sake i.e. titillation. There is nothing beyond the sexual encounter or relationship. Pornography is the worst of sex in my book. Most of it is made by men for men and offer nothing in the way of redeeming value in many cases.”

“What is your most interesting writing quirk?” I wondered.

“Well, I really only have one and it’s really not concerning the writing itself. I’m a lot like Joan Wilder in the beginning of Romancing the Stone. I have post-its everywhere with tidbits of information. Some of them actually make it to where they are supposed to but many don’t. Right now, I have seven under my keyboard sticking out and reminding me I need to deal with those items. I have sixteen around the edges of my monitor with various other things. If I’m really in a cleaning mood, I’ll start doing them and pulling them off. Many are just notes that need to be typed and go into the idea file but some are things that need to be done. I make post-its and lists for everything,” she admitted with a smile.

When she’s not writing, if she’s in the States she loves spending time with her family and friends. Since they are in Austria, they travel and she spends a lot time with her Parsons Russell Terrier, Harry.

“We got him over here when we learned that we couldn’t bring my dog from the States,” she told me. “I was a little lost and needed a companion for when the husband traveled. He’s an adorable little dog that has his own blog called, Call Me Snarky Boy.”

Finally, I asked, “What research books do you recommend for authors starting out in writing erotica?”

“There are a lot of good ones but some of the better ones are out of print now. The Sex Bible by Susan Crain Bakos is really good as are all her books. No relation,” she told me with a laugh. “Any book by Anne Hooper like The Ultimate Sex Book. The ones listed so far are illustrated books. Tickle His Pickle by Sadie Allison is a really fun book. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the Kama Sutra. There are many versions out there. I have a copy of the original that has reproductions of the pictures. It’s really nice and probably cost a pretty penny…it was a gift from my husband. Look for a good tantric sex book as well. Also Sex, Self and Society by Tracey Steele and Real Sex for Real Women by Laura Berman go into the psychology of sex and more. Both are really interesting. Hit book sales and garage sales, looking for anything that might help in learning what is considered erotic and what isn’t. Even within broad definitions, things vary greatly. I’ve probably read more than 100 books about sex and I know I don’t know it all. I never will. Just pick a place and start.”

About the Author:

Lynn Crain realized at an early age she wanted to write. She took the long way to being published by doing a variety of things like nursing, geologist, technical writer and computer manager all of which have added to her detail-oriented stories. Now she’s a full time storyteller and weaves fantasy, futuristic and paranormal tales as well as erotic stories for various publishers. She normally lives in the very hot southwest with her husband, son, two dogs, three cats and she’s gotten rid of her snakes. Don’t ask. Other members of her clan live nearby and include a son, daughter-in-law and two grandsons as well as various long-time friends. She is a past national board member of the RWA; founding president of Las Vegas Romance Writers Chapter of RWA; has held the positions of president, vice-president, secretary and contest chair of EPIC. Her latest adventure has taken her to Vienna, Austria with her husband as he works for a UN affiliated organization. You can find her hanging out at A Writer In Vienna Blog and various other places on the net (www.theloglineblog.blogspot.com; www.twitter.com/oddlynn3). Still, the thing she loves most of all is hearing from her readers at lynncrain@cox.net.

www.LynnCrain.com

www.LynnCrain.blogspot.com

www.facebook.com/oddlynn3

Rachel Hamilton comes to Stonehenge to celebrate her birthday on Summer Solstice, only to find herself trapped beneath the massive rhyolite bluestones with sexy wizard, Dewin Kingston, who convinces her that she is the key to their escape.

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