I asked her some questions about writing, gave her some prompts to finish...and as usual, she was an open book. She gives her perspective as she now is writing the next books in the Mind Over Madi series.
What’s your favorite part of writing a book?
Definitely the beginning. Coming up with the concept, planning my opening, thinking of a title.
When the well runs dry, how do you recharge your creative energy?
Nice follow-up question to the last one. Though I start my books with a bang, I tend to peter out around the half-way point. I find what helps me is taking some time to sit down and plot out the next few chapters. I come up with ways to make my story more interesting, perhaps by throwing a curveball, such as a death, pregnancy, or another unexpected element.
Do you keep regular hours in writing? What’s a typical day when you’re writing?
I wish I could say I am one of those insanely disciplined writers who sinks into my computer chair every morning and doesn't come up for air until I reach a specific word count. But that's not me. I write when I can and try to schedule writing time a few times per week. However, now that I'm on a deadline for book number two in the Madi series, my "typical" day may start to look a little different. I have a feeling I'll need to scrounge up some of that discipline I so desperately need.
The biggest enemy of my writing is….. Time! Not enough of it, that is. Continuing from the previous question, I need to learn how to better organize my time and exercise more discipline.
My best ideas come from or when….. real life.
People I know - personality traits, quirks, habits, looks - provide me with plenty of ideas for characters and plot lines.
I still can’t get the hang of…. comma placement.
Seriously! Fortunately, I have critique partners who are comma Drill Sergeants and love to keep me in line.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate the accomplishments? Ice cream!
What do you know now in writing that you wish you had known in the beginning?
I know now how to follow my gut and not listen to every piece of advice thrown at me. At first, I tried to follow everyone's suggestions and I ended up making a mess of my story. Of course, it's always good to receive good instruction and input, but no one knows my book like I do. Listening to too much advice can sometimes cause the unique voice to get lost. It's important to stay true to your own personal writing style.
Any advice to the readers who wish to publish a book?
Find a good core group of critique partners who understand your genre. And put on your "patience hat." This is a looong process.
(Crystal's advice...Lynda and I both belong to a fabulous organization called ACFW --join up to find your soul sisters and brothers!)
Any special techniques for building your characters? I don't do any extensive character outlines, but a valuable piece of advice I received is to really get into the mind of my characters. Motivations are huge. Knowing why my characters do what they do is key to creating characters that readers can relate to.
About your book/topic/characters:
Is there anything in your book that intersects with your personal life?
There is a lot of me in my main character, Madi. Insecurity is something I’ve always struggled with. As a child, I was very shy. As a teenager, I was insecure about everything, which resulted in a lot of rebelling and contributed to hundreds of my mom’s migraines, I’m sure.
As an adult, early in my marriage I experienced some of the insecurities Madi deals with, regarding her husband and his faithfulness. That isn’t something I deal with anymore today, but I still have similar insecurities about what others think of me, as well as doubts about God’s love for me. Other ways I’m like Madi is that we share bad eating habits, a love for coffee, a tendency to waste hours of time playing computer games, and an insane fear of spiders.
What do you want readers to take away from reading Madi’s story?
An understanding of just how infinite God’s love is. That no matter what we’ve done, God will never stop pursuing our hearts or desiring a relationship with us. His mercies are new every morning and His grace covers our weaknesses, our mistakes, our ignorance.
What were your biggest fears concerning your book? How do you feel about speaking about the topic?
My biggest fear is how I'll deal with the negative reviews. It would be nice if everyone loves my book, but let's be real. Pleasing everyone just isn't likely. It's a vulnerable place to be. But that's okay. Lots of growth comes out of vulnerability.
I have very little experience with public speaking, but I hope to gain more confidence in this area. I'd love to speak to women about overcoming insecurity and truly seeing themselves as the princesses they are.
LYNDA LEE SCHAB got her writing start in greeting cards (Blue Mountain Arts, Dayspring) and from there went on to write articles and short stories (Mature Living, Christian Home & School) and in many places online (including www.Examiner.com and www.wow-womenonwriting.com), but her passion has always been fiction.
Mind Over Madi, her debut novel, is near and dear to her heart. Lynda admits she has a lot in common with the character of Madi. Not only are they both addicted to ice cream, chocolate, and computer games, they struggle with the same types of insecurities and continually require a hefty dose of God’s grace.
Lynda works behind the scenes at FaithWriters.com and is a member of ACFW. She is a regular book reviewer for FaithfulReader.com and is the Grand Rapids Christian Fiction Examiner and the National Writing Examiner for Examiner.com. Mind Over Madi received Runner-up in the 2007 FaithWriters Page Turner contest, was a finalist in the 2007 RWA Get your Stiletto in the Door contest, and won second place in the 2008 ACFW Genesis contest, Chick Lit category.
Lynda lives with her husband, Rob, and two teenagers in Michigan.
Mind Over Madi: (Published by OakTara)
Madi McCall admits her husband lacks a little in the romance department, but all in all, he’s been a good husband, a good father. Now, though, she suspects Rich is having an affair with Fawn Witchburn, the mother of one of his fourth-grade students. To say Fawn shows off her “assets” more than should be legally allowed in public is an understatement, and Madi’s insecurities kick into high gear. When, in a heated moment, she asks Rich to leave and he complies, Madi is forced to deal with her issues--issues of love and trust she’s tried so hard to avoid. Issues that trail all the way back to her childhood and make her act like a total moron.
Find Lynda Lee Schab:
|Lynda, When She Was Just a Kid, phoning her future!