This week, Meet the Voices features Lynn Squire. Lynn grew up on a farm in Southern Alberta where she spent her days playing a pioneer or a character from a book (and every so often succumbing to her parents’ work ethic). Her imagination would take her to faraway places and on grand adventures. But her greatest adventure began when the Lord Jesus Christ rescued her from a passage to destruction and became her captain for a voyage to a better shore. While she admits to occasionally straying from His intended course, her faith in Him infuses her writing.
Lynn now resides in California with her husband and three children, and she corrals her vivid imagination into short stories, novels, and creative nonfiction. This led to the creation of her book Best of Faith, Fiction, Fun, and Fanciful.
What is the biggest writing challenge you’ve encountered this past year – craft, career, writing life, etc?
Perhaps the greatest challenge has been balance. While the kids were in school, I could write focused, but when summer vacation came I set my mind to enjoy my kids and keep family first. Writing for me requires an intense focus and the whole of my brain. While the kids are about, this level of focus has not been available.
How did you solve it? (Through My Book Therapy or any other writing help)?
Part of the solution has been adaptation. I am working on the sequel to my historical novel set in 17th century Massachusetts. The sequel is set in Rhode Island during the latter part of the 17th century. Much of the summer, therefore, has been committed to researching and outlining.
To adapt, I cut back on extra writing, i.e. blogging less, fewer articles and short stories, etc. I also get up at 4:30 am for my devotionals and just carry on writing until the kids get up. We keep them up later at night so they sleep in and give me another hour of writing in the morning.
I’ve involved the kids in my research. My story has pirates, and we’ve all enjoyed getting to know a bit of pirate lore. The kids have watched videos with me on the area and the history, and every week, we make a trip to the library. They join in with the summer library activities, and I sneak in a little extra research.
I’m anxious to get into the serious writing of this novel, but getting the kids involved with my research has made that aspect of writing just that much more fun.
What is the one thing you learned that you can share with other writers?
I finished reading and making notes on The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler in June. Since then I have been taking time to compare his plotting structure with others (such as James Scott Bell’s, Susan’s Plotting Roadmap and Michael Hauge’s Six Stage Plot Structure). As a result, I am discovering the Hero’s Journey in almost every movie and story I encounter. This journey is something I wish I had learned years ago and would love to share it with others.
Tell us about your current WIP.
Josephine in Dawn over Narragansett Bay finds life with her former servant, now sister-in-law, unbearable. Add to this bitterness against the religious for the death of her husband and with her brother for suggesting she marry his apprentice, she finds plenty of reason to leave. The alluring Baron Pepys offers her a position at his home and she readily accepts. Unwittingly, she enters the world of piracy.
The charm of Baron Pepys wears off as Josephine sees his ill-treatment of his slaves and others. She befriends an Indian woman who reveals the true identity of Pepys and the demise of the real baron. Josephine also discovers he looted her brother’s shipping company, but the evidence points to her. Arrested, she waits to hang for the false baron’s crimes. Will the apprentice, whose hand in marriage she rejected, sacrifice his reputation and future in order to provide proof of her innocence?
Visit the My Book Therapy forum and the Meet the Voices thread to talk with Lynn and discuss her writing. On Friday evening, My Book Therapy will host a chat at 7 pm EST, 6 pm CST with Lynn as our guest. To access the chat forum:
- Log onto My Book Therapy.
- Click on the forum button.
- Sign in with your username and password, if necessary.
- Along the bottom of your browser window, you will see MBT Voices Chat. Click on that and the chat window will pop up.
- Your name will show up in the box on the right hand side. To comment, type in the box in the bottom under the yellow smiley face.
- If you have any questions, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and put Chat in the subject.