Tell me what makes Lynda Cox “tick” as an author or a person or both:
A couple of things can really speed my heart rate and keep me keepin’ on—When I’m not writing or researching for writing, I show dogs. Collies, specifically. Looking at a litter of puppies, evaluating them, pinning a few dreams to them, that makes me smile. Showing those dogs makes me happy. In my writing life, research makes me happy. It can be frustrating, but it also makes me happy. And, my readers are the biggest reason I keep doing this. If I can make one person smile with something I’ve written, I’ve accomplished something. Meeting readers at conventions and book signings is the best part of being an author. Even if those readers don’t read in the genre I write in, we can usually find books we’ve both read and share those books. Writing and reading might be solitary pursuits, but the act of talking about favorite books is a shared experience.
Do you have a muse or a person who inspires you to write? Tell us about them:
That fully depends on the hero and that changes from book to book—though I have noticed a trend. Most of my heroes tend to be dark headed and blue-eyed. Henry Cavill has been one of the muses. I think he’s been a muse for a lot of authors. I first took notice of him in The Tudors. I’m showing my age with a few more of the muses—but Clint Walker was another of the muses. Harrison Ford (the Han Solo version) was another muse.
Of all the books you have written, tell us about your favorite one and why it was your favorite:
Smolder on a Slow Burn is my heart book. I know, as an author, I’m not supposed to have favorites (it’s rather like asking which kid of mine is my favorite), but that this question is here says a lot of authors have favorite books. Smolder started life many, many years ago as a contemporary romantic suspense. The hero was based on a Marine officer I met while I was dating a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy. That officer simply exuded pure, raw animal magnetism and put a fit, confident man in a formal dress uniform—dangerous combination to an impressionable seventeen-year-old. For NaNaWriMo one year, I pulled the original manuscript out and thought about revamping it. It was much too dated. It could almost pass as a historical at that point. So, I started playing the “What if…” game with myself. What if I turned it into an actual historical? What if they both had a past one of them was running from and the other was avoiding? I threw them on a train headed in the right direction—AWAY—and started writing. When I wrote A.J.’s first line of dialogue between him and Allison, as he tells her to go sit down before she knocks him out the door of the moving train, I knew it would work. I love these two so much, I wrote a sequel which is now my fifth book published through the Wild Rose Press.
What book are you working on right now? Do you have a release date you can share with us?
I’m working on three at this moment. One is for a series I’m writing with Kari Trumbo and Christi Corbett. The other two are for the Brokken Road series with Abagail Eldan and P. Creeden (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07K2L3VDD ). Of those two, one is a Christmas novella for an anthology and the other is a stand alone within the series. These will all be self-published, and I don’t have a firm release date, other than November 4 for the anthology.
Other than writing, what else are you passionate about?
I’m passionate about my dogs and the push back against the animal rights activists. I’m all for animal welfare. Don’t get me wrong, but there is a HUGE difference between animal welfare and animal rights. Our rights as pet owners, as farmers, as ranchers have been steadily eroded over the last several decades and it frightens me.
What have you found to be the most difficult part of being an author?
Bad reviews. I try not to take them personally but those are my babies someone didn’t like. I have to laugh though about one really bad review I received. It was a one-star review for my first book with the Wild Rose Press. The reviewer admitted she hadn’t read the book, she couldn’t remember ever buying it but there it was on her Kindle, and because it wasn’t even in a genre she would read, she blamed me for that book being on her Kindle. Seriously? For the most part, I don’t look at the bad reviews, but that is one I still look at to remind myself common sense doesn’t grow in everyone’s garden.
If money were no object, what philanthropic contributions would you make and why?
First of all, I’d donate a boatload of money to a scholarship maintained by the English Department at my alma mater, Indiana State University. The Pfenning Scholarship is for declared English majors and when I was the first ever freshman to earn that scholarship, it guaranteed I could afford to continue my program. Secondly, I’d donate to Gary Sinese’s Foundation for members of the armed services. Lastly, I’d donate to Adam Driver’s Foundation which encourages the arts for service members.
Tell us about your most memorable moment as an author:
Wow. This is a tough question. There are so many. The moment I got the e-mail from the Wild Rose Press offering me a contract on my first published book. The first time someone other than my family and close friends contacted me and wanted to buy my book and asked me to autograph it. (That was a total head-rush!) Getting nominated for the RONE with Smolder on a Slow Burn. Being a finalist for the RONE and ultimately being the runner up for the RONE with West of Forgotten. Self-publishing my first book—so I guess that makes me a hybrid author.
Do you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert? Why?
I’m an introvert. I’m horribly, horribly shy. Big surprise there, considering I taught college freshman composition for two years and I’ve been showing dogs for almost 40 years, but I really am very shy. Book signings and conferences are very difficult for me because I tend to hang on the edges, prefer to not be noticed, and suffer from extreme anxiety in large groups of people.
The sky is the limit…tell us anything else you would like to tell us…
To aspiring authors, I have some advice. Write, write, and write some more. Read, read, and read even more. Read in your genre to learn the standard tropes, then note how established authors take the standard tropes and twist them and turn them on their heads. You can take the rules and bend and twist them, but you have to know what the rules are first before you can do that. And, if you do bend and twist the rules, you have to know why you did that.
Where can readers find you? Please list your social media, website, and other links you’d like to share below:
My webpage: www.lyndajcox.com
Author Persona on FB: https://www.facebook.com/LyndaJCox/
My Street Team on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/273089652815599/
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-J.-Cox/e/B009LW3JZ6