Sunday, August 02, 2009

AUGUST AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT - Lynn Raye Harris




Lynn Raye Harris Bio:

Lynn Raye Harris read her first Harlequin Mills & Boon romance when her grandmother carted home a box from a yard sale. She didn’t know she wanted to be a writer then, but she definitely knew she wanted to marry a sheikh or a prince and live the glamorous life she read about in the pages. Instead, she married a military man and moved around the world. She’s been inside the Kremlin, hiked up a Korean mountain, floated on a gondola in Venice and stood inside volcanoes at opposite ends of the world.

These days Lynn lives in North Alabama with her handsome husband and two crazy cats. When she’s not writing, she loves to read, shop for antiques, cook gourmet meals and try new wines. She is also an avowed shoeaholic and thinks there’s nothing better than a new pair of high heels.

Lynn was a finalist in the 2008 Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® contest, and she is the winner of the Harlequin Presents Instant Seduction contest. She loves a hot hero, a heroine with attitude and a happy ending. Writing passionate stories for Harlequin is a dream come true.

INTERVIEW:




I would like to congratulate you on your debut book Spanish Magnate, Red-Hot Revenge. Can you tell us about the book?

Lynn Raye: Hi, Marilyn, and thank you for having me on Romance Author Buzz! I’m excited to be here and share my story with everyone. Spanish Magnate, Red-Hot Revenge is about what happens when a passionate romance goes wrong.
My heroine, Rebecca Layton, was once completely in love with Alejandro de Ramirez. But all was not as it seemed and Rebecca fled when Alejandro betrayed her. Alejandro blames Rebecca for a series of events in his life that led to a tragedy he can never get over. The best way to punish her, he believes, is to take away everything she holds dear. But Alejandro doesn’t count on the very real, and still very hot, attraction they have for each other. When these two get together, it’s only a matter of time before they go up in flames.

Do you plot your stories or let your characters lead you?

Lynn Raye: I definitely let the characters lead me! Typically, I have two people and a situation when I start. I never know where the characters will take me. For me, that’s part of the fun! I’m never bored and I almost always end up surprised.

How long have you been writing and what was your call story?

Lynn Raye: Oh gee, how long have I been writing? Well, if you count the short stories I wrote about horses when I was in 3rd grade, it’s forever. I’ve written romance on and off for years, though I finally got serious five years ago.

My call story is a bit different because I first won the Harlequin Presents Instant Seduction contest. Though I didn’t get a contract with that win, I got an editor for a year. And that call truly felt like the first sale call.

The day the editors announced on the I Heart Presents blog that they’d found a winner, I truly didn’t expect it would be me. I thought I’d written a good entry, and I hoped to get a request for more. But at 6PM, I realized I’d missed a call on my cell phone -- and the country code was from the UK. Took me another fifteen minutes of searching to find out the number belonged to HMB.

Since it was midnight in the UK, there was no hope of another call until the next day. I had a LOT of trouble sleeping, believe me. By noon, I’d given up and figured it had to be a mistake. A few minutes before one, my new editor called to tell me I was the winner. I felt like I’d won the lottery!

The actual call to buy my book came almost six months later. It was every bit as exciting as the first, though not nearly as shocking.


What are you currently working on?

Lynn Raye: I’m in the very beginning stages of a new book. So far, there is a priceless jewel, a family rivalry, and a heroine who wants revenge. Beyond that, I don’t know much! And every bit of what I just said could change by the time the book is done.


What is the best thing about your job as an author? What is the hardest thing?

Lynn Raye: The best thing about being an author is the freedom I have to create stories I would want to read (while working in my pajamas!). I hope that when a reader plunks down her hard-earned money on one of my stories that she isn’t disappointed. I really want to give readers that same escape I always find in the pages of Harlequin Presents novels. When I get an email or letter telling me how much someone enjoyed my story, it just makes my whole day.

The hardest thing about being an author is the temptation to surf the Internet when I should be working.

What kind of daily schedule do you have? What types of things interrupt your writing? Describe a day in the life of Lynn Raye.

Lynn Raye: I try to treat writing like a job, so I get up in the morning and go upstairs to my office. Of course I do this in my pajamas! I drink coffee, read email, check Twitter and blogs, etc. Then I open the current document and try to start typing. Sometimes it takes a while, other times the words flow. When my hubby comes home in the evening, I spend time with him. If I’m on a tight deadline, I go back to work after dinner. Otherwise, we watch television or read -- or, in summer, we go to the pool.

Writing interruptions seem to come in myriad forms! I have two cats who never seem to understand that I’m in the middle of a scene. My family is good about not calling while I’m working, but that doesn’t stop the various organizations who want money. I don’t answer, but the disruption of the ringer is annoying.

What suggestions would you have for beginning writers as far as "breaking into the business”?

Lynn Raye: I always say the same thing when I’m asked this question. But the truth is this: never give up. It’s both that simple and that hard. You have to educate yourself about the business (Romance Writers of America – RWA – is good for this if you are a romance writer), you have to read and write a lot, and you have to have faith in yourself. I didn’t always have that faith, but when I finally found my voice, I knew I’d be published if only I didn’t quit.


What is something you definitely want readers to know about you?

Lynn Raye: I am passionate about what I’m writing! I want to entertain my readers. I am so honored and humbled to know that people will pick up my books with the hope they’ll be swept into another world. I want to do that for them. Each and every time, I want to give them their money’s worth. When I sit down to write, I put my heart into it. I hope it shows.


What are you currently reading?

Lynn Raye: I am reading all the Harlequin Presents authors out this month with me, of course!

Who are your favorite authors?

Lynn Raye: I can’t name them all simply because we’d run out of space, so I’ll just have to say that I love all the traditional Harlequin Presents authors. They each tell such marvelous stories, and I find myself quite caught up each month. I have all sorts of favorites, really. There are so many talented writers working in romance these days. But I can’t name them because I’d accidentally leave someone off the list and then I’d feel bad!


What kind of research do you do for your books?

Lynn Raye: I’ve traveled around the world, so I often have impressions of places that stick with me. When I know I want to set a book somewhere, I dig into any maps and photos I may have collected. I also read travelogues and guidebooks, and I’ll search Google for photos of a place.

As for the characters, it depends. In Spanish Magnate, Red-Hot Revenge, Alejandro is an ex-bullfighter. I didn’t research bullfighting in depth, but I do have a copy of Hemingway’s Death in the Afternoon, which is all about bullfighting in Spain. I looked at photos of toreros, and I remembered the pride of my tour guide in Spain as she explained the tradition. She was able to impart the honor of the fight in such a way that I understood why it was important. I have personal reservations about bullfighting, but I understand the culture of it.

With this book, I also have to acknowledge a debt to a most wonderful person. Madeline Smyth is a corporate attorney who came to my aid when I needed to figure out how Alejandro could have possibly taken Rebecca’s company away from her. Madeline explained corporate mergers in detail. It was quite fascinating! Naturally, any errors I’ve made are my fault, not hers.

As for the other two books I’ve turned in, I set them both in Mediterranean kingdoms I made up. They were loads of fun to write!


Before I let you go, is there anything I forgot to ask that you want the readers and fans to know?

Lynn Raye: I would simply like them to know that I’d love to hear from them! Please visit me at my website, send me an email, or leave comments on my blog. I’d love to know what they think of my stories.


Lynn Raye, thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with me!

Lynn Raye: Marilyn, it is such a pleasure to be here! I’m honored you asked me to be your guest.

4 comments:

Playground Monitor said...

I'm visiting my mom on the Georgia coast and brought along Lynn's book as I hadn't quite finished it yet. So it became a beach read for me and I can now say I'm done. I LOVED Alejandro -- bad temper, bullheadedness, arrogant attitude and all. I wasn't much of a Presents fan, but I think that's going to change now -- especially for Lynn's books.

I've gotten to know her over the past couple years since she moved to our neck of the woods and joined our RWA chapter (and that's a great story in itself). She's worked hard and deserves every bit of success she gets.

Marilyn

Cynthia E. Bagley said...

Lynn,
I was so excited when I found your book this week. I will be reading it soon.

Best friends forever,
Cyn

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Marilyn all of you at Writing Playground are wonderful and I've had the priviledge of reviewing both Lynn Raye and Kimberly's debut books.

Cyn and Marilyn, you're going to love Lynn Rayes and can find my review on Amazon, The Pink Heart
Society or at Marilyn's Romance Reviews.

http://marilyns-romance-reviews.blogspot.com/

Lynn Raye Harris said...

Hi, Marilyn (PM)! Awww, now you've made me blush! If you liked Alejandro in spite of himself, I think you'll really like Prince Nico in the next book!

Hi, Cyn!! I hope you like my book! Hard to believe we used to meet up and do little writing prompts, hmm? :)

Marilyn, thank you! I am so happy over all your nice words in the review. I'm glad my story entertained you! Thanks again for having me here!

 

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