Thursday, September 17, 2015

An Interview with Lynn Cahoon

By Pamela James

MM2: Lynn, give us your backstory on when and how you became an author?

I decided I wanted to be a writer in middle school when a high school girl from the bus taught me how to write and illustrate my own stories. (We cut pictures out of Teen Beat for the hero/heroine.) Then when author wasn't offered as a major in college, I went a more practical way. Fast forward a few years and in 2007 I was diagnosed with cancer. I realized then, tomorrow may not be promised so I made today my someday.  

MM2: Take us thru a typical writing day?

Since I have a day job, I get up at 5 and either write or do my social media stuff. Then at lunch, I write either a blog or work on the current project. Finally, if I haven't hit my word count by the time I get home, I sit down for another session. My daily goal is 2K.  

MM2: Where is your favorite place to write?

My office at my desktop computer. But I also write at the cabin sitting in the shade on the deck. I tend to get more distracted there.  

MM2: Do you often visit your public library?

 I'd like to say twice a month, but really it's probably monthly to pay my fines and get more audio books. I commute to the day job and listening to books keeps the road rage at bay.

MM2: Do you re-read your favorite books?

Yes. I've read Illusions probably twenty times. The Stand was my summer go to book for several years.   

MM2: If you could have lunch with five author dead or alive who would you invite and what would topics would be talked about with the authors? Also if a meal is involved what would it be?

First the food, let's do Italian so we can order wine and linger over dessert.  Now, who would be at the table? Stephen King, Robyn Carr, Deborah Harkness, Heather Graham, and my bestie -Laura Bradford. (I'd want Laura there otherwise she'd never believe me. LOL) Topics would included writer's block, mixing promo and the creative side, finding time to write, and where the ideas come from. I also want a yearly standing lunch to reconnect.  

MM2: Tell us about your latest book? Tell us about your series? How many books have you written?
Killer Run is all about Aunt Jackie signing up Jill and South Cove to sponsor a 5K. "Do a run, they said. It will be fun, they said." Of course, it's not fun for one body.  Here's the blurb. 
 Jill Gardner—owner of Coffee, Books, and More—has somehow been talked into sponsoring a 5k race along the beautiful California coast. The race is a fundraiser for the local preservation society—but not everyone is feeling so charitable…

 The day of the race, everyone hits the ground running…until a local business owner stumbles over a very stationary body. The deceased is the vicious wife of the husband-and-wife team hired to promote the event—and the husband turns to Jill for help in clearing his name. But did he do it? Jill will have to be very careful, because this killer is ready to put her out of the running…forever!

The Tourist Trap series is all about the shop owners and residents of South Cove, California. I love this quirky little town and would love to live there, holed up in a writer's attic garret. 

I have six cozy mysteries, four contemporary sweet romances, four novellas or anthologies, and three paranormal romances. I'm also working on a new mystery series and have two contemporary romantic trilogies that I'll be self publishing in 2016.

MM2: What is your favorite advice to give writers?

Never give up, never surrender. Writing isn't a sprint for most people. You have to stay in the game long enough to find your audience and improve your craft.    

MM2: Tell us bout where you live? Be our tour guide and what are your favorite attractions?

My little riverside town is historic so there's lots of places to visit that I learned about when I studied American History in high school on the other side of the country. We can start at the Mississippi riverfront, then visit the first Illinois State Penn (or what's left of it), jump over to the Lincoln Douglas debate statues, and then visit the cemetery where Elijah Lovejoy may or may not be buried. Finally we'll walk through what I like to call antique central and visit a ton of antique and craft stores.

MM2: Tell us what your future writing plans will be?
For the next year plus, I'm working on three new stories for the Tourist Trap mysteries. And in 2016, I'll have a brand new series, The Cat Latimer mysteries. Cat is returning home after running from a messy divorce and setting up her new business. It's fun and set in Colorado, so I'm enjoying the writing. 

MM2: I love your book covers. Do you have options or is it up to the publisher?

My editor and I talk about the feel for the cover and what I'm looking for, then they do their magic.  

MM2: Is there a mentor, teacher, friend or writing village you would like to thank for their encouragement?

I think my membership with Missouri Romance Writers taught me the basics of how to write and how to get published. My friend, Laura Bradford, became my taskmaster, I mean, fellow goal setter to spur me on when the writing got rough.  

MM2: Before you became an author what was your life like? Did you have hobbies or traveled more or less?

Ha. Before I became an author, I watched television. I just cancelled my cable because I wasn't watching more than an hour or so and I haven't missed the service. But before that, I also played league darts. It's amazing how much time that hobby can take up of your week. 

MM2: The first time I read one of your books it was because Terri, gifted me with the book. I was hooked and love the Tourist Trap titles. So for you what comes first, the characters, plot or setting and is there any one character that gives you more of a challenge to write?

For the start of the book/series, it's the setting. I knew for years I would write a story about South Cove because when I visited the area, it just stuck with me. Now, I think about what mess or activities Jill can get into.  Sherry's been hard to write because I don't know her as well as the other characters. I think sometimes she says things she really doesn't mean, but she thinks it's expected of her. I look forward to finding out more about her in future books. 

MM2: What would your characters want us to know about you?

What do I want anyone to know about me? Jill would tell you I'm kind hearted, emotional, and love my dogs. Aunt Jackie might mention my business savvy (or lack of in her eyes.) Josh would tell you about the antiques I've purchased or own. And Greg might just tell you I'm a good citizen that doesn't cause any problems.  

MM2: I would be remiss if I didn't ask you these fun questions. What is your favorite meal, movie/s, dessert, place to vacation or visit, song, season, flower and drink?

Favorite meal - hard one. I love food. Let's say anything seafood. Shrimp, scallops, lobster, Yes, Please! Dessert - brownies or vanilla ice cream or both. :) Place to vacation? The beach. I love Daughtry's  Waiting for Superman and Battleships. Season - Fall. Flower- Red roses. Drink? Flavored sparkling water, club soda, or if I'm really drinking, Beer. 
MM2: After a busy writing day. How do you de-stress?

Working out. It's amazing how you can burn off that excess energy with a good workout

MM2: Lastly, give us a brand new quote by you?

I hope everyone realizes that they are the number one person in their lives. I think as women, we're taught to take care of everyone but ourselves, but we need to learn that we can't thrive if we don't take care of ourselves.   

Lynn Cahoon
New York Times and USA Today best selling author


  1. I have to say, I love The Stand - it is one my all-time favorite books!

    1. It's such a great world. You get totally invested in the characters. I love it when he writes in this style.

  2. I have to say, I love The Stand - it is one my all-time favorite books!

  3. I love this interview. You are one of the best series authors on today's market. I am happy you didn't give and kept writing and I am also vey happy you are well now. Please continue to take care of yourself. Can't wait to read more books in your series.

    1. Thanks Pamela! This was a fun interview to do. I'm glad you're enjoying your trips to South Cove.

  4. I enjoyed the interview but have to admit the best part was reading about your writing plans for the next year. Your characters are awesome! Thanks.


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