Today we’ll enjoy an interview with author Lynne Cantwell. I just finished reading her latest novel, Crosswind, the first of the Land, Sea Sky series. I posted a review of “Crosswind” here on this blog, but I’m sure readers would prefer to hear from Lynne regarding her work and what went into it. I say we launch into the interview and perhaps readers will have comments or questions that can be directed to Lynne via the provided contact links. There are some promotional links at the end of this interview.
Let’s get started:
Q: Would you mind giving readers a quick overview of the plot line for CROSSWIND (Land, Sea, Sky #1)?
A: Sure. The book opens ten years after the Second Coming, when Jesus returned and brought the pagan gods and goddesses with Him. They’ve all entered into a pact to make the Earth a kinder and gentler place for humanity, and they’re making good progress. But of course, the people who were running things before the gods came back – the military-industrial complex and organized religion – are scheming to seize control again. So the gods have drafted three humans to figure out these folks’ scheme and defeat them.
Q: Where and how did you decide on the theme and setting for your novel?
A: I started thinking about where the world would be, ten years after the return of the gods, and realized those who had run the place into the ground wouldn’t give up easily. With that, the setting was a given: if the “bad guys” are the power mad, then the book should be set in the seat of power – Washington, D.C.
Q: Who or What inspired you to write this book?
A: I guess I’d have to say it’s the same thing that inspired me to write the Pipe Woman Chronicles: a wish, however hopeless, for somebody with some authority to show up and force the people in charge to live by the Golden Rule, if you will.
Q: What genre would you say is a best fit for Crosswind?
A: I keep calling it urban fantasy, but there aren’t any vampires or shapeshifters in this series – just gods and goddesses.
Q: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
A: About a month. I started it sometime in late August or early September, and finished it in the last week of September. I’ve taken to writing my first drafts in a rush, NaNoWriMo style.
Q: How did you decide on the point of view you used to present your characters?
A: The Pipe Woman Chronicles were in first person, from Naomi’s point of view. Originally, I thought Land, Sea, Sky would also be in first person, and I figured the first book would be from Tess’s point of view. But I realized as I began the planning for the book that I would need to see some scenes through other characters’ eyes, too. I dislike third person omniscient – I call it the “little did he know” point of view, because it’s so easy for the author to tell major plot points instead of letting them happen organically – so that left third person limited, which is what I settled on.
Q: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
A: Maybe Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, or some of Charles de Lint’s work, in terms of bringing pagan gods to life in modern America. But the plot of Crosswind is more like a thriller in some ways. Plus there’s a romance, which puts it in Patricia Briggs’ or Carrie Vaughn’s wheelhouses, except without shapeshifters. You begin to see my problem….
Q: Who do you think should pick up a copy? Maybe you could tell us a bit more about how you decided on your target audience.
A: You’re assuming I had a target audience in mind. I thought fans of urban fantasy and paranormal romance would like my books, but I’ve been surprised by the number of men who have read and enjoyed them.
Q: I understand this is not your first published novel and your first series is in the same world. Can you tell us a little about your world building? Could you tell us a little bit about your process?
A: One of the great joys of writing urban fantasy is that the setting is our current world, which vastly simplifies world building. You know from the get-go that there will be only one moon, that kumquats will be called kumquats, and so on. The flip side is that you need to be as diligent as a writer of contemporary fiction about getting the details right. So I find myself double-checking street names and poring over photos in Google Earth. And too, inserting magic into our prosaic world, and making it believable, is another challenge.
Q: Have you ever thought about doing audio versions of your novels?
A: Yes, and I even bought a microphone last winter with that in mind. But that’s as far as I’ve gotten with it. As a former radio person, I know it’s not just a matter of sitting down and reading my work for the folks at home; multiple takes will be involved, as well as at least some production, and I just haven’t had the time to start. I could hire voice talent rather than reading the book myself, of course, but I’m cheap.
Q: Are you working with a publisher specializing in partnerships with independent authors? As an Indie, others will want to know what your publicity and marketing Strategy is.
A: My first novel, The Maidens’ War, and two of my short stories were published by Calderwood Books, but I’ve self-published everything since then. I’ve always been in charge of my own publicity, and my so-called strategy has basically been to throw stuff up against the wall and see what sticks. My smartest move, though, has been to hire the Finishing Fairies for the launch of Annealed, and again for Crosswind. Kriss and Kai are brilliant at what they do and I love them to pieces.
Lynne, I’m so glad you took time out to share what went into the writing or “Crosswind” and your personal views on the writing process and marketing strategy. I can honestly say that I think your writing craft is top drawer and that your decision to work with Kriss and Kai at Finishing Fairies will serve you well. I’m sure other readers, once they read your work, will be eager for more.
Lynne Cantwell has been writing fiction since the second grade, when the kid who sat in front of her showed her a book he had written, and she thought, “I could do that.” The result was Susie and the Talking Doll, a picture book, illustrated by the author, about a girl who owned a doll that not only could talk, but could carry on conversations. The book had dialogue but no paragraph breaks. Today, after a twenty-year career in broadcast journalism and a master’s degree in fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University (or perhaps despite the master’s degree), Lynne is still writing fantasy. In addition, she is a contributing author at Indies Unlimited.
GIVEAWAY is a DREAM PILLOW from the American Indian Museum store + A signed paperback, another signed paperback and a $10 Amazon GC by clicking the Rafflecopter
Fans can follow Lynne at:
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TWITTER – https://twitter.com/@LynneCantwell/
Don’t forget to check out Lynne’s author page on Amazon: