Welcome to my blog interview with novelist, Lauren Lynne, author of The Secret Watchers Series.
Lauren Lynne, formerly known as Lauren Klever, is the author of the young adult fantasy, action-adventure series, The Secret Watchers. She graduated from both Oregon State and Portland State universities with degrees in education. Writing has proved to be a great stress reliever and escape. Lauren focused this series toward teen reluctant readers but has drawn in enthusiasts of all ages. She’s passionate about sharing her love of reading and writing with them.
The Pacific Northwest, with its vivid and varied panoramas, is where Lauren makes her home. When she’s not writing, she can be found spending time with her family, working with students, reading, gardening or hiking around Mt. Hood, the Columbia River Gorge or the Oregon Coast. Watch out for the lady with the camera, it may be Lauren scouting out the perfect shot for her next cover.
Thank you for agreeing to do the interview. To start, what genre do you consider your books?
I find this to be an interesting question. You didn’t ask what genre are they but what do you consider them to be. Kudos, Robin! The truth is that, what we as writers believe something to be is not necessarily what the public takes them to be, right? I wrote my books to target young male reluctant readers with the hope that they would appeal to all young readers. The great irony is that my adult audience is even larger than my kid audience. My protagonist is in eighth grade in the first novel. With each book he is a year older. I believed I was gearing my books to students in sixth grade and up. They are filled with action, adventure, suspense, a dab of paranormal and a touch of romance all wound together in the contemporary world.
What are your current projects?
I have many things happening all at once. I’ve come to realize that I thrive on a certain level of chaos. Life has put me behind in the goal I set for myself and book five of The Secret Watchers series, Destiny, was not ready in December. It is still with the editorial team and has not yet gone out to beta readers. While that is percolating, I am working on my first dystopian. I am in negotiations with another writer for a co-authored Pirate novel for middle graders. I also have a co-authored fantasy and a children’s book up my sleeve. The keyboard never gets a rest!
UPDATE: Lauren has five novels out in her Secret Watchers Series. Additionally, she has released her dystopian, The Recalcitrant Project.
Do you write with music or in silence? If you prefer music, what kind?
I can write in silence but I much prefer music. When I started I listened to rock, alternative and pop. Some of my favorites are Nickelback, Maroon 5, Coldplay and Hinder. I still listen to those on occasion but sometimes I found I was listening to the song and not letting it do its job of helping me think. Now I listen to soundtracks or epic movie music. Which leads us right into…
Do you have playlists for any of your books or characters?
Why yes, I do! I’m listening to The Hunger Games soundtracks as I write my dystopian. As I wrote The Secret Watchers books, I listened to music from the TV series Arrow, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and some miscellaneous Epic Action & Adventure tunes from iTunes. Yep, I’m totally into the moving instrumentals right now. I can almost see the action when I hear it!
Do you ever experience writer’s block?
Most of my writing life, I have been plagued by too many ideas. Now that I am going through a particularly busy time in my life, I find that sometimes when I sit down to write I’m blank. I think I have too much life in my head and not enough story. When that happens I know it’s time to take a break. I need to go for a walk, read or do something with friends. It’s time to live. I talked a lot about music earlier and that really helps me too. Sometimes just rereading a passage helps me ease it into the next piece of the story.
How are you the same/different from their main character?
When I first started The Secret Watchers, my focus was on Owen, the protagonist. I’m not like him. He is the best parts of my boys, their friends and my students. He’s not perfect and he struggles with integrity, honesty and making good decisions but he has a really good heart. Owen’s mentor, White Eagle is a bit of my dad, my dad’s best friend, who is a karate instructor and a grandpa who was one of my boy’s scout leaders. Owen’s mom, is… me. She says what I would say if Owen was my son. As the mother of a junior in high school and a sophomore in college, I can tell you that it is difficult to balance letting them grow up, learn and explore on their own and still protect them from the world. The trick is teaching them to take care of themselves. It is not an easy task.
What does your family think of your writing?
My family has been very supportive. My parents have helped to fund some of my endeavors and my boys have not only given me many ideas, but they have done some beta reading and delivery of books to school libraries.
What is your favorite motivational phrase or positive saying?
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou. I often see this quote in the school where I substitute teach. It means a lot to me too and I keep working on myself to be that kind of a person. I want to be a positive influence.
Thank you so very much for having me over and I look forward to sharing your interview with my fans.
I would like to leave readers with one last thought. Please share what you think about the work of indie authors. I, like many indies I know, really do listen to my fans and non-fans. I read every comment that is written about my books and continually try to learn from them and work on myself. Having said that, I also believe that it is important to stay true to myself and the stories I have written. Please share with me – for how can we grow without fertilizer?!
THIS OR THAT—The Speed Round
Which do you prefer – Reading or writing? Both, it depends on my mood.
Writing during the night or writing during the day? I see the beauty and advantages in both.
Writing from home or someplace else? Most of my writing happens at home but many ideas happen away from my desk.
Reading an ebook or print? Print!
Buy books online or buy in a bookstore? Yes! Kidding – either is fine.
Weather: Hot or Cold? Warm? A week of snow is plenty but I do love to watch it fall.
Not too hot but I love the idea of summer.
Music or Silence? Music please.
Classic Fairy tales or Fairy tale retellings? Retellings.
Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla, so I can add goodies!
The Beach or The Mountains? Beach, though the mountains are nice too.
The World being taken over by zombies or sexy blood sucking vampires? Vampires seem cooler but I think I’d have better luck outsmarting a zombie. I have no personal experience with either.
(Thank goodness – I’m afraid I’d be the dead body.)
Time travel to the future or past? Future.
Facebook or twitter? There are things I like about each of them and things I’d change if I could.
Being able to fly or being able to go invisible? Invisible, I get motion sick.
Bookmark or Dog eared? Bookmarks and Post-its!
1st character POV or 3rd character POV? 1st character POV. I like being in the protagonist’s head.
City or Country? Suburbs. I love the country but I like good restaurants and movie theaters.
Pen or Pencil? It depends on what I’m doing and love choices.
Polk-a-dots or Stripes? Solid or a little print.
Pancakes or Waffles? Waffles and a side of bacon.
Books or Movies? I love them both.
Coffee or Tea? Depends on my mood.
Elbows the size of pumpkins or knees the size of watermelons? Um? Neither. It would interfere with my hiking and picture taking.
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