Today I am thrilled to welcome fellow Solstice author Lynne Marino!
Please tell us about yourself.
I was born in north county St. Louis, which is part of where “Five Things” takes place. My grandparents were German immigrants who had a small bank account and an enlarged work ethic. My father’s side of the family have an amazing sense of sarcastic humor. I lucked in the marriage department, as my husband is a far better cook than I am (it’s an Italian thing). I have two children that we tried to instill a sense of humor into regarding life and all its vagaries. Like my characters in “Five Things”, I strive to find something good in every day. As Mel Brooks might say, “Hey! You’re alive! Shut up and quit your complaining.” Oh! And I could easily spend the rest of my life touring Roman ruins. Do you know of any in Ohio?
What are some of your favorite things to do?
Sleep! Just joking. I like to walk dogs, dance with my husband, read, read, and read some more. Did I mention reading? I also like to hike, if it’s a flat path. Seriously, one of my goals in the next few years is to walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall, although I hear there’s a bus that will take you to every spot along the wall, so faking it for Facebook is also a possibility.
Why did you decide to write novels?
To empty out all the “wouldn’t it be funny” and “what if’s” running around wreaking havoc in my head. You know, people really stare at you when you laugh out loud in public settings.
How much of your personality and life experiences are in your writing?
More than I want to think about. My characters do some crazy things. And, they can never keep their mouths’ shut.
When did you first think about writing and what prompted you to submit your first ms?
I won a contest for best story in the fourth grade. After that, I think I was hooked.
Do you have a set schedule for writing or do you just go with the flow?
No, I’m half German. There is no flow, there are only schedules. Really, just joking. I try to write every other day for at least four hours. After that, I try to put in some time studying marketing.
What about your family, do they know not to bother you when you are writing – or are there constant interruptions?
Are you kidding? They haven’t a clue, but I love them so I will put down anything to help one of them out – if they need it. And there’s the rub.
What do you do to relax and recharge your batteries?
My husband and I do ballroom dancing. No laughing. Seriously (and I really hate being serious), there is not a time when I haven’t come out of a dance class or a dance party when I haven’t felt happier than I did before I went in. I also love to people watch, and walk dogs.
Where do your ideas come from?
I think they’re a mix between watching people, hearing stories, reading the news, and incidents in my own family life.
Do you feel humor is important in your writing, and why?
Humor forms the basis of everything I write. The drama comes second.
What kind of research do you do?
Whatever is necessary. For example, when I wrote the “Cha-cha Affair”, I had to research Medicare fraud and cheating the IRS. That was interesting. With “Five Things”, I researched public health campaigns and academic tenure, as well as Italian hand signals. Researching the meaning of those hand signals was a blast. It’s amazing the things you can tell someone with those hand signals, and they don’t even know it.
Do you have a favorite author? Favorite book?
Frederick Backman is my favorite right now, but he didn’t write my favorite book. Probably, “The Book Thief” is my favorite, and I will confess to loving the Harry Potter series.Who are some of your other favorite authors to read?
Carl Hiaasen, Jennifer Weiner, Markus Zusak, Gillian Flynn, Jojo Moyes, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Charliane Harris, and every author at Solstice Publishing.
What do you think of critique groups in general?
My critique partners are necessary evils. Just joking. You are a lucky writer if you have a small group of writers who will tell you the truth. Sometimes you don’t want to hear it, but if more than one of them is saying the same thing, you’d better listen up.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Hopefully, not in the mirror. Seriously, I intend to write several more books that I hope bring tears of laughter and joy to people.
How many books have you written, how many have been published?
I’ve written five novels, and only tried to publish two. I am half way through a third comedy romance that I like enough to try and get it published. It’s called, “The Third Time’s The Charm”.
After you’ve written your book and it’s been published, do you ever buy it and/or read it?
A one-word answer. No.
Among your own books, have you a favorite book? Favorite hero or heroine?
I like all my protagonists, or I wouldn’t have been able to finish the books.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?
Ha! Finishing the book.
If you weren’t writing, what would you be doing?
Thinking about writing.
What is your greatest desire?
I’m living my greatest desire. I’m writing things that make people laugh about life.
Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?
Make sure you enjoy the agony of writing. Have your writing professionally edited prior to submission. Do a cram course in marketing before your first few books come out.
Please tell us about your latest book.
I had two comedy romances published within months of each other, both by Solstice Publishing. The first was, “The Cha-cha Affair”, and the second was, “Five Things.”
What can we expect from you in the future?
More humorous novels with all too human characters, and a short story collection called, “Tales Of The Tucson Almost-Angel”.
How do we find out about you and your books?
Go to Solstice Publishing online to find out about me, as well as the publisher’s other authors. I also have an author page on Amazon and Facebook, as well as a website. Click on the links below to find out more.