Hello everybody and welcome to my Lynn Rhys interview. I had the wonderful pleasure of interviewing Lynn last weekend, and she was a blast getting to talk to.
For those of you who don’t know Lynn is the author of books such as Safe With Me, Scars on my Heart and The Christmas Bet. Her next release, which releases August 16, is the first book in the Darkwood Academy Series, From the Ashes. I got the amazing chance to be on her street team, and get an amazing eARC of it. I loved the novel so much and as I’ve said to Lynn, I AM SO PSYCHED for the next book in the series. I’ll attach a link to pre-order your copy of From the Ashes, which I did months ago and I think its honestly hilarious that I did that.
Before I continue to ramble on about Lynn, let me just give you the amazing interview.
Liz(me): So Lynn, when did you first start writing?
Lynn: I started writing in the fall of 2020 during the pandemic. I was furloughed from my job at the time and that afforded me the opportunity to do something I had always wanted to do.
Liz: A blessing in disguise as some would say. What was the inspiration for your first book- “What Led me to You”?
Lynn: So this may sounds weird, but being locked up. Everyone and everywhere was on lock down all I could think about was escaping. Getting out and just moving. So In What Led Me to You, she leaves a bad time in her life and starts fresh, starts a new chapter in her life. She needed that do over. Also, I have always loved romantic suspense so I knew it had to be the first book I wrote.
Liz: I like it! Sounds like it was a great way to work through the traumas of lockdown. So while looking on your website, which I love, I noticed you have your masters degree. What is it in?
Lynn: It’s an Executive Masters in Hospitality Administration. So I work in the convention and trade show industry here in Las Vegas. And Vegas is the convention capital! My Masters was for just that. I felt I needed to expand on my education in my career field, since my bachelors was in a completely different field.
Liz: That’s cool and super smart! I’ve never been to Vegas, but it’s on my bucket list. What advice would you give to someone who is currently writing their first book?
Lynn: You can’t please everyone. I say that because we write and hope that everyone loves our book, but that first time we get a bad review, it breaks us. You have to remember, not everyone will like your work, and thats okay! Don’t let it discourage you from writing more. Learn from your mistakes, get feedback from beta and arc teams. But just remember it’s your book, your characters, your story. In the end, if you’re happy, then you succeeded.
Liz: I love that! It’s so true and especially with all the hate in the world, it’s nice to remind yourself of that! As an author, and reader, what elements would you say make up good writing?
Lynn: Emotion is always key for me. I need to feel what those characters feel. When I am reading I want to get lost in that world with those characters, make me cry, laugh, angry. Make me want to throw my kindle across the room (I will never do that, don’t worry!)
Which brings me to the next thing, world building. Set the stage, let me immerse myself in it. Let me see what the characters do.
Third, is dialogue. I want to feel like I’m listening to an actual conversation take place in front of me. I can hear them saying it, seeing their facial expressions or reactions. Let me hear and see the characters interact. Let me into that world.
Liz: Yes, yes, yes!!👏🏻👏🏻 I totally agree, these elements are super important for me as a reader! If you could be mentored by any author, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Lynn: OMG. Ivy Smoak. The Hunted Series were the first books I had picked up during the pandemic that helped me through a lot of the stress before I began writing. And let me tell you about all the tissues I needed to get through that series. I devoured them! And have read them several more times. They are my go to and absolute favorite! She has this amazing ability to weave an entire world together to create stories and spinoffs from those stories, taking you on a journey in the character’s lives. James and Penny will always be my all time favorite. I absolutely love Ivy Smoak.
Liz: I’ve only read 1 book by her I believe, but she’s definitely on my list for more 😻 Have you ever traveled as research for a novel?
Lynn: One day, I would love too! (Though I have a complete fear of planes…) But also I have written in places I have been. Neighbors is based here in Las Vegas and What Led Me to You primarily took place in Illinois, which is where I grew up. For other books I do a lot of research before I begin writing. For Safe with Me I not only researched Wyoming, but cattle ranches and their day to day. One day I hope my own experiences and travel will be part of my writing, but for now I just make sure I can give them all that I can with what I have available to me.
Liz: At least you do your research! It’s better than the authors that try to explain someplace and just miss the mark completely! As an author what are some challenges that come along with social media?
Lynn: There is so many different platforms to keep track of when it comes to social media. Not everyone is on every single platform. So trying to market and stay current is a lot of work. I’ll be honest, it’s been a minute since I have even made a TikTok. It’s a lot of work to keep up with that algorithm.
But the other challenges, for me, come with being a romance author. Yes, my books contain the spice. And I want to market that, but that gets me and many authors in trouble. My posts need to be censored and brought down a notch for certain platforms. A post I can get away with on Instagram, maybe I can’t for Facebook or TikTok. Then that leads to me having to create more than one post. It becomes exhausting and daunting
Liz: The algorithm and things you can and cant get away are so diverse for each platform. As a content creator- I feel those struggles. It’s hard to keep up with the ever changing things of social media! What inspired your most recent work, From the Ashes?
Lynn: From the Ashes has been in my head since I started writing. But I knew it would be a series and I just wasn’t ready to write that. I needed to get some books out, figure out my flow and process. Figure out if I was even any good at telling the stories in my head. I knew this series had to wait.
The Phoenix has always been a symbol of importance to me. Something I have a connection with. That idea of rising from the ashes, a rebirth. It’s a beautiful mythical creature. That is what inspired this series. So much so, that the main character is even named Phoenix.
I wanted a character that embodied that fight, that persistence to survive. That no matter what knocks her down, no matter how many times she feels like giving up, she fights back. She never lets anything keep her down for long. She will rise again.
Liz: I love 😍 I’m so excited for the next book in the series. Especially because that cliffhanger was JAW DROPPING. Last question! When you finish writing a book, how do you celebrate?
Lynn: Fireball! Always Fireball! And maybe sometimes some karaoke. But also, writing the next book. Working on the next story rolling around in my head. You know what they say, no rest for the wicked.
At the end of every author interview I do, I ask the author if there is anything specific about their current work in progress they’d like to share with their readers. This is what Lynn Rhys had to say-
Sure. So, I know From the Ashes was dark. The next two books in the series, things get even darker. Which I stress to please check the trigger warnings on the books. I can’t say that enough.
But with that being said, it will be a rollercoaster of emotions with the next one. It’s been hard to write knowing my characters are going through what they are. I have had many emotional breaks while writing it.
Some things that were left hanging in From the Ashes we get answers in From the Darkness, and wow!
We learn a lot more in regards to the boys’ background, and their families. It sets a lot up for the third and final book in the series.
I’d like to give a huge thank you again to Lynn Rhys for doing this interview and for giving me the opportunity to do so. I had a ton of fun during it. I’d also like to thank all of you readers for reading this interview. I plan on posting a review of From the Ashes in a few days. If you’d like to see it earlier, check out my July monthly roundup.