The Long and the Short of It is pleased to welcome Lynn Hones, whose latest book Gore Orphanage Road was released in March by Devine Destinies.
I asked her to tell us a little about it.
Alexis Duncan and her family move into a home once owned by an evil tyrant, and are blissfully unaware of the horrors that await them. Strange apparitions, orbs floating in the woods outside their windows, and frightening specters in their bedrooms are only the beginning.
Alexis alienates her hardcore boyfriend, Joe, and his cronies, after meeting a young man named Reed who understands the manifestation of ghostly occurrences. He sets out to save her from them and also from an insanely jealous Joe. He'll kill to save her, even if it means losing Alexis in process.
Lynn has been writing for about forty years, she told me. Her first book came out in 1969 and was titled: Bubbles the Bear and Dinkles the Duck.
"It was such a hit with my brothers and sisters I wrote The Further Adventurs of Bubbles the Bear and Dinkles the Duck. I was nine years old and they were self-illustrated, self-bound, and, I guess, self-published," she remembered. "When my mom died and we were cleaning out her house, I found them in the top drawer of her dresser. I couldn't believe she kept them for over forty years. I also wrote poetry, which my brothers and sisters kindly remind me of at family gatherings. One favorite is 'Whales, whales, where are the whales, swimming in the ocean blue, Whales, whales, where are the whales, those whales I once knew…' It goes on, but you get the point."
Lynn told me that she writes on her bed. She has a big green, antique, wicker "bed table kind of thing" with her files, notebooks, pens, packs of gum, candy, and her computer.
"I just pick it up and put it on the ground at night and pick it back up in the morning. My bed is the center of my and my family’s universe. It’s huge with feather bedding and tons of old quilts. Very homey filled with my cats and dog and kids and their friends…homework…you name it. Hell, come on over," she said with a laugh.
Her characters are modeled after people she's met, however briefly, and her plots come to her mind like daydreams. The fun part, though, is dreaming up her titles. She pictures the book on a shelf and just starts putting words on it in her mind. The hardest part of writing her book?
"Having an active family. Two busy kids, a hubby, animals, friends, and commitments at the schools, phone calls, shopping and cooking and cleaning. GUILT. But, I let people know, writing is my job and I need ME time."
"What is your work schedule like when you are writing?" I asked.
"Stick an I.V. in me and put me in a room. I can write for days without being interrupted," she said. "Alas, it isn’t so, but some nights we have take out and, gasp, the kids wear their underwear two days in a row."
When she's not writing, however, she loves the beach and collecting beach glass, which she makes into jewelry. She also enjoys sewing things for her home.
Lynn's favorite book of the ones she's written is her first, Those Who Wait.
"It’s a sweet romance, kind of along the lines of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," she explained. My second, The Cult of Light and Lies is completely different, more chick-lit, but it was fun to write. My third, A Love That Wouldn’t Die, is a paranormal romance and a little racier, but not too much. I laugh too hard when writing love scenes. My fourth, Laugh in the Dark, is strictly a ghost story, but with a twist. My fifth, Gore Orphanage Road, is also a ghost story."
On a personal note, Lynn told me she has to have a dog in the house.
"My house isn't a home without one," she said. "I also have to have a cat and a hamster and fish, too."
Lynn is Scottish and Finnish on her mom's side and English and Welsh on her dad's.
"I’ve had a grandparent fight in every war the US has had or been in," she told me. "My great, great, great, great grandfather, (I don’t really know how many greats…actually) fought in the revolution."
Some other things you might not know about Lynn.
When she eats a pack of gum, she doesn't eat just one piece at a time; she chews the entire pack at one time.
A saying she uses a lot is "knock it off"—to her kids when they are bugging her
When she was in China, she ate camel
She also ate something that looked like a brain. "Only a tiny bit when I found out the cook didn't even know what it was," she added.
She's absolutely terrified of thunderstorms while loving them at the same time.
She's also afraid of the dark and sleeps with a nightlight on.
She not only can't tell the difference between Pepsi and Coke, she doesn't care. She only cares about which one is on sale.
Finally, I asked Lynn, "What advice would you give a new writer just starting out?"
"Take the cotton out of your ears and put it in your mouth. Listen to anyone who can give you advice. Absorb it like a sponge. Also join a writers group. The best advice I got was from someone who told me to cut an entire chapter. It was a lovely chapter. I worked hard on it. I was insulted. I drove home crying. I then cut the chapter out. The book read much better afterwards. I thanked her the next meeting."
You can keep up with Lynn on her website, http://www.lynnhones.com