By Jeff Reynolds
Today, my guest is Lynette Eason. She is the author of several books -- I'll let her tell about them. I'm enjoying reading one of her books, When A Heart Stops (book two of her Deadly Reunions series).
Jeff Reynolds: Welcome to the blog, Lynette. I trust you’re having a blessed day. If I read correctly, did you publish your first book in 2007? What got you interested in writing?
Lynette Eason: Thanks for having me, Jeff. And I am having a great day. You read correctly. I got the call on February 16th, 2007 that Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense editors, Krista Stroever and Emily Rodmell, wanted to publish what would become Lethal Deception. Lethal Deception released in February 2008. It was a LONG year! LOL. As for what got me interested in writing, I was a stay-at-home mom and my husband travelled with his job. Needless to say, I was lonely quite a bit of the time and so I decided to keep myself company with my imaginary friends. <G> My daughter was nine months old when I started writing, so when she slept, I wrote. And with my husband gone quite a bit, I had a lot of time to pound out the story. At first, I wrote just because it was something to fill the hours. Then I started learning more about what writing a novel was all about thanks to a mentor named Dee Henderson and by the time I finished the first book, I wanted to see if I could get published. Eight years later, it happened.
JR: While math is usually a good subject for me, I lost count. How many books do you have currently published? Do you work on just one book at a time?
LE: LOL. I’ve kind of lost count, too. And I don’t mean that in an arrogant sort of way. I really don’t bother to keep up with the number because it’s not very important to me. BUT, for those who want to know, I’ll figure it out. I have six books out with Revell (counting WHEN A SECRET KILLS releasing May 1) and fourteen out with Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line. I also have a short ebook out with Revell called GONE IN A FLASH. It’s a continuation of the Women of Justice series. I have six more books still contracted with Revell that I need to write and I have eight more books with Love Inspired Suspense (I’ve already written two which will be out later this year.) I also just finished a 10,000 word short read for Harlequin which will be a free online read. It will span a period of four weeks, one chapter per day for twenty chapters. So, yes, if you want to read the whole thing, you have to log in every day for twenty days. Ha. So, how many is that? 6+14 = 20 books out, 14 in the pipeline, 1 short ebook and the online read. I think that about covers it.
I’m usually writing at least two books at a time—one for Revell and one for Love Inspired Suspense. And I’m working on something that’s just fun for me (not very often and not usually for very long due to my paying obligations, but…) so right now, it’s two books and a third upon occasion. I also fit the online read in the schedule last month.
JR: You have finished the Women of Justice series and Deadly Reunions series and currently are working on the Hidden Identity series: Could you tell us about your latest offering? Also, do you have any other recent releases?
LE: Yes, I’m so glad to have those two series finished. The last book in the Deadly Reunions series releases on May 1, 2013! Woohoo! I’ve gotten a lot of hate mail for the cliffhanger endings in the first two books! LOL. I’m very glad to wrap everything up and satisfy my readers’ curiosity.
Then the first book in the Hidden Identity series will release in the spring of 2014. The title is No One To Trust. It will deal with the Witness protection program and the lives of those are affected by crime and the effort to stay alive while putting the bad guys behind bars. There will be two more books in the series after that. I’ve also just sold another series to Revell to be release in the coming years. I’m very excited about that series that will deal with female bodyguards. The research has been so much fun.
On the Love Inspired front, I have two books coming out this year. One in August called Hide and Seek and one in December called Christmas Cover Up.
JR: Your website mentions you are a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), the Romance Writers of America (RWA), and Faith, Hope, and Love (FHL). How do each of these groups help your writing, and what is your involvement with them? Also, I'd like to hear about what FHL is.
LE: They are all professional writers groups. Each group has different advantages and offerings. One being they all offer contests for published and unpublished authors. In 2006, I placed second in the Touched By Love contest offered by Faith Hope and Love group. FHL is a part of the Romance Writers of America organization and is the Inspirational division. RWA has the prestigious RITA contest for published authors and the Golden Heart contest for the unpublished. All are just really great organizations with members who are fabulous about helping new authors get off the ground.
JR: Your husband Jack has an interesting sounding ministry. Could you tell us about him? How do your ministries complement each other, and how do you manage to keep from heading in two (or more) different directions all the time?
LE: Jack is multi-faceted. It’s hard to know where to start. LOL. He is a professional fundraiser for Christian radio stations all over the country so his job entails a lot of travel. He also is the director of the Pursuit conference (http://www.pursuehiscall.blogspot.com) which is a conference for high school to college age students who believe God is calling them into full time ministry. The conference has ministers from all areas of ministry there to answer questions and empower these young people to be present and future ministers.
However, to answer your next question, because of his many contacts in radio, he’s able to get radio interviews for me, etc. He takes at least several copies of my books to every radio station he goes to and hands them out. Sometimes they even use them as giveaways in order to entice people to make a donation to the station. Jack also has me share at his conferences about how writing is a ministry and what to expect if you want to write full time and be published.
Jack’s also very involved in music himself. He played keyboard in a band and is often asked to do music for youth groups and camps. As far as making sure we’re on the same page (pun intended), we simply make time to sit down and discuss what needs to be discussed. We do the bills on Saturday or Sunday afternoon before he has to be somewhere on Monday. We Skype a lot, email, text, chat online, etc. We just make the time. It’s just making the effort to keep it all together, you know? Sometimes it’s crazy (okay, most of the time), but we manage to make it all work. To put it simply: It’s a God thing.
JR: Between your writing, you and Jack's ministry, and your involvement with the three groups, I'm sure you have an occasional opportunity to minister. Have your readers let you know what impact your stories have, or any ministry you've had with the members of your groups (such as being hostess for ACFW's Romantic Suspense loop?
LE: I consider my writing the full time ministry God has called me to. It’s a different ministry, as opposed to serving in a church or on the mission field in Africa or something, but it’s still definitely ministry. I get emails all the time about how my books have touched lives or just kept a lonely person company. It’s a real blessing to hear those comments from readers.
JR: Thank you very much for your time. Please pass along your webpage so we can follow you.
LE: My website is: www.lynetteeason.com and I’m SO EXCITED that it’s going to be getting a complete overhaul soon! Readers can also find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/lynette.eason and twitter: @lynetteeason.
Jeff Reynolds, addressing the reader:
I hope you enjoyed this interview. Is Lynette's prolific bibliography something that intimidates you as a writer, or an encouragement to keep plugging? Like Lynette's writing, do you see what you're doing as full time ministry? Any other source of inspiration through this interview?