Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Writers Wednesday: Lynn Cahoon

Hi everyone. Help me welcome Lynn Cahoon, whose very first book THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER, was released June 4 from Crimson Romance. Lynn’s a chapter mate from St. Louis and fellow blogger at New Kids on the Writers Block.

Congratulations, my friend. What did you do to celebrate Release Day? Chocolate? Dinner out? Shopping?

This is a good question since I’m writing this pre-release day. I think I’m bringing home dinner from my favorite Chinese place. And having spring rolls. I never have spring rolls even though I LOVE them. Like most debut writers, I still have the day job.

Yes, we need that day job. Please tell us a little about the book.

THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER is a small town, secret baby, homecoming, reunion story. (Say that ten times fast.) Lizzie’s a strong, determined single mom who never reached out to James, her baby daddy, for help. When he shows up in town, his brother in tow, Lizzie has to decide if letting him into her life is worth the pain and confusion of a readymade family.

The setting is a fictional version of a lovely little town, nestled in the Idaho Mountains. THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER is based on the town of Riggins, Idaho. The first weekend of May, the rodeo comes to town and takes over. It’s a party and everyone is invited.

Knowing that I wanted to write a small town story based in my home state of Idaho, the Riggins rodeo seemed like a terrific jumping off point. Then, like all good stories, I started wondering why? Why would people stay in the little town? What happens to the kids who graduate from the high school? And the four friends who became my main characters started talking about their lives.

Would you please share an excerpt?

Sure, short and hot. LOL

“All the better.” James slid an arm down her legs and swung her into his arms. He kissed her soft and slow. “Ready for this?” He waited for her answer before he took the next step on the stairs.

“This doesn’t mean anything.” Lizzie leaned into him placing her hand on his chest, drinking in his smell. Sweat, salt, and a hint of Stetson, memories clawed up to the surface wanting to overwhelm her. “It’s just sex.”

“I don’t know what you’ve been doing the last six years, but sex means something to me.” He stopped again on the stairs and waited for her to lift her eyes to his. “And don’t call it sex, Liz, we’re making love. Don’t you remember?"

What’s your next project and when is it scheduled for release?

A MEMBER OF THE COUNCIL, a paranormal novella, is scheduled for release from Lyrical Press on November 19. I’m so excited about this upcoming series.

Currently, I’m writing the sequel to THE BULL RIDER’S BROTHER, called
QUEEN OF THE STAMPEDE. Cross your fingers my editor loves it as much as she did book one.

Once I’m done with that, it’s back to writing witchcraft and suspense as I write the second in the Magic Council Series.

Goodness, you have your next months organized. What’s your writing schedule like?

See above day job comment. Actually, I write most mornings for about an hour. My goal is 1000 words a day, sometimes it even happens. My writer/mentor and I chat almost daily on what we’re doing in the writing realm. And I’m a big believer in baby steps. Writing a novel is overwhelming if you really think about the word count. But I can write 1000 words. Or 500.
In addition, I’ve given myself permission to schedule and attend writer retreats. Since my available time is so short, convincing myself that spending travel time to meet up with writer friends is valuable took some practice. But last month I drove to Nashville to attend a book signing and spend some quality writing time.

Believe me, as a writer, there’s lots of times you doubt yourself, your work, everything. Having that one or two friends you trust totally, gets you through the valley of despair. And you have to spend time to develop those relationships.

Next month, I’m taking off work to do some events for a traditionally published author friend and we’ll have a mini writer’s retreat in between the chit chat.

I so agree about the importance of friends you can trust travel with you on the writing journey. And I really like your outlook on writing daily, even in small increment. What advice would you offer writers?
Join a local writer’s group. (Big props to MORWA here-the St. Louis based RWA chapter. The programs are amazing and the critique group is a learning opportunity even if I’m not reading.) Take advantage of the opportunities to network. This is a big one, and hard, oh so hard, for me. My first MORWA meeting I sat in the parking lot and had to convince myself to go into the meeting. But it was the best move I’d made to support my writing.

Take risks with your writing. I hear so many people talking about the one book they’ve written. I’d written eight books before I sold one. Then I signed two contracts in one month. A Member of the Council, my novella that’s coming out in November was written as an experiment to see if I could write hot paranormal.

And one last word, focus. I know, that contradicts the take risks advice above. But you have to finish a project before you can send it. Last April, I got overwhelmed. I had several unfinished projects, several revise and resubmit requests, and had been receiving a lot of rejections. At one of my writer retreats, my friend advised me to step back and work one project at a time. A year later, I’ve sold two of those projects and have more in the hopper.

Wonderful news. How do you manage to generate such a list of ideas?

Growing up on a small farm in rural Idaho, I guess I was like Lizzie, my heroine in The Bull Rider’s Brother, looking for a way out to the big city. But life takes you on roads you don’t expect. I was born in Nampa, Idaho. My father died when I was a baby, leaving my mother a widow with five kids. When my mother remarried, we moved back out to the country, less than a mile away from the dairy farm where I was born. My graduating class from Kuna High School was sixty three strong.

I’m still not living in a big city; my new home town sits on the Mississippi river and was the site of the Lincoln Douglas debate as well as the honor of being the most haunted American city. The McPike Mansion is right down the road from my house. But I love all the story ideas that keep floating into my head while I’m walking my two Poms.

Thank you for being here. Please come back again. Best of luck.

You can visit Lynn at:
Website  Blog Facebook Twitter  Amazon Author Page Goodreads



  1. Lynn, I'm in total agreement on the support system fellow writing buddies provide. It's invaluable on so many levels.

    So happy for your success! Keep the great stories coming!

  2. Thanks Laura - and thanks for visiting Barb's blog!

  3. Lynn,
    I'm so glad you are here this week. I love your book and i know this is the first of many, many successes for you.

    Thanks for visiting.

  4. Great blog. Wow, Lynn, you're all over the place. I don't know what I'd do without my writer support group.

    Selena Fulton

  5. Selena - I'm only on week two... Thanks for stopping by Barb's pretty blog...

  6. Great interview, ladies. I love reading how published authors get it done. And Lynn, it sounds like you are on a roll. Keep up the good work.
    Diana Locke

  7. Nice!
    Lynn this looks super hot! Congratulations!!! And Barb, great interview... as always!
    Thanks, you guys!!!

    1. Cecily - Love my cowboys. Thanks for stopping in...

  8. Great interview, Lynn! Hope you savor every bite of those spring rolls. Rewards are so important.

    And Barb, what a lovely blog!!

    1. Hi Wendy - isn't it funny how we associate celebration with food. At least I do.

  9. Lynn, I'm so impressed with your daily word count goals. When I had a day job, my weekday goal was 2 pages (which wouldn't be anywhere near 1000 words!). Then on Saturday, the DH cleaned the house and did the laundry so I could pump out 10 pages. Sunday afternoon I did another 5.

    But the important thing is to set a goal and stick to it.

    1. Mia - the promo has been kicking my butt with my word count. But I know I can do 1000 - and some days I do. I'm a pretty early writer.

      I think the biggest count I got on a Saturday was 6000 - and that was rocking at the end of a story.