Getting to know Lynn Collins #author #contemporary #romance #HEA

Getting to know Lynn Collins #author #contemporary #romance #HEA

My guest author today has really experienced what it’s like being a published author in today’s marketplace. But I’ll let her tell you more about her experience and her inspiration. Please help me welcome, Lynn Collins!

Lynn Collins is the romance pen name for New York Times bestselling mystery author, Lynn Cahoon.

Lynn Collins claims to be the daughter of Barnabas (Dark Shadows) and says she grew up in a dark, dank castle on the moors, waiting to be rescued. Finally, as all good heroines do, she rescued herself and now writes about happily ever afters in small town settings.  Someday she hopes to write the next big gothic romance. She lives with her cat.​

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Betty: When did you become a writer?

Lynn: My first romance short was published in 2010 – both with the Trues (True Love/True Experience) and Women’s World. My first full length book was published in 2012. I accepted a contract to be one of the authors to launch Crimson Romance, at the time, a new ebook (and POD) publisher. I’ve now gone through losing my editor in chief, losing my editor, and being sold to a Big 5 publisher. And I’ve also gotten my rights back and republished these from Cahoon to Lynn Collins which I’m self-publishing.

My Lynn Cahoon books are traditionally published with Kensington and are cozy mysteries.

Betty: How long did you work on your writing skills before you became published?

Lynn: I started writing again during my divorce and did several MFA classes in fiction, non-fiction and publishing. It took me a while to commit to writing, but once I survived cancer, I was focused. And what you measure, gets done.

Betty: What authors or stories do you feel influenced your writing style?

Lynn: Writing style – Stephen King, Robyn Carr, A good story well told.  😊

Publishing – Bob Mayer. He taught me to never take no for an answer and to repurpose our writing as much as possible. His books on writing are gold for anyone who wants to make writing their business.

Betty: What prompted you to start writing?

Lynn: I’d always wanted to be an author, but didn’t see a ‘program’ in the college handbooks. So I put it on the back burner. When I was faced with a life-threatening disease, I needed to set some life goals. Writing was the one thing that kept coming up and I’m glad it did.

Betty: What type of writing did you start with?

Lynn: I started with romance although I tried a little bit of everything then I’d stop at chapter four and start something new. Finishing a book was a big step even though I haven’t attempted to sell that book at all.

Betty: What do you most enjoy writing? Why?

Lynn: Building new worlds. I really love setting up new communities. The characters have become my friends. I think about what they do in between the books.

Betty: How did you learn to write? A mentor, classes, conferences, craft books, or something else?

Lynn: There was a girl on the bus when I was in school. She wrote stories, then illustrated the stories with pictures cut out of the teen magazines that we loved. I loved her stories. It was the first time I had known an author.

Betty: What do you wish you knew before you started writing/publishing?

Lynn: It’s my story and I should make the decisions on what my characters are going to do.

Betty: What inspired you to write the book you’re sharing with us today?

Lynn: Top Secret Santa was a call out for an anthology. Writing a Santa mall story was fun and reminded me of home.

She needed the elf job. Then Santa walked out. Now, she has a line of screaming kids and no one to wear the suit or sit on the chair.

He was just trying to be a good Samaritan and return a lost gift card. And if he was lucky, get a pretty girl’s phone number. He’d been out of the dating world for a while. But playing Santa? That was extreme, even for an ex-Army Ranger.

If you love a good meet cute combined with a Christmas twist, Top Secret Santa is for you. Buy today and complete your Castle View romance series collection. Note: Top Secret Santa can be read as a standalone.


~ Two strangers, each starting a new life, realize that visiting Santa really is about Christmas magic . . . ~

“Merry Christmas to me. Not.” Noelle North sat at her usual table at the Food Court by the fifties themed hamburger place where she ate most nights she worked. She’d finished her dinner, and now was going through the mail she’d grabbed out of the mailbox as she’d hurried to work a few hours ago. Fingering the gift card that had fallen out of her Christmas card from her parents, she stared at the card. The scene on the lime green card showed a beach scene with a reclining Santa in a swimsuit and an iced drink in his hand. Merry Christmas from Florida.

Her cell phone jangled, and she glanced at the display before she answered. Apparently, the envelope must have had an invisible tracker telling her parents when she’d opened the card. “Hey, Mom, how’s the new house?”

“Hot. Your dad’s working on getting the air conditioning set right. I think he’s just being a cheap skate. You sure you won’t fly down next week? We’d love to see you.” Her mom’s voice echoed over the phone line. “I’m setting up a taco bar and serving margaritas for Christmas Eve dinner.”

“I have interviews scheduled starting right after the first and through the next two weeks. Longer if it takes more time.” Noelle glanced down at the green and red elf hat on the table. And there was that little problem.

Buy links: Amazon

One of these days, I’m going to write a Christmas story but the inspiration hasn’t struck yet. Lynn’s story sounds like a fun, light-hearted romance perfect for the holidays. We need some love and light this year, don’t we?

Thanks for sharing, Lynn! And I hope many of you will grab a copy of Top Secret Santa today!

Happy reading and Happy Allhallows Eve!

Betty Bolte

Best-selling Author of Historical Fiction with Heart, and Haunting, Bewitching Love Stories

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