Welcome one, welcome all! I am really pumped to have y'all here! Kinda like gathering in a local hair salon, swapping stories while being clipped, dyed, or styled. So pick a dryer and here's a ten-year old gossip magazine to flip whilst I chat it up about this week's guest. Did I ever mention I love interviewing people on that I've met? I'm sure I have. (LaDonna, could ya take a little more off the back?) Anyway, I met Lynne not long ago at a writer's meeting and now, I'm pleased as punch to introduce Lynne Waite Chapman!
PT: Hello, Lynne! So glad to have ya! Tell everyone what brought you to your occupation of words and what inspired your genre choice?
LWC: Sometime in 1999 I found a women-oriented content website needing an editor for its Hair Site. I had never been a writer but as a hairdresser I knew about hair so I applied for the position. Soon I began writing factual articles and tutorials for BellaOnline.com. It was in the discipline of composing weekly articles for the site that I learned to write. After fifteen years I transitioned to the Christian Living site and have written Bible related inspirational articles since then. Still do.
I’ve always been a reader with a special love for mysteries so it didn’t take long for me to try my hand at mystery/suspense writing. Of course I discovered writing fiction is very different from what I was used to, but I also found a passion. As a hairdresser I’d spent my work week in close contact with people, getting to know them and hearing their stories. Creating fictional characters became an obsession. I knew even the villains, even the unlikable people had a story springing from a heart-felt need. After a couple years experimenting I decided my hobby needed a purpose. I made the decision to finish my first novel and to get it published. Winged Publications accepted and published Heart Strings in September of 2016. I knew the story wasn’t over so Heart Beat, second in the series, was published in November 2017. I’m working on the third and final (I think) volume now. I expect it to be released in the summer of 2018.
PT: A hairdresser! Imagine that. The various occupations of writers never ceases to delight and amaze me. And we are so glad you decided to start writing. Everyone loves a good series with a little mystery. Does your novel have a Biblical springboard or angle that you thread throughout its conception?
LWC: We all wear a mask of some kind. It's the face we show the world and even our friends. Under that mask is the real person with all the expectations, fears, guilt, and doubt. It's what's under the mask that pull on our heart. A Bible verse that I kept in mind is,
"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21 ESV
The dictionary defines heartstrings as the deepest feelings; the strongest affections.
All my writing has dealt with heartstrings, beginning with my non-fiction Christian Living articles and now with fiction writing. In the Evelynton Murder series, beginning with the first book, Heart Strings, I hoped to make apparent the deepest feelings and strongest motivations of my characters. I attempted to weave those strings into a light-hearted, sometimes humorous, murder mystery.
Throughout the story, we see the strings leading from the treasure to the heart. Not physical strings, but emotional bonds leading to the focus of each life. Those strings lead straight to what each character treasures. Because of the heart strings, the treasure governs how each responds to given situations.
Heart Strings is a mystery, written for entertainment. But while reading, I hope the reader looks for the strings that bind each character's heart.
PT: Time for a sneak-peek of the novel that started it all! Ooooh! Doesn't it give you that nice
cozy, yet creepy feeling? And it's set in good ole' Indiana. LOL This would be a super time for your favorite verse that inspires you during tough times.
LWC: Isaiah 30:21
Whether you turn to the right or the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
There have been many Bible verses that have inspired me over the years. I think it is common among all believers that the right verse appears in our Bible reading or is heard on the radio at just the right time. This verse from Isaiah is a favorite because it reminds me I’m never alone on this journey. My Lord is always with me. And the exciting thing is that nothing I do is insignificant to him. He is specific in the way he answers, even down to which way I turn in a particular situation. He’s always there for guidance through the hard times, and every day decisions. He guides me away from temptations and toward what is good. All I have to do is remember to listen instead of charging ahead on my own.
PT: Sounds like great advice! What about your writing habits? Does music play a part in your life/writing?
LWC: I’ve always loved music but find silence is just as valuable. The car radio is always tuned to a contemporary Christian worship station. I sing along and I’m sure other drivers think I’m strange when we’re sitting at a stoplight.
Christian rock or good old fashioned rock ‘n roll inspires me for cleaning house. When I’m reading or studying it’s classical or spa atmosphere music—strictly instrumental. But when I’m writing I prefer silence. I need to be able to hear the pace of the story and the rhythm of the words hitting the page without distraction.
PT: Ah. Silence IS golden! I've got to agree with that. Now my favorite. Hold on to those plastic bonnets, readers! Tell 5 things fast about Lynne that have nothing to do with writing. Go!
1. I’ve discovered I’m a loyal and reliable person. I’ve cared for two houseplants for more than twenty-five years—and they’re healthy!
2. I like the dark. I find it peaceful and I’m rarely afraid in it.
3. I love foggy nights.
4. I love rainstorms and distant rolling thunder that you can feel.
5. I never tire of watching reruns of British comedy.
PT. Hmmm. I sense a mystery writer by those answers! :) Thanks for being with us, Lynne! Well, folks, I'm due up for some highlights. So here are some of Lynne's highlights for you.
Giveaway: Win a copy of Lynne Waite Chapman's Heart Strings! Leave a message and your email!
Amazon Author Page
Facebook Author Page
Twitter Author Page
Christian Living Site
Born and raised in northeastern Indiana, Lynne Waite Chapman is a lover of small town mystery and suspense. In September of 2016, she published her first cozy mystery. Her debut novel, Heart Strings—first in the Evelynton Murder series—was a 2016 semi-finalist in the American Christian Fiction Writers Association Genesis contest. Her second novel, Heart Beat, published in 2017, continues the series.
Lynne Waite Chapman began her writing career with fifteen years of composing weekly non-fiction content for the BellaOnline.com Hair site, drawing on her thirty plus years as a hairdresser. Retiring the Hair site, she has spent the last fifteen years penning weekly content for the BellaOnline.com Christian Living site.
She is a regular contributor of devotions for several print publications, and has written articles for many church bulletins and newsletters. She has also contributed articles to numerous internet publications.
She currently resides in northern Indiana with one West Highland White Terrier.