Lynette Sowell is the award-winning author of four novels and six novellas from Barbour Publishing. Her book Joie de Vivre won the 2007 ACFW Book of the Year award for Historical Novella. All That Glitters and Reuben’s Atonement were ACFW Carol and Book of the Year finalists. Lynette was also voted by Heartsong Presents book club readers as a “favorite new author.”
Born in Massachusetts and raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Lynette now resides with her husband in Texas.
What sparked your journey as a writer. How does your faith play into your work?
I’ve been an avid reader since childhood, and even then I dabbled in writing. It wasn’t until after college and after I’d been married a few years that I decided to write my first book. It wasn’t ever published, but I had a great rejection.
My faith does play a part in my work, although I never start out thinking about what kind of “message” I want in my story. Usually that comes about as I write it.
Has God ever provided an unexpected “detour” in your life that turned out to be positive?
Yes, I find that He has been faithful to guide me in spite of myself. There are a number of decisions that I’ve made in the past that weren’t always the best. Looking back, though, I can see how God has always been there, nudging me to be exactly where I ought to be—pursuing a relationship with Him. I’d like to think I’m older, and wiser, now. Those detours were necessary to get me on the right path.
You have contributed to a number of anthologies. How do you typically go about coordinating these with your co-authors?
With the anthologies, setting is key, so that usually comes first. Right from the beginning, we decide how closely our stories will intertwine. If the set is generational, we work out a timeline or geneology, if you will, for the book. That’s what my coauthors and I did for an upcoming anthology (Sundays in Fredericksburg, Barbour 2013). We also decide if there’s a common thread in each book. For example, in A Riverwalk Christmas, my heroine’s Mexican restaurant ended up as part of the setting in each novella. I made sure my coauthors knew the floor plan, menu items, and décor.
The book surrounds four neighbors who live and work in the Washington, D.C. area. All four women encounter mystery with a dash of suspense in their journeys to love. My story, State Secrets, involves a White House chef who encounters an old flame who’s investigating a threat to the White House, specifically at the upcoming State Dinner. It was fun to research and write.
What’s next for you?
Currently I’m writing a novel called Tempest’s Course, a contemporary romance with Gothic undertones set in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It’s part of the “Quilts of Love” series from Abingdon Press. Titles will release beginning fall of 2012. My book releases fall 2013 and involves a textile conservator who works to restore an old quilt and uncovers some long-buried secrets.
A few fun questions…
When the words aren’t flowing—or when you want to celebrate if they are—what is your favorite comfort food and why?
Chocolate is always a favorite. One particularly dismal afternoon the only chocolate to be found was a packet of hot cocoa mix. That worked!
This website features musicians as well as writers. Do you have musical, as well as literary, talent?
I do sing. It’s been a while, but I enjoy singing alto or second soprano (depending on the song/arrangement) in small groups. I also play acoustic guitar, although I’m a tad rusty.
If you were a song, what kind of song would you be?
Definitely a song with a great acoustic guitar lead, some good drums, and an occasional “bwowah” from the electric guitar, a song that makes you tap your feet.
Are you a major or a minor chord?
Probably a major seventh, just a little different.
In the story that is your life, are you the strong, female lead; the girl next door; the mysterious woman behind dark glasses; the super heroine; or the little girl trying to walk in high heels?
The girl next door, definitely.
I’m a dog lover and I know you love cats. Please tell us about your pets, if any, or your favorite pet as a child.
Yes, I love cats. They fit our lifestyle very well. My husband and I happen to have five cats, and that number sort of mushroomed unexpectedly over the years. When we were first married, I had a cat that I brought to the marriage. “Pum” passed away within a month of our wedding, and then a friend literally showed up on our doorsteps with a pair of female kittens that we named Spot and Taco. Nearly seventeen years later, Taco is still around, ruling the roost as our queen kitty. We also have Jean-Luc (twelve years old, named after Captain Picard), Schatze (eleven years old, and who was only supposed to stay one night), Kris Kringle (age eight, and there is no such thing as a ‘free’ kitten from a pet shop), and Holly-Berry (my little four-year-old shadow, a timid chunk of part Siamese sweetness).
Thanks, Lynette! It’s nice to have you at DivineDetour!
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