Friday, February 8, 2008

Lethal Deception by Lynette Eason

Today we welcome debut author Lynette Eason to The Writer's Tool.

Her romantic suspense, Lethal Deception, was released this month from Steeple Hill. I stayed up late (again) last night, finishing this book. But it kept me awake long after I went to bed—no bad dreams, though. *smile* Lethal Deception is a wonderfully written suspense, with huge tension from page one right through to the end. The romance between Gabe and Cassidy is great, too. What truly kept me awake last night was the spiritual thread throughout the book that specifically spoke to me in my spiritual walk right now.

Here's the back cover copy for Lethal Deception: Having rescued Cassidy McKnight from kidnappers in South America, Gabe Sinclair thought his job was done. Not that the former Navy SEAL could ever forget the brave, beautiful single mother. But when the danger followed her home, Gabe promised to protect her. Why anyone would want to kill Cassidy was a mystery. Was the motive related to the orphaned toddler Cassidy was raising, a sweet little girl who brought out the father figure in mavericak Gabe? Or did a newly revealed family secret have killer consequences?

Lynette joins us today for an interview.

Hi Marjorie, thanks so much for having me on your blog. It’s so neat to meet people this way!

We are very glad to have you. How did you get started writing, and where has that journey taken you that you may not have expected starting out?

I’ve always loved the printed word and had always made A’s in English, so writing seemed to come natural to me from the time I was old enough to pick up a pencil and actually put words on the paper.

How do you balance family life with writing?

Well, I don’t know that I’m always successful at it. I homeschool so needless to say, I get plenty of time with my children, so when they are busy after lunch, I don’t feel the least bit guilty getting on the computer and writing at that point. Of course, everyday doesn’t always go smooth, but I do the best I can. I also write a lot at night when everyone is in the bed.

How does your walk with the Lord affect your writing?

It makes me want to write things that He’ll be proud of. I don’t ever want to put a word on paper that would make Him unhappy, therefore I ask Him to use me to write HIS story. And how do you balance time with the Lord with your writing schedule? Again, sometimes I’m not very good at it. I do a lot of praying in my car…ha. I try to have a quiet time every day, but sometimes the day gets away from me before I’ve had time to sit down and do some sort of Bible study. But I don’t think God holds that against me. He knows me. He knows my personality. He loves me and He knows I love Him. We have an understanding. *smile*

Since my blog is geared to writers who want to improve their self-editing, could you briefly take us through your process of writing a novel—from conception to revision?

Oh boy. This is kind of a hard question for me. I’ll get a little smidge of an idea from something and then I’ll have to place my character in the midst of that idea and see what happens. But before I can really develop the story, I HAVE to do a character sketch. I use Randy Ingermanson’s layout. It’s the only one I’ve found that works for me and lets me get to know my characters. Once I’ve got the characters down, I move on to the synopsis. At this point, it’s not really a synopsis, it’s a brainstorm page…or 10. Once I have all that down, I can start writing Chapter 1. Usually the synopsis/story changes as I write it, but at least the synopsis helps keep me on track, and I know I have to get to the next scene. Before I was published, I would edit the synopsis as I wrote because I knew when I submitted the manuscript, I’d have to submit a synopsis, too. So, using this method, when the manuscript was finished I had a “matching” synopsis to go along with it to submit. As far as revision, I find that I really write a pretty clean first draft. And that’s simply because I catch a lot of mistakes as I go. I’m not one to waste time on constant editing. I write, editing as I go to some extent. When I finish the manuscript, I print it off and read it out loud to myself…and anyone who is unfortunate enough to be within earshot. At this point, I generally send a copy to my critique partner. As I read it aloud, I find mistakes, holes in the plot, things I need to address, etc. I make note of those on the printed version, then change them on the computer, print it out again, read through it again, see if I missed anything, fix it if I did, then send the thing off to my editor.

What kinds of things do you have to revise once the editor at a publishing house gets done with your manuscript?

Um…everything?? No, not quite, but sometimes it feels like it. On LETHAL DECEPTION, I had to cut out about 30,000 words to fit the Suspense line. That meant a whole lot of chopping up the book. I had to get rid of one character’s POV entirely. The second book didn’t have QUITE as many revisions, but editors look at character motivation very closely. At least mine does. So, I had to work on that a little bit. For example, it wasn’t clear exactly why my heroine in the second book went to Brazil, so I had to clean that up. I didn’t have enough suspense in this second book, so I needed to add a few scenes, a little more character introspection, etc. And I have to admit, the book is better once I follow the suggestions of my editor. I work with Emily Rodmell and I have nothing but the highest of praise for her. She’s awesome.

Would you tell us a little about your future projects?

I have tons of stories running around in my head. I just can’t type fast enough! Right now, my agent is shopping around thriller/suspense story for me. It’s different than what I’m doing with Steeple Hill. The story is more suspense/thriller/action than romance, although there is a thread of romance throughout each story. I also have a story about missionaries in the Middle East that I would like to see come about. But I’ve got my hands full right now. Especially, if this other series sells. We’ll see. Oh! And I just sold my fourth book to Steeple Hill that will be out in March of 2009. It’s about a residential deaf school where a lot of action takes place…*smile*

Finally, would you discuss Lethal Deception? The research, the idea, and the scope of the project?

LETHAL DECEPTION. That was a fun story to write, edit, revise, etc. Honestly, though, by the time the AA’s arrived, I was sick of it. I understand now why some authors actually shudder when you ask if they’ve read the story in final book form. Maybe one day. Anyway, I was sitting in the DMV (Dept. of Motor Vehicles) thinking what a jungle the place was when all of a sudden I just had characters popping into my brain, a story gelling, and voila…by the time they called my number, I had written the first chapter. I did a lot of research on the Amazon Jungle, read some fictional accounts with characters in the jungle, read nonfiction, etc. and just came up with the story. It’s just really hard to explain where my ideas come from. I guess I have to give God credit for that.

Thank you so much, Lynette! We appreciate your time and the opportunity to spotlight your work.

To buy the book:

If you're a romantic suspense fan, but you're not a member of Steeple Hill's Love Inspired Suspense line book club, go here:;jsessionid=85DB21F98A2D63E8A46233C459CD72BA?iid=10791

Daily Bible reading:
Friday: Isaiah 43–44; Mark 11:1–18
Saturday: Isaiah 45–46; Mark 11:19–33
Sunday: Isaiah 47–49; Mark 12:1–27

Have a blessed weekend!

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