From Greeting Card Writer to Award Winning Author – Meet Lynda Schab…
Interview by Corinne Smelker
FWM: Lynda, in the last year you have had no less than 15 of your Writing Challenge pieces place in the Editors’ Choice awards, and you’ve also had two Highly Commended ribbons. What do you think you do that resonates with the Judges (remembering that there are over 60 different judges involved during the course of a FaithWriters’ Writing Challenge quarter?)
LYNDA: I think my style is "real." I don't have a ton of factual knowledge, but what I do know – what I love to learn about – is people. What makes them tick or what emotions they may be experiencing in certain situations. I think because I write to the heart more than to the brain, people may be able to simply connect with the characters I write about. I hate to say I play on the judges’ emotions, but that is probably what happens sometimes. I write at a level most people can understand and relate to.
FWM: You have been a member of Faith Writers since June 2004 – just a little over a year. How did you find us, and did you dive right in?
LYNDA: I remember I was surfing the web, googling Christian Writers' sites and the link to FaithWriters came up. I checked out the site and immediately felt right at home. I entered the Writing Challenge, fell in love with it – the challenge of coming up with something to fit a topic, the feedback, and the people. Since then, there’s been no turning back. When we say we're the, "FaithWriter Family," it's so true. Everyone at FaithWriters is such a blessing. I can't imagine ever leaving this wonderful community.
FWM: You have always been very upfront and personal with the members of the FaithWriters’ Message Board. There are other members who choose to keep their names private, and never mention family, for various reasons. What makes you so open?
LYNDA: Although I am introverted and quiet in real life, when I find myself in a "safe" group setting, I talk freely – especially a group that shares the same values, beliefs, and hopes. I believe that when you open yourself up and expose a part of your heart, yes, it makes you vulnerable, but that is also when you experience the greatest relationships. And that is ultimately how you grow more into the person you were created to be. Plus, we have a blast on the boards! It is truly like a real family – we're crazy, quirky, and fun. And the best part is, we share the same amazing Father!
FWM: You have a novel that you plan to have finished in the spring of 2006 – what is its genre? And what gave you the idea for the novel?
LYNDA: My novel is a contemporary Christian mystery, which I hope to develop into a series. So far, I have three titles and plots roughly planned out. Since I love reading mystery and suspense novels, it was only natural that I wanted to write one. But it's harder than I thought to plot out a mystery. There's so much that goes into it, including lots of research, which I'm not particularly fond of. I had originally intended for it to be ready to submit to an agent by the Fall of this year but my goal has now been pushed back to Spring, 2006.
FWM: How do you create your characters? Do you develop them from people you know, or do you take traits from several people to create one?
LYNDA: Something I love to do is look at people and figure out what makes them tick. I observe and pay close attention to different personality traits of people I know and those tend to come out in some of my characters. I may incorporate such things as a sarcastic sense of humor, a need to control, perfectionism, or quirkiness. The most important thing, for me, is to create multi-dimensional characters that keep surprising the reader in a believable way. But also characters who are spiritually pliable and capable of inner growth.
FWM: Who is your favourite author and why?
LYNDA: Hmmm. That's a tough one. In Christian fiction, I'd say Mindy Starns-Clark, author of "The Million Dollar Mysteries" series. She weaves a fun and clever mystery, and her style is much like my own. It is written in first person, with a woman protagonist and a touch of humor. Plus, I had the pleasure of corresponding with her by email and can't say enough wonderful things about her as a person.
In Christian non-fiction, hands down, Max Lucado. He has a distinct style and the ability to take an everyday event and turn it into a great message. His wisdom and insight is extraordinary.
FWM: When do you work on your book and short stories? With a family how do you fit in the time to write?
LYNDA: I would love to say I am disciplined and set aside three or four hours per day to write but that wouldn't be true. The fact is, I write in spurts, maybe four hours one day, a half hour the next. The important thing for me is to write every day, even if it's only a paragraph. My kids are old enough now where they understand my need to write and, frankly, they are on the go so much that finding time isn't really a problem for me. It's more making the time when other things beckon, like laundry and computer games. I'm working on that.
FWM: Thank you for your time Lynda – in this interview, as well as in all the enthusiastic support you give to FaithWriters. We wish you every success in the future with your book.
You can read more of Lynda’s work by visiting her Member Page at FaithWriters: http://www.faithwriters.com/member-profile.php?id=6891
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