I'm thrilled to welcome Lynn Griffin. She gives wonderful support and encouragement to fellow authors and I've been enjoying her latest book, The Twenty-One Year Contract. We will definitely get to the book, but first let's learn more about author. Welcome, Lynn!
1) What sort of books did you enjoy reading as a child? Did you have a favorite book or series?
Enid Blyton was one of my favourites. She was not only a prolific writer, she covered all ages and did wonderful series, all of which served me well until I hit around 11. I also loved Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. I think it’s quite possibly why I love writing children’s books in a similar vein. Think Alice walking through Lemony Snicket. As you can see, I like dark.
2) What sort of books do you enjoy reading nowadays?
Oh, gosh. I will literally read anything, though I’m so keen on horror if there’s unnecessary tons of blood and guts. Sorry you guys that write in this genre, and to those who read it. I know it’s a popular genre and there are really great horror authors out there.
To give you a flavour of my most recent reads: Ishiguro, Richard Osmond and on my bedside table at the moment Rachel Brimble, if you check any of these out you can see how diverse they are and who I have reviewed on Goodreads, Bookbub, Ben Shepard. For me, it’s all about getting inside the story, losing myself and learning.
3) Around what age did you realize that you liked to write? And when did you know that you wanted to write books?
I can’t put my finger on exactly when I knew I wanted to write books, but it’s been there since I was a child.
4) What’s the first thing you wrote that you remember being proud of?
I wrote a children’s story. It’s still on the backburner waiting for me to submit, though I need to work out the best place for it. I keep thinking Tim Burton.
All my children’s books, much like my adult books, a little dark and with a meaning. Think Alice in Wonderland meets Lemony Snicket.
At the moment though, my debut – Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox is my proudest achievement. Why? Because I was brave enough to submit it, but only because a friend said: “Do it now before you pop your clogs mate.” She was right, life is too short.
5) Tell us about the creative force within you. What inspires you to write, to create?
My imagination is rife with wild and wonderful things. Writing allows me to express all things beautiful, yet all things honest in life. My stories are inspired by the wealth of people I have met, by those who have survived through courage and determination, and who area real life heroes.
6) What’s your writing space like?
Oh my goodness. I have a lovely converted bedroom specifically set up for the job. Trouble is I share it with my husband, so not always a good space, because I chat to my imaginary friends, and he either thinks I’m going bonkers or I’m talking to him! Since I retired, I find I can write anywhere. In the garden, on the sofa, or in a café. It has become a moveable feast.
That all sounds wonderful.
7) Do you have a favorite time of day to write? Any habits or little rituals that put you in a writing mindset?
I always wrote around the paid job. Up at silly o’clock, then dash out to work. Toast in one hand and fixing my hair with the other because I forgot the time.
8) Time to talk about your latest book (rubbing hands together)! But first, how did you come up with the idea for the series? Are there any interesting tidbits you’d care to share with us?
Adoption. Life. Humour. Survival. Crime. Mystery. Coincidence. All these elements are ensconced in my novels. They share the reality of life, the drama of survival and inspirational courage. Thinking about coincidence. How many of us have walked down a road in a different town, city, or in another part of the world and bumped into someone you haven’t seen for years. My stories are also filled with coincidence as this is life. Well certainly this has been life for me.
The Twenty-One-Year Contract is the sequel (also standalone) to Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox.
9) Now let’s hear about The Twenty-One Year Contract.
Only a simple shoebox, but full of secrets...
Kathleen is 14, wild, fun, and talented. When her adoptive family died in tragic circumstances she is devastated and alone. Uncle Jack is wonderful, but he lives in America, and works across the world. He can’t be father to her.
Kathleen takes a chance. She becomes Kate and runs away to London with the hope of fulfilling her dream to become a fashion designer. Here she meets and makes friends with Harriet (in Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox). Who would have guessed her new friend would hold life changing secrets hidden in a shoebox.
All I can say, from what I've read so far, is that it's a truly beautiful book.
10) I comprehend that you’ve just recently published a book. Still, I can’t help but ask – do you have anything waiting in the wings?
Yes, The Twenty-One- Year Contract was released July 2022, but I’ve got a couple of projects on the go. I’m in the throes of editing a contemporary romance who is third generation of Harriet/Kate’s story.
I also have an idea bubbling around for the coming years of Harriet and Kate – so from the early 60s. We all know London was a hive of sex, drugs and rock and roll, but crime and fashion were reaching dizzy heights of fame and infamy.
11)Is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
I love to help budding writers. I know it’s a lonely occupation, and as a result I have teamed up with our local library and offered a free writing workshop and am following it up with kickstarting critiquing groups. These were far and few between when I started looking for help, so I started my own – one has been running for fifteen years and another around four.
I do a random blog so check that out – it hosts wonderful authors and is interspersed with information for writers. www.wifeinthewest.com
Most recently I hosted my editor Nan Swanson – in two parts, first about her background and the second that will be a very useful tool for writers who are starting out.
This all goes so well with how I think of you -- kind, generous, genuine. Thank you for sharing your time with us today, Lynn. Wishing you all the best!
Thank you so much for hosting me Anastasia, it’s been an absolute pleasure.
And now for an excerpt from The Twenty-One Year Contract!
Only a simple shoebox, but full of secrets…
Kathleen Gray—talented, a little wild, at times rebellious, but always popular—has a fun, easy life in rural Somerset, with a doting family.
Suddenly, they are gone, everything is changed, and she has only Uncle Jack. Try as he might, he cannot be father and mother to her—he has a business to run and his own life to manage.
Kathleen takes a chance and becomes Kate Westfield, fending for herself in London, with a new life built on her hopes and dreams and new friends. She could hardly have imagined that one of those friends has a shoebox full of answers.
‘After a glass of water, Jack made himself a cup of tea and returned to the job in hand. This was going to be much harder than he could ever have imagined. Working deep through the night, Jack methodically sifted through volumes of paperwork until light inched its way through the curtain. Though he felt thoroughly ready for bed, he continued searching, his aim to find at least a smidgen of information about his niece. Randomly tidying up as he went, Jack noticed an encyclopaedia oddly extended over one of the top shelves. He tried pushing it back into place. It was jammed. It looked awkward. Pulling it out to check the depth of the book, he found a box file hidden behind. Upon the side panel was one word, capitalized in thick bold lettering: KATHLEEN As the hazy sunlight grew, puzzled, Jack pulled the curtains to lend natural light, took the file off the shelf, sat back in Henry’s chair, and looked inside…’
About the Author
L.B Griffin loves to write stories to touch people’s hearts. She draws upon social issues that are often hidden in deep drawers but readers can identify with. Her women don’t see themselves as courageous, strong, or survivors, but they certainly are.
Her debut, Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox has received superb five star reviews, amongst them Whispering stories and VINE VOICE reader/blogger Michelle Ryles, singing high praise: Incredibly well-written, Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox is a magnificent debut. It’s a poignant, disturbing, and a heart-warming page-turner that has left me chomping at the bit to continue Harriet’s story.
The sequel, also a standalone – The Twenty-One Year Contract, is already receiving famtastic five star reviews such as VINE VOICE: This book will have you laughing, crying, and cheering.
L.B. Griffin continues to turn silent stories into courage, hope, and survival. Be warned, she is a self-confessed chocolate-raisin and strawberry addict!
More from author Lynn Griffin...
1950s London and everybody has a secret...
When Harriet Laws loses her grandmother and her job, her happy life in London seems over. Alone, grief-stricken and penniless, she thinks wildly of ending it all. Fate steps in as Tom Fletcher saves her, gives her hope, and guides her to new employment. He takes her to dinner, and she finds him attractive. He's older, but she doesn't mind. Does he?
Tom, a quiet, hardworking man, is unsure of Harriet's feelings, but he's also very busy building his business interests. So it's no wonder a suave, sophisticated fellow walks off with Harriet right under Tom's nose.
What follows, no one could have predicted, as Harriet not only loses contact with all her friends but must again fight for her very life...will she ever see Tom again?
Available at Amazon.
Oh my goodness! What a perfectly delightful interview! Lynn, I learned some wonderful tidbits about you and how you came to writing. I loved your debut book and look forward to reading book two. Susie Black
Susie, thank you so much for sharing your time with us! :)
Loved learning more about you Lynn. So appreciate how supportive you are to fellow Roses. Loved both your books. Love the idea of continuing to follow Kate and Harriet through the years. Anastasia, thanks for the terrific interview.
Hi, Kim! Thank you so much for visiting and sharing your thoughts!
Mary Ann Jacobs
It's encouraging to me to see people who are retired finally writing and getting published. I also started a Writer's workshop when I retired and am pleased to see some of our participants getting published. Happy writing.
Well-said, Mary Ann! Thanks so much for stopping by! :)
Enjoyed getting to know you better, Lynn! Wishing you continued success!
Hi, Mary! Thank you very much for stopping by! :)
Loved learning more about you, Lynn. And what you're doing for young writers is wonderful! They are so lucky to have you to help them. I haven't yet read your latest book, but I look forward to doing so. Wishing you all the continued best.b
Hi, Barb! Thank you for visiting! :) I'm reading the latest book right now. It's extraordinary.
I love the 60s set books. wrote one of them myself! Sounds like a great story.
Hi, Ilona! I haven't read many books set in the 60s, but having grown up in them, I'm loving it (the book)! Thank you for stopping by!
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