Short author bio: Lyn Horner resides in Fort Worth, Texas – “Where the West Begins” – with her husband and several very spoiled cats. Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor before she took up writing. She loves crafting passionate love stories, both historical and contemporary. Lyn also enjoys reading, gardening, visiting with family and friends, and cuddling her furry, four-legged children.
The author’s Texas Devlins series blends authentic Old West settings, steamy romance and a glimmer of the mysterious. This series has earned multiple awards and nominations, including Crowned Heart reviews and a Rone Award nomination from InD’Tale Magazine.
Lyn is a contributor to Rawhide ‘n Roses, a Western Romance Anthology. This book is a finalist in the 2015 RONE Awards anthology category. Lyn is proud to be in company with such a talented group of authors.
Jumping from the 19th century American Old West to the present time, Lyn is now hard at work on her romantic suspense series, Romancing the Gaurdians. These books combine her trademark flashes of psychic phenomena with Irish folklore and a chilling apocalyptic theme. Along the way, readers will be treated to thunderous action, terrifying suspense and sizzling romance.
Decoding Michaela is book 2 in the 8-part Romancing the Guardians series.
Michaela Peterson can read minds but can she tell good from evil? A Guardian of Danu sworn to protect one of seven sacred scrolls, her identity is known only to the High Guardian. Or so she thinks until a stranger brings word that her revered leader has been murdered by vicious “Hellhounds” who want the scrolls. She’s attracted to the handsome messenger, but is he who he claims to be? Or does he mean to gain her trust and steal the scroll she guards?
Dev Medina often dreams of a woman he calls his golden goddess. He believes she is real and meant for him. Expecting to deliver a warning to Dr. “Michael” Peterson from the new High Guardian, he is stunned to find the doctor is his dream girl. Fearing the Hellhounds may be coming after her, he wants to whisk her to safety, but she stubbornly resists leaving her Galveston, Texas, home. Can he convince her to trust him before tragedy strikes?
Rescuing Lara, Romancing the Guardians (Book One) sets the stage for this continuing series. Each book features a “happy for now ending.”
Capturing Gabriel, Book 3 will be released in September 2015. It’s set in Colombia, South America!
First, thank you for hosting me on you beautiful site, Ch’kara. I’m delighted to be here!
My pleasure Lyn and welcome, can you tell us how did you come up with the unusual book title?
The title, Decoding Michaela, popped into my mind as I was writing the second half of book one, Rescuing Lara. You see, Dev Medina has a talent for deciphering codes. While serving in Afghanistan, he was a code breaker for the Special Forces. Now a civilian, he decodes vital information for Lara, the High Guardian, in book one. Consequently, she sends him to contact Michaela Peterson, one of the other six Guardians, and warn her that she is in danger.
In book two, Dev finds gaining Michaela’s trust is no easy matter. Convincing her to disclose the secret that has frozen her heart proves even more difficult. However, Dev is determined. If he can break complicated codes, he figures he can decode Michaela. J
How are your story ideas born?
A story idea often grows out of previous books I have written. The idea for this Romancing the Guardians series sprang from my western historical romance/supernatural series, Texas Devlins. The Devlin books center around three Irish-American siblings who each possess a secret psychic ability. The premise is that they are descended from ancient Druid ancestors.
As I was writing about Jessie, Tye and Rose Devlin, I began to think how fun it would be to explore their ancestral roots. However, I wanted to try my hand at contemporary romance. That led to the idea of a modern day group of psychics who guard secret prophesies handed down through untold generations from the same ancestral tree that spawned my Devlins. And those ancient ones are now revealed to be the mysterious Tuatha Dé Danann of Irish legend.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes, two messages actually. First, accept that psychic abilities are real I know this to be true because I myself experienced precognitive dreams when younger. That’s why I gave Jessie Devlin second sight, the power to glimpse the future. Second, keep an open mind about the potential of such “gifts” to influence humankind.
How much of the book is realistic?
The settings are quite realistic. Decoding Michaela is set mainly on Galveston Island, where I have visited several times. The first half of Rescuing Lara takes place in County Kerry, Ireland, which I had the great pleasure of touring several years ago. The second half is set in Houston, where I lived for a short time, and in the piney woods of East Texas, also previously visited.
As for my characters, they are of course fictional, but they often bear traits I either admire or detest in people I have met. Their story, well, that’s as real as my imagination could conjure.
Can you tell us what is your favorite part of the writing process?
Research is one of my favorite parts of the writing process. I can get so caught up in studying background information that I forget why I’m delving into it, a time consuming, believe me! My other favorite part of writing is plotting. Yes, I am a plotter and proud of it! I usually write the first three chapters of a book, allowing me to get acquainted with the characters. Then I use a storyboard and stick-um notes to arrange plot points. From there, I transfer the plot points to computer, beefing them up as I go and breaking them into chapters. This gives me a framework and the writing moves along faster.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Short answer: No! I like the story just fine as is.
How long did it take to write your latest release?
About five months. Since Romancing the Guardians is a continuing saga (basically a long serial) I’m keeping the books short. They will each run between 40-55K words. My historicals are much longer. They take a year or more to complete.
Do you belong to a critique group and if so, have they helped improve your writing?
Not now, but I have belonged to crit groups in the past. They helped immensely. I learned a great deal about the mechanics of writing and meeting regularly made me write faster.
Did you hire an editor to review your manuscript before publishing?
No, I’ve never hired an editor, but my former critique partner, Sharla Rae does an excellent job of editing for me. She often catches logistical glitches in the plot. Se edited Rescuing Lara and Decoding Michaela for me, and I just sent her the first three chapter of Capturing Gabriel, book three in the series. I, in turn, am helping Sharla prepare her first ebook for publishing. (She’s multi-pubbed by traditional publishers under a different pen name.)
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
Yes, I was agented two different times, but neither agent was able to sell my books. I also tried submitting myself, with the same result. I got discouraged and pretty much quit writing for a few years. Then Amazon’s KDP platform was introduced and I jumped on it with both feet, although quaking in my author boots.
What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
Well, I learned more than I ever wanted to know about book formatting and eventually accepted that I’m not a book cover designer, despite my background in the visual arts. These days I use professional book designers, namely Kin Killion of the Killion Group, Inc and Charlene Raddon of Cover Ops.
How do you go about marketing your book?
Marketing is not my strong point, but I’ve made it my goal to improve in that area. I promote my books on twitter, Facebook (including some FB groups) and on a few groups on Amazon’s Meet Our Authors Forum. I also announce new book releases and sale prices on my website and do guest appearances on blogs like yours, Ch’kara.
Do you find it difficult to juggle your time between marketing your current book and writing your next book?
Absolutely! I work 12-16 hours a day on writing and marketing. Anyone who thinks an author’s life is easy needs to think again! Which is not to say I would trade it for anything else. Writing is my passion. It’s what gets me up in the morning. I love bringing my ideas to life and can only hope they give readers enjoyment.
Do you have any advice for other writers/indie authors out there?
Study and practice your writing skills, take advice from experienced authors on how best to present and market your books. Above all, be patient. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither are most writing careers.