|Mike Lynch, author of LOVE’S SECOND CHANCE
Today, I’m happy to introduce you to Mike Lynch, author of the Contemporary Romance novel, Love’s Second Chance. Love’s Second Chance releases today–March first! Congrats, Mike!
Here’s a little bio on Mike. You can find more at his blog here: http://www.mikelynchbooks.com/:
Mike Lynch’s first book, Dublin, came out in 2007, followed by When the Sky Fell, American Midnight, The Crystal Portal, and After the Cross. His next novel, Love’s Second Chance, published by Ellechor Publishing, is scheduled to be released in March 2013. He has also written a number of short stories and writing articles in numerous magazines. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.
Now, on to our interview!
HG: Hi Mike, glad to welcome a Hartline author here today! As I read over your book titles, it seems you have a range of writing interests, from sci-fi, to an archeological novel, to your upcoming contemporary novel, LOVE’S SECOND CHANCE. Do you enjoy being versatile or would you rather settle into one genre?
ML: First of all, thanks for having me here, and I hope I do Hartline authors justice. In answer to your question about my novels, I’ve thought about that a great deal myself. The ideal goal for any published author is to work in one genre and stay there. This way, readers who enjoy the kinds of stories you write have a better chance of finding you, and you’re on the road to building a loyal audience. That’s how Debbie Macomber and Janette Oke, for example, established themselves as authors. On the other hand, I have always had strong interests in many different areas of story-telling, (Click to Tweet!) thus my foray into different genres. I know it’s more difficult for me to build up a loyal following this way, but I find it hard to write just one kind of story. I enjoy the variety, plus, it stretches me as a writer, which may not be so bad after all.
HG: You’ve also co-written with other authors on your previous books. What is that process like? Do each of you bring certain strengths to the book? I’ve wondered about that ever since I read Peretti/Dekker’s novel, HOUSE.
ML: Wow, to be included in the company of Peretti and Dekker, that’s a humbling thought. I know co-authoring a book is not for every writer. It would be like getting two painters together and have them work on a landscape or still life. Since artists generally work alone, it seems that type of creative personality finds it difficult to blend his talents. I’m happy to say this hasn’t been my experience. Brandon Barr and I actually get along quite well when we’re working on a story. Knowing that someone else is just as committed as seeing the final product be the best it can be helps push us both as writers. I should say though, that he and I kind of stumbled our way through the collaboration process at first, but over time, we have developed a system that works well for the two of us.
We usually start the process as a kind of pitching session. We toss out a few ideas back and forth, and see which one works best as a novel. Once we’re agreed on that, we then start working out story details, such as plot points, characters, tone, etc. This usually translates into an 8-10 page outline.
At this point it’s time for us to get started on the novel. Typically, one of us writes the first two chapters of the book. Let’s say it’s me. Once the chapters are done, I send them to Brandon. He spends a week or so editing the chapters before sending them back to me to get my comments. When we’re both happy with the revisions, Brandon writes the next two chapters. He then sends them to me to get my response, and so on. Once the novel is finished, we then go through the entire process again, changing whatever we feel needs revising. I’d say it’s about 80% ready at this point. To get to that last 20%, we forward the manuscript to a number of writers and friends who will read it and tell us what they think works and what doesn’t. After we’ve incorporated their suggestions into the story, we read through the manuscript one more time just to make certain it’s exactly the way we want it. Once we’re both satisfied with the novel, we finally send it to our agent, who then forwards it to perspective publishers.
One of the things I appreciate about having a writing partner is knowing that Brandon expects my very best when it comes to the story. If I submit something that is deemed inferior, I will hear about it, but in a good way. Of course, the same is true the other way around. As you would expect, we run into a differences of opinion about the story from time to time, such as a way a character might react, or how a particular scene should be written. One of the things we agreed on from the beginning is that we have the other’s permission to change anything we see fit. Nothing is sacred or off limits. In most cases, the other writer sees the value of the change, and usually agrees to it. There have only been a few times when one of us has put our foot down on something, and is unwilling to budge. When that happens, we offer explanations why that part of the story should remain as is. In the end, we both realize the story comes first, and whatever we put to paper is for the benefit of the reader, and not ourselves.
HG: How long have you been writing novels? How have you seen God work in your writing career?
ML: My first novel was published in 2009, but I first wrote the story back in 1981—a 28 year wait. During that time of working on the story, God developed within me a stronger level of faith and patience I didn’t have prior to this winnowing time. The one thing I knew was that He had given me a desire to write. That I was sure of. What I didn’t know was if any of what I had written would ever be published. That, He never promised. And so I plugged away at the process—writing, honing, revising—until I finally received an e-mail from Silver Leaf Books, and their interest in WHEN THE SKY FELL. It was a long wait, but definitely worth it. In a lot of ways, I can identify with Abraham in the Old Testament. Those years of waiting for the promised son was the means God used to forge him as the father of faith he is universally known as today. It was the struggle and dependence on Him to see the promise through that burned away Abraham’s lesser qualities, and left him with Godly qualities. The same goes for me. Yes, I am a better writer today than I was thirty years ago, but I count more important that I am a stronger believer today than I was thirty years ago, and much of that is directly connected to those desert years.
The good news is that the subsequent novels didn’t take as long to write or find a publisher. Seems I learned my lessons well. AMERICAN MIDNIGHT came out in 2010, followed by THE CRYSTAL PORTAL, AFTER THE CROSS, and my next novel, LOVE’S SECOND CHANCE, is scheduled to be released this month. Just like Abraham, God has definitely blessed me through the adversity, and now I get to enjoy the benefits of all those years of waiting. One of the benefits for me as a writer is hearing how my books have impacted people’s lives. I believe every story I have ever written has been inspired by God in some way. It is my specific goal to bless and honor Him through my stories. If I can encourage the faiths of believers, or help someone who is not a follower of Jesus see Him for who He is, and the purpose for His sacrifice on the cross, then my stories have not only brought enjoyment to them, but the gift of eternal life. It doesn’t get much better than that for a Christian writer.
HG: Finally, please tell us about your novel, LOVE’S SECOND CHANCE. What do you hope readers will take away from this story?
ML: This is my first foray into romance, so I hope it is a story that touches a lot of people’s lives. As the title suggests, it focuses on what many of us don’t often get, a second chance in life. Not only for the main character, Dana Rogers, but for the town where she lives, and the church where she works.
Dana is afforded this uncommon opportunity as she serves as the pastor’s assistant at New Covenant Christian Church, the center of community life in the town of Fairhaven for the past two hundred years.
There she has caught the eye of Evan Johnson, a highly successful real estate agent, but the tragic death of her fiancé has wounded her so deeply she vows never to open her heart again to any man, including Evan. He helps her work through the pain of her loss, and for the first time in years, considers the possibility she can love again. In a stunning turn of events, New Covenant Church suffers a devastating setback, one that threatens to undue everything Dana has worked to save, including the first embers of a relationship with Evan.
As far as what readers will take away from LOVE’S SECOND CHANCE (LSC), there are two experiences I am shooting for. The primary one is that I have written a book that will hold a person’s interest from start to finish. I believe LSC is an engaging story, with three-dimensional characters readers will care about as they navigate all the twists and turns imbedded into the novel. This book is squarely targeted at women, with relationships between the different characters being at the core of the story. Women generally enjoy the relationships they have in their lives, and the same goes for characters they get to know in stories. They root for them to get together, and hope they will have happy lives when they do. That is what LSC is about.
The secondary experience I want readers to walk away with is the importance the church plays in a person’s life. In LSC, the reader sees how the spiritual health of New Covenant Church has a direct impact on the town of Fairhaven. Making a direct connection in the story to the Book of Habakkuk, God’s blessings are withheld when the town’s people put themselves and other things before Him. When the people decide to put God first in their lives again, His blessings return.
HG: Thank you so much for stopping in today, Mike!
ML: Thank you, Heather, for giving me this opportunity to share a little of myself and my stories with your followers. It’s much appreciated.
****Feel free to ask Mike questions! I hope you’re able to visit his website and check out his wide range of books!****