Author Interview with C.H. Lyn

Day: What literary pilgrimages have you gone on? For Example, Hemingway’s house.

C.H Lyn: My sister and I spent a full weekend at a cute little bed and breakfast in Santa Cruz, CA, over the summer of 2021. It was amazing. I planned on writing a ton for my WIP at the time and ended up drafting a 4-part series with my sister instead. We haven’t gotten past the first few chapters of book one, but it’s biding its time, waiting for me to finish my current series.

Day: If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

C.H Lyn: Oohh, that’s a tough one. My series, Miss Belle’s Travel Guides takes place all over the world. Book one is set in Tokyo, Thailand, and New York. Book two is set in Peru and New York… I think I’d go for Europe. I’d try to slam out four books for the Travel Guides series that takes place in a bunch of different European countries.

Day: Picture this: You feel uninspired while you have sat at the computer for an hour without conquering any words. How do you get your creativity flowing?

C.H Lyn: Usually if I’ve been at the computer that long without writing, it’s because I got distracted watching Critical Role or Dimension20. The right music always helps. Some good tunes, a chocolatey snack, some tea or coffee, and I’m ready to go!

Day: Are you a plotter or a Pantser?

C.H Lyn: I used to be a panster, but I’m a plotter all the way. I’ve got detailed outlines for everything I’m working on. For the vellas they’re usually a simple outline. For my books, they are fully written 5 act structures, scenes, etc.

Day: What is your most unusual writing quirk?

C.H Lyn: I’d have to say not getting stuck as I go. When I’m writing out the plot – sure, I spend a lot of time scratching my head about what happens next. When I’m actually writing, not so much. If I do have that moment of doubt or hesitation, I usually fill in the word – or even section – with {ELEPHANT} to replace whatever I will go back and take care of later.

Day: What is your favorite genre to read, and why?

C.H Lyn: So hard to answer! I write a bunch of different genres, and that’s what I like to read too! Off the top of my head: sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian, contemporary action thrillers, and anything that makes me laugh without trying too hard.

Day: Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

C.H Lyn: I write what I want to read. I know enough people read the same books as me, that they’ll hopefully like what I’m writing too. Beyond that, I’m not trying to write for the current popular genre. Maybe someday, when I’ve run out of WIPs and backlogged projects, I’ll be able to gauge the market and pop out what is trending, but at the moment, I’m writing for the characters I want more of.

Day: If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

C.H Lyn: DON’T DO VANITY PUBLISHING!! Haha, but seriously. It’s a long story and one of the more expensive lessons I’ve ever learned. 19-year-old me could have used a bit of advice in that area.

Day: What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

C.H Lyn: My husband bought me my laptop, so I’m not sure that counts. Beyond that, I’d say the cover art I’m currently having commissioned. Based on what I’ve seen so far, it’ll definitely be worth the money.

Day: As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

C.H Lyn: My mascot has to be my white German Shepherd. If only because he comes to every game (writing session in my office).

Day: How many published and finished books/Vellas do you have?

C.H Lyn: I have one published book (Lacey Goes to Tokyo) and two finished Vellas, with a third releasing new episodes this month.

Day: What does literary success look like to you?

C.H Lyn: People reading my work, and not just people I know. Having book signings, merch, and a sweater with the rebel logo from my dystopian series on it. It looks like writing and publishing being my career.

Day: What’s the best way to market your books?

C.H Lyn: Ha! If I knew that, I’d tell you. From what I can tell, social media is key, but so is stuff like this. Doing interviews with fellow authors, chatting online, and making connections.

Day: What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

C.H Lyn: Good lordy, that’s a tough one. For Miss Belle’s Travel Guides, I do a ton of research. Hours for each book. With Book One, I did the research as I went. With Book Two, I’m actually holding off. If I need a restaurant, I leave a space to fill in later once I’ve put an hour into searching blogs and menus to find the perfect fit. For my sci-fi-fantasy/dystopian series, I don’t need much research. The usual writer stuff, how much blood loss kills you, what are the different burn levels, etc.

Day: How many hours a day do you write?

C.H Lyn: On a good day, the average is 2.5. I get a couple hours at the Y while my kids are at Learn and Play. (I love my Y, by the way. It has a cute little lounge area around a fireplace that is perfect for headphones and a laptop and diving into a story.) Then I try to do a half hour to an hour in the evening, depending on what my husband is up to. That time is generally spent with housekeeping: posting episodes to Vella, catching up on author emails, and planning social media stuff.

Day: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?

C.H Lyn: Oh, absolutely. I love easter eggs. There is nothing quite like a puzzle that a reader won’t realize until they go through the book a second time. I love pausing while I’m reading, flipping back a hundred pages, and having a Eureka moment. I want to deliver that to my readers as well.

Day: What was your most harrowing scene to write?

C.H Lyn: In Lacey Goes to Tokyo there is a lot of reference to abuse. I dance around it because none of my books will show graphic violence against women in that way, but it gets close sometimes. Those are difficult to write, mostly because my mind is always trying to consider what a reader will take from the scene, and I never want to cause unnecessary harm to my readers. Apart from that, Hope and Lies (Book One of the Abredea Series) has several heartbreaking scenes. Writing them isn’t as tough as the edit later on. Reading through the end of my book, when an MC dies in the arms of her grandson, makes me cry every time.

Day: What is your favorite time to write, and why?

C.H Lyn: I used to be a midnight writer, staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning. Now I have two kids, haha. I do my best stuff on the weekends in the morning. Hubby watches the girls, and I hit the coffee shop (or get coffee and work in my new office). We also go to the Y in the mornings, so that automatically makes them the best time – if not technically my favorite.

Day: Do you feel like it’s most important to have A) Strong characters B) Mind-blowing Plot twists, or C) Epic settings?

C.H Lyn: I think a strong character will get you through the worst plot, but an intriguing plot won’t get me past a 2-dimensional boring character. If I need to find out what happens, I’ll ask someone who reads it. Epic settings aren’t where I find myself engrossed. I love a good description, and if I’m able to live and breathe a world, it makes the book about a hundred times better. But again, none of that will matter to me if I don’t like the characters.

Day: Can you give a shout-out to a fellow author?

C.H Lyn: I’ll do ya better. I’ll shout out a few. I just finished reading Dakota Breann’s debut novel, and it was a very interesting take on a futuristic dystopian U.S. Lindz Hanson doesn’t have anything out yet, but she’s a riot on Tiktok (@bookreviewflashmob). Glint of Mischief is my cover artist, he did the art for Spooky Cat, and he is also an author. His stuff on social media is fantastic and hilarious, and his covers are gorgeous!

C.H. Lyn’s Vellas:

Abredea: Hope and Lies

No peace without order. No order without caste. Juliana believes in the system. Believes it will work for her as it always has. When she is Coded a White-Star, she realizes people in power don’t always tell the truth. Maybelle is a rebel. She has found her truth, and she will fight for it. Cho wants to survive. Wants his family to live peaceful lives. Their powers – superhuman abilities – make that life nearly impossible. Follow these three in a world where lies are abundant, and hope is rare.

Spooky Cat

Demi has always said ‘bless you’ when someone sneezes. It’s the polite thing to do. But does their cat count? When Missy sneezes, and Demi fails to utter the appropriate response, a demon takes over their cat. The unlikely pairing undertakes adventure and hilarity, battling bigots and bigger demons, to get all the things necessary for an exorcism. Because as much as Demi doesn’t want a demon in their cat, the demon wants to be there even less.

Song of the Deep

Prince Derek is set to marry Lady Lydia. Not his choice; not hers. It’s his duty, so he tries to get to know his soon-to-be bride on their trek across the sea to his kingdom. When their ship goes down, and she is lost at sea, Derek is reminded of an old tale, a legend in his lands. When a woman dies at sea, she might not be lost forever. He, and Lydia’s handmaiden, Alyana, find a sea witch to learn if this legend might be true. It might. But what will it cost to see Lydia again?

C.H. Lyn’s book series is:

Lacey Goes To Tokyo: Miss Belle’s Travel Guides

International travel means international danger.

Lacey Devaine is a four-year veteran of a spy ring which fronts as an exclusive escort service, Miss Belle’s Travel Guides. Maintaining her cover is Lacey’s number one priority to protect the integrity of the operation she works for.

While on assignment in Tokyo, a nosy newspaper reporter threatens to blow the lid off a scandal that will put dozens of innocent lives at risk. To protect her cover, Miss Belle is called in to act on intelligence Lacey has uncovered.

Can these beautiful, intelligent, and deadly women complete this assignment in time and emerge unscathed? Or will this mission be their last?

You can find C.H. Lyn at: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TicToc, and Amazon.

Quote of the day; Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed . . .

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

This remains one of my favorite quotes.