My guest today is an author with a unique story. She’s published three books, two of which are nonfiction, inspired by her own experiences. The third is a work of fiction, so she traverses both realms. In addition she does editing and acts as a writing coach for her fellow authors on her site, Writer Advice. Her book, Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62, which she’s going to tell us about, has recently become a 2018 National Indie Excellence Award finalist. I am pleased to welcome B. Lynn Goodwin to Writing to be Read.
Kaye: Would you share briefly the story of your own publishing journey?
Lynn: I began writing seriously while I was also caring for my mother in the last years of her life. It was a great outlet. I also began Writer Advice, www.writeradvice.com, which started as an e-mail newsletter with a mailing list of 35. Sorry this isn’t linear—but life events often overlap.
Since my mother was a private person, I decided not to tell her story. A better option was writing a book to help caregivers journal relieve stress, and You Want Me to Do WHAT?: Journaling for Caregivers was born.
Afterwards, I returned to a book I’d started years earlier, a YA that I renamed Talent. It was incomplete until I gave the protagonist, Sandee Mason, a brother. The pitch became “Sandee Mason wants to find her talent, get her license, and stop living in the shadow of her big brother, who disappeared while serving in Afghanistan.” The publisher, Eternal Press, has changed three times since I signed the contract. While I was doing both of these books I also started running writing contests on Writer Advice and had the pleasure of reading some amazing books from Random House for review.
Kaye: Your most recent book is Never Too Late: From Wannabe to Wife at 62. This book is your story in memoir. Would you tell us a little about how this book came into being?
Lynn: I knew Richard was special by our second date. Maybe earlier. To find out how I knew, read the book. 😉
I began taking notes early on, because he told me he was looking for a wife before we met, and I thought that if this worked out, or even if it didn’t, the story of a 62-year-old woman who had never been married and a two-time widower she met on Craigslist had to be unique. To find out why, read the book.
Kaye: You recently became a 2018 National Indie Excellence Award finalist for Never Too Late. Did you do anything special to get to that point?
Lynn: Only if you consider entering special. I’ve been looking for indie contests where I thought I might stand a chance. This one looked a bit too big, but I entered it anyway.
Kaye: Writing memoir requires an author to open up and reveal parts of themselves. For many that’s hard to do. What motivates you to share your story with others?
Lynn: I figured if a woman who looked like me and had my level of inexperience could get married at 62 there was hope for everyone. Women needed to know that. Richard read the book before I sent it out, and I put the rest of the world on a back burner.
Kaye: What is it you hope your readers will come away with from Never Too Late?
Lynn: It is never too late to find happiness, especially when you accept what is and is not within your control.
Kaye: Your previous works include You Want Me To Do What?: Journaling for Caregivers, and Talent, the story of a young girl who lost her older brother in Afghanistan and is struggling to get out from under the stigma of his death to become her own value. How is Never Too Late different from the other books you’ve written?
Lynn: Every book is different. Never Too Late is a memoir that reads like a novel. The only other novel I’d written was for young adults. The only other book for adults I’d written was about empowering oneself by journaling. Self-help meets how-to, as one reviewer put it.
Kaye: What is the strangest inspiration for a story you’ve ever had?
Lynn: Tough question. I’ve played around with telling a story from the pov of a mentally ill woman, and that was both unsettling and intriguing. I’m not mentally ill, but I’ve read about mental illness, and I’m fascinated by all the different ways we see the world.
Kaye: On your site, Writer’s Advice, you give out a lot of advice to fellow writers. What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given?
Lynn: Although I’m not sure what was best, here are the statements I remember well:
1. When free writing, go wherever the writing takes you.
2. Edit later.
3. Go deeper (whatever that means to you).
4. Put your writing in a different font and color and read it out loud or have someone read it to you. It will help you catch the errors you never see.
5. You don’t lose until you quit trying.
Kaye: If writing suddenly made you rich and famous, what would you do?
Lynn: Seriously? I don’t think there’s much I’d change, though if I were famous, I’d make more time for interviews, and if I were rich, I hope I’d give to causes that make the world better.
Kaye: For you, what is the biggest challenge of being a writer?
Lynn: I couldn’t say whether it’s being more open to suggestions or rising above the doubts that plague all of us (except the top 3% and even they may have doubts).
Kaye: What kind of Chinese food do you order all the time?
Lynn: Zucchini chicken or beef broccoli with steamed rice, but we don’t eat Chinese food all the time.
I want to thank Lynn for joining us and sharing with us today. It’s been a pleasure chatting with her. And thank all my readers for joining us, too. If you want to learn more about B. Lynn Goodwin, check her out on Writer Advice or visit her Amazon Author page.
Like this post? Subscribe to Writing to be Read for e-mail notifications whenever new content is posted or follow WtbR on WordPress.