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Author Interview: Behind The Scenes with Lynda R. Young


Behind The Scenes2

Everyone’s journey to publication is different and unique. In Behind The Scenes, I interview writers who tell us how they started and got to where they are today. With the knowledge that comes from experience, they share their words of wisdom with us. If you’re a writer, I’d love to hear about your journey! Please contact me here if you’re interested in being interviewed. New interviews featured every second and last Monday of the month.

Lynda R. Young is with me today to talk about her journey. She mixes her love of storytelling with game-development. She is a contributor in The Insecure Writer’s Support Group Guide to Publishing and Beyond, which is available as a free download, thanks to the wonderful people at IWSG.


1. Tell us a bit about your writing journey. How did you get started, and how did you get to where you are now?

Despite being a slow reader, I couldn’t get enough. The authors made writing look easy. I didn’t realize how much work goes into making the writing look effortless. So with no clue whatsoever, I embarked on my writing journey with a head full of dreams and a heart full of possibility.

It took me nine years to finish my first epic of 219k words. Back then, finding information on the industry was next to impossible unless you knew someone on the inside. I knew no one. Consequently, I remained clueless and eventually gave up trying to get published. It took ten years before writing drew me back. The internet opened up new possibilities. Armed with new knowledge and an online support group of writers, I charged forth. I even wrote books that were almost publishable. While I’ve found success getting short stories published and even a novelette, I’m still working on getting a novel published.


2. Anything you would’ve done differently if you could do it all over again?

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t have given up so easily. Yes, it’s a difficult industry to break into, but it’s not impossible and we have so many more choices today. Also, when you stop writing for an extended time, you lose some of your writing skills and confidence. It takes a long while to get them back.


3. What advice would you give to new and aspiring writers?

My advice to writers is if you are serious about getting published, then go ahead and eat a slice of reality pie: Writing is the easiest part of it all and that’s still not easy. Once you’ve digested that morsel, enjoy what you do, learn everything you can about the craft, the market, and the industry as a whole. Read a lot and don’t give up. Keep writing.


4. Is there any book you’ve written that is particularly special to you? Which one and why?

The first book I ever wrote is particularly special to me. It remains a hot mess, I might’ve been clueless, I may have made a gazillion mistakes about character arcs, word count, and general storytelling, but I completed it the best I could at the time. I didn’t let fear hold me back.


5. Who would you say is your favorite character(s) from your books, and why? What is it about this character that makes him/her tick?

My favorite characters are the ones who are nothing like me because they are a challenge to write and fun to get into their head.


6. Tell us about your latest project. What are you working on at the moment, and what can we expect from it?

My latest project is one that’s taken me in an unexpected direction, a different avenue of storytelling. I’m currently working on a game based on a world I created for one of my books. It has presented a whole set of new challenges, but I’m loving it.


7. Are you self-pubbed or traditionally published? What made you go for this model? What advice/tips can you share with writers working towards the same goal?

I’ve experienced both self-publishing and traditional publishing. Each project demands its own route for various reasons. For example, I’ve chosen to self-publish a daily devotional this year because the traditional market isn’t in demand for this kind of book. My advice is to remain flexible to the many options available to us. Don’t choose self-publishing because you think it will be easier. It’s not. However, both paths are equally rewarding. And don’t forget to keep writing.


Author Bio: Lynda R Young writes speculative short stories and is currently writing novels for young adults. In her spare time she also dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her sweetheart of a husband who is her rock. You can find her here: Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads


57 thoughts on “Author Interview: Behind The Scenes with Lynda R. Young

  1. Lynda has a lot of good information here. I especially liked what she said about not letting fear stop her.

  2. Thanks so much for having me, Maggie. I really appreciate it, plus your questions were fun to answer 🙂

  3. I look forward to the Devotional!
    It is easy to fall out of the habit when you don’t write for a very long time.
    Lynda is also an amazing editor (she oversaw the final edits of the IWSG book) and an awesome critique partner. Nothing gets past her!

    • Thanks so much for your kind comments, Alex. I’m being super careful with the devotional–checking for typos, poor phrasing, etc–so it’s taking me longer than I had expected, but it’s still on track!

  4. The industry has changed so much, plus the Web has made it easier to track down publishers and keep up to date on who is accepting. I can’t imagine writing a game though.

  5. Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Lynda.

  6. Great interview! I agree that getting back into writing after a break is tough!! Much easier to keep going 🙂

  7. I love devotionals!! Great Interview Ladies!!

  8. We have so many options today and we can’t let fear stop us. Thanks for all your advice and life sharing Lynda.

  9. It’s awesome you didn’t let fear hold you back. None of us can get anywhere unless we’re brave enough to try. And then try again. Ad infinitum. 🙂

  10. 219K is indeed a humdinger of a novel. Glad you made your way back to writing.
    A daily devotional sounds like a great project.

  11. Go Lyn. I hope you eventually go back to that 219k novel, polish it up and get it published. I was astounded to read the other day that Apps for smartphones make more money than any other industry! The figures are mind boggling. Maybe you could look at creating Apps once you master gaming. 🙂

  12. The game writing thing sounds very challenging. I have a friend who has a gig writing for some game developers. She’s been doing it for a few years now in addition to her own writing.

    • Yeah, I was thinking of doing for other game companies too. Just the basic writing, that is eg writing dialogue etc. At the moment for my own company, I’m doing narrative design as well as everything else.

  13. So in other words don’t stop writing, i think the cat can handle that.

  14. I’m querying agents but may go my own way. I’ll only sign with an Imprint from one of the Big Six. Otherwise it just makes sense to go it alone. Actually, I’ve started my own publishing company for the sole purpose of publishing my books. It just looks a little more prrofessional. But why sign on with a small publisher? They usually want a five year contract and they often set the price too high. I like to have special promos and need the freedom to set prices accordingly.

  15. Great interview!

    I agree about being challenged to write characters that aren’t like us, they can be the best characters to write and the most fun to read 🙂

  16. Great interview!
    219K is a LOT of words. I can’t imagine my limited brain producing so many words for only one story – mind boggling.
    I could probably write about 15 stories totalling 219K words.

    And writing a game sounds so abstract? I can’t imagine it… 😀
    I do remember Lynda saying that she is busy writing music for the game. As a musician who reads and writes music the ‘traditional’ way, that part really interests me…

    • My first book was 219k, my second one was 136k (or something like that) and after that I finally got a clue and now they are around 80k. A lot more manageable!

      The music for the game has been fun. I still have a long way to go though before I’m finished.

  17. Lovely interview. Nice to get to know the real Lyn behind the scenes 🙂

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

  18. My first novel is still a “hot mess” also. Its getting closer to publishable though. I have enjoyed being in a writing community also; so much to learn and so many people to learn from. Writing is hard, but marketing is much harder.

  19. Wonderful interview and fantastic advice. Marketing is by far the harder part, but it’s necessary these days.

  20. When I started, I thought writing would be easy–it definitely isn’t. I started querying during snail mail days, when I had to look up agents and publishers in library books. The internet has made everything easier.

  21. This was a great interview! I can relate with a lot of what Lynda said. Writing is much harder than it looks, and publishing (or getting published) is even harder. All the more reason to take a writer seriously!

  22. Lovely. I’m with you on neither path is easier. They’re just different. It’s amazing how many people out there think they’re going to write a book and magically be published by a large press then become a billionaire. Ah reality…

  23. Lynda is an amazing writer. Yeah, this journey is a lot of work. It takes a lot of tenacity. http://mpaxuthor.com/blog/

  24. Great interview. I like your advice to new and inspiring writers.

  25. Wonderful post on perseverance in the writing world, and how it can take you different directions. I think it’s cool that you are developing a game, and that you are self-pubbing a devotional book. 🙂

  26. Wonderful interview, ladies! Loved hearing your story, Lynda. We have similar experiences. I started back before there was internet too. 1984. We’ve lived through some excellent technological changes. You are a mentor to many, Lynda. Thanks Maggie!

  27. Great interview, Lynda and Maggie! I like Lynda’s refrain of not giving up. Creating a game based on your own world sounds intriguing and fun. Good luck with it!

  28. Great interview, and Lynda, as always, you have good insights about the writing life. “Not giving up so easily the first time ” has resonance for me. I went through a period of discouragement where i decided to stop writing because of all the rejection slips. (Quite a while back, like, years and years,) And then I started writing again, because, you now that’s what happens to writers, and I’m glad I did. I still had years of rejections to copy with except short stories and flash fictions here and there. But now I have a middle grade novel coming out in June and a nibble at one of my other books, and I am soooooo glad I didn’t give up this time around but just kept plugging away.

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