Lynette Sowell works as a medical transcriptionist and a part-time reporter for the Copperas Cove Leader-Press. In her “spare” time, she loves to spin adventures for the characters who emerge from story ideas in her head. She hopes to spread the truth of God’s love while taking readers on an entertaining journey. Lynette is a Massachusetts transplant who lives with her husband and a herd of five cats in central Texas. She loves to read, travel, spend time with her family, and likes to eat Mexican food whenever she can. You can find Lynette on Facebook or at www.lynettesowell.com.
How did your story for the collection come about?
One of my favorite themes in stories, especially at Christmas time, is forgiveness and restoration. Christmas is about God building a bridge to us, and reaching out to restore the realtionsihp that was lost. . .when we’ve been given grace like that, what better time to practice it? However, our feelings don’t always cooperate, especially when we’ve been the one wronged. My heroine faces that challenge. That’s the serious part of how I found my story.
The not-so-serious part? I really enjoy visiting San Antonio, especially the Riverwalk. I’m also a foodie and a fan of Mexican cuisine. It’s much, much more than what you see at a chain restaurant. I could go on and on about cilantro, queso fresco, mole’, but I won‘t. Anyway, when Beth, Martha, Kathleen, and I started talking about writing a book set in San Antonio, I thought it would be fun to have my heroine be a chef in her family’s Mexican restaurant on the Riverwalk. Enter her hero with a past, and the story flowed from there.
What other books have you written, whether published or not?
This novella is my fifth novella for Barbour. I also have written three mysteries and a historical romance. Plus, there’s at least three or four unpublished books sitting in a drawer…somewhere. My third mystery releases in 2011, as does my sixth novella.
What is the hardest thing about writing a part of a novella collection? Was it hard connecting the stories?
I think it’s the story idea itself. There needs to be enough of a story there to have a complete tale, but we only have 20,000 words to do that. In this collection, no, it wasn’t hard at all to connect the stories. My heroine’s resturant, La Cocina del Rio, turned into sort of a secondary character in each novella. That was fun. I made sure my cowriters knew what the place looked like, and who some of the staff were.
How did collaborating with this team impact you?
On a personal level, I’ve realized how much these three ladies mean to me not just as fellow authors, but as friends. I’ve known Beth, Martha, and Kathleen for many years, and it was a treat to work on this collection with them.
How did you choose your characters’ names?
My hero and heroine are both Hispanic, and they’re first-generation Americans. Gabriela and Miguel are both Spanish versions of the names Gabriel and Michael, who are both angels named in the Bible. Since angels play a big role in the Christmas story, I thought that fit.
What do you want the reader to take away from your story?
I want them to enjoy a good read, and especially if it’s at Christmas time, to take a few moments for themselves and get in the Christmas spirit. Maybe if they’re struggling with forgiveness, or still feeling guilty about something they’ve been forgiven for, this little story might encourage them to let go of pain or guilt, and accept a little extra grace from God.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve received as an author?
Never stop learning. Don’t settle for mediocre or average. Be willing to keep learning and don’t think you already know it all, or know enough.
What are you reading right now?
Right now I just started reading Nightshade, by Ronie Kendig. I’ve heard so much about it, and I can’t wait to have a few free hours to kick back and enjoy it.
Thanks for having me as your guest, Lisa!
Want more? Be sure to stop by The Borrowed Book on Thursday for an excerpt from A Riverwalk Christmas by Lynette Sowell.