Author Lynette White claims that she is a pantser (an author that writes “by the seat of her pants”), but don’t let that deceive you. Her stories are often multifaceted and very complicated. The passion she has for life is always found in her stories. I am honored to introduce you to this intriguing author here on No Wasted Ink.
My name is Lynette White. I grew up in Central Montana in a tiny town that still barely has 200 people residing in it. As the result of two failed marriages, I spent many years as a single mom. Raising my son was my only priority.
Ten years ago my second son entered my life. He was a homeless teen who had lost his mother to cancer, and his father was in prison. He was such a natural fit to our family that I can’t imagine him not being a part of it anymore. My two sons have found their companions, and I have been blessed with two beautiful daughters-in-law and three granddaughters. My fourth granddaughter will join us in January.
I am a restless spirit with a passion for life. I have had many trials, tribulations, and successes in my life. For the most part I am an optimist, and I still believe in the kindness of the human spirit. While I am forced to accept the evil in the world around us, I refuse to believe there is no hope for mankind.
When and why did you begin writing?
I have always had a passion for reading and writing, but it wasn’t until high school that the flicker of passion touched me. Three decades would come and go after that spark, and even though I continued to write and read I never progressed toward publishing.
Five years ago I moved home to take care of my terminally ill mother. One night as we sat in the living I mentioned that I had written three books that I hoped some day would be published. I just had no idea how to do that. She looked right at me and said “We raised you better than that. Dreams don’t just come true. They require some elbow grease.”
I returned to Salt Lake after she passed and within months my life changed forever. Do I think she had something to do with it? Absolutely! Believe what you want, but I know our loved ones are very near to us after they leave this mortal plane.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
It was quite recently actually. Despite the fact I already had my published works in eight anthologies, a progressive novelette, and my first novel in print I still didn’t consider myself a writer. It wasn’t until February of this year when I sat on my first panels at a writer’s convention that I honestly considered myself a writer, but it was slow realization. Truth is, I was suddenly horrified as the people started to fill the room of the first panel. By the time I completed my fourth panel of the weekend, answered countless questions from attendees, and had the book signing behind me that it finally hit me. “I can do this. I am a writer.” It was powerful moment for me.
Can you share a little about your current book with us?
Enemy Unmasked is the second book of the Destiny Series. In Enemy Unmasked the twin cities of Tarson and Salaria are at a crossroads. What started out as simple raids done by greedy thieves and Goblins is rapidly progressing toward war as a far more powerful enemy takes notice. But, this book has much more to it than the protagonist realizing the danger his cities are in. There are several enemies that are revealed.
What inspired you to write this book?
That would be my editor. You see, The Destiny Series was originally written as a trilogy. However, as my editor completed The Enemy Within she told me that it was too long and really needed to be two books. At that point we looked at the second book Darkest Night and it was decided that it was also too long. We decided at point to take the last part of The Enemy Within and the first part Darkest Night and combine them into one book. The trilogy became a series and the two books began to transform into Enemy Unmasked.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I do. I am primarily a pantser. I have the basic starting point and ending point then I go from there. However, I am also a theme writer. Everything I write, be it a short story or a novel, has a theme woven through it. There is always a deeper lesson to be learned, a transformation that takes place, and the enemy is not always the one the hero vanquishes. Sometimes the enemy is the person in the mirror.
How did you come up with the title of this book?
Carrying on with the theme concept. The first book in the series The Enemy Within deals with much more than the betrayal of High Priest. The characters face their own private demons. Part of the transformation of the second book was the characters not only discovering the High Priest is the least of their problems, but situations arise where they are forced to face those demons in order to come together and save the cities. I was nearly half done with the rewrite when I was inspired to name it Enemy Unmasked.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes. The message I want the readers to grab onto is the power of the human spirit. That inner strength that each of us have to stand up and fight for what we hold sacred and those we love. In this book it is that strength that gives the characters the power they need to overcome their own weaknesses . They must realize that the only way they can protect the lives of thousands of innocent people is to stand together. That means that some deep wounds must be cleansed.
Are experiences in this book based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Experiences, no. The characters themselves, yes. Shadoe Van Ives, the protagonist, is the personification of my son James. Sander is like my father in many ways. Coriane is very much like me. None of the events have ever happened to me specifically, but the way the characters react to those events do reflect shadows of my life.
What authors have most influenced your life? What about them do you find inspiring?
Tracy Hickman, Sydney Sheldon, Lee Harper, Rita Mae Brown, Raymond Feist just to name a few. Each one of them have touched me in different ways, but mostly it is the brutal honesty in their words that inspire me. When I read I like to make a connection with the characters, feel what they feel, struggle with them, and share in their successes. These authors can pen a story with such power that I have those experiences.
If you had to choose, is there a writer would you consider a mentor? Why?
Without question it is Tracy and Laura Hickman. I have been an avid fan of Tracy’s for three decades and now I have been blessed with opportunities to learn from both him and Laura. The Hickmans are great people and I am so happy to now call them friends and mentors.
Who designed the cover of your book? Why did you select this illustrator?
Hairston Williams and his partner Aedo. I actually came across them on facebook and they showed me some of their work. I discussed what I wanted and they created a beautiful cover.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
The same advice I know writers hear over and over ,but it can’t be emphasized enough. Write, write, write and when you don’t feel like writing sit in that chair and write . It is not just the talent that makes you a better writer, but the practice and the discipline. Like I tell the young people I give presentations to: a professional dancer doesn’t walk on to a stage and just dance. A professional athlete doesn’t pick up a ball and suddenly become a superstar. Years of practice had to happen before that dancer stepped on to the stage or the athlete entered the arena.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
First and foremost I want to tell my readers thank you for without you a book is nothing more than bound paper. For those who have not read my works yet I want to invite you to share in an experience that will leave you not only touched but thinking.
Salt Lake City, Utah
Cover Artist: Hairston Williams