We are so excited to have Lynnette Bonner stop by today and chat with us. Lynnette is the author of Not a Sparrow Falls. Are you familiar with Lynnette? If not, check out her website (after reading the interview, of course 😉 ). And now our chat with Lynnette….
TG: You were born and raised in Africa. Did that have any kind of influence on you as an author?
LB: For sure! I often tell my kids that I wish anyone who interacted in politics in our country would be required to first live for 2 years in an African village in the middle of nowhere. But we aren’t here to talk about politics (thank goodness!)
When you’ve seen people living in truly abject poverty and watched them live overcoming joy-filled lives despite their circumstances, you can’t help but be changed. When your best friends growing up lived in a mud and brick home and slept each night on a grass mat on a hard cement floor, yet were more than happy to share their meal of corn porridge and vegetables, it can’t help but change you.
I hope I am a more giving person because of my upbringing. I hope I am less judgmental of poverty. I hope I am a writer who shows that no matter your circumstances in life, there is One who can give you joy beyond measure.
One story I wrote, that I likely wouldn’t have written were it not for my upbringing, is the Sonnets of the Spice Isle serialization. The research for that book was heartbreaking, even though some of it I knew to expect.
I’m very thankful for my rich heritage.
TG: What is it about historical fiction that appeals to you as an author?
LB: I love writing about a simpler time, and yet showing that people of those times struggled with many of the same sins and issues that we face today. I’ve sometimes gotten negative reviews because readers say a sin I presented in the story would have never happened “back in those days.” I dont’ believe that. I believe sin has tripped people up since Eve ate the fruit, since Cain killed Abel, since David, a man after God’s own heart, stole another man’s wife and had that man murdered to try and cover it up.
TG: What is a typical writin day for you like?
LB: After getting my daughter off to school, I generally check email and Facebook. I might do some promotion or work on my website for a bit. I try to write from 10-2 each day, but try is the optimal word there. I also run a cover design business, so I sometimes have clients that I’m working with on certain days. Sometimes I don’t get to my writing till 11:30 at night what with sports schedules and family time etc. Some days I get no writing done at all and other days I get 3-5000 words in. It just depends on the day. I love the flexibility of working for myself.
TG: When did you realize you wanted to be an author?
LB: I think I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I’ve dabbled in writing since I was in junior high. But it wasn’t until I was finally able to complete my first novel and it got accepted by a publisher that I realized I might actually be okay at it.
TG: What do you find the most challenging part of being a writer?
LB: I always want to include a message of Truth in my stories. Nailing down exactly which one truth I want to bring out in each story can be a struggle. There is often more I would like to share, but the more you try to pack in the more it gets watered down, so picking just one message is important. I think that’s often my hardest task.
TG: How do you come up with the ideas for your books?
LB: Ideas are everywhere. They come in a dream. They come when you are standing in line at the grocery store watching a three-year-old throw a temper tantrum. They come while you’re in traffic listening to the radio and you hear a snippet of a testimony, or a line of a song. They come during sermons. Sometimes they come from secondary characters in a book already written. I love that moment when I’m hit with a new idea! So much fun.
TG: If you weren’t a writer, what you would your dream job be?
LB: Hmmmm…Hard to answer when I’m doing two of my dream jobs at the moment. What kind of job would let me travel the world for free, stay in luxury hotels all along the way, and not require me to sell my soul to do it? I’d want that job! haha
TG: What is your favorite book/author?
LB: Unfair! Only one? I’ve put off answering this for at least an hour…and I still can’t pick just one. So I’ll give you my favorites in no particular order. As I glance over at my bookshelf, the first series I see is the Theyne Chronicles by Angela Elwell Hunt. Oh, what great stories! Medieval castles and knights and damsels in distress–what could be better?
Bodie Thoene has long been one of my favorite authors. I love how she brings to life the Jewish culture and opens my eyes to things in the scriptures that I never saw in quite that light before. Pick any one of her books and you are going to have an amazing read.
Jeanette Windle is another favorite. She’s a fellow missionary kid, so that endears her to me too I suppose, but wow can that lady write! My favorite book of hers is DMZ–a pretty American journalist finds herself in the South American jungles, captured by an evil drug cartel. Add in a handsome undercover CIA agent, a harrowing escape, and lots of adventure and you have a can’t-put-down story.
Linda Windsor is also a favorite author. She knows how to make clean romance pop and sizzle. And her humor catches me off guard and often has me laughing out loud.
I could go on to mention other favorites by Louis L’Amour, James Fennimore Cooper, Sir Walter Scott (waving my thanks to Mr. Bannister, my high school English teacher), Dee Henderson, Irene Hannon, Denise Hunter, Susan May Warren, Francine Rivers, Linda Chaikin and Tamara Leigh. I could tell stories about each one and why I love what they do.
A big Two Girls and a Book thank you to Lynnette for taking time out of her busy day and chatting with us. It has been a ton of fun getting to know her better and we hope you have had fun too!
Lynnette has graciously offered to give one lucky winner an ebook copy (in the format of their choice) her her newest release, Not a Sparrow Falls. To enter please leave a comment telling us who instilled your love of reading in you. Be sure to leave your email address with your response so we can contact you if you are the lucky winner. The contest will be open through Friday, March 10 and the winner will be announced March 11. Good luck to you all!!!!