Can you tell us about yourself?
Thank you for having me, Sylvia. It’s good to be here today. My name is Lynette Lee, and I study history, literature, English, and fiction creative writing at Southern New Hampshire University. I live in Harrison, Arkansas with my three-year-old daughter. 2014, I published two short stories in an anthology series called, “Around the Fire.” And in 2015, I published two more in an anthology called, “Nightmarish Eve.”
What is the inspiration for your writing?
Oh, that credit goes to several people. First, I began playing around with writing in the third grade, 1993 to be exact. I read the “Diary of Anne Frank,” and I saw that we were both alike. We lived and experienced two different worlds, yet we both felt misunderstood. Through her, I I learned how to express my feelings in my writing. She also taught me about the craft of writing. I felt that nobody around me saw my talents, so I kept my writing hidden, locked away inside myself. In 2003, I enrolled at University of Louisiana at Monroe. There, an English professor saw my talent, took me under her wing, and I learned how to form my voice and how to make my writing flow. Still I refused to do anything with it. I guess I got used to keeping it hidden and to myself. When I enrolled at SNHU, I met a friend, who encouraged me to join a creative writing group. My first meeting, we were shown a ship from around the 1700 or 1800s. I immediately saw this ship as a slave ship, and I began writing about the slaves in the cargo hold. This one paragraph led me straight into my genre, but it wasn’t until “Around the Fire,” that I decided to form a career in historical fiction writing.
When you worked on this stories did you have a favorite character?
Yes, I bound deeply with my main character or characters. I put them through so much, yet I am always in the background cheering them on. My emotions spill out onto my word document, and I start to transform into my characters. This allows me to make them and my scenes realistic.
Can you tell us about some of the short stories that you have published?
I have published four short stories: “The Curse,” “New York Christmas,” “The Perfect Christmas,” and “A Brother’s Revenge.” I am attempting to traditionally publish one called, “The African Promise.” This is the one that was formed through the writing prompt, which I later transformed into a fictional memoir. A year later, I formed it into a short story. I am also working on anther short story called, “Blessings and Miracles.” It’s set in the 1950s, and two women decide to move to California to form new lives. This story is already in the rough draft stage. Furthermore, I have written several poems, but I have yet to publish any. I am going to compile all my short stories and poems into a book, and get it published next May.
What can you share about those works?
“The Perfect Christmas” was my first and last attempt to write a contemporary piece. I do not feel I have a talent for contemporary writing. My talent is historical fiction only. But anyway, “The Perfect Christmas” is set in modern times. It’s about a family that adopts a little boy around Christmas time. “New York Christmas” is my favorite. This story led me straight into my genre, and I will be forever grateful and honored by it. In a history class, we were studying Industrial Revolution, and during my research, I came across a photo of a female child laborer. She was probably around eight or ten years old. But the misery on her face captured me. Her image just burned in my mind. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. So I wrote an imaginary story about her. I gave her an imaginary name, and she became more than a photo. She became a real live person. “The Curse” is about a Cherokee boy that is being forced to relocate to Oklahoma. He has a unique story and is completely different from any of the Trail of Tears stories that I have read. My last short story is called, “A Brother’s Revenge.” This story is set during the American Civil War, it’s about two spies, two brothers, with a horrible twist at the end.
Are you working on a solo book?
Yes, this story is slow going. I write a chapter every eight weeks. School work has to come first, and I am trying to form a writing career before I graduate. So, it gets put on the back burner a lot. The story is called, “The Betrayal.” It’s set back during World War II. And four people, Cassandra, Joshua, Hans, and Natalia find themselves wrapped in the clutches of the Gestapo. That is all I am going to say.
When can we expect to see it?
Well I had planned on having it completed by 2015, but things just didn’t work out. So, I am pushing it back to 2018. I hope I don’t have to push it back anymore. I really want to finish it. I feel this book is going to mark my writing career.
What is the best advice you as a writer/ Author can give someone?
Find good trusting beta readers and a great editor. You want your beta readers to have a strong foundation in English. And you want a professional highly experienced editor. They are expensive, but well worth the money. Without a team, you will never breech the walls of this industry.
Do you have an inspirational quote?
Actually I have two, but I am not sure who the author is, “Be the person you want to be, not the person people want you to be” and my own, “Your degree is your ship, writing is your sails, and your word processor is your navigator.”
What is something you would like to share that you would love to share with your readers today?
I would like to recommend them a book called. “Writing Down the Bones: Feeling the Writer Within,” by Natalie Goldberg. This book is an inspirational book for writers. Writer’s Block is real. Sometimes we just can’t form words and sentences to complete a scene. This book, helps us get past it and forms a whole new light on our scenes.
Thank you so much for being here.
Oh, it was a pleasure. I am so glad that you invited me here today.
Can you tell us where we can find you?
Sure, I have several accounts, but you can always find me on Facebook and my blog, “The Bookshelf.”
Thank you again for being here Lynette!
Lynette Lee is a junior at Southern New Hampshire University; she is pursuing a Bachelors’ in history. She also studies fiction creative writing, literature, and English. She is a historical fiction writer and has published four short stories called, The Perfect December, New York Christmas, The Curse, and A Brother’s Revenge. Currently, Lee is trying to complete her first novel, The Betrayal and to publish The African Promise. She resides in the Ozark Mountains with her three-year-old daughter, where during her free time, travels to historical sites, hikes and canoes the Buffalo River, and shops in Branson, Missouri.
Here is Lynette Lee’s Amazon Page: