Lynne Gentry knew marrying a preacher might change her plans. She didn’t know how ministry would change her life. This author of numerous short stories and dramatic works travels the country as a professional acting coach and inspirational speaker. Lynne lives in Dallas with her husband Lonnie and counts spending time with her two grown children and their families her greatest joy.
Fear that I would fail a spiritual test lingered in the back of my mind.
In 2005, I attended my first ACFW writer’s conference and took a class that encouraged us to write about our deepest fears. I wanted to write something funny, and frankly, writing about something that scared me to death didn’t sound fun let alone funny. But God used this story to teach me to trust, and in the process He prepared me for a devastating turn of events that would either make or break me in 2009. Not the death of my husband, but something almost as bad. I’m happy to say, I’m coming out of that deep grief a reinvented woman, one who daily rejoices in the faithfulness of God.
Did anything strange or funny happen while researching or writing your book?
Every novelist has a journey. How long was your road to publication? How did you find out and what went through your mind?
Back before sermon skits were a dime a dozen, my husband thought it would be great to use drama as an additional sermon teaching tool. But, we had trouble finding dramas that fit his messages, so I started writing and directing them. That blossomed into full-blown musicals, video production, etc. Then a writer friend of mine, Lisa Harris, encouraged me to turn one of my musicals into a novel. Little did I know, it would take nearly eight years to finally sell one of my precious darlings.
My husband and I were treating ourselves to a lovely birthday meal in a very nice restaurant when I got the call from my agent, Sandra Bishop. She asked, “Lynne, did you ever wonder where you’d be when you found out you sold your first book?” I think the huge smile on my face had the wait staff wondering what was in my tea. Or maybe it was the screaming and jumping up and down. I’m not sure which. But I remember being extremely grateful to God.
Do you ever bang your head against the wall from writer's block? If so, how do you overcome it?
Three things help me when I get stuck:
1. Edit previous chapters. That seems to get me back into the story and help those creative juices flow again.
2. Read a chapter or two from another author. Somehow feeling the flow and rhythm of another’s storytelling sparks my own creativity.
3. Walk. We have a beautiful park not far from home. Walking in nature or taking my computer outside and just letting the Creator of creativity’s creation surround me jumpstarts my stalled motor.
Do you consider yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use?
Novelists sometimes dig themselves into a hole over implausible plots, flat characters or a host of other problems. What's the most difficult part of writing for you?
How do you overcome it?
Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?
What does a typical day look like for you?
Some authors report writing 5-10 thousand words a day. Do scenes flow freely from your veins or do you have to tweeze each word out?
What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard?
Do you have any parting words of advice?
In Reinventing Leona, the pastor’s wife knows that residing in the parsonage is not for sissies, but the thought of living anywhere else scares Leona Harper spitless. When her husband drops dead in the pulpit, Leona loses more than her spouse. She loses her best friend, her home, and her entire identity. How does a woman cast adrift find the courage to reinvent her life?