Driven to write, Lynn Rush often sees her characters by closing her eyes watching their story unfold in her mind. Lynn Rush is a pen name that is a combination of two sources – Lynn, the first name of her mother-in-law, who passed away and Rush – since the author is a former inline speed skater and mountain biker. All of Rush’s books are dedicated to Lynn, her namesake, and a portion of the proceeds benefits cancer research and awareness.
Tell our readers a bit about your journey. How long did it take you to get published?
I started writing for publication in May of 2008, and I got my first publishing contract through a contest in January of 2010; however, that didn’t end up working out as the publisher closed its doors. Crescent Moon press snatched up Wasteland March of 2011. It was an up and down journey, but that’s part of any dream, right? Totally worth it!
Tell us about this book.
The third book in this Wasteland Trilogy, Tainted, released January 15th, 2013. I was sad to see the stories end, but it was fun to write Jessica and Durk’s love story. I’d introduced Jessica in that very first book when she wasn’t even sixteen. Durk had a brief mention, but he played a bigger role in book two, Awaited. In book three, they finally get the spotlight.
Was there a specific 'what if' moment to spark this story?
No. I’m one to just get an idea and start writing. I could be walking down the street and a story idea will spark at any given time. But, as I looked back at Wasteland, it was about being out of control. I was unemployed, something I didn’t want or ask for. Things were just out of my control, much like the main character, David. He didn’t ask to be a half demon, didn’t want to be, but it was beyond his control.
Did anything strange or funny happen while researching or writing your book?
Not Wasteland, but the second book, Awaited, was interesting. My heroine is mute. So, I had to learn/research sign language for some phrases. That was really fun. I’d always wanted to learn sign language, just never took the time, so this was a nice taste.
Where do you write: In a cave, a coffeehouse, or a cozy attic nook?
I can write anywhere. I love this little coffee house near me called Cabin Coffee. I did a book signing there with a local musician back in October and they were just fantastic. It was so fitting since I’ve written, like, three books while drinking their tea and eating their cookies. <grin> But for the most part, I’m at my desk shown in the picture.
I have a picture of Lynn, my mother-in-law, on the wall where I can easily see it. She inspires me. And yep, that’s where I got my name. She read the first thing I ever wrote, and she was a great writer, so I thought it was fitting. And then when she died from cancer, I thought it even more fitting that her name would be on every single thing I publish. That’s also why I donate a portion of all my book proceeds to cancer research and treatment.
Are you a plotter, SOTP writer or somewhere in between?
SOTP for sure. The most plotting or planning I do is a Mind Map of my characters. Sometimes I don’t even do that. Just sit in front of a blank word document and start writing. I love that rush!
What's your process for writing a book?
When I start a book, I really can’t rest until I write it. My characters just don’t shut up. So, I pretty much spend every waking hour writing to get the story out. It’s a VERY rough draft. Some have called it an 80,000-word outline. I’ve been known to write an entire first draft without a character name. Just blank lines throughout until the idea of a name hits me.
Do you ever bang your head against the wall with writer's block? If so, how did you overcome it?
No. If the words aren’t flowing very well, I usually go for a run, bike ride, or jam out to some really loud, rocking music. After a while, things usually work themselves out. Especially when I’m on a four-hour bike ride. That’s TONS of time to think things through for sure!
Do you consider yourself a visual writer? If so, what visuals do you use?
I literally close my eyes while typing. Visualizing everything in my mind like a movie. I’m not so much visual in the sense I like to look at something while I write or to inspire me. After I write the first draft and it’s sat for a while, I’ll go back and edit, it’s then I start doing note cards for each character, doing time lines, calendars, etc.
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?
Those things happen to me, too. Mid-first draft I’ll figure out I can’t go that direction, so I’ll just change. Totally different direction, but I’ll make notes about how I need to get to the beginning and tweak things to make it start working. The most difficult part for me…crutch words. If I didn’t have awesome editors and crit partners, I’d have stones thrown at me for how many times I use the same words. I love editing, but sometimes it’s tough because I glaze over my own weaknesses, so that’s sometimes the most difficult part. But when an editor/crit partner points things out, then I can get on it and fix. THAT part of editing is great. I don’t mind getting editorial letters or suggestions from crit partners. I know it’s for the best!
What's your strength in writing (characterization, setting as character, description, etc)?
I’ve been told I can write action scenes pretty well and that I have deep characters. I have an MA in psych and worked as a therapist for a few years, and I really think that helps me dive into a character’s mind.
Did this book give you any problems? If not, how did you avoid them?
I can’t remember any for the Wasteland Trilogy at the moment, but Violet Midnight (which released October 2012) I had some big plot holes and issues that were revealed during editing. It took a big rewrite to get everything straightened out, but it was worth it. I love the end product!!
How do you balance your writing time with family and any other work you do?
It’s a delicate balance sometimes. And once it gets out of whack, I can really tell. But for the most part, I write as much as I can while my hubby’s at work or out training (he’s a triathlete) so when he’s home, I’m freed up to be with him. I work at a bookstore, so I have my “weekend” during the week since retail’s busiest times are on the weekends. So, I get two full days to focus solely on writing. The others, I just fit it in when I can. I don’t have kids, so that leaves a bunch of free time. J
What’s the best writing advice you’ve heard?
Write every day.
That’s really true. It keeps you in a rhythm. It’s not always possible. But if you can’t write, at least do some editing or blogging to keep the juices flowing. J
Do you have any parting words of advice?
Keep at it. I know it’s easy to compare yourself to other people and their journeys, but don’t. Your path is what it’s supposed to be. Keep taking the next step. You never know where it’ll lead you. I’d never planned on being an author. It’d never been an aspiration of mine, but look where I am today…it’s because I took the first step (which was really scary) and then just kept on taking the next step.
Tainted (Wasteland #3)
Even death can’t stop true love…
After over four hundred years as a Guardian, Durk Langdon rebuked it all. Walked away from everything when his mate, Jessica, was brutally murdered. Yet he has no recollection of anything since that gruesome day.
Nothing alleviates his longing for Jessica or his disdain for the Guardians until a former brother in arms joins him and his cause. Visions of his lost love start appearing in the most unlikely places, until Durk learns she survived.
But when he sets out to find her, demonic obstacles he never could have imagined tear them apart.
If only he had trusted her…
“Tainted delivers a hot tortured hero that will keep you turning pages late into the night...” -Lisa Kessler, author of the award-winning Night Series.