In Your Next Beach Read, we want to introduce you to a new author every day in June in the hopes that you’ll find the next book you want to take with you to the beach, the pool, or the comforts of air conditioning.
Today’s author is Jacquelyn Lynn, author of Choices.
What’s your name and where are you from?
Jacquelyn Lynn, Orlando, FL
How long have you been writing? How did you start?
I began writing stories in elementary school and have been writing professionally for more than three decades. I got my professional start freelancing for business magazines, expanded into business books and ghostwriting, then evolved into inspirational books and finally wrote my first novel.
Who are some of your influences?
When I was growing up, I loved novels by Lloyd C. Douglas; he wrote great stories that always had an underlying message of doing the right thing and being responsible. Sidney Sheldon’s strong female characters have always inspired me.
What is your book about?
In a single moment, the wrong choice can change lives forever. Choices is contemporary fiction that opens with a hit-and-run crash and follows the driver and the victim as they work through the aftermath of the accident and come to eventual resolutions. The primary theme of the story is forgiveness.
Where did you get the idea?
Divine inspiration. When I decided I wanted to try writing a novel, bits and pieces of ideas started coming to me. Finally, they developed into the concept of a series built around customers of a coffee shop and their individual stories. The shop is Joyful Cup, owned by Joy Shepherd, and Choices is the first in the Joyful Cup Story series.
How long did it take you to finish it?
I wrote the first 250 words about seven years ago, then didn’t write anything more on it until last year. Once I sat down to do it, it took about six months—and those first 250 words got dumped. They were awful.
Is this your first book, or have you written more than one?
I have written or ghostwritten about 35 nonfiction books. Choices is my first novel.
We all like to write about people we know, even if we never name them. Who are some people who inspired characters or situations?
The characters and situations in Choices all came from my imagination. However, I was particularly inspired by Paul A. Dowdy, MD, who was a hit-and-run victim and was generous with his time and knowledge so my story would be medically realistic, and by former Winter Springs Police Chief Kevin Brunelle who told me what happens at a crash scene and how the investigation is handled.
What’s your favorite scene in the book?
This is hard to answer without giving away the ending. I will say that the scene I had the most fun writing involved an activity on Lake Jesup, and I loved the scenes in Joyful Cup where Joy, the owner, counsels the characters.
What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever got?
What’s the worst?
Can’t think of any bad advice I’ve gotten about the craft of writing.
Where can we buy your book?
Jacquelyn Lynn finds joy in her faith, family, and friends, and in the knowledge that she is living God’s purpose for her life. In addition to Choices, she is the author (or ghostwriter) of more than 35 non-fiction books including Finding Joy in the Morning and Words to Work By, and the co-creator of several coloring books for adults, including Christian Meditations and Faith Words. Connect with Jacquelyn at CreateTeachInspire.com, where you’ll find links to join her email list and engage with her on social media.