Lyn Vandebrake, author of “The Escape Place”

#YourNextBeachRead is continuing into July as a way to introduce you to a new author and their works 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 featured author is Lyn Vandebrake, author of The Escape Place: The Woman’s Guide to Running Away From Home Without Leaving..

What’s your name and where are you from?

Lyn Vandebrake. Randall, Iowa.

How long have you been writing? How did you start?

7-5 - Lyn Vandebrake author photoFirst published in major markets (focus on the family, home life, and others) 1993. Knew by the time I was 7 in 2nd grade that i’d be a writer.

Who are some of your influences?

Favorite fiction writer: Fannie Flagg (Fried Green Tomatoes, A Redbird Christmas, I Still Dream Of You, The Whole Town’s Talking),
Phillip Keller, Lessons from a Sheepdog.

What is your book about?

Ever feel like running away? Now you can. The Escape Place: The Woman’s Guide to Running Away From Home Without Leaving. is nonfiction, specifically for women (though i’ve received emails from wives who bought the book for themselves and can’t get it away from their husbands.)

Whether it’s a retiring husband at home 24-7, adult children who have moved back in, toddlers and preschoolers requiring your undivided attention, or just that there’s not enough of you to go around satisfying all the demands of a busy world, here’s the solution. The Escape Place shows women how to carve out some me-time anywhere with any kind of available space or resource. From chicken coops to backyard sheds, tree houses, hobbit houses, renovated front porches, closet make-overs, even a kitchen pantry — it’s all here in a fun read. Will make you laugh out loud.

Where did you get the idea?

My husband Vern decided to retire from management, and started managing me! He held team-building meetings at our dining room table, said my kitchen was out of compliance, and was always handing me a to-do list. The day that list had 17 items on it was the day I decided to run away from home. Instead I found an alternative solution, discovered I’m not the only woman with too many demands and not enough of me to go around, and wrote about my solution. Then I interviewed over a dozen other women, and wrote about theirs.

How long did it take you to finish it?

A year to write the book. another year with a lit agent (and a re-write) and another year with a publisher. this book was just released middle of June 2019.

Is this your first book, or have you written more than one?

This is my first. My 2nd book, I’m Grafted Into The Family Tree: Lessons of Life From a Beagle slated to come out just prior to Christmas. Proceeds from the sale of I’m Grafted go to animal rescue. Each chapter told by a real beagle (with his (her) picture). Endearing. Heartwarming. Small gift book. full color. for under $10. (that’s the specs right now)

We all like to write about people we know, even if we never name them. Who are some people who inspired characters or situations?

My father. He could take nothing and make something out of it. Growing up under that kind of daily happening, gave me lots of ideas when it came to creating personal space and writing about it. extensive chapter sidebars in Escape Place on checklists for ready-builts, DIY, or how-to renovate.

What’s your favorite scene in the book?

7-5 - Lyn Vandebrake book coverOpening chapter, and last chapter.

My husband Vern retires. The story now is funny, but then it was giving me migraines and heartburn. I signed up for therapy, had acupuncture, took vitamin supplements for stress relief, and ran away on short weekend trips.

Last chapter. Susanna Wesley. Without money or resources, living in a small house with 10 children, Susanna flung an apron over her head as a sign to the family she needed some peace and quiet away from the busy household. I can picture this scene.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever got?

Write what you know. personal experience.

What’s the worst?

Don’t know that I have ever received bad advice on writing. some things worked, some didn’t, and every writer is different. Therefore some things might not fit with one writer’s genre or personality, yet be perfect for another.

Where can we buy your book?

Amazon.com and other online bookstores. Also book signings and my book talks.

Lyn is an award-winning published writer and photographer with her work appearing in focus on the family, home life, positive living, alive, resource, living the country life, mountain living, baptist press, and others. For a number of years, Lyn was a missionary serving on the Navajo reservation where she wrote programs for alcoholism and drug addiction within the tribe, as well as teaching effective communication/creative writing to native leaders.

Escape Place is Lyn’s first book, released summer 2019.