Lynn Galli

Let me start out by saying that Lynn Galli is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read all her books

FOR IR UE WH FINBT

Like potato chips, I couldn’t have just one! After the first, I bought and did a marathon read of every book she’s written over an otherwise uneventful few days. Her newest one, One-Off is my most recent read, and I want to say I really enjoyed it very much. I like to sit and read her books when I have time, because I hate to put them down once I’ve started them. To my surprise, I even enjoyed her book about my least favorite sport, basketball (Full Court Pressure). I won’t give away the specific reason, but had my doubts about Life Rewired; however, she again didn’t disappoint.

My initial contact with Lynn, was as a fan, over two years ago. I wrote to tell her how much I’d enjoyed her books. As I’ve mentioned in other interviews, I’ve found authors in our genre are generally helpful to others just starting out. Lynn shared information with me about her writing process back when I was first trying to get my Friends Series published. She was extremely helpful to me, and I’d like to thank her publically for that. Since then, I’ve asked her a couple of times for an interview…ok make that several times. I pestered her until, happily, she got so sick of me asking, she has accepted. So, now, I’ll stop wasting space and introduce you to one of my favorite authors, Lynn Galli. If you haven’t read her books, do yourself a favor and give them a try.

LG: Before we get started, let me thank you for hounding me until you wore me down to my last defense and showed up on my doorstep with a weapon. Not many people go that far for an interview or get to the point of cracking me. You’re very persistent. Okay, on with the inquisition. Be gentle, this is my first time.

 

AJ:  Well, like I told you, the gun wasn’t loaded. It was just for show, LOL. Okay, how about we get to it and do the usual thing. Let’s start off with some simple likes and dislikes questions.

Morning person or evening person?

LG: Evening, I’m practically a vampire.


Pen or pencil?

LG: I like a good mechanical pencil. They’re completely useless these days unless you draft by hand or write in ledgers, and no one but mafia bosses use ledgers anymore.


I’m not going to bite and ask about your experience with the mafia. I’m going to protect us both and stick with my next question… coffee or tea?

LG: I’ll be kicked out of Seattle for saying this, but I don’t like either, coffee especially.

 

I don’t drink coffee either. Several of my readers have commented on the fact that most of my characters are tea drinkers.

Cats or dogs?

LG: Hedgehogs


Okay, interesting choice in pets. They are darned cute though. Country mouse or city mouse?

LG: I’ve lived in both, but Seattle has warped me forever.


Fiction or non-fiction?

LG: Fiction. All the non-fiction I tend to pick up depresses the joy right out of me. I don’t mind informative texts or historical non-fiction, but books on a woman’s journey through a life filled with depressing turns? No thanks.


AJ: Maybe my memory is playing tricks on me. I thought I remembered your blurb telling something about the background of the main character in Life Rewired. I remember writing to you saying I had my doubts about the book based on a concern I might have nothing in common with the main character, and how happy I was that wasn’t the case. Have you rewritten all your blurbs since their original publishing, or am I wr…wr…wro…wrong? 

LG: Good catch. I completely revamped the description for Life Rewired for the exact concern you expressed. You weren’t the only person to tell me she didn’t think she could handle a book about an ex-con. How could I possibly make an ex-con appealing enough that everyone would root for her to find her forever love? Apparently I’m a lot darker than most because what I thought would be an interesting character didn’t appeal to readers as much as the other two books in the series. It’s too bad because Life Rewired is one of my three favs. Anyway, that wasn’t your question, was it? Oh, yes, the blurb. I decided to rewrite it, focusing on Molly, to see if it affected sales. It seemed to help a bit, but I still have to ask readers to give Falyn a chance. She’ll make her way into your good graces. And am I catching that you have a slight, teeny-tiny, miniscule problem with saying you’re wrong about something? You must be a delight to have an argument with.


AJ: Um…well could be. I’m fond of saying I was wrong once in my life back in 1970. I’m sure my partner would disagree with me about that being the only time. She’d probably say I’m frequently wrong, but never in doubt. Okay, back to the questions.

Your Aspen Friends Series reminds me of my own Friends Series in that there is a central group of people who make an appearance in each of the following books. In my own series, I decided to have the characters show up in the next book, because I missed them too much to let them go. What made you decide to write your Aspen friends series?

LG: It wasn’t going to be a series, but I needed a love interest for contractor Natalie in Something So Grand. A good bet would be a designer, and since I already had one with a good scene in Mending Defects, the setting switched from Northern California to Aspen for a second book. After that, it was difficult not to go for a third book because poor Molly had been left hanging in her quest for forever love through two books already.


AJ: Tell us about your characters. What makes them interesting or unique?

LG: All of them? We’ll be here a while. As crazy town as I’m sure this makes me sound, these characters are my people. Do you feel the same about yours?


I do. I write people I’d like to know and hang out with.  Your characters all seem very human. It’s one of the things I enjoy about your books. 

LG: Thanks. It’s important that my characters come across as real. The best way I know how to do that is to give each at least one unique identifier. Glory’s laidback attitude, Joslyn’s practicality, Briony’s snide, Austy’s politeness, Lauren’s no swearing rule, M’s inability to touch, anything that’s a quick check-in on who’s talking and why she’s there. Sometimes the identifiers are pulled right out of my own corral of annoying habits. (Insert pause here to leave everyone time to be disappointed when my next sentence doesn’t admit to some of those annoying habits.) Quirks make characters come alive. If I’m going to spend years with these people, I want them to be interesting enough to hang out with.

 

AJ: Would you say your stories are more character driven or more plot driven?

LG: Character, definitely. I have plot points that I build around the characters to get them together, but it’s all about the characters. My latest, One-Off, seems to be plot driven with the wedding planning, but the wedding becomes a character in itself. It’s annoying at times, tender at times, exhausting and ridiculous and splendid. Those are character traits, not a plot line.

 

AJ: Do you have any writing rituals?

LG: Like bloodletting or burning a pound of frozen chicken feet under a crescent moon? Those are the only kind of rituals I’ve ever been—uh, I mean, I’ve never taken part in a ritual that could get me jailed. In any way, never. What kind of rituals are you—oh, you mean something like do I twirl around before sitting down to dip my pen into an inkwell and begin writing? (Nod to Shakespeare in Love.) I really don’t. I write when the story banging around in my head for weeks to months starts making me feel like I’m schizophrenic and I just need to get it down on paper.

 

AJ: I am afraid of spiders, even the little ones. Once I opened the basement door and a massive wolf spider ran inside. (And yes, it was that big!)  I threw a board I had nearby on it. From beneath the board emerged what seemed like a billion baby wolf spiders. Okay, maybe a million is closer to the truth. What about you? Do you have any fears or phobias?

LG: None. I fear nothing. I could be a comic book hero with my lack of fear for absolutely everything. Except sharks and snakes and shingles and shafts and skis and Slurpees. Slurpees are the big one. If a Slurpee came at me from a basement—and I realize that would be impossible. Slurpees can’t walk on their own, but if it were on a skateboard or a Roomba or in a hand advancing on me—I’d probably throw a board at it, too.

Is your partner able to deal with the spiders for you?


AJ: Yes, she is my heroine. She kills all the spiders. It’s my job to take care of snakes and mice…especially mice. Snakes, we usually both just stare at for a moment before hot footing it in the opposite direction. Mice are my forte.

Im not sure you got the better end of that deal. I have found that makes for a lifelong solid partnership when one is always willing to deal with the spiders, or Slurpees, in my case. Without the spider taming partner, you’d have to buy a place without a basement. Problem solved.

 

AJ:  I need to move where you live. We have spiders on all three floors in our house! Eww…Let’s get off this subject and back onto books. We’ve discussed this before, but please tell the readers about your writing/publishing process.

LG: I’m trying to remember what piece of inspirational advice I might have given when you first emailed to ask me about the writing/publishing process. It was probably something really profound like, “I write then I publish,” because I’m deep like that. It must have worked because you’ve written eighteen books in the last two years. Frickin’ James Patterson, you are. Maybe it’ll inspire more people to do the same. I’m full of helpful tips. Open laptop, write words, slap together a cover, and send it out into the bookselling world. Was that about the extent of what we discussed, or did you want my whole saga? It’s long and drawn out and could qualify for a Daytime Emmy award if it were a show.

 

AJ: You told me about how you write then edit paragraph by paragraph. Do your own covers, your own publishing. So you make light, but I know you work very hard on each of your books and it shows. Writing is a time consuming and laborious process.

Like you, I enjoy it when readers write to say how much they liked my work and ask when is the next one coming out. It says how much they enjoyed the work. It is hard to understand though, how long it actually takes to write, edit, proof, and prepare a book for publication. How long does it take you to write a book, from the first glimmer of an idea to getting it finished and available for purchase?

LG: Eight to eleven months usually. Editing takes the longest because I have to leave a week between each editing pass to keep myself from skimming through sections that bore me. (I probably shouldn’t admit that my books end up boring me, but you know how it is. By the last edit, you want to gouge your eyes out rather than read some of those chapters again.) The book cover and website revision don’t take that long, but it’s a nice break before I go through the book for the final three proofs on computer, then paper, then Kindle. My latest, One-Off, only took six months because I knocked out the draft in three weeks as a distraction for a book I’d been working on for five months at the time. And before you ask, no, I’m not any closer to getting that other book finished.


AJ: Have you ever killed off a character and then regretted it?

LG: No, I like killing people—characters. I meant to say characters.

 

AJ: In the original version of Sunset Island, I killed off one of the main characters. My partner called me a murderer for a week. Through that experience I learned people don’t take kindly to killing off a character they’ve grown to love. I learned that has to be done in a flashback.

LG: Your partner sounds awesome. Murderer. That’s classic. If she can deal with Slurpees, I may swoon. I hadn’t thought about killing someone off in a flashback. That’s a good tip. I’ve metaphorically killed off characters since I won’t write them again, but I haven’t had to kill anyone outright.


AJ: I know it’s like picking a favorite child, but humor me!  From your own published works, which one was your favorite?

 

LG: Oh, I have a favorite child and she knows it, as do my other nine kids because that’s how many kids I’ve popped out over the years due to my pure love of kids and pregnancy and domesticity. As for my books, I usually find that whichever is the latest book I wrote is my favorite. Probably because it’s still running through my mind. I just reread One-Off and managed to get through it without rolling my eyes, so right now it’s probably my fav. I like different things about each book and certain sections make me cringe, so I’m not sure I truly have a favorite. Ask me again in two years. I’m sure I’ll say it’s whatever book I just put out. Do you admit to having a favorite? Which is it? Come on, it’s just between us. Your readers can all close their eyes for this part.

 

AJ:  Hmm… Awaiting My Assignment was the most fun to write, but can’t name a favorite. I have favorite characters more than favorite books, I think. I love Ren for fighting back to happiness. If my partner wouldn’t kill me, I’d marry Lindy in a downtown minute. Nic is someone I’d love for a best friend. I love Jo, just because she’s Jo. And then there’s Bernie, the character readers love to loathe! Awaiting My Assignment was the most fun to write.

What gives you the ideas for your stories? Is it something someone says, something you’ve read in the news, etc.

LG: I’ve joked about this on my site because I don’t know the answer. It could be sparked by something I’ve read, seen, or heard. Often, I just think of a character, imagine how her life would be on a daily basis, then add in someone for her to love and figure out ways to get them together. 


We’ve all had those odd jobs we did as kids to earn money. I worked in a bomb factory one summer. What is the strangest job you’ve ever done?

LG: A bomb factory? You’re making that up. Isn’t that an original series on Netflix now? Probably the oddest job I had was for a one-person office, which meant in addition to the job I’d been hired to do I had to pitch in and cover the phone. That would have been fine if I could have put callers on hold to tell him who was on the line. What made it odd was that he insisted I type out a detailed message and wait for his “Y” or “N” reply before I could transfer the call. Our desks were five feet apart in a 20x20 open room. He would listen to me answer the phone and say, “Hello, Mr. Samuels. You’d like to go through a quarterly review on your account? Let me see if he’s out of his meeting yet.” Then he’d just sit there, waiting for me to type that up and send it to him so he can type back “Y” or “N” and either pick up the phone or go on staring at his monitor. I made it through one week. At the end of the week, I basically said, “Listen, it’s not you, it’s all me. Really, you’re wonderful, but I’m just not in a place to keep up a working relationship with your overinflated sense of importance, you wackadoo.”


AJ: Hmm…that made for an interesting departure. Guess you didn’t put him on your reference list! And no, I’m not making it up…really did work in a bomb factory.

If you could travel through time, where would you go, and what year would it be?

LG: That’s a tough one. I dig history and can picture daily life in Pericles’s Greece or Isabella’s Spain or Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. But then I think, hell no, I don’t want to go back there to experience that. Do you know how they treated women then? Ugh! Bring them to my century, and we’d have ourselves a grand ol’ time.

 

AJ: What advice would you give to your younger self?

LG: Lighten up, you wound up little twit. (Not so much advice as an insult, but I would have deserved it.)

 

AJ: Do you have a favorite author, or a favorite book you’ve reread several times?

LG: I’m not great with absolute favorites, so I couldn’t pick just one. I read mostly mysteries and paranormal fiction. Authors like Lisa Scottoline, Robert Crais, Nancy A. Collins, and Thomas Perry have series that are must buys for me. A passel of paranormal authors are always good for a fun read. In this genre, I like several authors who put out consistently good work that is written well. Georgia Beers, Gun Brooke, Rachel Spangler, Karis Walsh, Melissa Brayden. If you want me to take up the whole page, I could name several more that are well known for excellent writing. (You’re on the list, but I didn’t want it to look like I was kissing your ass.) If I had to choose—and I’m glad I don’t with these authors—I’d go with good writing over good stories. A bad writer can ruin a good story. A good writer can make a tired story worth reading. Which other genres do you enjoy reading?

 

AJ: Thank you for saying that even if you are only sucking up. I’d love to think it’s true.

I like a good romance, but also enjoy mysteries and adventure romances. My next story is a departure for me. It takes place in the future following an event that wipes out much of the world’s population. I know that probably sounds different for me, but it’s still a slow build romance at heart.

As an author, what is your toughest criticism, and the most meaningful compliment you’ve received?

LG: My own toughest criticism of my writing? I’d never share that for fear it would show up over and over in reviews for my books. Probably the most critical reviews I’ve read mention “perfect characters.” Harsher criticism has been thrown at me, but to say that a character is perfect means they think she isn’t real. That’s a killer for me, especially since my viewpoint on a perfect person or perfect life differs from theirs. I don’t consider someone perfect if she is successful, has a good circle of friends that she doesn’t disrespect just because she’s having a bad day, acts responsibly because she’s too old to continue acting like she’s in her mid-twenties, and doesn’t voice every little insecurity she has repeatedly and let them hinder her own progress in life. I think she’s a grown-up. If those are the characteristics for a perfect person, then everyone I hang out with, including me, is perfect. I can’t even type that without laughing my ass off. We all possess those less attractive qualities and have bad days and want to pick fights and wish we were more this or that, but a fun read doesn’t need to dwell on those things. So I write about women I like, would want to hang out with, and would prefer not to know every little detail about.

 

AJ:  Do you have a favorite saying?

LG: I’d love to sound all intellectual here and spout off quotes that put me in the best possible light, but my readers will see right through it. I should come up with one of those three word summaries like “Live. Dance. Love.” I’m just not a three word summary kinda woman. Do you have a favorite saying? You’re going to come back at me with a three word summary that invariably includes the word “love” in it just to mess with me, aren’t you? C’mon, I know you have it in you. Make it good. Maybe I’ll swipe it.


AJ:  Nice diversion…okay. For years I carried around a little slip of paper from a Chinese fortune cookie. It read, ‘every minute you’re angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.’  I believe that. I’m also fond of saying ‘if something bad happens to you, something better will come along and you’ll be happier in the end.’ Not exactly three word sayings, either one. But you will notice that neither contains the word love!

On your website you have some interesting and funny responses to questions from your readers. Do a lot of your readers write to you? What is the most interesting interaction with a fan you’ve had?

LG: Not many. A few hundred. A dozen keep up occasional correspondence, which I always find funny and interesting. The most unusual was from a guy who made a point of telling me he was straight several times and never reads romances but somehow stumbled upon mine. Like he was held captive for a week and the only diversions available to him were my books (which I like to think of as their own torture instruments.) The other handful of men who write to me are complimentary and nice, but this guy was pretty amusing. I really enjoy getting emails from readers, but not that many write to me 

I always smile when someone replies to my reply. Then I lose the smile because now I’m in that awkward email state of: do I send her a reply just because she replied, or do I leave it as is because she didn’t ask a question and I already thanked her before, and if I were to email again she’d probably feel that she has to send another reply due to this awful email loop we seem to be in. (Can you tell my mind operates best in run-on sentences?)

Do you find it funny when people are so astonished that you write back to them?


AJ:  LOL…well it is interesting that people do seem surprised that I answer their letters. I have actually made some valued online e-mail friendships through fan letters. Uh oh! Now I’ll wonder if you are in that awkward e-mail state with me. In the future, Lynn, I’ll always end with a question so you know I want you to respond!

Thanks so much for giving in and granting this interview. It’s been fun and informative.

Readers…don’t miss Lynn’s books. They’re wonderful reads. Ive read and enjoyed them all.


You can reach Lynn here:

Website: www.lynngalli.com

Book list: Amazon Author page


© JEN 2014