Recently, I interviewed author C.S. Lakin, who is published in several genres, including mystery/suspense.
How many books have you written?
I’m completing my fourteenth novel this week, and have already gotten a bit into book fifteen, which is my last book of my fantasy series (#7). I’ve also written two nonfiction writing craft books that my agent is shopping around. I’ll be doing another one of those this winter, to run on my blog all year as my writing course, which I do each year. I love “blogging my books.”
Which authors have influenced your writing the most?
Patricia A. McKillip is my favorite author. She is an amazing fantasy writer and is a master at wordsmithing. I try to write as well and as beautifully as she does but I’m sure I fail miserably. When you read her fairy tales, you feel shifted into a different dimension of time and space. I like a lot of writers, but not any as much as her.
I also love Elizabeth George, the mystery writer, known for her Inspector Lynley series. She delves deep into all her characters and creates unique voices for them, with a great stream of consciousness style. I would put Orson Scott Card in this group as well. I’m enamored with his character development and deep POV.
Who is your favorite character (out of all the novels you’ve written) and why?
Adin, from The Map across Time. He embodies all my hopes, fears, insecurities. He is a flawed character but with a heart for truth and loyalty. I absolutely love him. But I fall in love with many of my characters. And I’m especially close to Ruyah, my wolf in The Wolf of Tebron, because he represents Jesus and how he loves, protects, and sacrifices for us. Funny, I’m not so attached to the characters in my contemporary psychological suspense novels. Most of them are pretty pathetic, but I do feel drawn to Matt and Irene and Casey in Someone to Blame.
Not only are you an author, but you do coaching, freelancing, blogging, teaching, etc. on the side. What does your writing schedule look like?
I get up early, run two miles on my treadmill, check e-mail, post tweets, throw the ball for the dog, then get to work (in between throwing the ball and Frisbee for the dog). I edit manuscripts for writers—all kinds of books: fiction (poetry, novels, short stories) and nonfiction. Usually work for about 6-7 hours, then cook dinner, do laundry, clean up, watch Star Trek with my husband when he comes home (or something compatible). When I’m writing a novel, I work in the evenings after doing my “real” job.
You write in a variety of genres. Do you find it easy to switch between different genres? What is your favorite genre?
I love writing in different genres. People have told me forever that you can’t do that, it’s bad and against the rules. Come again? Writing is a joy and exploration. The more a writer can stretch her abilities and tell different stories, the better. I think fantasy/sci-fi is my favorite because I can create worlds, and I’ve been reading those genres my whole life and love the imaginativeness of it all. But I love many genres. I’m writing a historical romance right now, a western, since I love horses and raised them for many years.
On your website, you mention that “My prayer is to keep focused on God.” What advice can you give to aspiring Christian authors to help them keep things in perspective and continue to focus on God?