Meet Lindsay McKenna!
Learn all about her writing process and the advice she has for her younger writer self.
So read on for some behind the scenes info exclusive to Military Spouse!
Do you ever base your characters off of the people in your life?
I don’t think any writer lives in a vacuum. We are all impacted and experience people every day of our lives. I’m an astrologer and I always choose a Sun Sign for the hero/heroine and my secondary characters. And often, when I’m in a highly complex kind of intense emotional situation in the novel, such as Home to Wind River between Jake and Lily, I actually drew up their entire charts, with all the planets. It helps me stay “in character” with that individual. And I can ask: How would Lily react to this? I can look at her chart and know the answer. Or: How would Jake react to Lily? I can go to his chart and look at it. I’m very fortunate to have astrology as a ‘tool’ to help me, the writer, keep my characters on the straight and narrow of who they are as individuals.
If you could spend one day with any character from your book, who would it be?
I would be with Lily, of Home to Wind River, Book 7 of my Wind River Valley Series. Women, as we all well know, carry the emotional loads of the world on their shoulders. She was severely wounded by one, traumatic incident while in Afghanistan. Everyone on this Earth have emotional pain many times in their lives. And there are different types of pain as well as intensity. I’m always fascinated through my own experience with the above, but also, how other people work through those emotional gauntlets.
How long does it take you to write your books?
It can take up to six months.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
Thinking up a plot, who the characters are, how they will interact with one another.
What advice would you give to your younger self about writing?
Write every day, whether it’s a sentence or two, a paragraph or more. Study storytelling. We’re lucky that today (and not in my day) there is RWA and many other “how to write” venues that are out there. Learn the bones of plot, characterization, creating a fully formed villain and the friction that brings them together again and again (i.e., a page turner). If you don’t love story telling? You might do better in journalism, writing articles or getting into other non-fiction areas that need this type of non-storytelling, rather, just facts.
What do you like to do for fun when you’re not writing?
As a writer, I sit on my butt a lot of hours every day. I make it a point to take our dog, Gracie, a Golden Retriever who is white, on at least a one hour walk. She gets her exercise, and so do I.
Do you have a process for working through writer’s block?
Write. You don’t stop. You don’t let it stop you. Just keep going and it will eventually dissolve.