Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Write What You Know with Guest Blogger Veronica Lynch

Meet author Veronica Lynch today at the Book Boost! She's here to discuss how to write what you know.

Here's what she had to say...

Over the years I've had the honor to work at a number of occupations: nurse, malpractice insurance investigator, forensic nurse examiner, victim advocate, and now the best job ever Nana to Meredith, Ashlin, Owen and Kieran.

Even though I sometimes wish they'd remain in the closet, the years I spent working in the Operating Room and ICU, later advocating for victims of sexual violence, have contributed significantly to the voice of my writing. You can't spend thirty years playing loyal serving maid to fast-handed surgeons, or haunting police stations, Emergency Rooms, and criminal courts without learning first hand about rampant misogyny, overwhelming apathy, or overt bigotry.

Under my primary author personality, Kat Henry Doran, I am privileged to to have Try Just Once More, a contemporary romantic suspense set in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York State. For that story, I brought in my years as a nursing supervisor to give the heroine something to do besides twiddle her thumbs while the hero stormed around trying to figure out why someone wants the heroine and her children dead.

Drawing the hero was easy; I just thought about a cop I once [in my younger, much thinner years] lusted after. Plus, he helped me with a crucial scene in the book unfortunately not the love scene [darn it]. To learn more about mounted patrol officers and their horses, this same officer connected me with an equine veterinarian who allowed me to accompany her on rounds. I spent a really fun afternoon with the mounted patrol unit of the Rochester Police Department.

For Raising Kane, one part of the “Out of the Dark” anthology from Wild Rose Press, due out later this month, I used my experience organizing marches protesting violence against women. My heroine, an award winning television journalist, is covering a protest march when it turns violent. The police, who arrived too late to stop the majority of the damage, arrest everyone still standing, figuring God will sort it all out in the end. Enter the hero, the Public Information Officer for the police department, whose job it is to put a spin on the event and make the cops look good. Fortunately, the heroine comes equipped with film at eleven.

As Veronica Lynch, my latest alternate writer personality, I used the same town where Raising Kane is set for Those Who Wait, a short romance scheduled to be released August 28, 2010 by the very kind folks at Decadent Publishing. Easton is a small city set on the shores of Lake Ontario, Queen of the Great Lakes. I again used my time as a victim advocate to show how a vocation, no matter how selfless and worthwhile it might be, can possess the power to wreak havoc on a personal relationship if both partners aren't careful. TWW is my first success with writing shorter length fiction and I'm very grateful to Decadent for taking a chance on me.

I was raised in a religion which employed men who dressed in black suits and wore their collars backward, and women who wore long black dresses with starched bibs, and large wing-like things on their heads. We called them penguins, or sailboat sisters if the hat was large enough and, of course, aerodynamic. I like to put the clergy in my stories. I'm warped that way. Of course it helped that I had two uncles who served more than fifty years in the priesthood and a penguin cousin who gave me tons of insider information, right down to how to get around the silence of the confessional booth in Try Just Once More.

For my last bit of brilliance, I'd like to talk about setting, which I believe should be treated like another character who deserves equal care in development. Currently, I am involved in a series with WRP titled the Class of 85, as in have you ever wondered what happened to the prom queen or the class nerd or . . . the boy most likely to spend time behind bars?

I was there at ground zero when the series was in its infancy and, with the help of two other writers, invented the town where the reunion will take place. We took a historic neighborhood in Rochester which features stone and brick mansions built around the turn of the century, picked it up and dropped it on the shores of Lake Ontario, and named it Summerville. It's been a real treat watching this series take shape out of what's available to anyone who just looks around and uses what they know.

Thanks for inviting me to your blog. I'm glad I came on board!

A Note from the Book Boost: Thanks for sharing your experiences with us and how they've shaped you as a writer. Please tell us more about your upcoming book.


Meghan Muldoon is at a cross-road. Recently married to a man who dotes on her, someone whom she thought existed only in fiction, she struggles to balance the demands of her vocation as an advocate for victims of violence versus those of a newlywed.

On Valentine's Day, a series of routine crises force her to reconsider staying with a profession that fulfills her both professionally and spiritually—or devoting the rest of her life to the one person who makes everything worthwhile.


“Crime Victim Services,” she murmured into the receiver. “How may I help you?”

The caller's voice was low, husky, and exquisitely male. “Do you know the difference between a barracuda and a victim advocate?”

Her heart skipped a beat. Maybe two. “Lip gloss.”

“Well damn,” Investigator Keenan Rossi muttered. “You already heard it.”

“An oldie but a goodie, pal.”

“Aren't we all. How you doin' on this gorgeous February day, gorgeous?”

Bringing the face of the handsome sheriff's detective to mind took no great effort. After several moments of imagining twinkling eyes and a dimpled grin, she said, “Not too bad. How's by you?”

“Lemme tell you, cara. If I was any better, I'd scare myself.”

Want More Veronica?

Visit her website here: www.KatHenry.com
Or her blog here: www.Veronica-Lynch.blogspot.com

Book available soon from: www.DecadentPublishing.com


Gracen Miller said...

Great blog and excerpt, Veronica. I rarely put anything of my personal experience into my writing, but I've been dabbling with the idea of changing that. I like that you've done it. When I read your story(ies), I'll know you're talking from experience. =D

All the best success!


Maureen said...

That was a tasty little excerpt! Most intriguing!

Ah, if only I had the experience of sailing the seas with pirates to include in my books... But I do write of PTSD, which I have experience with. So I do use something!

Veronica's Tales said...

Gracen and Maureen,
thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment. I've been trying to leave an acknowledgement for the past hour.
Blogger does not like me today.
I hope this one works.
Best always

Veronica's Tales said...

PTSD? Takes guts. Lots of guts. My hat is off to you.

Jannine Gallant said...

Write what you know is GREAT advice, Veronica, and in your case covers a lot of territory! I've discovered (much to my surprise) I know a little about all sorts of odd subjects that will eventually make its way into books. We all have something interesting to draw from. Best of luck with sales.

Kathleen Ann Gallagher's Place to Reflect said...

Hi Veronica,

Great post and excerpt! I'm an RN in an ER. I agree with writing what you know. When you experience helping others in crisis situations, it opens you eyes to what is really important.

Kathy said...

Jannine and Kathleen,
I'm quite late arriving back at the party--but I want to thank you for stopping by and taking the time to make a comment.
Kathleen--the ER??? Oh my, the one clinical area I never worked but always wanted to. Now, I'm too old and too tired!
Best always