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Interview with Lynn Voedisch, Author of The God’s Wife

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Lynn Voedisch started her career as a journalist and still works in this field in Chicago. She has many years experience working for newspapers and magazines, but decided to branch out and become a fiction writer. She has been an entertainment reporter and technology reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times and helped develop their website. The site and staff won Best Innovation from the Inland Daily Press Association and the Dvorak Award for web content.

After leaving the Sun-Times after 17 years, she pursued a freelance career. She has been published in the Chicago Tribune, the Industry Standard, Grok and Connect-Time and also wrote art stories for Dance Magazine and the Tribune. Her latest novel is The God’s Wife, published by Fiction Studio Books.

When did you first know you could be a writer?

When I was in fifth grade, my teacher told my parents that I was a talented writer and that they should think about preparing me to be a professional writer. I was so excited because I had always wanted to be a writer.

What inspires you to write and why?

No specific thing inspires me to write. I just find things hitting me at the oddest times. Sometimes I’ll read a book or see a movie and I’ll start thinking about the subject matter and start going off from there. Other times it will be a dream that sets me off. No set thing will spark my imagination. 

What genre are you most comfortable writing?

I seem to write magical realism or urban fantasy more than anything else, so it’s become my genre.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I had an angel experience and I wanted to write about it in a way that would be believable. It must have worked because a lot of people really loved it. The book is Excited Light and is still being sold on Amazon.com.

Who or what influenced your writing once you began?

Author Alice Hoffman influences me a great deal, as does Neil Gaiman. But I never could write as well as either of them. I just aspire to be as good. I also had a writing professor, Fred Shafer, who really helped to show me how to shape the novel.

Who or what influenced your writing over the years?

As I said, Fred Shafer made my writing take a quantum leap.

What made you want to be a writer?

I was a bookworm as a kid and read all the Nancy Drew mystery novels. When I was done with those I practically lived in the library. I just knew I was going to be an author someday, because I loved to read so much. 

What do you consider the most challenging about writing a novel, or about writing in general?

Overcoming procrastination. I can research things forever, and sometimes it’s a way of putting off the effort of starting the first draft. I usually have the whole first chapter all stored in my head and writing is not the problem. But getting myself to sit down and do it can sometimes be a bit of an issue with me. Then when I finally do sit down, I pour out a whole chapter — 2,000 words — in one sitting.

Did writing this book teach you anything and what was it?

First of all it taught me a great deal about ancient Egypt! But it also taught me to take any critique to heart, because all of them have some merit, no matter how silly they seem on the surface. They reflect what some reader may feel, and you want to reach out to as many readers as possible.

Have you developed a specific writing style?

Anyone who has been writing for a while will develop a style. Mine has a straightforward narrative, with no flashbacks if I can help it. I don’t go in for ornamented literary descriptions. I alternate narrative and dialog to keep the action rolling and I always use active verbs to keep down the need for unnecessary adverbs. 

What is your greatest strength as a writer?

I think my characters connect well with the readers. And everyone likes my plots. 

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it?

This may sound incredible, but I haven’t had writer’s block. This may come from being a journalist for more than 25 years. We had deadlines and we had to get our stories in, like it or not. So I’m used to sitting down and just doing it. The procrastination I mentioned earlier doesn’t last long, because I always feel like a deadline is hanging over my head. Journalism has made me a pretty disciplined writer.

Learn more about Lynn Voedisch by visiting the author’s website.

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