On Fridays right here, authors talk about their books, their process, where they’ve been, and where they’re going. Say hello to FIONA QUINN, who joins us to celebrate the success of WEAKEST LYNX, a Kindle Scout winner published by Kindle Press, and the subsequent sequels in the LYNX series.
What Lexi wants is a simple life. What she gets is simply terrifying.
Lexi Sobado is a 20-year-old experienced intelligence consultant with a special psychic gift. However, her gift couldn’t prevent her from becoming the focus of a stalker’s desires. With a death threat shoved in her purse, she finds herself caught in the middle of a sinister web of crime and corruption.
Striker Rheas, a seasoned special agent, is charged with keeping Lexi safe. But can he keep his personal life separate from his professional life as he finds himself falling for his assignment?
What Lexi hides, what she reveals, and what she keeps trying to uncover is a delicate balancing act as she tries to save her own life and stop the killer. Can Lexi learn to love, trust, and harness the power of her psychic flashes before it’s too late?
- WEAKEST LYNX was one of the early winners on Kindle Scout, and the sequels have launched in swift succession since. All the books in the LYNX series are doing well, with high rankings and well over a hundred positive reviews. Can you share your publishing journey with us--the highs / lows and moments when things came together?
Being an author is quite a journey isn’t it? One of the issues I had when it came to my books is that I knew LYNX would be an ongoing series, but the first four books would have a very clearly defined arch, and I wanted to honor reader momentum. It felt rude to ask readers to hang out and wait a year or so between books. When I submitted my ms to the Kindle Scout program, I had the first three books written and edited and the fourth well under way.
My Kindle Scout month was January 2015. I was offered a contract and my book was scheduled to go out April 21st. I put out book 2 on May 21 and book 3 on June 21. Book 4’s launch is November 1st.
By having the first four books in the LYNX series come out in quick succession, I was able to put a teaser chapter at the end of each book and a pre-order link, so those who enjoyed my series could keep on reading as soon as the next book came out. And the books have about the same sales numbers, so if someone reads book number 1, WEAKEST LYNX, they’re usually reading the whole series, which is very gratifying.
It’s a lot of work putting out four books in a year. And, to be honest, marketing is a huge ever changing bulls-eye. I wish it would magically take care of itself. But it is part of the modern writer's world. And the benefit is that I get to meet some really fantastic people.
- Tell us about Lexi, the protagonist at the center of the series. Who or what inspired Lexi and how did she come to life in your mind?
A few years ago, I put my two youngest children in the back of my pale-blue minivan and started on a trek around the United States for six weeks. I’m an unschooling mom–that’s homeschool on steroids where everything and everyone is a potential for learning. My husband and I want our kids to have skill sets–tools for life’s toolbox if you will–available, and so that’s where we had them spend their time.
As I drove those long ten thousand miles I had plenty of time to think, and one of the things I contemplated was the effects that unschooling might have on my children once they were adults. This is a very non-traditional upbringing, and it makes their thought processes different than those who have traversed a more traditional route.
I took that premise into my LYNX series. How would a young woman, who was raised as an unschooler, faced with the crisis of a lifetime, react differently than one might expect? How could her out-of-the-box thinking and interesting skill sets help her stay alive when there was a serial killer stalking her?
Lexi was inspired by my oldest daughter–the skill sets (apart from Lexi’s psychic abilities) are all skills my daughter developed during her unschooling days, though I dropped the skill level on some of them–my daughter was a nurse at age 20 while Lexi is an EMT, for example. It was a lot of fun getting to explore the possibilities of putting my oldest child’s skills to the test–thankfully she’s never had a crazy man on her trail.
- What were the most challenging aspects of writing the series, and what came easily?
Writing the stories came easily. The research was great fun.
I was challenged on two fronts. I am an unschooling mom which means I’m busy with my kids. And writing for me takes long introspective periods without interruption–those were very difficult to find. There was always someone bursting through my door. So finding a balance—finding a way to have time inside my head and also being there for the other parts of my life—I found and still find difficult. Second, with the ever-changing publishing arena, I needed to figure out a way that I was comfortable getting my work out.
- What did this series teach you about yourself as a writer and as a person?
Ha! I learned that it takes an enormous amount of dedication to get from point A to point B. And as soon as you arrive at point B, another journey begins. And I learned just how rewarding it feels to have people read, “get”, and comment on my work. That’s the absolute best!
- You get to the end of your life, and there to escort you through the tunnel to the light beyond and show you around is a philosopher / author / artist / scientist / celebrity you've always revered. Who is it, and why him/her?
Oh, my. Jane Austen, Buddah, Thomas Jefferson, Cleopatra . . . so many–too many. I can’t home in on just one. In this lifetime, I would love some quiet time with the Dalai Lama.
- Tell us about your other books, past or in the pipeline.
WEAKEST LYNX is the beginning of Lexi’s journey, where she finds her team and starts her job.
MISSING LYNX – we get to meet –oh so briefly – Lexi’s mentor and realize that her past connections can come back to bite her.
CHAIN LYNX – Lexi is finally home from her misadventures, but home does not mean safe. She is putting the puzzle pieces together to find out why these horrible things keep happening to her.
CUFF LYNX – Lexi’s beloved Iniquus where she and her team are headquartered is under attack. But it’s nothing that anyone has ever experienced before. They depend on Lexi to figure out the problem and to save not only Iniquus but keep America safe, too.
I am taking a little break from the Lynx series and starting a spinoff series of romantic suspense starring the Strike Force men. The first one (the one I’m working on now) is IN TOO DEEP about Deep Del Toro.
I’m also plotting the sequel to MINE (a novella about a science teacher interning for her CSI degree); it’s called YOURS, and we see Kate’s journey continue.
- What are your future plans as an author? How do you see your career developing?
Being an author is a journey that I am taking one step at a time. I hope readers will continue to enjoy my books.
In the future, when my husband retires from his job, I’d like to go and live for one year in a different country/culture over a ten year stretch. I’d like to write a series of novels from each country embracing the foods, colors, sounds, and people. I think that would be a marvelous adventure.
Canadian born, Fiona Quinn is now rooted in the Old Dominion outside of D.C. with her husband and four children. There, she homeschools, pops chocolates, devours books, and taps continuously on her laptop.
She is the creative force behind the popular blog ThrillWriting.
Quinn writes the bestselling Lynx Series including: Kindle Scout winning novel WEAKEST LYNX as well as MISSING LYNX, CHAIN LYNX, and CUFF LYNX. She also wrote the mystery novella, MINE and co-authored CHAOS IS COME AGAIN, a noir comedy.
Look for her newest series, STRIKE FORCE, in 2016.
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