Linsday Detwiler's New Adult Romance Without You releases today. She was kind enough to share her thoughts about the writing process and a bit about her new book. Look at the bottom of this post for a chance to enter to win an e-book copy of Without You. Following is my Q & A with her.
What is your process for plotting out your novel?
For me, the characters typically come first. I get an idea for my protagonists, and the conflict usually comes from there. The title also comes very early on in the process. From there, I will usually do a very simple, loose outline of the major events. Sometimes, I will jot down an idea for a major event for each chapter. Mostly though, I find myself just writing. I typically just let the characters take over the story, their personalities and character traits dictating the plotline. For Voice of Innocence and Without You, I wrote the last chapter when I was about halfway through. By the middle of the novel, I have a pretty clear idea of where I will end up at the end.
What is your greatest challenge as a writer?
I think finding time to write is my biggest challenge, but it is probably the challenge for many! I am an English teacher as well as a writer, and I am taking graduate school courses. It can get pretty tricky to balance everything. Luckily, with summers off, I have time to catch up on my various writing projects.
What was your path to publication like?
Getting a book published was always a pipe dream. It was something I would daydream about, but I felt like it would never happen for me. In college, I took a class called “The Literature of Health & Healing.” In this class, we talked about going after your dreams and how you never know how much time you have left. Thus, I went home from class one night and started thinking about the novel I always wanted to write. I’d always been interested in wrongful convictions. I started thinking about what a moving love story this could be, and the characters of Emma and Corbin quickly emerged. I started writing that summer but would put the draft away when classes started back up in the fall. For several years, I kept coming back to the story. Once it was finished, my husband convinced me to try to get it published. After many rejections and even an acceptance by a publisher who went bankrupt, I signed a contract with Melange Books. Voice of Innocence was released in February of 2015.
While I was waiting for Voice of Innocence to release, I got the idea for Without You and started writing it. This past summer, I came across Limitless Publishing. I was impressed by their beautiful covers, their dedication to creating a ‘family’ of authors, and their professional team. I was so excited when I signed with them in August. It’s amazing to see my dream come true a second time, and I’m so blessed to have found such an amazing publisher.
What advice do you have for someone who dreams of writing and having a book published?
My advice is to worry only about writing a genuine, honest story you are passionate about. For me, I never really thought my work would be published. Thus, I wasn’t worried about how it would be received or how easy or hard it would be to market. Instead, I focused on the storytelling. I wrote the story because I wanted to tell my characters’ stories, not because I wanted to be rich or famous. I think if you write from a place of honesty, if you write like no one’s going to read it, your story becomes much more powerful. I think people can sense the genuine quality to it and will respond to that.
Do you write in one genre or multiple genres? Why?
So far, I’ve been sticking with the romance genre just because this is the genre I like the most. I read a lot of romance, and I watch movies in the genre. It’s just always been my favorite, so I guess it makes sense that this is what I’m drawn to as a writer.
I would eventually like to branch out to young adult romance. My work as a high school teacher lets me see what they like in a book and what interests them, so I think it could be a good genre for me eventually.
What was the theme you wanted to convey?
Both women struggle with doing what’s right and figuring out what they want. Overall, I wanted to portray the realistic side of marriage and love, showing that nothing in life is simple.
She’s smart, beautiful, confident, and married to Camden Landsen, who happens to be drop dead sexy and just as successful. But after five long years, all the success in the world hasn’t brought the romantic spark back into her marriage. Jenna fears it never will.
When life gives you lemons, open a bakery and name it Vi’s…
Violet Streiff made the exact mistake her mother warned against—she fell in love with Liam Coffman, a charming finance major. When he left her heartbroken to further his career, Violet drowned her sorrows by opening a bakery, and now relies on Bob, her eighteen-pound cat, for warmth at night instead of a sexy man.
To find love, sometimes you first have to discover yourself…
When Jenna’s job offers an extended trip to New York, she packs her bags and takes a two-month vacation from life. The chance of her marriage surviving looks grim, until the surprise of a lifetime throws a wrench in her plans to stay in the Big Apple for good.
You can bend the rules—but sooner or later they’ll break…
When Violet meets a gloomy but totally drool-worthy guy named Camden in her shop, she’s sure her luck has changed. There’s no denying the chemistry, but he’s married, and that’s a major problem. Violet isn’t a homewrecker. Still, staying away from Camden proves nearly impossible. That is, until his wife comes home.
Double the chance to find love in the most
unexpected places—or double the chance for disaster.
Amazon ~ FREE on Kindle Unlimited
I am a high school English teacher, an author, and a fan of anything pink. I am truly the English teacher cliché; I love cats, reading, Shakespeare, and Poe. I currently live in my hometown with my husband Chad; our cats Arya, Amelia, Alice, Bob, and Marjorie; and our Mastiff Henry.
As the author of two novels, Voice of Innocence and Without You, I have many inspirations in my life as a writer. My parents instilled in me a value for education and reading from the time I could talk. One of my earliest memories is sitting with my parents as they taught me to sound out words. My husband has also inspired me to pursue my dream of writing. I met Chad in an art class when we were only twelve. He has shown me that love is real, is enduring, and is our most important ally in this sometimes harsh world. He has supported me through this entire process, believing in my writing even before I believed in it myself.
My hope is that by becoming a published author, I can inspire some of my students and other aspiring writers to pursue their own passions. I want them to see that any dream can be attained, and publishing a novel isn't out of the realm of possibility.
Voice of Innocence