Beverly and Tamara: Welcome to SSLY. Thanks so much for joining us today. So first why don’t you tell us a little about yourself?
Hi, my name is Lynn Townsend. I’m a lifelong geek with a tendency to stare into nothingness. I’m overly fond of octopuses, turtles, stuffed animals, action movies, and cheese. I graduated with a useless degree (Victorian Lit, with a minor in Russian Studies) and turned it into something useful – I now write romance novels for a living.
Tamara: What do you HAVE to have when you are writing?
Caffiene, music, and a computer. I’m also quite fond of my muse; he’s represented on my desk by a red puffy-ball with eyeballs and antenna that lives in a round cage. I’ve had it since I was 12 or so, and it’s never not with me when I’m writing.
Beverly: When did you start to write and who influenced you?
I have some bad poetry from kindergarten. Aside from that, I started writing stories in 5th grade. We had a writing assignment that year; we all wrote stories and then bound them into books. I still have mine. I guess that would really be the first time it occurred to me that writing was something people – real people – actually did.
Admittedly, I was in my late thirties by the time I published, probably because my influences were so totally not what I should be doing. I was told, for years and years, that romance was stupid. And so I never read any of it. I read Sci-fi and horror and fantasy, and I kept trying to write that. The problem is, I would write these romance plots into fantasy or sci-fi worlds, and then when I was done the first draft, I’d go back and take out all the romance, which really didn’t leave me with a very good story.
It wasn’t until after a friend gave me a copy of When He was Wicked by Julia Quinn, that I discovered romance novels weren’t “stupid” and that this was what I should have been doing all along.
Tamara: What do you think are the qualities that make up a “hero”?
Would it be bad if I confessed that I was more of a scoundrel sort of girl? I’ve always preferred the dark-haired, dark-eyed, brooding, smart-ass, hot-shot. And honestly, the villains get all the best lines! (think Alan Rickman’s Sheriff of Nottingham.)
Although I have actual proof that my husband would step in front of a moving car for me, as he did so a few years ago – and for a while I had some incredible bruises on my shoulder from where he shoved me out of the way. Fortunately, the dimwidget who was texting and driving at the same time stopped his vehicle before anyone was hurt (altho my husband did have a hand on the hood; he was going to try one of those movie-type jumps and end up ON the car; as he says, at that point he was going to be struck by the car anyway, might as well try, right?)
Beverly: Can you describe your favorite character? And which of your books is he/she in? How do you come up with your characters?
My favorite character is Mace the Assassin (Sebastian Eugene Hooke, known to his close friends as Bastian.) He’s been in my head since… oh, I want to say 7th grade was the first time I wrote a story about him. He’s an assassin and head of the local underworld, as well as being romantically involved with a dragon-slayer. The novel he’s in, Marked Man, is currently in second pare-downs – it was originally over 180,000 words… but it should be out in the next year or so.
As far as coming up with characters: my husband bought me a demotivational poster a few years back that hangs over my writing desk.
Madness: Madeness does not always howl. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “Hey, is there room in your head for one more?”
Usually, I’m minding my own business, and some character tromps into my mental house, puts his muddy boots up on my coffee table, and starts telling me his story. And frankly, I can’t get rid of them. Sometimes, they’ll quiet down a bit after I tell their particular story. And some of them, like Mace, just sort of stick around and comment on everything else.
Tamara: What are the hardest scenes for you to write? Suspense? Sex? Dialogue? And why?
I don’t think there’s a single type of scene that’s hard for me to write; sometimes I bust pages through sex scenes, or combat (which are really the same thing, sometimes!) and I personally love writing scary things… dialogue is quick and easy, if I can manage to get past my horridly bad habit of writing “he said the thing,” she said, jokingly.
Sometimes, tho, the words just aren’t there. I’ve managed to make those periods shorter and shorter, but there are just days when the words don’t.
Beverly: What is your favorite scene in your favorite book?
I have a particular fondness for the “I am Heathcliff” scene in Wuthering Heights. When I was 13 years old, I read that book outloud to my great grandmother – she was going blind and we spent most of the summer with me reading aloud for a few hours every afternoon. We read other books, of course, but that one really stuck with me.
Tamara: What is your dream vacation?
Heh, last summer, I got to have my dream vacation. My husband and I left our daughter with my father for a week and took his car (my dad has a Porsche boxter!). We drove down to Atlanta and back, stopping and doing touring stuff whenever it occurred to us, and eating food from non-chain restaurants. We went to the aquarium and the Coke museum and a couple places in South Carolina. It was awesome. Slept in a hotel near where they filmed Walking Dead…
Beverly: What is the kinkiest thing you’ve ever done? Or would like to? What? We are all about the love! Fine! If you don’t like that question what was your worst date ever?
I’ve been in a couple of three-somes, and the interesting part of my threesomes (as a bisexual woman who’s heard the “oh, so can we pick up one of your girlfriends and…” more times than I’ve had hot meals…) is that they’ve both been m/f/m.
Tamara: What are your favorite types of heroines? Do you like the damsel in distress who needs saving or the kick-ass variety? Why?
Let me put it this way, my least favorite movie in the entire world (and that includes Robo-Vampire, which is a Chinese movie about hopping vampires. You should watch it, it’s awful. Truly awful.) is Cinderella. Because she is rescued. By the. Fucking. Mice. OMG… it hurts my brain so much.
I prefer ass-kicking if that’s what I can get, but I like… real women. Not boys with boobs who punch people randomly. (I mean, what is UP with Agent Carter in Captain America? She shoots at Steve six times because she’s mad that he was flirting? What the HELL, Lady??) Strong woman doesn’t mean just kicking ass and fucking boys.
Beverly: How many books have you published? What genres? What drew you to that genre?
Let’s see, at last count it was 2 novels, a book of short stories (co-written with author Elizabeth L. Brooks, my best friend for more than half my life…) and… 23 other short stories? I’m not sure all the time, it sounds stupid, but I lose track sometimes.
I mostly write romance or erotic romance, with a few randoms tossed in here and there. I’ve written a ghost story (Living Proof, due out this fall from Antimatter Press.) and a diesel-punk Cthulu story, but mostly it’s romance in one flavor or another.
I believe that everyone falls in love. Every person falls in love, even if it’s with a book character, their kitten, their best friend. It’s the thing that binds us all together as humans is that we all love. So I like to explore that aspect of humanity.
Tamara: If you could spend the day with any person from history, real or fictional. Who would you choose and why?
I’d give a lot of money to be able to spend one more day with my grandparents. It seems the older I get, the more that becomes true.
Beverly: What is your “guilty pleasure”?
I don’t have one. I never feel guilty about pleasure.
I mean, I do a lot of things that people think are weird (banana and mayonnaise sandwiches come to mind.) and I like a lot of music that people think is awful (who are these “people” anyway?) like Ke$ha and Miley Cyrus and ABBA. I even like Nickleback. I mean, what the hell, people? You know I’m not the only one, right?
I’m also really fond of glittery nail polish. And food-scented candles.
Tamara: What dream or goal have you yet to realize?
Tons. Lots. Mega-tons. If I stop dreaming or having goals, they’ll be shoveling it over me soon enough. I’d like to visit England some day, that’d be nice. Of course, I’d also like to go to the moon.
But I’ve also done a lot of things that I wanted to, and I’m pretty content with that. (Walked 60 miles in three days, for instance!)
Beverly: What was your most embarrassing moment or the craziest thing you’ve done? C’mon dish!
I don’t know that I’ve had a “most embarrassing” moment. I walk into walls and fall up stairs. At this point, there’s very little self-harming klutziness can do to to shame me. I did get walked into one time (in college) by the paper-boy while I was coming out of the shower, headed to my dorm, and knocked down (I was wrapped in a towel, which I lost in the fall, naturally) but I think he was more flustered than I was.
Craziest thing, now… when I was in high school, I crossed under the bridge, on the girders, to spraypaint my name in the middle. Which would have been mostly okay, except that my eleven-year-old cousin decided to follow me. (there wasn’t like WATER under this bridge, either, it was a gully, forty feet down. Honestly, I’m so lucky we didn’t die. And that my aunt didn’t find out. I think she might still kill me.
Tamara: What song are you?
Gonna be all hipster on you, here, but you probably don’t know this song. It’s called Rich Fantasy Lives, by Tom Smith. It’s off the “They Say I’ve Got Talent” album… just go buy it. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0010XYJP8/ref=dm_ws_tlw_trk13?ie=UTF8&qid=1400608065&sr=8-1 here’s the link.
Beverly: How do you know you’re in love? Is it a physical reaction, an emotional reaction or both?
That’s a question that took me a while, learning to differentiate between love and infatuation. Falling in love just happens. Being in love is a decision.
Tamara and Beverly: Okay. We are SSLY so I have to ask. Who loves you?
Lots of people. I love generously, my husband, my kid, my family. My friends. The nice thing about love is that it doesn’t run out. There’s no shortage. I can love my husband so desperately that I can hardly breathe sometimes and still have enough left over for my new bestie, Rose. As a note, while I like the word “bestie,” I don’t apply it exclusionarily. I probably have a good double-dozen people I’ll call “my bestie.” It’s not a ranked system. I love a lot of people. And a lot of people love me back.
Now for some quick fun questions:
Boxers or briefs? My floor doesn’t care
Coffee or Tea? Coffee. I hate tea.
Tall, dark and handsome or Blond and buff? Dark. Definitely dark. Although red-heads are nice, too.
Hairy chest or smooth? hairy
Chocolate or Vanilla? Yes. Preferably with caramel sauce on it.
Kinky or Sweet? Absolutely.
Fast or slow? I dunno, are you late for work?
Public or private? That, too
Top or bottom? Yep.
A farm boy from Tennessee, Beau Watkins spent high school living the dream: the cute girl, the popular, jock lifestyle, a loving family. As a freshman at an out-of-state college, he’s determined to find out who he really is behind the Fake It ‘Til You Make It attitude. He joins Rainbow Connection, the gay student alliance, hoping to find himself. Instead, he finds Vin Reyes. Raised by his grandparents and heir to a prosperous company, Vin has been out of the closet since he figured out what that meant. He has it all: fashionable clothing, fancy cars, huge houses, a real party lifestyle, and even a bodyguard. Most of all, he has a secret.
Uncomfortable with Vin’s generosity, Beau fights his growing attraction for the president of Rainbow Connection, chasing instead a series of shallow affairs. Vin’s never been denied anything that he wants, though, and now he wants Beau. But it’s not until an old rival puts Beau in the hospital that Vin realizes that Beau means more to him than a simple love affair. Can the two of them bridge the gap between their worlds and roll with the all the punches life will throw at them?
Lynn Townsend is a geek, a dreamer and an inveterate punster. When not reading, writing, or editing, she can usually be found drinking coffee or killing video game villains. Lynn’s interests include filk music, romance novels, octopuses, and movies with more FX than plot.
(okay, seriously, this talking in the third person about myself is just weird…)
My name is Kellylyn Townsend Stafford Hicks. K.T. is what my friends call me. Lynn Townsend is my writer’s name. But they are all my “real” name. All of those names do, actually, belong to me. In addition, people have been known to refer to me as: Mom (my child, her teachers, and apparently every pediatrician ever. sigh.), Jayne, Tisfan, Tizzy, Kelly (certain family members who are older than I am and I would feel bad about smacking them senseless only), Shameless, and Spouse (husband only).
I grew up half in central Virginia, half in way-upstate New York. I went to college at William & Mary, where I met and later married a guy who grew up half in Kentucky and half in Utica, so while we’re both a really weird mix of southern and northern, at least we understand each other. We have one child, one murder-death-cat, a turtle, and two chinchillas. I currently live in Chesapeake, Virginia, just along the Elizabeth River, where the phrase “drag your ass out into the swamp and leave you there” is not just an idle threat.
I am into random geekery, Cthulu, all things tentacular (squids, octopuses, Japanese hentai anime), cooking, reading, gaming (both paper & dice and MMOs), Sci-fi, Fantasy, good coffee, romance novels, flavored chapsticks, Hello Kitty, Squishables, Jane Austen, Lego’s, Nathan Fillion, cop shows, cheese, zombies, chocolate, good beer, filk music, action movies, steampunk, funny cat pictures on Facebook, and the dancing mushrooms in Fantasia.
I am NOT into social conservatism, Game of Thrones, gatekeeping, first-person shooters, console games of any sort, tea, “chick lit” or anything endorsed by Oprah, long walks on the beach, pina coladas, fashion magazines, Bruce Campbell, James Bond, My Little Pony, Tom Cruise, or bagpipes.
All Romance https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-roll-1434045-149.html
Barnes and Nobles http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/roll-lynn-townsend/1118875642?ean=9781610406628
A Wide Variety of Social Networking Stuff