If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

Here are our October WWK interviews:

October 3: Ellen Byron, Mardi Gras Murder

October 10: Cynthia Kuhn, The Spirit In Question

October 17: Jacqueline Seewald, Death Promise

October 24: G. A. McKevett, Murder In Her Stocking

October 31: Alan Orloff, Pray For The Innocent

Our October Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 10/6--Mary Reed, 10/13--J.J. Hensley,

WWK Saturday Bloggers Margaret S. Hamilton writes on 10/20, and Kait Carson posts on 10/27.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Grace Topping signed a three-book contract with Henery Press for her Laura Bishop Home Staging series. Congratulations, Grace!

KM Rockwood's new short story, "Map to Oblivion," has been included the anthology Shhhh...Murder! edited by Andrew MacRae and published by Darkhouse Books. It was released on Sept. 12.

Warren Bull also has a story in Shhh...Murder! Look for "Elsinore Noir," Warren's short story, in this anthology.

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Interview With Lyn McConchie

New Zealand author, Lyn McConchie, is the subject of this blog. I was introduced to her via e-mail by our mutual publisher/editor Jean Goldstrom of Whortleberry Press. Lyn was kind enough to put my wife, Judy and me up for two nights at her home, Farside Farm on the outskirts of Norsewood , which is on the north island of New Zealand. Lyn raises “coloured” sheep, free-range hens and geese. She has had pigs and cows also.

Judy and I were greeted by her gander who alerted Lyn and possibly the entire town of our arrival. He looked us over suspiciously and only reluctantly tolerated us invading his farm. Lyn may yell but she also carries a cane.

Inside her personalized one-woman farmhouse we were greeted by Thunder, her Ocicat, who has an unlimited capacity to get love and attention from humans.

In 2011, Lyn won New Zealand’s Sir Julian Vogel Award for the best Science Fiction/Fantasy Adult Novel for The Questing Road and for the best Young Adult Novel for Summer of Dreaming. She has previously won the award three times and she has won several awards for her short stories.

Over the course of two nights we chatted about writing. My interview became more like a series of conversations than a formal interview.

Lyn said she started writing after a serious motorcycle accident in 1977 left her unable to continue to work in the competitive job market. Because of pain in her leg she is sometimes bed-ridden. She could only think of two occupations that allowed her to work in bed and that Thunder would disapprove of one of them.

Writing in science fiction fanzines started her career. She now writes science fiction, fantasy, horror, humor, mysteries and western novels and short stories. In addition she is a frequent contributor to her local newspaper and writes poetry, or doggerel, depending on your point of view.

She is a voracious reader. Her personal library includes more than 7,000 books. And Lyn is a relentless writer. Lynn can write a 95,000 word novel in twenty two to twenty four days. She has developed a system of writing and resting suited to her health issues. She can program her subconscious (a male named “Subbie”) to come up with a short story or article on a particular topic with a general word count before she goes to sleep so that when she awakens she can write it down. She said she feels her imagination has a lively life of its own and sometimes she feels she is just a transcriber.

She said she has 23 books published; 29 books sold and 40 books written. She has also published more than 250 short stories. She said she has been published in at least six countries both in print and electronically. Lyn said her personal “slush pile” allows her to avoid deadlines and the sometimes punitive consequences of not meeting a contract deadline. She said she has known writers who were not able to fulfill publishing contract and faced significant penalties. Other authors sometimes are forced by contract deadlines to publish books that clearly need additional work.

Writers, especially new writers, need to keep in mind that publishers are in the business of making money, not of supporting writers, no matter how sympathetic they sound.

We discussed research and Lynn agreed with me that writers of all genres need to do research. She depends on books by authors who have devoted their lives to learning about a particular civilization or culture for researching her books. The internet is useful for learning about markets and publishing in general. Her life experience, riding horses, hunting, and farming have given her insight into the activities of her characters. She also has a collection of weapons that she knows and uses including a cavalry sword, a long bow and a cross bow.
She explained to me the danger of an inexperienced cavalry soldier swinging his weapon too close to his horse and cutting off its ear which tends to make a very large and powerful animal unhappy with its rider.

Lyn sometimes writes a short story and then edits it to two smaller word counts so she is ready for whatever requirements a market may have.

Lyn does not worry about someone “stealing” her work. She said in New Zealand writers group may be as large as twenty or thirty people, all of whom throw out ideas and questions. She is a story-teller at heart.


Warren Bull said...

Unlike Mysteries there is an active community of "fanzine writers" in Science Fiction where newcomers are encouraged to try out their skills and develop their craft.

Gloria Alden said...

What a great interview, Warren, and what a fascinating person. How lucky you were to meet her in person and stay with her for a few days, although it must not have seemed like enough time at all.

Warren Bull said...

It was a memorable experience.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Terrific interview, Warren! Lyn sounds like an astonishing person to meet. How fortunate you were to spend some time with her!

I was very interested in her method of working since I'm in some similar circumstances physically. But how does she manage a farm? Does she have a hired man or woman for that?

And I love the sheep! New Zealand colored wool is one of my favorites to spin.

Warren Bull said...

Neighbors help. She wanted a farm so she would be forced to get up and move around. I don't know if you've encounter possum and wool blend. Possums are not like our opossums. The blend is amazingly light and warm.

E. B. Davis said...

I would have discounted when she said about getting ideas and plotting in her sleep, but the number of published books she's had published makes me wonder. How about that sheep's blue eyes!

Lyn McConchie said...

Lyn McConchie here,
to reply to a couple of points - I actually do much of my own farm work, my sheep are used to being worked by voice, or following me and I move them about that way. I have a shearer who comes once a year to do the shearing. The couple of cattle I have, I shift by walking towards them and allowing them to move away to where I want them. Piglets will be fed, watered, and cleaned out by me, and I also deal solely with my hens, bantams and geese. I get a hand from the neighbors for heavy stuff as Warren said. But I could often manage some of thatif I have to - and have done so at need.
And yes, his explanation of how I often do shorter work is correct. Last Saturday I sat down at my computer around 9am. By 1pm I'd written three articles - all three asked for. I had a longish lunch break at 1pm, and by 4pm I'd also completed a flash fiction story that I wanted to get done as it may be the first of several similar and with that as a sample I can now track down suitable markets.
I have my writing, my farmlet, my cat, books, friends, and I live in a quiet friendly rural area. I'm a superannuitant, so I'm not going to starve if my imagination dies. This year I'll definitely have two books out, four if all goes well. None of that's bad for a fat old cripple with damn all education. Cats, books, life is good!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Lyn, I'm definitely in awe of all you accomplish! I've always wanted to retire to a little farm, but when my body rebelled against me, leaving me on a cane, I thought that would be impossible. Now, with your example I might dream of that again. Don't tell my husband! He's a city boy, born and bred. :-)

Lyn McConchie said...

I'd advise a milking goat or even two,rather than a cow, but you could have geese (wonderful as watchdogs - mine nearly caught someone the other night who was sneaking about my sheds looking for something to steal - never seen anyone leave so fast)and hens. The problem with sheep is that either you have to shear them annually - or you could maybe buy a breed that shed (yes some breeds do that.) And if you get a beef animal for steak, get a steer, not a cow or bull. But I manage with a little under four acres, and I see no reason why you shouldn't too. You could also plant fruit trees and put in a berry house. There's usually a lot less stress living this way, and you get to know the neighbours.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks, Lyn. All good advice there. And I prefer goats to cattle for small operations.