We had the good fortune of connecting with Lynessa Layne and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Lynessa, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
Being either too dumb or too stubborn to quit. I’ve adapted the rule that even if it makes me cry, do it crying, whatever it is, just don’t quit. Quitting equals 100% failure.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
*What sets me apart? I’m not like other girls.

Hahahaha! Just kidding! Couldn’t resist getting that cliche reader pet-peeve in there. =D

I have actually been told I do have a unique way of writing, so I am a mite different, which spells good and bad for my career: bad if a reader is wanting formulaic styles of reading; good if a reader is down for something a little off their beaten path.

I consider myself more an artist than an author as art gets to be whatever the creator had in mind, despite what others think of it. Like an abstract or a surrealist painting, I’m not everyone’s cup of tea, but I am quite honored that those I’ve earned the readership of, seem to be quite loyal to my style.

*I’m most excited that I recently won two Silver Falchion Awards at the 2023 Killer Nashville awards banquet: Best Suspense 2022 and Best Book 2022 for my novel, Target Acquired.

I’m also psyched about hosting my first ever book expo and convention, TropiCon, down in my favorite city, St. Augustine, FL. (Feb 23-25, 2024)

*How I got where I am today? Was it easy? No. Not in the least.

I’m a believer that the thing you were most meant to do is going to be tested the hardest and this is writing for me. I was an avid reader before I came down with postpartum depression after the birth of my 4th child. To cope with the struggle, I tried my hand at writing what I wanted to read figuring I’d probably get maybe 10 pages in and realize I didn’t have what it took.

I ended up writing a ten novel series about a Christian girl plumeting from grace when she unwittingly falls for a hitman who runs a crime syndicate. Once she’s pulled into his underworld, she loses her footing and everything she knew about herself. As she fights for the man she loves, and he fights with her for his life, she has to reevaluate and learn who she is now that she’s walked through fire.

There may be an allegory in there about my own journey, but I’ll refrain from psychoanalysis for the time being.

*Lessons I’ve learned along the way…
Risks are always terrifying. Some will bite you, but some will change who you are for the better.
Humans are the best inspiration and the most important thing in the world. Meeting readers because I took the risk to hit publish and expose myself to acute scrutiny, best choice ever.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Pensacola Beach, FL for a day-drinking tour along the strand of beach bars overlooking the glittering waters of the Emerald Coast, where I met and fell in love with my Spec Ops Navy Commander.

I love the Paradise Motel for their old-fashioned rooms like a classic I Love Lucy or Doris Day type vibe and I love their beach bar with money stapled to every available surface.

We’d take the drive out to Fort Pickens before finding a secluded spot on the white sand to sun and play. (Not as many people in the park).

In the evenings we could hop from live bands to karaoke bars and eat at the fancy and beach bum places as we went.

Can you tell I’m anything but pretentious? I much prefer flip-flops and sandy toes, wind-blown hair, and sun kissed skin, than an expensive vacation. I could be biased, because like I said, it’s where we met and fell in love, so there will always be romanticism in the redneck riviera.

My bestie would hate all of it because she’s an Alaskan wilderness, leave her in the snow with a good book kinda girl.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to give a huge shoutout to my husband, A.J., and my kids. Without them pushing me and being willing to flex with wherever this journey takes me, there’d be no journey.

I also want to give a shoutout to the Southeast Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, Killer Nashville, as well as the Tuscaloosa Writers and Illustrators Guild.

They bring the human element to a job that seems almost untouchable in a way. You look at these names in bookstores and they’re like celebrities to the readers. Then, you join these groups to grow your skills and find yourself at times meeting your heroes who are actually just as human as you and me. The dream isn’t impossible.

Website: lynessalayne.com

Instagram: instagram.com/lynessalayne

Twitter: x.com/lynessalayne

Facebook: Facebook.com/authorlynessalayne

Other: www.tropiconbookexpo.com goodreads.com/author/show/7992789.Lynessa_Layne bookbub.com/profile/lynessa-layne

Image Credits
Images by A.J. Layne

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