Lynda Bailey lives in Reno, NV with her husband, Pat, her son, Will, two dogs, Cerveza and Athena, and her cat, Groucho. After graduating in 1980 with a bachelor in technical theatre from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, IA, Lynda moved to Reno and got a job working on Don Arden’s huge stage show, Hello Hollywood Hello. This is where she met her husband Pat. Their “cute meet” story wasn’t so much cute as it was painful – for Lynda. They were bouldering (a milder form of rock climbing) with some friends near Pyramid Lake when she fell and dislocated her shoulder. Since Pat was so kind and sweet, he offered Lynda a place to stay while her shoulder healed. Twenty-seven years later, she has yet to leave.
Lynda is the current president of The Unnamed Writers’ Group, an all-genre writing group in Northern Nevada. Her Golden Heart® manuscript – WILD FLOWER – was actually written about ten years ago then left to languish under Lynda’s bed. A year ago she blew off the dust mites and revised it into an erotic historical western.
To learn more about Lynda, visit her website and Unnamed Writers.
Lynda’s Golden Heart® manuscript is WILD FLOWER, a finalist in the historical romance category:
INDIAN TERRITORY 1882
She made a deathbed promise. Matilda Townsend believed her father’s passing would finally free her from trying – and failing – to please him. Raised more as a ranch hand than a woman, she’s shocked when her dying father asks her for one final promise: to marry the ranch foreman.
He gained an unwilling wife. Logan Cartwright has long admired the beauty Matilda hides beneath her dusty cowboy clothes. But when she bargains to leave him sole owner of the ranch if he’ll grant her the freedom to leave Indian Territory, Logan must admit he’s more interested in keeping his wife than his property.
A contest of wills sparks passion. While Matilda clings to her refusal to share her husband’s bed, Logan coaxes her into exploring the other many and varied ways a man and wife can please each other. Even as their passion blazes hotter than a prairie fire, they much confront a danger that threatens to destroy the ranch and divide them forever.
And now a little more about Lynda…
1) How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for almost twenty years. During that time, I’ve penned six novels – not including all the rewrites – numerous short stories and a novella or two.
2) Did you always want to be an author or is this something you fell into later in life?
Stories have always rattled around in my head. I would often think the preverbal “What if” about a book, television show or movie. “What if” the hero did this instead of that? “What if” the movie had a sequel? “What if” the two secondary characters hooked up and had a story? The tipping point came when I had a story based on the TV show, Star Trek, Deep Space Nine – cheesy, I know – but it absolutely refused to leave my head. Sooooo, when my husband was out of town on business, and our three-year-old was tucked into bed, I sat down and typed it out. Thus an obsession was born.
3) What do you do in your “other” life? (Day job, family, etc.)
My “day” jobs, besides being bottle washer and primary dog walker (my husband’s the chief cook), are working as a fitness instructor and an elementary school substitute teacher. You could say I’m an equal opportunity beater – I mean teacher – of the young and not-so-young.
4) Who are your favorite authors?
My favorite authors include Lorraine Heath, Maggie Osborne and Jodi Thomas – who’s up for a RITA this year!
5) Do you have an agent?
At present I don’t have an agent. But I’m working on it!
6) Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I’ll be a lot closer to 60 than I am now! I expect to still married, but without the adult child living at home. LOL! Hopefully I’ll still be kicking butt in my fitness classes, either as instructor or participant, but probably won’t be working as a substitute teacher. Of course, I’ll still be writing. Whether I’ve been blessed enough to get an agent or be published, my stories will insist on being told. To deny them is not an option.
Though I’ve been writing for the better part of two decades, it’s only been in the last six months that I‘ve embraced the title of working fiction writer. I know some believe a “working” writer is a person who gets a paycheck for what he/she writes. In my opinion, that person’s an “author.” For me, a working writer is someone who works everyday to improve his/her craft and who’s striving for publication. I can see the immediate eye rolls with the accompanying, “Well, duh!” However, this was not as easy a journey for me as it might have been for others.
When people ask me what I do for a living, I typically say substitute teacher, fitness instructor, writer. In that order. The writer part almost always gets the biggest reaction.
“Really? You’re a writer? What have you published?”
“Uh, nothing. Yet.”
Chins usually tick up a fraction at this point as eyes narrow slightly. A writer, huh? Yeah, right.
While I strive to improve my writing and move ever so slowly through quicksand that is the publication process, the response I get to claiming to be a writer – and an unpublished writer to boot – makes me wary. Makes me feel I’m being a bit. . . .snobby.
That is until I recently subbed for a favorite teacher of mine, Jolene. Because Jolene knew of my addiction to writing romance (she’d even been a Beta reader for one of my novellas), she wanted me to share my creative writing process with her class. I thought she was nuts. Admit that I wrote books? To twelve-year-olds??? This age group is only slightly less deadly than sharks smelling blood. But I agreed, knowing I had the threat of detention until they all died should any uncontrollable snickering and/or giggling break out. Let me tell you, that sixty minutes was one of the most stirring hours I’d ever spent teaching. The kids sat there, their eyes bright, hanging on almost my every word. It was a very moving moment for me because I was talking about my writing. I wasn’t viewed as pretentious or arrogant. But as a writer. I even choked up once or twice. And tears positively stung my eyes when I stopped by Jolene’s class several months later to tell her about my Golden Heart status. The entire room of sixth graders stood and applauded.
Over time, I have grown accustomed to the title of writer. Yet I never really considered it a “job.” Until now, that is. Though I have yet to land an agent or to be published, thanks to Jolene’s kids, doubt no longer exists that I am a working writer.
What about you? Have you always considered yourself not just a writer, but a “working” one, minus the paycheck? Did you experience a similar “Ah-ha” moment? I’d love to hear about it.