Not Just About Me #MFRWAuthor Blog Challenge

This week’s prompt in the #MFRWAuthor 52-Week Blog Challenge is: How much of myself is in my writing?

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Good question, but I’m not sure I have a good answer, certainly not an easy one. It varies by book.

For the first book I finished, Worth The Risk, by Lyn O’Farrell, a pseudonym for me and my friend Anne Farrell, we really stuck with what we knew. We set the book in Southern California where we live. Since we were both part-time librarians, we gave our heroine the same occupation. And I used what I knew from years of watching car races with my husband and suggested our hero be an ex-race car driver. I even drew on my experience of flying to Catalina Island in a small plane for one scene. We had fun with that book.

Worth the Risk graphic

My second book, Rogue’s Hostage, was a lot more serious. For one thing, it’s a war story, set during the French and Indian War. It opens in Western Pennsylvania where I grew up outside Pittsburgh. I did a lot of research and spent three years writing the book. My mother died during the process, and when I’d finished it, I realized that my heroine, Mara, was, in so many ways, my mother. I dedicated the book to her memory, as well as that of my grandmother, who inspired my love of storytelling and history.

#bookqw deep Rogue

The books that followed were a little less personal, but reflect my interests in various historical periods. Lily and the Gambler is set in an area my husband and I explored together, the Gold Country of California.

Lily graphic

I’ve always loved fairy tales, and that’s reflected in my Kingdoms and Legends series: Ilona’s Wolf and Tova’s Dragon. And Marooned, my steamy pirate romance, answers the question: Who do you want to be stranded with on a deserted island?

All writers put something of themselves into their books, but sometimes it’s so subtle, we’re not even aware of it. At least I’m not.

Use the linky list below to hop to other posts in the #MFRWAuthor 52-Week Blog Challenge.

Linda / Lyndi

Leave the Door Ajar: #MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge #amwriting

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Today’s prompt in the MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge is Closed Doors or Open Doors, and I say leave the door ajar.

In my writing career, I’ve written everything from sweet Regency to erotic male/male romance, but I have never written a closed door love scene. Not that I’m opposed to that, just haven’t done it. Yet.

There’s a vocal readership now for so-called “clean and wholesome” romances, which I understand means not only no sex but no cursing. Let’s put aside my visceral dislike of the words “clean romance” which in my minds implies that all other romances are somehow dirty. My friends insist that wasn’t the attention, but it still seems that way to me. Clean and dirty are mutually-exclusive antonyms. The toilet is clean or it’s dirty. It’s be a little bit dirty or downright filthy, but it’s not clean. I wish someone could come up with a better term to satisfy that readership that doesn’t sound judgmental.

That aside, I honestly don’t think I could write a male character who didn’t swear. My dad was an Army vet and a truck driver who could swear a blue streak, esp. when the traffic was bad. I guess I grew up believing that men just peppered their conversation with cuss words. To his credit, I never heard him use the “F” word, but I heard everything else. Once I started to talk, he had to watch his language for a few years, because I repeated everything he said. Once I was old enough to understand that there were words Daddy (and Mommy) could say that Linda couldn’t, he was back to his old ways.

Lady Elinors Escape coverEven my honorable barrister, Stephen Chaplin, of Lady Elinor’s Escape utters a “bloody hell” now and then. Another male character is fond of saying “damn and blast” when he’s frustrated.

The rest of my romances fall into the middle ground of sensual (Linda) to steamy (Lyndi Lamont). While I have written erotic romance as Lyndi, I am not doing so now. The genre has changed and my vanilla sex scenes no longer qualify as erotic. I’m happier somewhere in the middle, anyway, though as I said, not opposed to closing the door if that seems appropriate to the characters and the story. It seems the rule book has been thrown out these days and pretty much anything goes.

My next project will be a sweet romance, though I’m keeping that closed door love scene in mind, just in case.

And as always, click on the linky list below for more posts in the MFRWauthor 52-Week #Blog Challenge

Linda / Lyndi