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Sunday, December 22, 2013

LYN HORNER SHARES HER INSPIRATION

By Lyn Horner

Seasons Greeting, Smart Girls! Thank you for inviting me over today. I’d like to tell y’all how I got started writing and why my historical romances follow a mystical trail into the Old West.

Have you ever had a dream about something that then took place after you dreamed it? I have on several occasions years ago. Those dreams made me believe in extrasensory perception (ESP) and eventually inspired me to invent characters who are blessed with such gifts.

I got the urge to write while living in the Chicago area. My husband was transferred there from Minneapolis by the company he worked for and I’d had to quit my job as an art instructor. Our children were very young, so I chose to be a stay-at-home mom after the move. In between cleaning house, changing diapers and wiping runny noses, I did a lot of reading, mainly western historical romance.

One day, after reading a poorly written book by a well known author who shall go nameless, it struck me that I could do better than her. I’d gotten straight As in English in school, hadn’t I? Ha! Little did I know how long it would take to hone my writing skills.

In Chicagoland stories of the Great Fire of 1871 often hit the airwaves on the October anniversary of the catastrophe. Fascinated by these tales, I decided to write about a young woman of Irish descent (many Irish immigrants settled in Chicago) who lived through the fire and later traveled west with her brother in search of a new life. I spent many hours at the local library digging for info about the fire and railroad travel in the early 1870s, since I planned for my heroine, Jessie Devlin, and her brother Tye to head west by rail.

Chicagoans rush for their lives across
the Randolph Street bridge in 1871
Another job transfer took us to Houston, and yet another brought us to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. By then my little story had grown into a 150,000 word monster which, as you might expect, no one wanted to publish. It did attract two different agents, but even after I whittled the manuscript down to 125,000 words, neither of them managed to sell it. Was I discouraged? You better believe I was!

However, along the way I joined Romance Writers of America, the local North Texas chapter, and met some terrific authors who encouraged me not to give up. During this period it crossed my mind to add a paranormal sub theme to Jessie’s story, and that’s where my belief is ESP entered the picture. The original story morphed into a series of three, starring a trio of psychic siblings driven by paranormal instincts.

Darlin’ Irish (Texas Devlins, Jessie’s Story) spotlights the heroine’s gift of second sight, an ability to look into the future, as I did in my long ago dreams.

Dashing Irish (Texas Devlins, Tye’s Story) reveals him to be an empath, capable of actually “feeling” others’ emotions.

Dearest Irish (Texas Devlins, Rose’s Story) stars sheltered baby sister Rose, who possesses the greatest gift of all, the power to heal with her mind.

White Witch, a prequel novella, carries Jessie, Tye and their father through the Chicago Fire. (It still fascinates and horrifies me!)

Fine, but how did the siblings come by their psychic talents, you might ask. The answer lies in my love of Celtic mythology. The Devlins, it turns out, are descended from an ancient line of Irish Druids through their mother, who taught them early on to hide their secret powers, fearing they would be regarded as evil.

There you have it, the logic behind my madness. If you’d like to share the Devlins’ adventure and discover how they put down roots in Texas, their individual ebooks are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and in print via CreateSpace and Amazon.

In Addition, a boxed set titled Texas Devlins 4 Book Bundle is now available exclusively on Amazon at a crazy low price thru New Years Day.




Excerpt:

Now let me share a brief scene from Jessie’s story, wherein her dream hero has a surprise for her. Let’s call it an early Christmas gift.

. . . . . .  Pulling on her shapeless hat, she asked David, “What is it ye want to show me?”
“You’ll see,” he replied with a mysterious grin. Catching her hand, he led her outside and down the porch steps, then hurried her toward the barn. The rain had slacked off to a fine drizzle but the ground was muddy underfoot.
“Slow down, will ye?” she pleaded breathlessly, struggling to match his long-legged stride and keep her skirts from dragging in the mud. “I don’t want to slip.”
            He immediately slowed. “Sorry. I wasn’t thinking,” he said with a look of chagrin. He kept to a more cautious pace after that but didn’t say another word until they came to a halt inside the barn, facing a stall within which stood a comely, long-legged mare. Her reddish coat glowed softly in a beam of misty sunlight coming through a chink in the wall. Lifting her head, she eyed them calmly while chewing a mouthful of hay.
“Do you like her?” David asked.
“Aye, she’s beautiful.”
            “She’s yours.”
“Mine!” She stared at him in astonishment.
            He grinned broadly. “Yup. I’ve been meaning to get you a good mount, so I stopped by the Bayliss spread on my way back. They run horses on their range. When I saw the mare, I knew she was the one for you.”
            Jessie gazed mutely at the horse, feeling her eyes tear up. He had bought this beautiful creature for her!
Misinterpreting her silence, he said, “Of course, if you don’t like her, we can trade her for another.” He sounded disappointed.
            “No, no! I want no other,” she assured him. She reached over the top rail of the stall, offering her hand for the mare to inspect. The horse eyed her warily for a moment, then ambled over and daintily nosed Jessie’s palm, snuffling as she took in her scent. It tickled. Giggling at the sensation, Jessie rubbed the animal’s soft muzzle. David’s hands circled her waist, and she smiled at him over her shoulder.
“She’s the most marvelous gift anyone’s ever given me. I don’t know how to thank you,” she said tremulously.
            “I can think of a way,” he said, removing her hat. He lifted her braid aside and bent to kiss the nape of her neck, making her breath catch.


Author Lyn Horner

Lyn Horner grew up in Minnesota, where she married her high school sweetheart and had two children, a son and a daughter. After shuffling around the central time zone for several years, she and her family settled in North Texas. Now that their children are grown, she and her husband reside in Fort Worth along with several very spoiled cats.

Trained in the visual arts, Lyn worked as a fashion illustrator and art instructor before she took up writing. This hobby grew into a love of historical research and the crafting of passionate love stories based on that research. Lyn published her first book in 2010 and has since published six more plus a Christmas short story. The recipient of numerous awards and complimentary reviews, she is now at work on her next book.
  
She loves to hear from readers. Visit her on any of these sites:


13 comments:

  1. Lyn, I enjoyed reading your blog and hearing about your journey in writing! I look forward to reading your books. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy and prosperous New Year!

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  2. Hi, Karren. I'm glad you enjoyed my post and hope you also enjoy the Devlin saga. Thanks for commenting.

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  3. Fascinating Lyn. I loved reading the story behind the stories and your amazing writing journey. I have also been strongly led by dreams in many of mine. :)

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    1. Thank you, Beth. It's been a long journey but I wouldn't trade it for any other path. Dreams are amazing things, inspiring, strange and scary at times. God for you for listening to yours!

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  4. I'd like to thank Caroline Clemmons for extending the invitation to visit the Smart Girls and for posting my story. Thank you, friend!

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  5. Nice post, Lyn. I have had dreams come true. Makes life frightening each time I have a nightmare.

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    1. Caroline, one of my prophetic dreams terrified me, but thank goodness it didn't come true in exactly the way I saw it. I dreamt that my husband was in a serious auto accident and badly injured. Scared me nearly to death! However, a day or two later a close friend called to tell us his cousin had been in a crash on the night of my nightmare and was in the hospital in critical condition. Perhaps I shouldn't admit this came as a great relief, but it did.

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  6. Loved reading about your journey, Lyn. I love this award winning series and wish you continued success! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks, Carra. It's always nice to know my stories bring enjoyment, especially to a friend. Love yuh!

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  7. So many of us, like you, had to persist regardless of results selling our work. Persistence really pays, doesn't it? I guess the best advice you could ever give an aspiring author is tell them, no matter what, never give up.
    I didn't know you had ESP. I don't have anything that wonderful.
    I love stories that evolve around real history. Good research really enhances a story with rich historical detail.
    I have this awesome bundle because I was lucky enough to win it just minutes ago. I am going to really enjoy digging into them. Thank you so much, Lyn.
    Happy Holidays!

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    1. Sarah, so nice to see you here. My experiences with ESP happened a long while ago, but it was enough to make me a believer.

      I also love incorporating history in my novels. It makes the story more real, and I love researching.

      Congrats for winning the bundle! I hope you enjoy getting to know the Devlins and there sweethearts.

      Merry Christmas!
      Lyn

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  8. Yahoo! I'm so happy I won the bundle of books. I know I'm going to really enjoy reading them. What a wonderful Christmas present. Thank you so much, Lyn. I'm feelin' pretty dang lucky. Maybe I ought to buy a lottery ticket. LOL

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  9. Good excerpt, Lyn. I hope this package does wonders for your pocketbook. I didn't buy it because I already had them all. I just haven't had a chance yet to read them.

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