Monday, May 16, 2011

Welcome Guest Blogger Lynette Eason!

Missy, here. I'm thrilled to welcome my good friend and fellow Love Inspired author Lynette Eason! Lynette and I made our first sales about a week apart to the same editor, and we've been traveling the journey together ever since. Lynette has two books releasing this month! Threat of Exposure from Love Inspired Suspense and A Killer Among Us from Revell. She's an amazing writer, and since I've brainstormed with her (and helped by calling my Orthopedist father-in-law to confirm horrible ways to break bones!), I can tell you her stories are suspenseful and...well, sometimes downright frightening. :)

Lynette, welcome! We promise not to hold your scary mind against you. :)

I’m so honored to be here on Seekerville!

Missy asked me to talk a little bit about writing for two publishers and juggling schedules. Yes, this it’s definitely a juggling act. I’m a wife and a mother. I homeschool my son and have a husband who travels for a living.

Writing for Revell and Love Inspired Suspense requires a lot of organization. Which is really hard for me because I’m not an organized person by nature. But for the past four years, I’ve had to be. I sold my first book in February 2007 to Love Inspired Suspense and things have just snowballed since then. In June 2008, I sold three book series to Revell. Writing and selling is just one aspect of being a successful author. When you add in the need for marketing, it can quickly get overwhelming.

So…ways I stay organized.
1. I keep an updated calendar on my phone at all times. I also have one in the kitchen posted on the wall so that my family can see it. I have my deadlines written in red. The closer I get to the red inked deadline, the crazier life gets. We eat a lot of takeout. I start setting my phone to remind me if I have an appointment that day. I even set it for something I shouldn’t forget like my son’s drum lesson or piano lesson or karate class. Because I will get so involved in meeting this deadline, it’s like my brain can’t process anything else without a reminder.

2. I keep a running To-Do list in a word document with a blog schedule – who I’m hosting and whose blog I’m on. There are addresses for book winners and people I need to send thank you notes too. Then there’s a section at the bottom with the list of errands I need to do that day. A marketing section, contact information for radio stations and newspapers, a list of bookstores for potential booksignings.

3. Then I have the kids’ calendar filled with their activities and another calendar with my husband’s schedule. And then a whole separate calendar with all of my deadlines because writing for two publishers means never getting behind. I have a daily word count I MUST meet on EACH project. And if it’s my turn to blog that week or host someone on my blog, I must add that to the word count to be met. The minute I get a new deadline, I mark it on the calendar and calculate approximately how long I will actually have to spend on the project then I make sure I factor in some sick days, family emergencies (which I pray never happens, but life DOES happen, so…] and then I try to give myself “make up” time. For when I just don’t feel like writing, I can take the day off without worrying it’s going to throw me into a tizzy as the deadline gets closer.

Do I mess up sometimes? Of course. Does something slip through the cracks? Absolutely. But for the most part, adhering to these practices is the only way I get things done on time. There’s never any time to be bored. Honestly, I think I’m sometimes TOO driven. I need to learn to relax again and realize it’s okay to have a little fun and it’s not necessary to feel guilty because I don’t feel like writing that day.

I know I’m living the dream many writers aspire to. I try not to complain or whine or moan about deadlines. Each time I sell a book and write the deadline on my calendar, I get on my knees and thank God for allowing me the privilege to write for Him.

So, now, I’ve shared with you a little about how I stay organized and on schedule with the chaos of writing for two publishers.

What’s your secret? How do you stay organized and make the time to write? Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for a copy of A Killer Among Us.

God Bless!

And thank you again, Missy, for this opportunity! I appreciate it!


Lynette Eason grew up in Greenville, SC. Her home church, Northgate Baptist, had a tremendous influence on her during her early years. She credits dedicated Sunday School teachers and Christian parents for her acceptance of Christ at the tender age of eight. Even as a young girl, she knew she wanted her life to reflect the love of Jesus Christ.

After graduating from the University of South Carolina with a Business Degree she used for a very short time (sorry Mom and Dad), she moved to Spartanburg, SC to attend Converse College where she obtained her Masters degree in Education. During this time, she met the man she would marry—the boy next door!

She is married to Jack Eason, who speaks, leads worship, and consults ministries around the country.. In December of 2010, they celebrated their fourteenth wedding anniversary. Lynette and Jack have two precious children, Lauryn, twelve years and Will, who is ten.

Visit Lynette at


  1. Good morning, everyone. Pull up a chair and have a cup of coffee. There's a full pot.

    I'm organized and set work goals for myself, but I'm afraid an actual publisher deadline would give me brain lock. But I'm willing to try!!


  2. Welcome Lynette!

    Congratulations on your hard work and success. Thanks for being selfless enough to homeschool!!!

    Your kids will grow up thinking this is normal - hard work, organization and living the life God has called you to.

    You've given me some good ideas here. Thanks for that. I have colored folders that help me somewhat. Some things I do print, so this is a way I can keep more organized. LONG way to go though!

    Missy thx for inviting her today! Lynette, I would love to win your book! May at maythek9spy dot com

  3. Hi Lynette:

    It’s amazing all you do. I am curious about writing for two lines. How do your stories differ for each publisher? Is either story suitable for either publisher?

    You did not mention revisions which can be very time consuming. Do you have many revisions?

    I noticed that you have a free book up on Amazon for the Kindle. Do you have an opinion on giving away free books? I’m wirting an article on this and any comment would be much appreciated.



  4. Thanks for the great interview and the ways you stay organized. I write everything on my calendar and teacher plan book. Unfortunately a lot of my writing time comes during my vacations. I'm usually too exhausted when I come home from work to write--especially bow with a little one on the way. Hopefully later I can figure out how to fit our little one into my writing schedule.
    cynthiakchow (at) earthlink (dot) net

  5. Great tips, Lynette. Since my agent sold my first book, I'm learning to live with deadlines, and you've given me some good ideas.

    I'm pleased to hear how well things are going with you and your career. You're an inspiration.

  6. Good morning Lynette,
    Thanks for the organizational input. I'm a list person...month, week, and by hours of the day if absolutely necessary...which it is on an occasional day.

    Fortunately, I no longer have to juggle the kid's schedules with mine, but I'm still amazed how busy my schedule gets even though I'm retired. Thanks for sharing today. Best wishes for continued success.

  7. Wow, Lynette, I'm impressed. If I keep more than one calendar, inevitably I forget to check one of them so I've learned that I have to consolidate all of my activities on one calendar. Great job at coming up with a system that works for you.

    I homeschooled my 3 kids for ten years until finances dictated I return to the workplace. It's a huge responsibility. Keep up the good work.

    Would love to read your book so please include me in the drawing.

  8. Hey Lynette!
    Loved your advice on staying organized. I am not an organized person by nature. I use a notebook to keep track of big projects. Because I love creativity and some spontaneity, I purposely don't write all of my goals down. But I'm also not writing for 2 publishers, my life-style would have to change then, I'm sure.

  9. Lynette--thanks for the tips and ideas. I have no idea how you keep it all straight. But you do a great job.
    Congrats on all your sales.

  10. How exciting to have two different publishers at the same time!

    I juggle writing, querying, and teaching high school science full time. I've recently added writing book reviews for various publishers to my to do list. (I'm loving the free books in exchange for writing the reviews!) That last addition forced me to write out a schedule so that I don't miss any due dates for the reviews.

    I also work to keep a scheduled time just to work on writing my book and articles for the two sites I write for. Then in the middle of all this, my blog site had issues so I started a new one. That has been fun but time consuming, especially since the new one is with Blogspot. I spent 4 hours on it on Thursday, then the major crash happened and it was all wiped out. I have most of it up and running now. Hopefully no more major glitches!

    Please add me to the drawing for your book!
    teaching by writing at yahoo dot com

  11. I'm exhausted just readng your schedule! Alas, my personal organizational skills are sadly lacking -- though at work I'm an organizational dynamo. It's like all the organizational karma gets sapped out of me there so there's none left to spill over into my home life. LOL.

    Question: Do you find it more difficult to write the shorter Love Inspired Suspense or the longer books for Revell?

    Don't enter me in the draw because I just picked up A Killer Among Us at the bookstore on Saturday. Can't wait to start reading it!

  12. Welcome Lynette. Ooooh the organized maniac in me is eating this up.

    I've already downloaded some of your books onto my Kindle and look forward to reading them during one of my upcoming trips!!!

  13. Hey Lynnette! As I've told you before, I get exhausted just LISTENING to your writing schedule. And you didn't even mention your teaching schedule!

    I have a daily word count and a calendar of appointments planned for at least two weeks out. And when something goes wrong, like Friday when I was required to drive 1 1/2 hours for a spur of the moment doctor's visitt, I was not a happy trouper! I've become very protective of my writing time--mainly because I want to have that time with my husband in the evenings.

    Congratulations on all your success!

  14. Welcome to Seekerville, Lynette. Congratulations on your success! I'm blown away by all you handle, not only meeting deadlines for two publishers, but also homeschooling your son. Thanks for the terrific tips on managing all of it!


  15. Hi Everyone!! Thanks so much for stopping by. Wow, you guys are EARLY BIRDS!

    Helen, a deadline is a wonderful thing. Set your own. LOL.

    May - Thanks for the congrats. Yes, homeschooling has it's ups and downs, but it's working for us right now. :) So glad I could give you some ideas

    HI Vince, thanks for your questions. Writing for the two lines differ in a couple of way. Mostly word count. LOL. The Revell books are 85,000-90,000 words long. The Love Inspired are 55,000-60,000 words long.

    As far as the stories being suitable for either line, the answer is no. Yes, they're both Romantic Suspense, but the Revell books are much grittier and more intense than the the LIS books. I can "get away with more" in the Revell books. The LIS books are geared toward a more specific audience.

    As for the revisions, it depends. Since I've been writing for Love Inspired, I've learned a lot from them and basically what I can put in the book and what I might as well leave out because it's going to get cut anyway. With Revell, I've never had any content cut, just clean up, rearranging a few scenes, making something make sense, etc.

    And YES, TOO CLOSE TO HOME is available for FREE on Kindle. My opinion is that it's a pretty good marketing strategy. I had someone email me and say that because she got the first one free, she was hook on the story and ran right out to buy the next two books in the series. That's the way it's supposed to work. LOL. However, you have to brace yourself for the negative reviews. Non-christians are downloading every free book offered. When they start reading about God, they feel blindsided or cheated and will pick the book apart, decimating it and railing about the preaching, wondering why the author is so intent on bringing God into the story, etc. So, my advice to authors with free books on kindle? Don't read the reviews. LOL.

  16. Lynette,

    Thanks for giving us a peak into your life. Very inspiring! I think when we were put in an ACFW mentor group way back when, you were not even published. Congrats on your accomplishments!

    I'm definitely organization-challenged. I've found clutter plays a major part in that. Writing at an off-site location helps. :)

    I have been doing an unusual thing I find gratifying. I had let a stack of writing magazines stack up over several years. Too much good stuff in there to throw out and the pile creeped up on me.

    I have two out-of-town writer friends who don't get the Romance Writers Report or the other magazines. I quickly skimmed some of the material each day, clipped a few articles and mailed a weekly batch of the material to each friend. They loved it. With media mail postage, it wasn't too costly. Definitely less than a meal if I had gone to see them over dinner.

    I'm buying fewer magazines these days and when I get two RWR's lying around, I mail them out, so I don't build up again.

    For time-management, I work harder if I have a reward set up for when I meet the goal, such as lunch with a friend.

    I'd love to win the book. cathy underscore shouse at yahoo dot com

  17. Another thing, as far as organizing your work, do you outline? Do you use Scrivener or another special software?

  18. Cynthia, well congratulations on the little one! I well remember the fatigue! You just have to do what you can do when you can do it, that's all I can say. Some days I was able to squeeze in 20 words, others, I was happy to write 2! God Bless you!

    Keli, thanks so much! Congratulations on selling your first book! That's wonderful! Happy Deadline Meeting!

  19. Thanks Sandy!

    Hi Diana, I tried one calendar and it just got so confusing with all the scribbles, I finally just had to go to more than one. Now, on my phone, it's all there in one place, but the kids like to look at the calendar and see what's going on, so I try to accomodate them. :)

  20. Sheri, so glad you liked the post. It's only a small part of how I stay organized, but I thought it was enough for now! LOL. I do hope it helps someone.

    Lindi, thanks so much!

    And Christine, sounds like you're as busy as I am! I thought about reviewing books, too, I would love the freebies! But couldn't figure out when I would do it. Maybe one day it'll slow down and I'll have time. :)

  21. Kav, it's hard to say which one is more difficult. They're different. I spend a LOT more TIME on the Revell books simply because of the research and the more indepth character building, more plot twists, more point of views, etc. But I don't think it's more difficult to write one over the other. There are more details to keep up with in the longer books, of course, so that, again, takes more time, but isn't really any more difficult. If you're twisting my arm to make me choose...ha...I would have to say the longer books.

  22. Tina - hope you enjoy them!!

    Patty - you make me laugh. I'm sure your schedule is as just as busy as mine!

    Janet - thank you so much!

  23. Cathy, ah yes, the mentor group. :) Fun times, huh? And what a nice thing to do for your friends! Very creative and thoughtful.

    And yes, I use Scrivener! I've just discovered the joy of how it works when you use it right. It had me kind of confused for a long time, then Angie Hunt was nice enough to sit down with me and answer all of my silly questions about it. I think I finally understand it! And LOVE IT!

  24. Good morning, all! I've been running around trying to get ready for painters to come. Whew. Now I can settle down and join you. :)

    Helen, thanks for being a fantastic hostess! I'm sipping coffee now...

  25. KC, I was happy to have Lynette! She's amazing.

  26. Great questions, Vince!

    I've debated on getting the freebie since I already have a paper copy. It might not be a bad idea to keep a digital copy. Although I think she signed the one she sent me! :)

  27. Cynthia, it's so difficult when you're pregnant or have little ones!! Don't be hard on yourself. You'll have plenty of time when they get older. They're number one right now. Believe me, you don't want to know how quickly they grow up! My "baby" is 14 now. The middle one 16. And my oldest is 21. Yikes. When did that happen??

  28. Keli, it's amazing how many deadlines there are, isn't it?! :) Manuscript deadline. Art fact sheet deadline. Title ideas deadline. Revisions deadline. Line edits deadline. Author Alterations deadline.

    But oh, how wonderful to have those deadlines!! :)

  29. Sandy, just from being around you, I can tell you're a very organized person! :)

    I'm a big list person. I used to keep one of those suction cup notepads in my vehicle. My mom first saw it and said, "Oh, you're one of those people. So organized." And I told her, no, I require a notepad to try to get organized! :)

  30. I just saw someone mentioned Scrivner. I love that program! It has helped me organize my story in so many ways. I also am using Susan May Warren's Book Buddy. That has helped me focus on the parts of my story rather than the whole thing at one time. It makes everything much more manageable.

  31. WELCOME TO SEEKERVILLE, LYNETTE!!! Although you and I only met briefly during a photo session at ACFW, I always feel like I already "know" another Revell author because the Revell team is such a close-knit one.

    WOW ... you ARE organized, which is exactly why you are able to put out more than one book a year, and two in one month??? YIKES!!

    I had to laugh at your statement that "Revell books are 85,000-90,000 words long." Uh ... not all of them ... I just looked at my computer word count for my Word doc for A Heart Revealed, which comes out in September with Revell, and my jaw dropped when it said 173,000 words. As a result, I don't use the computer word count because it's a wee bit daunting. The galleys came out to be 512 pages and if you calculate the way I do -- 250 words per page -- it comes out to 128,000 words. Ahhh ... MUCH better, but a FAR cry for 90,000 words ... :/

    And your line that you can "get away with more" in the Revell books"? I concur with that whole-heartedly. Revell is WONDERFUL to work with, but especially in the hands-off department, allowing authors to write as their hearts lead them. It's a FABULOUS publisher for that and SO many other things as well.

    Hope to see you at ACFW, Lynette, and, Missy, thanks for inviting her -- great blog!!


  32. Dianna, I've had the same problem. I have my work calendar and the home calendar. Then I keep a calendar in my phone to send me reminders. But sometimes I fail to get items on all calendars! It's especially bad when I forget to put it on the home calendar and hubby doesn't know I'm going out of town!

  33. Sheri, thanks for coming by this morning! Leaving time for spontaneity is a good idea. :)

  34. Hey, Lindi! Yes, I think I read where Lynette has written or contracted 19 books already!!

  35. Oh, Christine, what horrible timing to start a blog the day Blogger went haywire!! I'm sorry about that mess.

  36. Kav, for me, signing my name to a contract carried my workplace organizational skills over to my writing. It becomes all too real--and becomes a job. :)

  37. Tina, does this mean vacation soon??!! I'm longing for our summer beach vacation. I'm so ready to relax under my beach umbrella, the sound of waves crashing, as I read...and read...and read some more. Ahhh....

  38. Patty, I feel the same way about unplanned events that cut into my writing time! Very frustrating. I guess that's why it's a good idea to plan in days off.

  39. Good morning, Janet!
    Cathy, that's a great idea to share magazines!

  40. Wow, Lynette. I'm so impressed, and kind of breathless after reading about your schedule.

    I'm going to jot down some of your tips, because I'm not all that organized by nature.

    Congrats on all the wonderful things that are going on in your writing life. Wow!

    I have a lot of 'flexible' deadlines in my job, but as far as writing - I try to stick to a routine as much as possible. I only have evening for 'real' writing, so I usually set up from 10-11 (or 9:30 until...) to devote to writing.

    I'll sneak in moments here and there too. Like today, during my lunch break, I'm going to try and write as much as I can.

    Otherwise, as I've mentioned before, writing has to happen in the nooks and crannnies of everyday.

    When you say you have a wordcount for each publisher - does that mean you write on each book each day? or do you alternate?

  41. Christine, yep, scrivener is awesome!

  42. Julie!! So sweet of you drop by. And I remember the photo op! LOL. And WOW! 173,000 words?? That's a LONG book. My contract says 85-90,000 so that's what I shoot for. LOL. Looking forward to ACFW and catching up with you. Which reminds me...I need to go register!

  43. Hi Pepper, thanks for the congrats! I write on each book each day. Most of the time. If I get going pretty good on one, I'll stick with that until the well runs dry. LOL. But I really try to work on each one each day. And I write in spurts too. It's just one of those things you have to do when you're running all over the place with your kids. LOL.

  44. Speaking of Scrivener...I finally did the tutorial and am trying to use it more the way it's meant to be used on this current proposal. Still, though, I'm writing in Word. Just using Scrivener to organize scenes and chapters.

  45. Julie, your one book is almost like 3 of mine in one!! LOL

  46. Pepper, I don't know how you do it with your house full of kids and a full-time job!! And now a double Genesis finalist!! Very impressive!! :)

  47. Linette,
    Totally understand about 'running all over the place' :-)
    And I'm so glad to read that you write on both at the same time. I do that! I'd always attributed it to a little ADD :-)

  48. Missy,
    It's a very strong mixture of:
    A touch of insanity
    the necessity of flexibility
    a sense of humor
    and a whole lot of God's grace.


  49. Hi, Lynette!

    Greenville and Spartanburg, huh? I'm now living in Columbia. Are you still in SC?

    Congrats on living your writing dream. Just reading your post makes me tired. LOL

    How do I stay organized? I don't. Ask my family. But, it's not because I don't want to. I simply don't have consistent health to keep things organized like I'd like. You can believe that a boat-load of guilt comes into play on a weekly, many times a daily basis, but I deal with it as best I can. Since I have to limit myself physically, I write so I don't go crazy. :D

    Thanks for the wonderful post. Definitely some great stuff here! Very helpful!

    Missy, thanks for inviting Lynette!

    Cup of hot tea anyone?

  50. Linnette, I know it must be frustrating to try to organize, then to be thrown into health problems. At least writing is not so physically demanding (other than sitting for long periods). So that's a good thing if sitting doesn't bother you. Then you can just have your fun in a fictional world and let the house fall down around your ears. Or am I the only one who does that??? ;)

  51. Hello, LYNETTE! You go about your writing schedule in a very orderly way to not be a very organized person.

    "and then I try to give myself “make up” time. For when I just don’t feel like writing, I can take the day off without worrying it’s going to throw me into a tizzy as the deadline gets closer."

    I think that is some of the best advice to give a newly published author (or any author/writer) for the long haul! I read the Seeker’s schedules and they are wild! Add in a hubby, a few kids, some pets, and a “daytime” job, and golly! I really give you all props because marketing is big business and it so cuts into the time you can all spend meeting your deadlines! That being said, we always appreciate authors from the published mainland taking time to visit with us and give us a glimpse of “what it’s really like!”

    Two degrees?! I’ve been going part-time for my A.S. degree in Graphic Design for a looooooooong time and am finally only 5 (and a half—just started a new class) classes away! I need a break when I finish because it’s been non-stop for almost four years. Did you ever want to use your degree in Education to teach? I also work full time in retail which is NOT my ideal job. Lol. Anyway, finding time to write even without a child’s and hubby’s schedule is super hard. I peck out a few words here and there, and in many ways, I wish I had a deadline to work under because I think I would do so much better in finishing a story!

    We have family in Greenville! It’s lovely, n’est-ce pas?

    Thanks for sharing!! Please enter me for a chance to win A Killer Among Us. Next time you must share about where you get your inspiration to write suspense stories! Sorry about being so long winded!



  52. LOL, Missy! No, you're not alone! :D

    I have learned how to tune out the rumblings of household earthquakes for the most part. I get down about it now and then. It's hard to not care about what people think. They automatically assume you're lazy. It's the infrequent days when I feel good that I realize I'm NOT lazy. I'll find myself automatically doing all the mommy things around the house and realize, "So this is what it's like to be healthy. Wow!" I'm hoping those days will be more frequent soon. If not, my family can either put up with it or help out more around the house. :D

    PEPPER! Congrats, girl, on the Genesis Finalists!!!

  53. Linnette, I'm with you there on the guilt and embarrassment. It's a shame we worry like that. My husband always tells me, if it's good enough for us to live in, then it's good enough for visitors. But I'm still embarrassed if the house is a mess!

  54. The idea of writing under a deadline scares me, but at the same time, sometimes it's what I need to focus and force myself to push through to the end, even if the writing is not the way I want it. Getting the rough draft laid down is so important. If nothing else, it gives you something to work with.

    Thanks for the tips, and please enter me in the giveaway! Your books sound awesome!

  55. Thanks, Linnette.
    Still trying to focus on work today without getting giddy :-)

  56. Hi Lynette!

    I love your organizational tips! I'm a list person and calendar person too - it just helps me keep from letting stuff fall through the cracks.

    And also a homeschooler! We're graduating our third (out of four) child next week - but I think I'm more excited about it than he is. He's just looking forward to a summer at scout camp...

    My best organizational tool is lists - we made a major move recently (one month ago), and are still in the selling/buying process with the two houses. I keep notebooks for my lists and notes during phone conversations, and folders for email printouts, forms, etc. I also keep a folder on my email account for things that need to be kept but not printed out.

    As far as time - I have the privilege of being able to set my own schedule, so school starts at 9:00, which gives me time to write before the boys get up in the morning.

    I'm looking forward to reading one of your books - I love reading suspense!


  57. Whitney, best of luck finishing your graphic design degree!! I hope the new class goes well.

  58. Emily, I always recommend practicing with self-imposed deadlines. They're not as scary, and you can reward yourself when you meet them! :) (You know, fun office supplies or your favorite treat.) :)

  59. Jan, it sounds like you're nice and organized, too! Congrats on the graduate!!

  60. GREAT post! And yes, Lynette's books are often down-right scary (in a good way!)

    I try to stay organized and for the most part I do a pretty good job. It's a big part of staying on top of what is going on in my blogging worlds and my own personal writing goals.

    Thanks for the tips, Lynette! Prayfully someday I can put some of them into action. :)

  61. Hi Missy:

    I always download a book I already have just for the search feature in an eBook. If I want to go back and find a passage it is very easy. It is also wonderful for doing reviews.

    Also, if the book was not signed, I’ll always try to give it to someone I know who would enjoy it and who would actually read it. This helps the author and I want every author I like to be successful so they will keep writing books.


  62. Lynette,
    Can't wait to get your new Revell release. Loved the first book in the series! Whoo-hoo! Good suspense!

    Do you complete one book for one publisher before you begin working on the book for the second house? Or do you worked on two stories during the same time period?

    And if you do work on both stories, how to break up your work day or work week?

    Congrats on your great success!

  63. Congratulations on your books, Lynette. I wish I had an organize-to-write tip for you, but that would require me to be organized to write. The best I can say is that, as my kids get older, I've learned to turn off the TV, put down the book I'm reading and announce, "I'm writing." Works for about 8.5 minutes.

  64. Hi Lynette:

    Thanks so much for your comments. I had not considered non-Christians leaving bad reviews for books they would not have paid for in the first place but got for free. The author may not read the reviews but readers will and they could effect the overall star rating.

    I wonder if such reviewers will be called ‘verified’ on Amazon. A ‘verified’ reviewer actually bought the book.

    But then an author could turn-off nine out of ten readers and still be very successful if the tenth reader became an ‘auto-buy’ for that author and the other nine would never have been prospects in the first place. “Free eBooks” is a very complex marketing idea.

    I just moved “TOO CLOSE TO HOME” to the top of my TBR list. I really like the idea that you can go anywhere you want as an author and have more words to do it.


  65. Lynette,
    I left my earlier comment before I read what everyone else had written.

    You answered my question when you responded to Pepper. Hmmmm? Writing two books at a time. Good for you. Not sure my mind works that way! HA!

    What's your best writing time. Early morning? Late at night? Any free minutes, probably.

  66. One more question...

    You attended The Police Academy in Greenville, I believe. Did that provide most of the police info you used in TOO CLOSE TO HOME?

    As I recall, you thought the program was worth attending. I'd love to go. Maybe next year.

    What other sources did you draw from for the stories?

  67. Casey, I know you must be busy. So it's a good thing you're staying organized! :)

    Vince, I ended up downloading the free book and sent it to my son's Kindle. That way he can read it, too! :)

  68. Missy, isn't that the truth! The guys don't realize that just like their job is their identity, so our house is ours. It's hard to not care about what people think. I have a friend who finds humor in the whole thing. She once said, "Your house is messy, but open the cabinets and everything's in perfect order. My house is nice and neat, but don't open a door or you might get hit by an avalanche." :D It's TOO funny!

    Pepper: GET GIDDY girl! I would be. :D You deserve it. TWO!!! Not one, but two!!! And the romance genre was TOUGH! 82 entrants! I know because I was one of them. :D I don't regret entering, though. I really needed the boost the judges' comments gave me. :D When you're published I want an autographed copy. :D

  69. And BTW, Vince, thanks for passing along books you like!

  70. LOL, Patricia!! I know how that is. :)
    Hey, Debby! glad you stopped by!

  71. Linnette, another things that's funny is if you looked in my closet:

    One side, my hubby's: everything spaced evenly and lined up like neat little soldiers.

    My side: Looks like a bomb has been dropped!


  72. What a gret post! I have trouble trying to juggle the kids schedules, my school schedule, writing, and everything else...I feel like pulling my hair out sometimes. One thing that I use, instead of word, my office suite cme with MS One Note. I love using that to keep random things in, and to keep track of my to do lists and such.

    One question, I have a couple of kids the same ages as yours, and those are the two that conveniently forget to tell me about things they need to do until the last minute. Do you have your kids put their own things on the calender, tell you, or do you even have the same problem?

  73. LOL, Missy! That is TOO funny! At least you have some clean people in your house. A lot of my problem is that I have 5 males in my house who drop bombs (to add to my own mess) and expect me to clean up the debris. Well, Andrew is pretty good about cleaning. He'd KEEP his stuff clean if he didn't have to share space with his brothers. :D

  74. Wow! Lynette's schedule makes my head spin. Thanks for hosting Lynette, Missy. And thanks for the great organizing tips, Lynette. I try to be organized and love calendars. I make one for my students each month and have several for myself. My favorite is to have a great big one on the wall, where I can see all that's coming up in a single glance. Then as long as I don't panic, I'm good :)

  75. Michelle, I LOVED One Note. I was so disappointed it's not included in Office for Mac. It's a great way to keep track of research and ideas.

  76. Renee Ann, you should see how huge our family calendar is! It's almost embarrassing to have it hanging in the kitchen! So ugly. LOL

    LOL, Linnette! I can't imagine that many males! :)

  77. Hi Lynette,
    I love hearing how organized people think! I love organization, but I am not naturally gifted at it. I am doing some homeschooling too (love it!) and for me, taking the time to make a schedule (and stick to it) helps. Accountability is huge for me. We homeschool with another family, so I know they're coming over at a certain time each day and I have to be ready. Having a calendar of events always helps and I like to do the occassional cell reminder. A big thing I like to do is get ideas from organized people. Let those who are gifted at it help me! I've had friends help me declutter (I like to hold onto things), give me some tips on storage--I'm basically open to any help I can get! For me, anything involving fellowship time with a girlfriend (even if it's cleaning) is great!
    I'd love to be entered into the drawing.
    Blessings, Stacey

  78. Stacey, that's great you've had friends to help! I need to try that.

  79. Whew! I'm back! When I left there were only 43 comments. Now 78! I'm laughing. But it's wonderful! I had to take my daughter to the doctor this morning at 11:00, then get her back to school, then get home and pick up my husband and take him to the airport, then back home to pick up daughter from school AGAIN, then back home to check email and start homeschooling (which might be on the skip list today.) So, then I checked the blog and decided to bring up all the comments on my iPad and answer the questions on my laptop! Saves me from scrolling up and down endlessly. LOL.

    So...who was next?

    Missy! You got Scrivener?? I'm so impressed! Keep using it, you'll LOVE it.

    Linnette! You're so close! Only and hour and a half away. Wow. And I'm so sorry you're having health issues, that can be very frustrating. I'm having a few myself and it's icky. So glad you have the good days, though. I know you cherish them.

  80. Hi Whitney! So glad my little post was helpful. :) And yes, two degrees. It took a while, but I did it for some silly reason. I did use the degree in Education to teach for 10 years. But I'll tell you a secret. Okay, it's a well-known secret. (Can there be one of those???) I abhor teaching in the classroom and was never so glad when I didn't have to go back!! I LOVE teaching writing at conferences. So, there you have it. :)

    A suggestion, set your own deadline. When I first started writing, I would set a deadline and reward myself if I met it. Maybe it meant a day off the diet, or a pair of earrings I'd been admiring. But if I didn't meet it, NO REWARD. It was pretty effective. For me anyway. :)

  81. Hi Emily, thanks for stopping by. And definitely! Get that first draft on the computer. I can fix something awful. I can't fix a blank page. At least that's what I tell myself when I'm staring at the blank page!

  82. Hi Jan! Congrats on graduating your third child! What an exciting time for your family! And yes, school starts at 9:00 around here, too. Sometimes 10:00 if I'm really moving on a story. So glad to hear you enjoy suspense! Happy reading!

  83. Debby! Thanks so much for popping in! And THANK YOU for saying you loved the first book. I admire your writing so much, it's very uplifting for me for you to like my stuff! :)

    And yes, I write for both at the same time. It's crazy, but doable. I work on whatever is due first. Finish that word count, then move to the next book that's due. Once I finish that word count, I move on to something that I'm playing with. A screen play! Not THAT is FUN!

  84. Thanks for the congrats, Patricia! I understand where you're coming from. I had to learn to write in spurts!

  85. Hi Vince, you're quite welcome. I hope you enjoy TOO CLOSE TO HOME! God bless!

  86. Hey again, Debby, my best writing time is early in the morning. When I first get up, after I take my daughter to school (she's not interested in the homeschooling thing), I have about two to three hours of uninterrupted writing time. And then later at night after everyone's in the bed, I also write, but it's more of struggle because I think my brain shuts off somewhere around 8:00 PM!

    As for the Writers Police Academy, I attended that AFTER I wrote Too Close to Home. But I have a police officer buddy who is always willing to answer police procedural questions and I'm also a member of the yahoo crimescenewriter loop that is just a wealth of information. I would have been lost without that loop when writing Too Close to Home.

  87. Hi Michelle, YES! I have that same problem. But I have them trained. Mostly. My daughter is the best about writing stuff on the calendar and even my husband is getting better at it. My son...not so much, but he's getting there. :)

  88. I struggled with organization, Lynette. Now that the children are grown and I don't have to keep track of all their activities, I can handle it better....just because there is LESS to handle.
    I use a yahoo calendar. I created a yahoo group with only myself as a member, then I fill in the calendar and have it email me reminders of things I have to do.

  89. Mary! You're BRILLIANT!! I'm going to do that RIGHT NOW.

  90. Mary! That's a great idea! I can see Yahoo's numbers going up exponentially today!

  91. great posting on lynette :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  92. Lynette, I'm squealing and doing the Snoopy dance in my head! :D There are SO many writers within two hours of me. Close enough to get together and far enough to make it inconvenient! I'm actually in Lexington. If I were in Irmo, I'd be closer, but I'm in West Lexington. :D Still! It'd be fun!

    I've gotten to know Patricia Gladys-Riddle with Woman's World (assist editor of fiction) and she's just in Greenville, I think. Or is it Asheville? Can't remember now, but we call each other "neighbor." It'd be so fun to have a big get-together. :D Then there's Jennifer Hudson Taylor (Charlotte area) and Meg Moseley (Atlanta), Nicole Seitz (Charleston)... I know there are others. Can't think of them now.

    I belonged to a great writer's network in Kansas City, Missouri. Really miss them. The closest Christian writer's network here is an hour from me, so I started my own - Cola Christian Writer's Network (CCWN). There's a grand total of four of us so far. But, hey! That's pretty good for living here all of nine months, don't you think? :D

    Look me up if ever you come to Columbia! :D

  93. Mary, I can just see you sitting in your little yahoo group all alone. Talking to yourself...

    LOL! Great idea. Kind of like my cell phone that beeps at me to remind me of things. I had to set a reminder to pick up the kids at school because I was regularly in my story at that time and would forget them!

  94. Linnette, I'm only about an hour and a half down I-85 from Anderson. :) Lynette and I have met there before to write and brainstorm. :)

  95. Thank you, Missy!

    Lynette, I have heard of people setting their own deadlines. I've wondered if that would work for me. Would I really adhere to it? I hope so! I've also considered doing that "book in a week" thing, but I don't know how I would do that with work and school. LOL.


  96. Missy! OMGoodness! REally? Okay. WHEN can we get together? LOL

    I'll be heading to Missouri for a couple weeks in June. I'll have a week off after the 3rd when I'll have big boys home to babysit my 5-yr-old. Looking at the map now! Is there anything in Clinton? We could meet there.

    No pressure, though. Only if you all want to and can. It would be fun. :D

  97. Thanks for sharing your tips, Lynette! Wow, you're a BUSY lady - - but it sounds like you have your priorities in order *smile*. I joke about being lost without my kitchen calendar, but it's really true--I MUST write all upcoming activities (including when my cats need more flea medicine, LOL)on that calendar. I'm not published, but if/when I am one day then I'm sure I'll implement a "writing calendar" too! Blessings from Georgia, Patti Jo :) (p.s. Waving at sweet Missy!!!)

  98. BTW, Lynette, I tweeted your free Kindle download. I know of at least one other person besides myself who downloaded it. (Too Close to Home) I also put the link on Facebook. :D

  99. Wow! Lynette you are one really busy person! And I love that you are homeschooling your kids - I'm homeschooled and I love it!
    Being organized can be so tough! You are so organized, even if it doesn't feel that way some times. Organization pays off.

    Please enter me
    crazi.swans at gmail dot com

  100. Missy! Meeting in Anderson was FUN! We definitely need to do that again. I SO need some writing time!

  101. Hey Catmom, yes, definitely busy, but hopefully the priorities are in order for sure. Get that writing calendar ready!

  102. Faye, I appreciate that. I pray that you are having a wonderful homeschooling year! It can get hard, but it's worth it.

  103. Missy, I don't know if anyone else will stop by today, but THANK YOU for having me!! And thanks to all who posted. You guys are so AWESOME! I appreciate each of you. God Bless!

  104. Lynette! Welcome girl. Thanks for spending the day with us. You are a fabulous writer and wonderful person. Miss you! Hugs,

  105. Meant to say thanks for these organizational tips too. I am having a hard time keeping up with blog appearances and guests but like your idea of the document with a listed schedule. I'm going to try that.


  106. Linnette, we'll have to be in touch to see if we can work out something!
    Faye and Patti Jo, thanks for stopping by. Cheryl, too!

    Lynette, Thanks for being with us today!

  107. Definitely! Email me.


  108. Lynette thanks for the peak inside your world :)
    I'm on my first deadline and can understand how things go a little crazy lol
    I have lots of calendars as well :)

  109. It's so nice to hear that you homeschool and find the time to write - you do it so well. Your book branding is excelled with the Revell books. You can see them from a mile away in the bookstore. Thanks for the insight into you daily organized chaos.

  110. Hi Lynette! Enjoyed reading about your hectic schedule. I find that in order to stay on task, I too have to maintain schedules. I maintain mine & my pastor husband's. Since I am also a caregiver to my Mom I maintain one for her as well. It can get hectic and there are times I'm not sure I can make it but He always helps me through the difficult times. Praise God, for with Him all things are possible!

    Would love to have my name tossed into the giveaway for your book! Thank you for the chance to win.

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  111. Thank you Lynette, and writing everything down is mandatory for me too! I think that the "memory" part of my brain gets too crammed with stories and imaginary timelines!
    Good luck with homeschooling. I did it with both my children and they are now off dazzling me with their college careers (and not above e-mailing a last minute assignment home pleading for help with editing, so I'm just saying that homeschooling sets a precedent).
    I would just add to the "to-do list" that some craziness like eight hrs of sleep and a run or a yoga class a couple times of week can be real sanity savers. I know, I know, good one!

  112. I haven't found a secret yet!

    Thank you, Lynette, for this interview and for making the time to share your wonderful gift for writing.


  113. Lynette,
    I am so proud and INSPIRED with your organization and hard work.
    May the Lord continue to bless your
    dedication and ALSO help you get some regular quality rest and refilling time.
    Lots of love,
    Elva Cobb Martin