Saturday, June 15, 2013

Our Interview with Lynne Cantwell!

What was the driving force that started you on the journey to write this book? 
For Annealed, the driving force was finishing the series!  I wanted very much to do a credible job in bringing Naomi’s story to a close.  That included being extra careful with the Big Mediation.  I realized sometime during the drafting of the third book, Tapped, that I was actually going to have to write the mediation scene. The thought of actually having to craft a discussion between Jehovah and White Buffalo Calf Pipe Woman was more than a little intimidating.
Are you organized or do you write as you go?
A little of both.  For this series, I’ve been writing a rough outline for each book, mainly so that I can keep everything within the series arc.  But the characters sometimes go off on their own tangents, as characters are wont to do, and if it fits my overall plan, I leave it in.
How much time and research was spent in the writing of this book?
Probably four months, from starting the research until making the final edits and publishing it.  But because it’s the final book of five, I relied a fair amount on research that I’d already done for the earlier books.
Who is your favorite author and how did they inspire you to write?
My favorite author is Stephen R. Donaldson, who wrote The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever.  I was writing long before I ever read any of his books.  But what I took away from his work was a sense that fantasy can be very much an adult genre, with a deep psychological basis.  I do try to incorporate that kind of thing into my own work, although I still strive to be entertaining -- it’s not all deep Freudian or Jungian stuff.
It’s easy to see that you have a passion for writing but is there any part of it you don’t like?
In terms of writing/editing/publishing, no.  I mean, I complain a lot when it comes to wrestling with the various Meatgrinders, but I can’t think of any part of the process that I dread.  The only part I don’t really like -- or at least, I’m not sure I’m all that good at it -- is marketing my work.
Do you make time to read and if you do what are you reading right now?
Yes! I’m always reading something, and over the past year or so, I’ve been reading a lot of work by my fellow indie authors.  Right now, I’m reading the first “Allie’s War” book by J.C. Andrijeski.
How did you come up with the idea to write this book?  Is there personal life experience in the writing?
Not directly.  I’ve been sort of studying my “heritage” mythologies, if you will, over the past few years, and all of my novels so far have had some connection to a myth or legend in one of my own hearth cultures.  But none of the characters or events in the Pipe Woman Chronicles is based on something that actually happened to me.
Many books are going the indie publishing route; Do you see the publishing industry headed this way? Or do you think the tried and true will win out?
Publishing is certainly undergoing a profound change right now, as a result of the indie revolution.  What fascinates me is how the big publishers can’t seem to grok what’s going on.  They appear to believe that vanity publishing and the indie revolution are the same thing -- and they’re not.  Author Solutions and the other vanity publishers have as much to do with indie publishing as does a guy pushing a pyramid scheme with his mark: both the grifter and the vanity publisher might fool you and take your money -- once.
Do you have any online sites where others can read more of your writings?
Absolutely.  I blog every Sunday at  I also write a weekly post for Indies Unlimited, and a monthly post for The Indie Exchange.
Do you have any more stories in the works? What kinds of stories do you plan to write next?
I’m still working this out, but I have a feeling that it will be another fantasy series, and it will probably be set a few years after the end of the Pipe Woman Chronicles.
Who would be your first choice to play narrator of your book if it were ever to become a documentary?
My first choice would be Linda Ellerbee, just because I think she’s awesome.  But if she’s not available, I’d be happy to do it myself.
If you could meet anyone from any time, who would it be and what would be your first question?
These kinds of questions always stump me.  I’m not really the sort of person who looks backward in history, other than to draw lessons from it.  I think it would be more fun to meet, say, Naomi, and ask her what she thought of the way I told her story.  (With any luck, she wouldn’t whack me over the head with a two-by-four....)

Pipe Woman Chronicles – series synopsis

The winter solstice 2012 won't be the end of the world. It will be the beginning of the end....

Naomi has a pretty sweet life. Respected as a skilled mediator, she has an almost uncanny knack for getting people on both sides of a dispute to agree. And her handsome boyfriend Brock has just proposed to her. But a white buffalo calf is bowing to her in her dreams. And who is the Native American man who has been following her around?

Naomi doesn’t know it, but things are about to change.


Naomi’s having a bad week. She’s already overwhelmed by setting up her solo mediation practice and second-guessing her relationship with Joseph. An old acquaintance seems to be setting up shop down the road from their friend Charlie’s ranch. And Charlie has a new pal: a filmmaker who might be the Investigator – except that he doesn’t exactly believe in teamwork.

Then a jaguar attacks her in downtown Denver


Ah, winter in South Dakota…

Naomi’s caught some kind of bug, and she hasn’t seen Joseph in weeks. But she lets Shannon drag her on vacation: a road trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to find Naomi’s father. There, they find more than they bargained for: a dream wolf, a mysterious walled compound that might or might not belong to Loki, and a lot of snow.

Shannon certainly knows how to show a friend a good time.


Denial is not just a river in Egypt…

Naomi Witherspoon, back home in Denver after her “vacation” in South Dakota, has amassed a catalog of things she doesn’t want to think about. Her due date is just around the corner, but she has yet to buy a single diaper – let alone look for a bigger place for her, her boyfriend Joseph, and the baby. Speaking of housing problems, Joseph’s grandfather is in failing health and needs to move out of his wickiup, but the old man won’t budge. Naomi and Joseph may have found a replacement for their woo-woo teammate/nemesis Jack in TV reporter Antonia Greco – but Antonia comes with her own set of problems, not least of which is that she’s dating Naomi’s ex-fiance, Brock. Meanwhile, Jack has escaped from the Mexican drug lord who owns him, and the thugs sent to find him aren’t above roughing people up.

Best of all, Naomi hasn’t shared any of this with her mother, who wants to sell her house in Indiana and move to Colorado.


It’s zero hour…

Naomi has just two weeks to find a new home for Joseph's grandfather. The old Ute shaman is fighting for his life against a mysterious injection of toxin he received at the hands of the Norse Trickster god Loki. If Naomi is to defeat Loki once and for all, she must learn what it is he seeks under the old man's wickiup.
She has just one week before she must mediate between the Earth's pagan gods and goddesses and the Christian God. If her efforts fail, all of humankind will suffer the consequences.
And her baby is due any day.

In this, the fifth and final book of the Pipe Woman Chronicles, Naomi is in a race against the clock to balance the demands of her body, her family, and her friends – and she must do it while the whole world is watching.


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