Lynn Mann resides in Columbia, MD with two rescue cats and a supportive husband. Her writing reflects her eclectic reading, unusual education and far-flung travels. Several of Lynn’s stories have been published on-line and in small magazines, and her short story collection, Mr. Smith’s Errand is available on Amazon (Mr. Smiths Errand). Her awards include 1st Prize in the 2011 Maryland Writers Assoc. New Novel Contest (Do You Do Murders) and 3rd Prize in the Windmill Women’s Writers annual Short Story Contest. Along with her full time job she writes, raises orchids and sails on the Chesapeake Bay whenever possible.
1. Describe your writing routine and/or schedule?
I don’t really have one – I write when and where inspiration strikes. On a good day I go into a writing trance for hours on end, until I’m so cramped from sitting that I have to get up.
2. What do you do if you get writer’s block?
Read, play computer games, turn to a different story. My subconscious will resolve the issue if I just shut up and let it work.
3. Who do you read, or recommend other writer’s read, in regards to craft?
The best book ever written about dialogue isn’t a craft book, it’s Deborah Tannen’s You just Don’t Understand. Aside from that I also love Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird.
4. Who do you read for fun?
Mysteries and non-fiction about archaeology and Egyptology.
5. When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
Tell us about it. Several years ago I finally allowed all the stories in my head to come out on paper. I submitted several stories and to my utter amazement most of them were accepted. Nothing in major publications but the ego boost was enough to keep me going through all the subsequent rejections.
6. What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
Find a good critique group. Create one if you need to. Your family will never give you the feedback you really need to improve your writing. Go to conferences and talk to everyone you can. Submit, submit, submit.
7. What do you think is the most important skill to have to succeed as a writer?
Listen to people, learn to write good dialogue. Make sure all your characters, regardless how minor, have their own distinct voices.
8. What is your favorite food and/or drink?
9. Do you have a favorite book or movie?
All time favorite movie:
Tootsie. Favorite books are anything by Elizabeth Peters or Dick Francis or the No. 1 Ladies Detective series.
10. Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you’d like to share?
I appreciate the support and comeraderie of the Guppies. I love that I can ask just about anything and someone will know something.