Today, in the Forum, Lin Boelz is here to talk about her novels and stories. I have a feeling we’re in for an interesting interview.
Lin. Lin, would you like to have a seat now?
Tim Greaton: Seriously, it’s great to have you here, Lin. I have often compared the process of creating a story to preparing a stew. This analogy works particularly well for someone with your interests, doesn’t it?
Lin Boelz: I do love cooking. In my spice cabinet alone I have over 140 different spices. Recently I have gotten into making my own canned goods and cheese. Rather than your stew comparison, I would probably say cake. I love baking. I have gone so far as to order ingredients from Africa, England and India to bake a recipe that caught my eye.
Tim Greaton: Your mother had a difficult childhood that turned into a fascinating method of raising children. Could you tell us about that?
Lin Boelz: My mom lost her mother when she was five and was adopted by an aunt who had no children of her own. Her aunt turned out to be like Cinderella’s evil stepmother. Consequently, my mother’s childhood was filled with all work and no play. As a result, when she had kids of her own, she made up for lost time. When Dad would leave for work, the four of us, including Mom, would play hide and seek and tag in the house. Yes in the house, running and jumping on furniture.
Tim Greaton: So when you weren’t all running and playing together, did your family have any difficult times?
Lin Boelz: I remember one Christmas when my dad had lost his job. We barely had enough money for rent and a few groceries. That year, we all drew pictures and wrapped them in homemade paper. Though hard at the time, it is the Christmas that we now remember fondly and talk about the most. We learned that it is not what you own on the outside but what you own on the inside that matters: the gift of family love stays with a person for a lifetime.
Tim Greaton: We’ve already talked about your international recipe fetish. Do you have any other pastimes that you’d like to share?
Lin Boelz: Gardening is another of my hobbies; it ties in well with my cooking. I have started an herb garden and use the herbs to make medicine instead of taking manmade drugs. I also have a soapwort plant; I make soap out of the roots. I like to be close with nature.
Tim Greaton: People often say your writing makes it easy to visualize themselves in your scenes, which is a tremendous compliment. But there’s another comment you often hear. What is that?
Lin Boelz (grins mischievously): Some readers say I have a dark side.
Tim Greaton: I know you have a some works currently with retailers. What are those?
Lin Boelz: In all, I have nine short stories, a variety puzzle book, and two novels currently available. Syeribus Creatures of the Night is a two-book series. Vampire Dolls is a standalone novel.
Tim Greaton: So what else can readers expect in the near future?
Lin Boelz: I have two novels and short stories coming out by the end of April. I’m having an especially great time producing one project I pulled out of moth balls recently. It’s called my Prepper & Survival E-zine, where I share what I have learned about preparing for short- and long-term disasters.
Tim Greaton: Writers are always fun to hang out with because they seem to have the best stories about their pasts. Something happened to you when you were seventeen. Do you remember what I’m talking about?
Lin Boelz: One night, I came home late from a date. My upstairs room had an outside staircase, which was too dark to use at night. Well, when I moved a trunk to open the French doors, to let my dog in, a rattlesnake was lying beside him. It had crawled upstairs looking for a place to keep warm. My dad saved the day by trapping it in a box and letting it go in the desert the next day.
Tim Greaton: I often ask novelists about their writing “system.” You use a term I’ve never heard before.
Lin Boelz: I am a flow writer. I just sit down and start writing, letting the story take me in whatever direction it wants to go. Sometimes I will just start typing a few words and, before I know it, I have a chapter. Recently, my husband has taken an interest in my writing and will come up with suggestions about the direction stories should take. I credit Syeribus’ ending to him. I also have taken on an editor, someone who isn’t as close to my stories. I definitely like having an editor for those times when I know what I want to write but forget to fill in the blanks for my readers.
Tim Greaton: Do you have beta readers in your family or circle of friends?
Lin Boelz: I already mentioned my husband. I have also started to use beta reading groups throughout the development of my books. One reader’s suggestion brought a couple of important changes to a work-in-progress chapter called The Wizard of Asil.
Tim Greaton: Could you tell us about your upcoming release?
Lin Boelz: It’s a combination of two projects that are coming out on the same day. One is a short story based on a man recently released from prison. He is determined to prove the warden wrong by not returning to the hell hole he emerged from after ten long years. First thing he needed was a job, but who was going to be willing to hire an ex-con?
After having a job and a mysterious black cat fall in his lap, he figured maybe, just maybe he was going to get the break he deserved. Daniels soon finds out nothing is free and everything has a catch.
The other project is my aforementioned Prepper & Survival E-zine. I figure if I can help even one person become better prepared to navigate the stress and trials of disaster, then I will have done my job. Let’s face it, the world may never turn into an apocalyptic disaster movie, but earthquakes, floods and tornadoes are a fact of life. Are you ready to live off the grid or feed your family if it takes days or even weeks for help to arrive? And what if someone or something does cause the world to go crazy for a few weeks, months or years? What then?
Tim Greaton: Will there be sequels to either of those two new works?
(She gives me that grin again).
Tim Greaton: I’ll take that as a maybe J
Which author do you model your work after, or do you not see any parallels with past works you’ve read?
Lin Boelz: Edgar Allen Poe, Sherlock Holmes, and The Twilight Zone and Outer Limits television series had the most influence on my writing.
Tim Greaton: So that’s where the dark Lin comes from J
What part of your books are the most difficult to write?
Lin Boelz: It’s never the same, but one recent ending was particularly difficult. My husband and I battled for quite some time before it got worked out.
Tim Greaton: If a director contacted you to put one of your works on a movie screen right now, what would our audience see?
Lin Boelz: Scenes from my upcoming short story—
Tim Greaton: You really aren’t going to tell us the title?
Lin Boelz (again the grin): My movie would unfold with glimpses of a mysterious woman who is never seen at the same time as the black cat who often follows my freed prisoner around. To Daniels it will start to feel like the cat is everywhere at every waking moment.
Tim Greaton: You have a unique solution if any of the monsters from your stories appeared in real life. What is would you do exactly?
Lin Boelz: I would pull all the beds out of the house and leave the lights on.
Tim Greaton: Could you share your website/blogsite and links to where our audience could directly communicate with you and purchase your stories?
Lin Boelz: http://www.weaverofshadows.com. My email and blog are on the website. My books (under the name L.M. Boelz) are available on Amazon kindle and Smashwords.com. Smashwords is especially great because of the variety of download formats they offer.
Tim Greaton: Thanks for taking the time today, Lin. It’s been fun.
Lin Boelz: No, thank you. I feel lucky to have found a forum where readers can get to know authors. Really, your site is priceless. Thank you, and thank you to all the readers who took time out of their busy days to spend with us.