Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Wednesday Debut Interview: The Tulip Resistance by Lynne Leatham Allen

Today's WEDNESDAY DEBUT INTERVIEW features Lynne Leatham Allen, author of The Tulip Resistance, an Adult Historical Fiction debut published with Cedar Fort.

First off, tell us a bit about yourself! 

My name is Lynne Leatham Allen, I use my maiden name as a middle name because if you google Lynne Allen you will find hundreds of them on line.

How would you describe THE TULIP RESISTANCE in one sentence? 

It is a unique fun read, with a lot of plot twists and turns.

How long as this process taken for you, from the time that you began the first draft of this book until the date of its publication? 

About twenty months.

Your story takes place in the Netherlands. Do you have a personal connection to the Dutch? 

No. I got the idea from a biography on Audrey Hepburn I learned she worked for the resistance in WW2, but I thought it was the French Resistance. In my research I learned she lived in Holland and worked for the Dutch resistance. At first I was disappointed it was the Dutch resistance because it is not as well known, but I soon learned it was a great idea because it wasn’t as well known.

What part of this book did you most enjoy writing? 

The first chapter. Second-- was the barn dance.

Every writer experiences some rejection and setbacks along the way. How did you learn to cope with them and move on? 

I had help. I have a wonderful friend that kept telling me to keep going because she believed in my writing that it is unique and different and to keep going. If it wasn’t for her I probably would have quit. She is an English teacher who teaches writing.

How did you find your publisher? What makes them a good fit for you and your book? 

I paid a $20.00 fifteen minute pitch at the League of Utah Writers Conference. The editor seemed to be immediately interested when I told her about ww2 story and Audrey Hepburn. They have been wonderful to work with.

Tell us about your cover. Who designed it? How much say did you have in it? What do you want it to tell your readers about your story? 

Cedar Fort Publishing designed it. I had no say in it. People I have shown it to have loved it. It tells what it is a WW2 story in Holland. The story is a fun story but also tells some of the trials of war. It is not a heavy, depressing story but there is a lot of humor and love throughout the book. I highly recommend it.

Tell us about your title. Was this the original title you'd had in mind? If not, what made you change it? 

Sort of. I had a devil of a time naming it. I thought about “A tulip Among the Thorns,” “The White Lily,” I settled on “War and the Tulip Resistance” but Cedar Fort didn’t like it and changed it to “The Tulip Resisitance,” after a lot of negotiations about different titles. They wanted to change it to “Underground Tulips,” but I didn’t like it I thought it sounded like a gardening book. I like what we decided to name it.

What's next for you after this book debuts? Have you started working on another book? 

Yes, I am working on a sequel right now, I’ve tentatively named it “Operation Tulip.” It is more of espionage, secret missions etc. The same characters are involved but it tells what happened to them after they flew out of Holland at the end of the first book.

How does it feel to finally have your book out in the hands of readers?

Exciting! But at the same time I am nervous too. This is my first book. This is my baby. I love it! But will others? I’m sure all will have their own feelings about it, parts of it will have a certain effect on some, while others will have different feelings about different parts of the book. I guess that what makes a good book!

Is there any other advice you'd like to pass on to others pursuing publication? Anything you would have done differently? 

Don’t get discouraged and quit! Don’t ever quit! If you want to publish set that as a goal and work toward it. Don’t let the critics get you down. It is just their opinion, doesn’t make it true. You are the author of your story. It is your baby, you love it, let it be yours instead of theirs. The first year in the group of LUW I didn’t do anything they said. I listened to them, and got way discouraged. But it was hard to do what they said because I felt they didn’t understand what I was trying to say. It took a long time before I got myself in a place to really listen to them. In the meantime I wrote down words they would say like “show not tell,” I didn’t know what that meant and had to look it up. I studied a lot at home alone, trying to understand their lingo. I didn’t have any college background in writing. All this is a whole new world for me. I had to learn from the ground up.

And, just for fun, which book in your own library do you think would be your main character Marieka's favorite? 

The Stone of Iscar by: Me

Thanks, Lynne, and congrats on your debut!


1 comment:

  1. I had no idea about Audrey Hepburn -- pretty cool and I love how you used that true fact as a jumping-off point for your novel!


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