Today I am sharing the terrific answers to 5 Questions from ReGina Welling and Erin Lynn. They are the authors of the Ponderosa Pines Cozy Mystery Series and several other books as well. Today they are here at I Read What You Write to talk about their latest release Bait and Snitch (Ponderosa Pines Cozy Mystery Series Book 4). You can see our 5 Star review by clicking on the link.
About The Authors:
ReGina Welling is the author of the Psychic Seasons series and co-author of the Ponderosa Pines series written with her lovely daughter, Erin Lynn. She has recently moved back to Maine where she was raised in a small town with certain similarities to Ponderosa Pines–one that felt like an extended family.
Erin Lynn is the co-author of the Ponderosa Pines series.After living in Syracuse, NY for 8 years, she recently returned to the middle of nowhere, Maine with the intention of hibernating, writing lots of books and turning a neglected house into a beautiful home.
To start with can you tell us a little about yourself and the project we are seeing today?
ReGina: I’ve worn a lot of hats in my life. Photographer, teacher, business owner, mother, Navy wife, caregiver—and in the background I always wrote. The Ponderosa Pines series is special to me because it is co-written by my daughter. We drew from our history as mother and daughter to craft the relationship between our main characters, EV Torrence and Chloe LaRue. Writing about people in a small town comes naturally to me since I was raised in a version of Ponderosa Pines minus the ecologically minded focus.
Erin: I’m a mother to two amazing sons, and right now my focus is on building a home and a life for them as a single mother. Ponderosa Pines is strongly reminiscent of my childhood home, and writing this series—especially alongside my mother—has helped keep me grounded on this new path my life has taken.
Lian – Welcome to our blog!
What does it mean to you to be called an author?
ReGina: Reading has been such a huge part of my life that it has always been a goal of mine to write books. Now that I am, it feels like a dream come true and that I’m doing what I was meant to do.
Erin: For me it means validating a lifelong dream, but even more so it means I have something incredible in common with my mom.
What advice do you have for new authors, like me?
ReGina: Don’t hold back. It’s that bit of your soul that you put into your work that others will see and appreciate.
Erin: Don’t get discouraged! It’s easy to read someone else’s book and think “I could do that, this doesn’t seem that hard”, and yet the actual process is anything but simple. But if you stick it out, it can be an unbelievably rewarding experience.
-Great advice from you both. I was surprised at how hard it is be open and hard it is to write when it seemed so easy at the beginning.
What is the first book that you remember reading?
Erin: A Wrinkle in Time, which is my Mom’s favorite book. She gave me that, and then a whole set of Trixie Belden and Meg Duncan mysteries that I must have read a dozen times.
-I love A Wrinkle in Time. My mom told me about the story then I saw the movie, but she said the book would be better, so we read it together.
If you could have lunch with 3 authors (past and present) who would they be and what do you think you would all talk about during lunch?
ReGina: Honestly, I’d much rather have lunch with 3 characters from some of my favorite books. Given that choice, I’d pick Meg Murray from A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’engle. We could discuss being nonconformists during our school years and how that affected our lives. Next would be Lessa from Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. She could tell me how it feels to soar on the back of a dragon and a little about bucking authority in order to do the right thing even when it’s not the safe thing. If she brought Ms. McCaffrey along with her, that would be just fine. I would let her dominate the conversation since I would have devolved into a total fangirl.
-Wow! Great take on the question. That would be a fun conversation.
What is an underrated book, series or author that you think everyone should read?
ReGina: Since we’re talking cozy mystery, I’d say everyone should check out Dorothy Gilman’s Mrs. Pollifax books. They may not exactly fit the definition of cozy but when a grandmotherly type becomes a CIA courier, it’s worth seeing what happens. I loved those books and Gilman created a resourceful, shrewd, yet charming main character in Emily Pollifax.
If you could be friends with a character in one of your stories who would it be and what kinds of things would you do together?
ReGina: That’s a tough one since half my brain is screaming that doing anything with Gustavia (from my Psychic Seasons series) would be fun, and the other half wants to move to Ponderosa Pines and go to knitting group with EV. I can promise she would lose her title as the worst knitter in the group if that happened. Maybe Priscilla could bash some sense into me.
-Sounds like a tough choice, they seem like fun characters.
What would your dream library look like?
Erin: A hobbit hole covered in stacks of books and comfy chairs—and it would be as well-stocked with snacks as a hobbit hole, too!
Yes! So much fun.
What is your all time favorite book or author?
Erin: My all-time favorite author is Barbara Kingsolver. We read Animal Dreams in AP English, and that’s when I decided I wanted to be a writer. For spring break my sophomore year of college I drove to Tucson (where she lived at the time) because I couldn’t get her description of the southwest out of my head. I kept hoping I’d see her around the city, but I doubt I could have formed a coherent thought if I had.
-It seems she really inspired you.
Apart from writing and reading, what are your other hobbies or interests?
ReGina: A couple years ago, I earned an interdisciplinary bachelor’s degree in fine art and writing. For the fine art piece of my degree, I worked in digital imaging and mixed media—both of which are passions I still pursue when I have the time.
-I enjoy both as well. It would great to do that in college someday.
How do you write your books?
ReGina: Erin and I have worked out a process where we both work from the same Scrivener project in a Dropbox folder. We work together to hammer out a detailed outline and choose which of us will write each scene. At the end, we each take a pass over what the other one has written to make sure that each scene reflects both our voices.
-Working with a second person definitely would need coordination.
How do you avoid or defeat writers block?
ReGina: This is a great question. What works for me is to move on and write a different part of the story. If I get stuck in the middle somewhere, I find it helps to go write the end of the book, and then work backward from that point. During that process, I usually find the place where the plot has gone off the rails which, for me, is the number one cause of writer’s block.
-Nice tactic. But isn’t skipping to end of the end of the book cheating? 😉
My thanks to both ReGina Wells and Erin Lynn for answering my questions. You can find their books at Amazon and be sure to look for the latest book,