Lynn A. Coleman is an award winning and best-selling author of Key West and other books. She began her writing and speaking career with how to utilize the Internet. Since October 1998, when her first fiction novel sold she's sold 30 books and novellas.
Lynn is also the founder of American Christian Fiction Writers Inc., and served as the group's first president for two years and two years on the Advisory Board. One of her primary reasons for starting ACFW was to help writers to develop their writing skills and to encourage others to go deeper in their relationship with God. "God has given me a gift," says Lynn, "but it is my responsibility to develop that gift."
Lynn has spoken at writers groups, women's groups, home-schooling organizations, church groups, conferences, workshops and retreats. "Lynn is informative, humorous, and approachable--what more can you ask for?" said one attendee.
She makes her home in Keystone Heights, Florida, where her husband of 36 years serves as pastor of Friendship Bible Church. Together they are blessed with three children and eight grandchildren.
1) Where are you right now (LVR, DR, Bathroom) and what are you wearing? You have to tell the truth.
In my office. I’m wearing socks which is highly unusual but it is cold in Florida today. Pants and a shirt, my comfy working clothes.
2) Who's your one biggest fan/supporter of your writing?
My husband. He continues to encourage me as well as help me in many different ways. For example taking vacations where I can set a novel. He also is the first reader of all my writings and my first copy editor.
3) What is your favorite time period to write in?
I enjoy writing both contemporary and historical. My current release, Harbor Hopes is set in contemporary Maine. The location is fictional, Squabbin Bay, Maine. The real location I take my setting from is Stonington, Maine. My husband, Paul and I managed to visit the area for a few days after a family reunion.
Historically, I enjoy coastal towns. I suppose that’s because I grew up on Martha’s Vineyard and was fortunate enough to take some Island History classes. One year the high school class helped restore an old wagon that was then donated to the historical society.
4) If you could be any character in any literary book who would you be and why? That’s an interesting question.
I’ll have to think on that and get back with you.
Coming back to this question after having gone through the rest of the interview, I’m still not sure. I love history but I’m far too modern to want to live in a historical time period. And I think I’m far to practical to want to be someone from the future from sci-fi. I suppose I wouldn’t mind being a detective, and I really love the PBS history detectives but as to an actual person from a book, I’d love to visit many but I would not want to be any. I enjoy reading and going back in time but I love putting the book aside and enjoying the life I have today.
I don’t suppose that is the answer you’re looking for but you did ask me to be truthful. Oh wait, that was with regard to my clothing.
5) Are you or any close family members in the characters personalities?
Of course, there is always a piece of yourself in your characters. Thankfully, they are only pieces, some are brought to extreme, others are more refined than myself and still others are purely the imagination gone wild. I enjoy studying people but you do need to be careful when observing. People can get nervous if they catch you watching them.
6) When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
I never set out to be a writer, that is to say that the desire grew out of a deep conviction that God was encouraging me in this direction. English, spelling, and grammar were some of my worse subjects in school and I still struggle with them today. However, God is and has equipped me to go beyond my natural abilities and He has encouraged me to want to improve even in my weak areas. It was 1996 when I first started on this quest.
7) You have a very interesting history with ACFW. Can you tell us a little about how it all got started and what sparked the idea?
As I mentioned above, God was encouraging me in the business of writing and one of the ways I began doing that was to attend online workshops in America Online’s (AOL) Writing community. At that time they offered these special chatrooms and anyone could come in and attend. Through the internet I started to meet many published authors. However, none of them were Christian (as in published in Inspirational fiction) Fiction Authors. So, with the help of a friend I became a community leader in AOL. Tracie Peterson was the first Christian fiction author I met. The workshops grew and eventually moved out to the Internet as well. These workshops were the starting point of ACFW. The Lord was encouraging me to take the workshops a step further and organize a writer’s group for others who were also learning the craft of writing for Him. With the help of a couple of friends we designed the basic structure for the group and vision for the growth of the organization. Our goal was two-fold, one to encourage writers to develop the craft of writing as well as deepening their desires to stay close in their personal relationships with the Lord. The second was to help the industry of Christian Fiction develop. At the time you could hardly find a Christian novel in a Christian bookstore. Most stores had one bookshelf designated for Christian fiction. Today I’m happy to say the Lord has done both through ACFW and I’m humbled to have been a part of it.
8) If you could meet any person alive or dead who would that be and why? (excluding the Lord)
I think it would be Margaret Bliss, she’s not a huge historical figure but rather someone from my genealogy. Widowed she marched her family up from Hartford, CT. to the newly forming area of Springfield, MA. Two of the streets in the downtown area of Springfield still hold her name. She was a remarkable woman with strong determination and wise. From what little I’ve read about Margaret, I know I’d like to know more about her.
9) What is your favorite material item that you own (examples: ipod, Gone with the Wind book, grandmother’s rocking chair)
The hand-made nativity set my grandmother made for me about twenty five years ago. She did a wonderful job and it’s precious because she is no longer with us.
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