Thursday, December 30, 2010

My editor (bless her heart,) I owe her so much

My last post linked to an article on Hubpages (my favorite place on the internet) where I shared my ascent up the very steep learning curve of writing press releases. As I'm publishing with an independent publisher, much of the promotional work is up to me -- not that they don't do their part, they do, but still... And as I'm fairly impoverished at this time (or any other) I've taken the DIY route to book promotions. All of this led to my sharing of this great learning experience in what I hope will be a series of articles I've dubbed the Penurious Promoter.

Now that you're up to date, (in case you didn't read the last one) let's get on with the new post.

Always willing to help me, my editor, Kathryn Lynn Davis used her magic red pen on the result I so proudly displayed to my readers, improving it greatly. Therefore, I am compelled by some ego-driven demon to share the new one with you, as well.

Kathryn Lynn Davis
But first, let me tell you a bit about Kathryn.

When I first sat down to write This Bird Flew Away, I hadn't written much beyond professional reports for my business in years. And I was an auditor, accountant and business consultant so you can imagine the dry stuff I churned out. I was more than rusty. I was seized-up. Yet, the story had to come out. It had lived in my brain and heart for so many years it threatened to choke me. But, sitting at my keyboard, struggling, I had to admit I'd lost the style and technique once so dear to me. Like all neglected children, it had run away from home, looking for the attention and love it required.

Use it or lose it is the applicable cliche.

Some scenes poured out well. In fact, some parts were bloody brilliant. (If I do say so myself.) But others...let's just say they were less so. My poor novel was ragged, inconsistent and seemed nothing more than a few bright spots linked together by dreck. I didn't know what to do to fix it.

Only by happenstance did I find Kathryn, and we started out as two strangers, she the paid professional and me the wannabe in labor, trying to give birth at an age where such endeavors should be long past. At first, she only looked at the first ten pages but managed to cram so much information, so much direction, such good advice, and somehow balanced criticism with enough praise, I didn't give up. She was kind and generous.

Those ten (free) pages gave me enough pointers to pull a reasonable rough draft together. Well, now I know better; one doesn't pay an editor to work on a rough draft, but at the time, I thought it the only way. I suppose she must have seen enough good in my efforts to make it worthwhile, because she went well beyond the requirements of any editor. I know this now. I didn't then.

She sent me back passages for rewrite, and suggested whole new scenes to write that pulled it all together. She found holes in my story, parts that didn't work, passages that needed a new direction, and praised those areas that did work to the skies. We were perhaps a month into working before she actually did any editing. She was my coach and my mentor first.

As if that wasn't enough, upon my receipt of the edited manuscript, and payment of her more than reasonable fee, we continued with rewrites, back and forth by email, long after the edit was done, and all from her great generosity.

Kathryn poured encouragement into me, made me believe that what I'd written had merit, insisted it should see the light of day. She even helped me write queries, and used her own contacts to help me.

Then, when a publisher was interested in This Bird Flew Away, and after all my revising and tweaking I knew it had to be edited again, she offered to do the work, even though I couldn't afford to pay for it at the time. "The important thing," she wrote to me, "is to get it ready for publication. Pay me later."

It is only now, when I hear from other authors and their trials with independent editors, that I realize what a gem of a woman Kathryn is, and how lucky I was to tumble into her care. For that's the only way to describe what she did for me. If This Bird Flew Away is a work of any worth, much, perhaps most of the credit belongs to Kathryn Lynn Davis.

She is an established author herself, with eight published novels and a New York Times bestseller, a talented and gifted individual. And here she is editing my press release. Still helping me. Still feeding me encouragement. Still praising my work. 

What a blessing. Thank you Kathryn.

Anyway, back to the original subject. Yes, I'm going to show you the edited press release, and if any of you have read the first,(thank you)  you'll notice the tremendous difference here in the second.

Amazing what a good editor can do for you.

Sincerely yours,


The Press Release

For immediate release

Two Thirds of Sexual Abuse Victims Receive No Assistance, Says Author

North Port, Fl (12/30/2010)  -- In the late ‘60s, the product a troubled youth and a dysfunctional family, Lynda Martin found herself on her own at the age of fifteen, two thousand miles from her home. She knows firsthand the dangers facing girls on the streets and the predators that prey on them. She was one of the lucky ones.

She survived.

So does the heroine of her upcoming book, This Bird Flew Away (scheduled for release January 27, 2011). 

Martin, author and veteran child protection worker, says official statistics for childhood sex abuse drastically understate the problem leaving an estimated two-thirds of all victims with no access to professional assistance or support. Healing from such trauma is difficult without counseling and guidance. “Too many past victims live in pain and anger, unable to put the past behind them.”

In the late nineties, Martin attended an international conference on child protection and learned professionals estimate less than thirty percent of child sex abuse is reported. World-wide, they suggested, seven out of ten girls and four out of ten boys are victims of childhood sexual assault. “That number has haunted me ever since. I wanted to find a way to reach out to the seventy percent of all women who are living with those memories.”

So she decided to write a fictional account of one girl’s twenty-year journey from neglect and abuse to success and happiness, a tale based on some of the many real-life stories she encountered in her thirty years of work with child abuse victims. Her goal was to craft a story that would appeal to women and mature girls, one in which the traditional process of healing is mapped out but embedded in an entertaining and exciting tale.

The result is her novel, This Bird Flew Away. 

This Bird Flew Away (ISBN 9781935605928) will be available January 27, 2011  from the publisher, Black Rose Writing, or at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and from the This Bird Flew Away website. Visit the website at for more information.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Penurious Promoter’s Guide to Book Publicity #1 -- How to write a press release

By lmmartin

Penurious -- pen-u-ri-ous -- (adjective) stinginess, unwilling to part with money, miserly. Root: penury (noun) lack of money, poverty, want.

Welcome to Penurious Promotions and the first in a series of articles for the do-it-yourself book promoter with a...  "restricted" budget. Today, we’re looking at everything you need to know but haven’t yet asked about press releases.

Why? Because I need to write one, and I don’t know how, so guess what: we’re in this together. As I research and learn, so will my readers. What fun!

But before we get started, a few thoughts:

I should perhaps share another bit of advice with you, dear readers, before we go any further. Like many another solvency-challenged promoter, I’ve happily accepted the well-intended (I’m sure) and sincere-at-the-time offers of help from friends and colleagues. In return, I’ve received what I’ve paid for – nothing. When someone has made an offer of assistance, you can hardly nag or demand action. I mean, they volunteered… 

As is the story with my press releases. An offer of assistance came in September. This is late December, my book is scheduled for release in thirty days and I have no press releases.

So here’s the very first rule for the Penurious Book Promoter: If you can’t afford to hire someone to do it, learn how to do it yourself. Do not depend on friends, family or other volunteers. You'll be glad you did. Think of all those great learning experiences.

Now that’s out of the way, here we are, hand-in-hand and on our way to learn everything there is to know about press releases, and we’ll write one as we go.


Why do we need to write press releases?

You’d think that formal press releases would be a thing of the past in this day and age, what with the internet reigning supreme for information seeking, gathering and dissemination.  But no, definitely not. In fact, the press release has grown up into the information age, and e-releases are written in the same way.  For all that we dream up hundreds of creative ways to get media attention, the truth is 99% of all such exposure begins with a well written press release.

Now, it is a well-accepted truth there is no such thing as bad publicity, but it is equally true there is much ineffective publicity. And we don’t want to be ineffective.

What makes a good press release?                       

In my many hours of research, one message came through loud and clear: a press release must be a news story, not an advertisement...

For the rest of the article, use the link in the title or
right here. Don't miss the fun. Come see what we end up with for a press release.

Sincerely yours,


Friday, December 10, 2010

Book Reviews -- How different it is when it's your book under review!

I love to read reviews, whether for films, books or restaurants. I'm one of those who may base a choice on such information, although I'm the first to admit I don't always agree with the critics. There's this contrary side to me more likely to see a film the critics pan, or love a book they hated. 

Even when there's no question of a purchase, when the subject matter is something of no interest, the review is still one of my favorite forms of entertainment. 

But with the release date for This Bird Flew Away drawing ever closer, I awaited the first review of the work with more than a little trepidation. Suddenly, my words which at one time seemed so heart-felt, so true after months and months of laborious and sometimes painful work, not to mention the input from my wonderful editor, Kathryn Lynn Davis -- well, suddenly I was sure they were trite, dull, feeble and unworthy. 

Do you know that feeling? Isn't judgment an absolutely soul-destroying feeling?

Mr. Brian Knight of Premium Promotional Services was the first to provide a review. When I saw his name and the subject: Book Review in the in-box of my email, my heart started tripping along at two/four time, and a cold stone settled in the pit of my stomach. I could barely stand to click the thing open.

Every snide and sarcastic remark by a reviewer that had once elicited a superior giggle, a facetious nod of agreement or that sense of Schadenfreude we all enjoy so much, though  never admit, leaped into my mind. This time it was my book under the magnifying glass.  My book! Two years of my life.

I opened it, quickly scanned his words and sucked in a deep breath, feeling and sounding much like Sally Fields at the Oscars: "He liked it! He liked it!"

To those of you used to this, I'm sure I come across like some needy child hearing her first ever words of praise. Okay -- I am some needy child and these are my first ever public words of praise. This is my debut novel. Bear with me, and let me dance for joy. I promise; I'll grow up one day soon.

 Title: This Bird Flew Away
Author: Lynda M. Martin
ISBN: 9781935605928
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 406
Reviewed By: Brian Knight
Official Premium Promotional Services Rating:    *****          

What do you do when innocence dies?

Bria is a typical little girl by all outward appearances but inside lurks dark secrets and problems  only adults should have to face. She is smart but confused with the world around her. To top it off, she has no one to talk to about these problems. That is, until, Jack finds her in the basement of the family home during a funeral. Jack is Bria’s best friend and the one person she will talk to. Unbeknownst to them both, that friendship will be tested and strengthened, and eventually will save a life. 

Bria doesn’t have a real home. After years of being shuffled between Aunts and across the border, the only family she can count on is her Aunt Mary and Jack. She takes it upon herself to protect her younger sister but, as fate would have it, she is forced into a difficult decision in her efforts to find them both a safe home. Her impossible situation turns into a nightmare as she is soon abducted and trafficked. The unspeakable acts she endures and witnesses leave her a shell of the girl she once was.

After a daring escape, Bria now faces the most difficult obstacle of all – finding her place in society again. Along her harrowing path, she confronts her inner enemies and discovers new life when it seemed her life was over. Can she truly recover? Will she learn what love really is? Will she allow herself to be more than the ‘nobody, nobody wants’?

From the first word, Lynda Martin’s passion for crafting a gripping story combined with her career of helping missing and exploited children takes center stage. Instantly, you are immersed in Bria’s journey as she struggles to navigate a cruel world. With each passing page, it is virtually impossible not to care for Bria and the others like her in “This Bird Flew Away.” You will find yourself wanting to hug, talk and listen to Bria as the connection is made on multiple levels. 

“This Bird Flew Away” is a story of betrayal, abuse, hope, love and strength.

The emotions experienced as the story unfolds carry it from page to page. Sadness, anger, grief, hopelessness, joy, love, hope and peace are all present and combine to deliver a surreal experience; one that will haunt and demand that you ponder  the reality that the story depicts. This book is a must have for those seeking an emotionally charged story of survival.

Author Lynda Martin’s debut novel, is sure to take the world by storm. I see a bright future for this up and coming author.  

(He liked it! He liked it!)       

Sincerely yours,


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Santa Claus Inc -- an outsource story

Here is my Christmas Card to all my readers, friends, family -- everyone.
I hope you enjoy it.

Santa Claus Inc -- an outsource story

And for those who don't wish to click and link, here's my wishes for the all the best this holiday season, Merry Christmas to those who celebrate this day and peace, joy and love to those who follow other beliefs.

Yours sincerely,


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Who says an old dog can't learn new tricks? (Or should that be old bitch?)

    Meet my old dog, Dick.
Up until the last few days, I'd never in my life tried to make a video. Surely it must be a complicated affair, I thought, difficult and full of mysterious technology. As I am somewhat technologically challenged, to put it mildly, I never gave the idea a thought.                          

Until my publicist said, "You simply must get a promotional video done for This Bird Flew Away."

Oh-oh. Being an old lady is no excuse for not keeping up with the times. So I contacted a few people who do these things for a price, and the prices I was quoted only reinforced the idea this must be difficult. Whew! I wasn't making a movie after all.

"I can't afford it," I told the publicist.

"Pish," said she with a note of derision and possibly pity. "I do my own all the time. Nothing to it."

Maybe for you. I thought about suggesting if she wanted the video so badly, then perhaps she should make one for me, but decided against it, my pride and dignity kicking in at precisely the wrong time.

I didn't know where to begin. Pathetic loser, said The Voice -- don't you have one, a voice that lives in your head and talks to you in such a way that if she were a real person you'd murder her? (My voice is female.) Shut up, I told her, and decided seeing as I was clueless, best look for a clue. Where? Where else? The internet, of course, the internet knows all.

I found an excellent article on my favorite place, Hubpages, called "How to make a promotional video for free with Windows Movie Maker."

Well, I told The Voice, the price sounds right. And I can probably download the software -- how expensive can it be? The Voice said, "Cheaper than paying to have one made, that much is sure."

In fact, when I Googled the software, Windows checked my computer and said, Idiot! You already have the software bundled in your software package. Okay, it was The Voice that said Idiot!  Sure enough, I looked and there it was. So, following the excellent step by step directions given by Edweirdo, the author of the aforementioned article, I began.

First, collect the images you want to use. That was the hardest part. Now, I have an account with BigStock Photos, an excellent and economic source for images, which you'll noticed I linked for you, just in case you might find it helpful. I use images in my article writing a lot, and if you buy credits in bulk they cost only a dollar per. (Not that I own stock in the company or anything, you understand. This isn't really a plug, just sharing.)

I got started right after supper, and by trial and error, mostly error, I slowly put together my very first video. Yes, I did it! Never mind I worked right through the night. I do that a lot, anyway. I work better at night. By the time the sun peeked over the trees and the birds began singing I had it pretty much together.

Then another scary new adventure, opening an account at Youtube, and uploading my video. You'll screw it up, said The Voice. Turned out it was a piece of cake.

Yep. This old dog -- err, bitch, learned a new trick.  Wanna see it? Of course you do. Now you can watch it on this dinky little screen (not recommended) or go to Youtube and watch it there (recommended.) Or click the dinky little screen and it will take you to the big screen, too.

Sincerely yours,


The Rape Trade -- child prostitution

The Rape Trade -- child prostitution   

Introduction to The Rape Trade  (full article available by link in the title.

This is an update on an earlier hub, "52 children recovered, 60 alleged child pimps arrested but have you heard about it,' which I wrote in response to a 'non-news' item of October 2009. My outrage at that time was triggered by a disturbing story on the CNN streamer.

In the first nation-wide operation of the FBI's Innocence Lost Initiative, in cooperation with local law enforcement reported 52 children had been recovered and 690 people arrested, including 60 alleged pimps.

Surprisingly -- no that's too mild a word. Shockingly, the media treated this as a non-event with no actual news story for three days. Three days! And then it was given a hurried two minute reportage. More on this below.

Now, a year later, another FBI/ local law agency initiative, Operation Cross Country, has successfully recovered 69 children from the sex trade, and arrested "nearly 889" people including 99 pimps.

Bravo, say I.

This time, the media is on the ball -- well almost. This story made the screen and in prime time, too. But the coverage spawned a number of background informational broadcasts that left me feeling rather uneasy. 

The education given the American listeners didn't jive with what I knew of the child-sex trade or those caught up in its destructive net.

I made a few calls, sent a few emails and conferred with some other child protection workers around the country. They concurred.

Hence, this hub was born.

For those of you too busy, or upset by the reality of this world, I've prepared a short video giving you the facts as many of us with experience in the field know them. It runs for 3 minutes and 45 seconds. If you do nothing else on this page, please watch it.

And if you still have some time, read the section directly below the video.

You may watch the video here, on Hubpages, or for best quality, at Youtube. (click on the Youtube button on the screen below.)

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,


Sunday, October 31, 2010

So many words to write, so little time.

I’m here to explain why I won’t be blogging much for the month of November. As all you writers know, this is National Novel Writing Month, the time for NaNoWriMo and I’ve signed up. Yep, I’m committed to writing a minimum of a 50,000 word novel in thirty days, or at least 1,667 words a day.

At first I thought, wow! That sounds like a Herculean task. Then I stopped to consider how many words a month I generally write. Between novels and articles, my monthly out-put must be twice that… Well maybe not, but more than that, at any rate
So, on a whim, an impulse if you want, I said, “WTF, go for it.” And I did.

You see, I’ve had a novel on the backburner since a least last October that I haven’t had the opportunity to get down and bang out the dreadful first draft. Not that I’m that much of a procrastinator – I’m not. Just, other things kept getting in the way, or shone with greater allure at the moment.

NaNoWriMo seemed the perfect opportunity to get down to it. The rules are perfect:
  •  Write a 50,000-word (or longer!) novel, between November 1 and November 30.
  • Start from scratch. None of your own previously written prose can be included in your NaNoWriMo draft (though outlines, character sketches, and research are all fine, as are citations from other people's works).
  •  Write a novel, a novel being defined as a lengthy work of fiction. If you consider the book you're writing a novel, we consider it a novel too! 
  • Be the sole author of your novel. Apart from those citations mentioned two bullet-points up.
  • Write more than one word repeated 50,000 times.
  • Upload your novel for word-count validation to our site between November 25 and November 30.
That’s it. Not too many. Quantity, not quality. Kill the editor that lives between the ears, that mean-mouthed, disparaging, sharp tongued harridan. Just write – bash it out and get it down. I can do that. Sounds like a vacation.

So what am I writing on this marathon venture you wonder. I’m going to tell you. I’m writing the third in a series of novels starring my favorite character, Bria Connelly. Can’t tell you much more than that without spoiling the story for you, and I won’t. I won’t and you can’t make me.

Looking back on the past twenty months, I’ve gone through a real productive period and written three novels and a hundred (give or take) articles (many of which you can read by clicking on my hubpages widget to the left up there).  In fact, I’ve astonished myself. Could this be that fabled post-menopausal zest I’ve been reading about?

Or is it the blessed freedom I’m enjoying, having divested ourselves of the big house, the kennels, the ten acres, the business --  How did I ever do all that? – And turned our one-time vacation house (a little two bedroom that’s a snap to keep up) into our full-time home.

Whatever the secret, it’s been great for my writing. True. I spent the afternoon ruminating on the novels of the past twenty months.

It all started with my beloved novel, This Bird Flew Away, a story that lived so long between my ears, all I had to do was sit down and let it pour out. This was a transcendental experience. In four months of isolation, all alone in the Florida house while poor hubby, Jim, slaved away up there in the ice and snow of a Canadian winter, I lived, breathed, dreamed and wrote This Bird, as I affectionately dub the work. It pained me to be away from it. No one wanted to see me, because all I talked about was the story, and the characters became more real to me than anyone of flesh and bone in my life. All too soon, it was over and off to my wonderful editor, Kathryn Lynn Davis.

While she had it, I worked on the pitch. You know what I mean.

Genre: Literary fiction
The one liner:
 A funeral, a crime, secrets and the friendship between a girl and a man.
Then the “back cover pitch”:
What is real love?
The whole world wants to know.
They should ask Bria Jean, because she has it all figured out. Opinionated, stubborn and full of woe, Bria would tell you real love is having one person you can always count on through thick and thin. For her, that’s Jack. And it doesn’t matter to her that she’s nine and he’s twenty-three -- not one bit.
When, at the age of twelve, Bria disappears, he and his Aunt Mary search for her, and when she surfaces, injured, abused and traumatized, Jack fights to become her guardian with no idea of the trials ahead of him. By then, Bria is thirteen going on thirty, full of her own ideas on how her life should run and with some very fixed notions about who is in charge.
And now, come January 27, this labor of love will rest in my hands as a printed book, exactly twenty-four months from when I first began.

No sooner was it done, and even before the editing and revision process, I went to work on the sequel, Fly High, Fly Blind. This one too was effortless, a delight. But being back in Canada, I wrote it around work and business demands. Even so, in four months I had a 150,000 word first draft. (Yes I know; trimming is big come the revision
And I worked on that pitch too.
Child advocate and lawyer, Bria Connelly, sits at her desk one May morning in 1989, tying up loose ends for one client, preparing to plea in court on a motion for sentence reduction for another, has yet to read an important report for one more, can't see her desk for the files strewn about and she is already late in her appointment with a new client waiting outside, another battered woman, another abused child -- a normal day in her chosen line of work.
The phone rings.  Little does she suspect when she picks up the phone, this call will set in motion a whirlwind of events that will change her life forever. She'll find herself flying high and blind in a murder trial that will take her from her practice in Calgary to the criminal courts of New York City.
 Well out of her element, there is only one person she knows who can help save her client: Jack -- once her guardian, once her best friend but now estranged. Six years have passed since she last spoke to him, seven since she saw him, but for the sake of her client, she calls him.
 Once again he does not let her down. In fact, he seems eager to renew their complicated relationship. The girl from this Bird Flew Away is back, grown up and carrying another secret, a secret that will shatter Jack's world.
 Against the back drop of a controversial defense strategy, one child in trouble, another child  a key witness in a public trial and  a scandal mongering press, she finds herself  and her future and finally puts the past to rest
Like it? This one is currently in edit and revision and coming along nicely. If all goes well, it should see daylight late next year or early the following.

Then, as I was about to start on the third – untitled then, another project came up and this one was pushed to the dark recesses of the storage cupboard in my head.

I was approached by an editing client, Dallas Thompson, to help put together a novel based on an interesting idea of his, and we co-authored a novel. He provided the premise, the technical information and the main ideas. I drew up the plot, the character sketches and wrote the first draft, emailing each day's installments back and forth with Dallas. In four months, we had an interesting and powerful political sci-fi thriller in reasonable draft form but I’ll leave the story of The Agent of Change for another blog.

This one is now with Kathryn, editor supreme, and will return for rewrite and revision in a few more weeks.
But, fulfilling as writing the departure from my normal genre was, the third in the Bria Connelly series ate at my brain, demanding to be let out. But by now, I was up to my ears in article commitments, student writer coaching and editing, and poor Number Three languished. 

Then, along came NaNoWriMo, and the perfect excuse to clear my desk, tell everyone to leave me alone for thirty days, and limber up my fingers, ready to go. I won’t cheat. I won’t write a word of it till 12:01 AM tomorrow. 

But I did come up with a title, Finding Emily – and a cover. I always start out with a cover; makes the book seem real and motivates my writing. Here’s what I plan to get out in a 50,000 word skeletal form in the next 30 days.
The inspiration for this tale came to me following a news clip on the CNN streamer that never  made it as a news story and I often wonder why. It related to a crackdown on "child prostitutes" though a better, more appropriate term is child sex slaves. 52 children were recovered from a life of hell, and sixty pimps and several hundred other people were arrested -- yet it didn't make it to the TV screen. I wrote an article about this phenomenon, linked here.
I researched and dug around and got as much information on this crackdown as I could, and thought, what if law enforcement decided to cooperate yet again and this time concentrated on I95, running along the east coast of the U.S. (For those that don't know these parts.)
Then I went further:  Bria, now in her fifties is a renowned child protection professional, and she lives in Florida for the winters (who wouldn't) and finds herself involved with one of the recovered children.
 Then I  came up with this idea: A friend of hers from Alberta has brought her three children to Orlando for a vacation (Disneyworld and Universal and all those places.) They've come down in a group of families and each has rented a house. Well, through a series of unfortunate events, the 12 year old daughter disappears. Bria involves herself for her friend's sake, but in spite of law enforcement's best efforts, and though Bria and Mom work hard to try and keep the story alive, two years go by with no word. Then this "Operation I95" takes place and the girl is recovered.
What state would a girl be in after two years of forced sex slavery? Can you imagine?
 Will Bria's skills be adequate to the task?
Don’t you love the cover photo? See this obviously adolescent faceless girl, back against the wall, trapped, dressed for ‘the trade’…  Yes, the photo was great inspiration. Once I have a cover, the story’s half done.

So, that’s why this is likely to be the last blog you’ll see for a few weeks, though I might come in and tell you how it’s going. Can’t promise – once I get going there is nothing else in life. 

See you in thirty days with the rough first draft of a new novel under my belt.

Sincerely Yours,


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Petra Vlah Interviews lmmartin (Lynda M Martin) Hubpages 10/27/2010

"A talented writer
and editor reveals her
rich background and 
exciting endeavors"

(PV) Through your work on HP, but no less, because of who you are as a person, in just one year you have gained a loyal number of followers and well deserved respect of the community. Could you highlight your best and worst experiences? 
(LM) First, let me say thanks to my followers and friends on hubpages who have made the past thirteen months so much fun. I’ve given your question a lot of thought and I just can’t pinpoint either a best or a worst experience. It’s all been good – wonderful. What I’ve enjoyed the most? The people I’ve come to know, for sure. I do not write on hubpages for income – can’t. I’m here to write, to share and to network, not for monetary gain. That makes a difference in the approach taken to the writing, I think, and one that seems to pay big dividends in reader appreciation.

(PV) European by birth, growing up in Canada and eventually moving part-time to US, you have brought a wealth of experience and a fresh prospective to all of us. How did those different cultures shape your personality?

(LM) What an interesting question, and one I find impossible to answer in twenty-five words or less, but I’ll do my best. Shall we start at the beginning?

I was born in Scotland, moved to the south coast of England and then immigrated with my family to Western Canada at the age of six. The British culture component of my life came to me through my parents and extended family, rather than first hand life. Relatives and friends “back home” sent me books at each holiday, so I grew up with the British literary classics of Rupert the Bear, and Enid Blyton’s the adventures of The Famous Five. Outside our house was Canada: inside was a part of Britain – and I fought it! I worked very hard at adopting my new accent, and becoming thoroughly Canadian.

As a young woman, I attended the University of Montreal, a French language university, and earned a Bachelor degree in Business Administration. I loved Montreal and stayed in Quebec for eight years. As a business consultant based in that great city, I came to know more of the U.S. My first audit in ‘the States’ took me to the tiny town of Demopolis, Alabama. That was an experience! Even more so than New York, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta … The same career took me to Europe: London, Paris, Frankfurt, Helsinki, Dublin…

Twenty-five years ago, I attended a business conference in Denver and there met my husband, Jim, from New Orleans. After five years of a cross-border affair, we married and he moved to Canada – Winnipeg, Manitoba and Calgary Alberta.

Now, we live in Florida, and this year, as Jim was offered an excellent professional opportunity in Florida, we are in the process of getting my resident status – legal at last. I enjoy life on the Gulf coast very much, as anyone who reads my personal hubs knows.

How has this affected my personality? It’s made me into a person who can’t answer a simple question about her past with any efficiency of words. It’s also kept me poor. (Rolling stones gather no moss.)

(PV) Your soon to be released book deals with the tragic problem of abused children, a cause which you took to heart and made it your mission in life. Please tell us more about it.

(LM) “This Bird Flew Away” does deal with the life of a girl made vulnerable through neglect, trafficked and exploited, but abuse is only one minor component of this story. It is a tribute to the courage and strength of children, to their ability to reinvent themselves, to go about the business of being children no matter what goes on around them. It is primarily a story of love, the real meaning of love and its healing power. It pays homage to the family, the need for that safe refuge and strength we find there, no matter what form the family takes. It is not a dark book.

My thirty years in child protection gave me more reasons to celebrate than to despair, and I dedicate this book to those girls it was my profound honor to befriend and the voyages we took together. They have my undying admiration.

 Why did I write the book? I answer that question in my blog, Sincerely Yours, Lynda. For those wanting to know more about my background in child protection, you can read about it here on hubpages.
(PV) You have posted fragments of this book on HP asking the community to give an honest critique. What has been the response and to which extent did that help you or motivate you to continue the project?
(LM) The hubpages community played a great role in affirming my belief in this story. Most comments were positive and complimentary, which was a soothing balm coming at a time when the agents were busiest at slapping me down.
A group of hubbers volunteered to be my beta readers. Can I take the space here to thank them? Thanks papajack, Amanda S., itakins, Peg Cole, RebeccaE, resspenser, Tammy Lochman, Mr. Happy… (If I forgot someone, I apologize.) A special thank you to Morten Rand (Fiction Factory) who critiqued the work, and offered excellent advice. Another special thank you to Rafini, who took her editing and critiquing duties very seriously, and offered many helpful insights and discussions.

(PV)  One of your most admirable qualities is your willingness to share specific knowledge and life experiences with the community. What was the response and what are your plans on continuing such helpful activities?

(LM) I assume you are referring to my Good Writing Is… series, and yes, I plan to continue. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to study with some really great writing mentors over the years. I am an education junkie, love to learn and so I am still taking seminars as well as teaching them. With my ‘students’ (for want of a better term,) it is easier for me to say, ‘Go to hubpages and check out #5 or #7’, rather than rewrite the same points over and over.

I hope to eventually end up with an on-line primer for new writers. My next hub will be on pacing, as I have a couple of writers I’m working with who need help in that regard. That many readers find the series helpful – and say so – is a side effect of a completely self-serving goal, and a delightful one. There it is; my confession. Thanks to all who’ve made that series a success.

(PV) With incredible ease you can switch hats and go from powerful and sensitive creative writing style to a pedagogic and clear writing manner meant to teach others; just the same you can use sarcasm and humor in other hubs. Which writing style is most comfortable to you?    
(LM) When you’ve spent years writing such sparkling works as Financial Reporting – the Case for Consistency, and the XY Corporation Internal Auditors’ Handbook during the day, and editing such literary gems as Forbidden Desires, and Paula’s Pillow Talk under contract at night, while writing Dick and Alice’s Big Day Out (a short story about two dogs lost in the big city for a day – for Owl, a children’s magazine) on the weekend, and juggling all this with articles like Low self-esteem and promiscuity in the adolescent girl and Follow-up on five case studies – the reunification of the run-away and the family, acted as editor-in-chief to a couple of journals for charitable organizations and written short stories for women’s magazines, it’s safe to say not only do you acquire the ability to write in any voice, you also have to become very organized to keep your various personae straight. What writing style works best for me? Whichever one I need to use at the moment.

(PV) As busy as you are with your own writing you have always extended a hand to others and offered one on one tutoring and editing help. How did that enrich you as a writer and as a person?  
(LM) I’ve never been sure whether I’m a writer who loves to edit and teach, or an editor/teacher who loves to write. Either way, one supports the other. I learn more about writing from teaching, and become a better teacher by writing. There it is.
(PV) Anything else you would like to add?  

(LM) Hubpages has enriched my life more than I can express. I am grateful to those who’ve chosen to follow my work, and honored by the opportunity to share with so many, all around the world. Thank you for asking me to give this interview.

I wanted to share this interview with you, and I hope you enjoyed it.
My thanks to Petra, and the wonderful team over at hubpages. 

Sincerely Yours,