Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Welcome Lynn Crain

When Reality Takes Over Your Writing

Hi everyone!

First I really want to thank Michelle for allowing me to be on her blog. Not many people like to hear me yap…LOL!

I’m sure you’re wondering about my title. Well, my reality has taken over my writing…sort of. Yeah, I’m sure that makes a lot of sense but it is true in many ways.

I moved to Vienna, Austria with my dear husband of many years as he pursued his dream job in May 2011. It was only fair as he’d always let me pursue my writing and for the five years before we moved, had granted me the right to stay home to just write. By giving me such an amazing gift of time, I was able to write and sell over 14 different stories. It thrilled me to no end to be able to do nothing but write as it was my life-long dream come true. So when his opportunity came up, who was I to say no?

Yes, I’ll be the first to admit just how hard the move was on me. I hated it here and the people weren’t and still aren’t very friendly. I had left everything I’d known behind including my kids, grandkids and pets. I was alone and miserable for a while. Realizing I could be unhappy or I could work it to my advantage gave me a whole new perspective on where I lived. Eventually.

Writing about what you know is something we are all told as writers. I like what a NYT bestselling author told me once better: write what you could imagine. He was correct. I could imagine a wonderful Vienna, I could imagine things not being the way they were, I could imagine…well…I could imagine a lot. After all, I am a writer and imagination is my game.

After working it all out in my mind, I sat down one day and put down every imaginable story line I could come up with regarding Vienna. I now have an idea file of no less than 25 stories involving this European city. They run the gamut from romance to sci-fi to urban fantasy and they have fueled my imagination for months to come. My only hope is that all the research is done and on paper before I move from here in a couple of years.

The series of books I’m doing, A Taste of Vienna, all have to do with experiences, or perceived experiences, I’ve had here. The reason I say perceived is that there are a couple of ghost stories and possible time travel in the mix as well. Suffice it to say, I’ve told my husband more than once the flat we live in has a ghost. For some reason, he doesn’t really believe me.

The first book is a Christmas book and takes a look at what it’s like to be here during the holiday season. I worked in pertinent information about the area while keeping the romance fresh and inviting. While doing this book, I discovered that the holiday season is my favorite in Vienna. I love the snow, the Christkindlemarkts and everything about it.

The second book in the series, Night Train slated for release in October, is about my experience taking a night train to Rome over the week between Christmas and New Year. When I described that experience to a friend, I immediately came up with the tag line: A dog, a kid and a man she doesn’t know – how much more romantic can it be?

And it was true in oh so many ways when I compared it to what really happened. Our compartment on the train to Rome was supposed to be ours alone. We had myself, my husband, our youngest who was 19 at the time, our 5 month old puppy and we were all set to go. At our first stop, a man who we didn’t know popped in and said he’d purchased the last berth in our compartment. I was floored. How could it happen? Why did it happen? When we talked to the conductor, he apologized but told us the man stayed as he had purchased the ticket from a different group than the train company. Suddenly, our family vacation wasn’t just us any more but included someone we didn’t know.

While we had a wonderful time overall, the travel experience was new and different for us. I filed it all away and until I talked to my friend, the story hadn’t formulated in my mind. The fact was I could take my reality, twist it and come up with some wonderful story ideas.

More thinking lead to the realization that it was true: my reality had taken over my writing. But in a very good way. I was feeling before as if my story lines were stale, that writing had become a chore as I wrote the same things over and over. My moment of not seeing the forest for the trees was happening and I didn’t know how to overcome it.

The breath of fresh air I needed was to look at my reality, to see what I was actually experiencing and make it work for me and my writing. Can any writer ask for more? We can’t because we look for opportunity. And when it comes knocking as part of your own life, use it to your advantage because you may never get a better offer.

So, yeah, my reality has taken over my writing but in such a good way. I’m not going to complain, I’m just going to go with the flow as they say, and write some great fiction about my life in Europe. Hope your reality allows you to do the same.
Title: A Viennese Christmas
A Taste of Vienna Book 1  
Word Count: approximately 19K 
Theme: The heart knows the language of love. 
Long Logline: Amanda Kranz comes to Vienna, Austria for a job, only to find herself alone at Christmas when she meets sexy historian Henry Jager, who convinces her true love is real and within her grasp. 
Short Logline: Amanda Kranz, alone in Vienna, Austria at Christmas, meets sexy, historian Henry Jager, who convinces her true love is real and within her grasp. 
Blurb/Premise: Sign language interpreter, Amanda Kranz, wants to find her soul mate but fears her chance has past due to the death of her childhood sweetheart. Finding sexy historian Henry Jager during an outing in her new home of Vienna, Austria, may have been a stroke of luck. When his ex-fiancée shows up just as their relationship starts to sizzle, Amanda must decide if standing up for what she really wants will give her lifetime happiness. Or will she be destined to spend her life alone?
Her disappointment must have been plain on her face as she found herself suddenly gazing into the greenest eyes in a very handsome male face. A question in German followed as she tried to ascertain just what he said.
“I’m sorry,” she stated, her confusion obvious. “I’ve only picked up a word or two since I’ve been here. Do you speak English?”
“You’re American?” he questioned without the accent most Austrians possessed.
“Don’t make it sound like such a curse. There are a lot of us, you know.” Her indignation evident in her tone.
His rich laughter filled the space, warming her to her bones in ways she hadn’t expected. “Sorry. I guess one does pick up the attitudes of where they live.”
She looked at him puzzled. “That’s that supposed to mean?”
“Henry Jager, American, at your service ma’am.” His sweeping bow brought a smile to her lips.
“Amanda Kranz and I hardly think I qualify as a ma’am.” She stuck her hand toward him. His firm grasp sent an electric sensation as she felt the spark deep within her. She swore he felt it too as his eyes darkened.
“Do you prefer Amanda or Mandi? I know there’s not much of a choice with Henry.” His serious gaze spot of his interest.
Laughter bubbled up in her, the first such emotion in weeks. “Henry is a fine, strong name. And it doesn’t matter much with mine.” His hot look made her want to shiver in anticipation of what she could only speculate.
“Really? I would have thought your business associates would call you Amanda. Now your intimate contacts I expect call you Mandi.”
She gazed at him. Intimate contacts, now there was a misnomer. It had been years since she’d had any intimate contacts of the male persuasion. “Sounds good to me.”
“You gave in too easy.” He reluctantly let go of her hand as his look took on a more serious aspect. “Are you meeting someone?”
She shook her head. “No one to meet.”
“Good.” He grabbed her hand again, placing it in the crook of his arm. “Have you ever been to one of these before?” Henry expertly meandered around people, baby carriages and more as he led her to the next booth.
“Not really. I saw them last year but being so new to the city, I couldn’t bring myself to go to one alone.” She gazed at the Rathaus beyond them, remembering how intimidated she’d been by building even though it had a Christmas tree in front.
His eyes narrowed. “Sounds like you’re still a relative newcomer.”
“I suppose so. I got here in November of last year.”
“Ah – your impression?” His brows lifted when he drew back as if to study her face.
“Very commercialized. I expected something more – ” she struggled to find the right word. “– more homey, more authentic – more Austrian.”
Henry gazed around a moment before looking back at her. “I see your point. This is probably the one Christkindlemarkt that’s got the least to offer in specialized, authentic goods in my opinion except it does have a certain ambiance. And of course, there’s the skating rink as well as the park decorations.”
Her brow arched in amazement. She really hadn’t expected anyone to agree with her. All the women she knew gushed over every one of them. “You agree with me?”
His naughty smile was breathtaking. “Most definitely. This is the one where most of the tourists come. While there are some very Austrian things here hidden amongst the drivel, most are not unique or special in any way.”
“My thoughts exactly. Where exactly does one find more traditional items?” Astonishment spread through her. She had not once heard anyone say a negative comment about Vienna. All her colleagues gushed over the city but as far as she was concerned, it was just another place to live.
They stopped in front of a food booth, the aroma tantalizing. “Would you like something hot to drink?”
The brisk breeze nipped at her cheeks and she felt the cold through her coat. She definitely could use something to warm her up. “Sure.”
            NOTE: This is a SHORT STORY with adult situations.
            Sweet romance, Foreign Romance, Vienna Austria, Christmas, Holidays
ISBNs & Page Counts 4 Different Formats
            PDF PROMO – ISBN13:  978-1-62052-008-6; 92 pages; word count 19223
            PDF – ISBN13:978-1-62052-009-3; 92 pages; word count 19223 for ARe & the rest
            Smashwords – ISBN: 978-1-62052-0116; xx pages; 18774 word count
            All Others – ISBN: 978-1-62052-010-9; 60 pages; 19223 word count

iTunes ~ pending
Where Lynn Is: