Monday, April 21, 2014

Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for Small Town Spin by LynDee Walker

Welcome to my stop on author LynDee Walker’s Virtual Book Tour for Small Town Spin, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.  Please leave a comment or question for Ms. Walker to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can also follow the rest of her tour here, the more stops you visit, the better your odds of winning.  My review will post by tomorrow.

When writing what you love is writing what you know
by LynDee Walker

Pick up any how-to book on writing, and you’ll likely come across some form of the adage, “write what you love, and if that fails, write what you know.”

For me, the perfect storm that led me to finish my first novel came when writing what I loved and what I knew became the same thing.
Like my heroine, Nichelle Clarke, I was once a reporter.

I loved my job with a passion second only to how much I love my husband. It was perfect for me: It was something different every day; it didn’t have much to do with math, because I’m not good at math (city budget season in September was always my least favorite time of year); but most of all, I got to write.

At the end of the day, when I’d finished my phone calls and come back in from my interviews, I got to sit down in front of the computer and let the newsroom chatter fade into the background and write a story. And I got paid for it. I was blessed to be that girl who grew up to do what she always dreamed of.

So, why am I not a reporter anymore?

Well, life happened. Literally, actually: I got pregnant with my oldest child and some quick math (I’m proficient enough to get that seventeen plus six plus two is already more than twenty-four) told me I was likely to have this baby and very rarely see her because of my crazy hours. And that wasn’t acceptable to me.

My boss didn’t think I could quit. He told me I loved it too much and I’d be back.

He was both right and wrong.

When I was 8 months pregnant, I covered the last trial of my reporting career. It was a capital murder case—the victim a 16 month old little girl. The prosecution had a rock solid case I’d watched them build for a year.

And sitting in that courtroom, looking at autopsy photos of that baby, I wanted to jump the rail (which I could not have even stepped over at 8 months pregnant, but you get the idea) and punch that guy out.

Since I’ve never actually punched anyone out in my life, I was pretty shocked at the severity of the emotional response. I’d completely lost my objectivity. I knew that day that I couldn’t go back.

So, I threw myself into being a stay at home mom. I love my babies.
Here’s what I learned pretty quickly: babies are a lot of work. A lot of repetitive, no-adult-interaction work that leaves a girl with chunks of time to let her mind wander.

I started (and abandoned) half a dozen stories in those years when I was learning to be a mom. I missed writing, and I loved getting back to it. But nothing stuck. I decided I’d spent too many years writing relatively short pieces of nonfiction. I didn’t know how to write a book, I told myself.

Again—right and wrong.

When my middle child was about a year old, I got an idea for a story about a reporter. I tried to blow it off, but it wouldn’t go away. I started writing.

I went a little nuts and wrote a very long, rambly rough draft of what would eventually become Front Page Fatality—in five weeks.

I felt like shouting “Eureka!” on more than one occasion. I’d figured it out: it wasn’t that I couldn’t write a book. It was that I needed something I knew and loved well enough to eel confident writing about it. That’s what made the words keep coming.

I started a sequel as soon as I finished it, because I was so in love with my characters and their stories. I found the thing that worked for me.

Now—once I went back to my rambly draft, I discovered how much I needed to learn about writing good fiction. So I did. I read and studied and asked questions. I found an online writer’s group where I made wonderful friends I have to this day. 

With three books and a novella out in the world and a fourth novel I’m putting the finishing touches on, I find I’m still learning. But it always comes back to what I love. My favorite parts of the story fly onto the page as fast as I can type.

I think like anything else, practice makes perfect, and writers get better the more they write. I work hard to make each book better than the last for my readers, and I love getting to meet and chat with y’all, and hearing which scenes or lines were your favorites.

In the big picture, writing isn’t what I do. It’s part of who I am. And the idea that Nichelle and her friends make you laugh, or keep you up late, or give you an escape for a few hours, means more to me than you can imagine. Thank you. I plan to keep writing stories for as long as y’all want to read them.

Small Town Spin
By Lyndee Walker
Paperback: 280 pages
Publisher: Henery Press; First edition (April 8, 2014)
ISBN-13: 978-1940976037

Buy Links:  Amazon   Barnes& Noble

About the book: 

When a superstar athlete’s son turns up dead in a tiny town on the Virginia coast, crime reporter Nichelle Clarke gets the inside scoop. But she quickly spies a gaping hole her inner Lois Lane cannot ignore.

Determined to unravel the mystery, Nichelle fights off paparazzi cameras and an unexpected rival. She uncovers an illegal moonshine operation, a string of copycat suicides, and a slew of closets stacked with more skeletons than slingbacks. Chasing a killer who’s a breath from getting away with murder, Nichelle realizes too late the culprit has her number—and it might be up.

About LynDee Walker

LynDee Walker’s award-winning journalistic work has appeared in newspapers and magazines across the nation. After nearly a decade covering crime, courts, and local politics, she left full-time reporting for motherhood with a side of freelancing and fiction writing. Small Town Spin is the third in her bestselling Headlines in High Heels Mystery series. The fourth arrives January 2015.

LynDee adores her family, her readers, and enchiladas. She often works out tricky plot points while walking off the enchiladas. She lives in Richmond, Virginia, where she is either playing with her children or working on her next novel (but probably not cleaning her house).

Author Links

Twitter @LynDeeWalker


  1. I love hearing about why authors decide to start writing. Always very interesting. Can't wait to read this book.

  2. Thanks, Angie! I hope you enjoy Nichelle's new adventure! :)