Today I have the pleasure of sharing an interview I conducted with Lynne Tagawa. But before that, I have to share her gorgeous book cover! You can purchase your copy here: The Shenandoah Road
Now for the interview. Thank you for joining us, Lynne!
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Simple. Read!!! I also teach homeschool co-op classes and tutor individual students.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer? Was there a defining moment?
After I wrote a Texas history curriculum for a small Christian school. You see, I wrote Sam Houston’s Republic in narrative form, trying to make it as interesting as possible. It’s only a small jump from narrative nonfiction to fiction. But this was late in life, and I sometimes feel intimidated by those who have been writing since they were eleven.
What is your writing style? Are you a planner or a pantser?
More a pantser, I think, although I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have some kind of plot sketch, even if it’s only mental. I got into trouble with my debut novel, A Twisted Strand, because I didn’t have anything written down at first. Like most people, I’m positively allergic to Roman numerals and endless subheads like they teach you in school. But I do have a list of critical scenes and plot points. Kind of like using a map. Get on the interstate, go east fifty miles, stop at this certain town. You have to have a general idea of where you are going.
What is your favorite part of the writing process?
I love research, but really, it’s the writing itself that is addictive. You get into your protagonist’s head and experience his world. If I can somehow get that onto the page in words and phrases and sentences my reader will comprehend, then he or she will experience that too. How amazing!
Do you have a favorite character, either from your own work or from someone else?
Hard to pick just one! From To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch. Because the protagonist takes her father for granted in a normal, childlike sense, we almost miss the heroism and Christ-like character of this man. From my own writing, I’m in love with the hero of The Shenandoah Road, John Russell. He’s got his faults and struggles, but I’ve given him the best qualities of the ethnic / religious group he is a part of: the Scots-Irish Presbyterian immigrants who settled the backcountry in the 18th century.
If you could travel anywhere in the world to research a location for a book, where would you go?
Easy-peasy. Virginia. What a treasure of stuff! Colonial Williamsburg, Monticello, the Shenandoah Valley, and Mount Vernon, all close together by Texas standards.
Lynne, I love your answers. And the fact that you’ve named one of your heroes John Russell. I don’t have a John Russell in my family, but my cousin is named Josh Russell and he’s a redhead. I love when coincidences like that show up in books!
About the author:
Lynne B. Tagawa is married and the mother of four sons. She attended the University of Hawaii where she met her husband and obtained a degree in secondary education. The Tagawas live in Texas where she teaches part-time.
She writes fiction, educational materials, and Christian devotionals; she is especially inspired by the lives of great men and women of faith.