|Home | Newsletters | Interviews | Links | Site Map|
Lynn Erickson, our alter ego, was conceived and born twenty- some years and forty-some books ago. Lynn Erickson sprang from us, her birth mothers, fully-grown, fully dressed, doubly opinionated and stuffed with stories. In the late 60s, both newly returned from bumming around the world, we met in Aspen, Colorado, in the Red Onion, an Old West saloon. We were both new brides, wet behind the ears. It was several years later that we dreamed up Lynn Erickson, the pseudonym a combination of our husbands' names. We had read every romance put out in the early 70s and started saying, " We can do better than this." Well, of course, we couldn't, but what the heck? We wrote two fat novels before we chanced onto an agent and made a sale. His first words to us: "The manuscript is flawed, but?"
Our first books were historical romances, full of blood and guts and murder, then we turned to contemporary women's suspense. We've set almost all of our books in Colorado, especially in Aspen, a town where the truth is usually stranger than fiction. Aspen is a character in our books, not just a setting. And we love to drop inside jokes about the quirks and fancies of our hometown.
The scenery truly is glorious, the mountains magnificent, the skiing and hiking and fishing and horseback riding legendary. We cover the arts, too?the world-renowned music festival, the shops full of museum-quality paintings and sculptures. Southwestern art is big, of course: paintings and pottery and Navajo rugs.
We've done several stories about the Anasazi Indians because the subject fascinates us. We've written about the death penalty in Colorado, vigilante justice at the Food and Wine Festival in Aspen, an illegal adoption ring in Tucson, Arizona, a stalker with multiple personality disorder in Denver, a kidnapped child in Monument Valley, gold mining in Cripple Creek, Moki poachers in Utah's Canyonlands National Park. You name it?if there's a story of adventure or intrigue, we've made it into a book.
Our research has found us taking notes deep in a played out gold mine, sneaking into the DA's office in Boulder, cornering Cripple Creek's handsome sheriff, interviewing the public defender in Denver. People love to talk when you tell them you're researching a novel.
Join Leena Hyat as she talked with Molly Swanton and Carla Peltonen creators of LYNN ERICKSON.
ON THE EDGE
Writerspace: Molly and Carla, thank you so much for this opportunity to interview you. What I'd really like to know first and foremost is how and why did you both decide to work together as a team?
Lynn Erickson: We didn't really make a conscious decision to become a writing team. We read so many romances in the seventies that we started saying, "We can do better than that." We couldn't, and as they say, "Ignorance is bliss," but we did sell our first two books relatively quickly. We had so much fun writing them, we kept on. That was forty-seven books and twenty-some years ago.
Writerspace: What sort of process do you follow when writing? Do each of you take turns to do the plotting, characterization, outlining, writing, etc.? How does a duo work together at creating such unforgettable characters and beautiful stories?
Lynn Erickson: We have a very structured method of writing. Carla comes up with the "hook" and does the research. Molly does the detailed proposal, which is written and rewritten. Then we both alternate writing the chapters. We rewrite each other's work over and over and the last step is reading the chapters out loud to each other.
Writerspace: How long does it take you both, on average, to plot, research, and write a novel?
Lynn Erickson: We can write about two books a year.
Writerspace: Please tell us about your new release, ON THE EDGE.
Lynn Erickson: Both of us are fascinated by mountain climbers even though we both have a morbid fear of heights. We've seen every movie and read every book about mountain climbers, and we've known quite a few of them from years of living in Aspen. As the dedication of our book states, many of them are now deceased in the pursuit of their passion. So this book is about climbers, and it's also about human flaws and hubris and why some men go too far in their pursuit of a challenge. And, of course, there's a mystery, plenty of suspense and a steamy romance.
Writerspace: Erik Amundsson's character is intense and certainly grabbed me from the beginning. Is there a particular person or perhaps an incident that inspired Erik's character and his role in the story? Or did he emerge exclusively from the realms of your imagination?
Lynn Erickson: Erik Amundsson is the distillation of every handsome Nordic hero we've ever read about or heard of. A true Viking.
Writerspace: Do you both like to climb? If so, do you visit Aspen when the mood strikes or have you also traveled overseas to indulge in this sport?
Lynn Erickson: We are both chickens when it comes to climbing. But we both live in the heart of Aspen, so the research was a snap.
Writerspace: Could you please describe a typical working day in your glamorous Author lifestyle?
Lynn Erickson: A typical working day consists of us on the phone or e-mailing each other a lot, writing, getting our daily workouts and errands done. Real ordinary stuff most of the time. Molly loves to golf and spends the winter in Myrtle Beach. Carla skis her hometown mountains in the winter and rides her horses in the summer. We both have grown children, Carla -- a son in New York and a daughter in San Diego. Molly has a daughter in Australia and a stepson in California.
Writerspace: What advice would you share with aspiring writers who are interested in being published in the romantic suspense sub-genre?
Lynn Erickson: Read read read in the genre is the best advice we can give.
Writerspace: What can fans expect from Lynn Erickson in the next couple of years?
Lynn Erickson: The next book we have coming out is FALLEN ANGEL in March 2003, the story of a woman whose daughter is kidnapped. To save her, our heroine has to face and overcome her greatest fear. It is set in Aspen, with lots of local color. After that is THE GIFT scheduled for December 2003. THE GIFT is working title, about a woman whose uncanny talent lies in getting from reluctant witnesses the faces of criminals and drawing their portraits. In our story, she and an FBI agent must find a child molester before he kills his innocent young victim.
Writerspace: Do you have an autograph tour or any local booksignings coming up in the near future? If so, may we please have an itinerary or perhaps the url where we can view this information?
Lynn Erickson: We'll be at the RWA convention in Denver July 17-19. Our web site address is lynnerickson.com.
Writerspace: Thank you for taking the time to talk with us today! We've enjoyed learning more about you and look forward to more wonderful novels from you in the future!
Lynn Erickson: Thank you for giving us this opportunity to communicate with our readers, and we hope you enjoy our books in the future.
Author Sites: Catherine Anderson | Robyn Carr |  Christina Dodd | Sabrina Jeffries |  Brenda Joyce |  Jayne Ann Krentz/Amanda Quick/Jayne Castle | Elizabeth Lowell | Linda Lael Miller |  Diana Palmer |  Susan Elizabeth Phillips |  After Midnight Authors |  Victoria Alexander |  Leanne Banks |  Anya Bast |  Berkley~Jove Authors |  Berkley Prime Crime/Signet Mysteries |  Shayla Black |  Kim Boykin |  Barbara Bretton |  Stella Cameron |  Eden Carson |  M. Scott Carter |  Jaycie Cash |  Janet Chapman |  Debra Clopton |  Kat Covelle |  Justine Davis/Justine Dare |  Sylvia Day |  S. J. Day |  Thea Devine |  Louisa Edwards |  J. T. Ellison |  Shoshanna Evers |  Donna Every |  Marie Ferrarella |  Dara Girard |  The Goddess Blogs |  Paula Graves |  Laura Griffin |  Shirley Hailstock |  Traci Hall |  Barbara Hay |  Sandra Hill |  Madeline Hunter |  Julie James |  Lisa Renee Jones |  Nicole Jordan |  River Jordan |  Karen Kendall |  Mike J. Krentz | Ann Lawrence | Cheyenne McCray/Jaymie Holland | Linda McDonald | Marliss Melton |  Lucy Monroe |  NAL/Signet Authors |  Molly O'Keefe |  Carly Phillips |  Candice Poarch |  Jennifer Probst |  Erin Quinn |  Francis Ray |  Deanna Raybourn |  Karen Robards |  Eden Robins |  Joanne Rock |  Karen Rose |  Sheldon Russell |  Robin Schone |  Jessica Scott |  Susan Sizemore |  Bertrice Small |  Annie Solomon |  Susan Squires |  Roxanne St. Claire |  Wendy Corsi Staub |  Mariah Stewart |  RaeAnne Thayne |  Shiloh Walker |  Wendy Wax |  Susan Wiggs |  Sherryl Woods |  Rebecca Zanetti |