Interview with Lynn Charles:
Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing Lynn Charles author of Black Dust.
Hi Lynn, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.
- I’m happy to be here! I’m an author, wife and mother living in Central Ohio. I’ve been writing—from lavish journal entries to fictional stories—most of my life. My first novel, Chef’s Table was published in December 2014 with Interlude Press. Black Dust is about a couple who, fifteen years after a tragic car accident tore them apart, are given a second chance to heal and to love.
1) Where do you find your inspiration?
- I have always been an obsessive people watcher. I don’t just see someone rushing down the street while they put on their coat and get tangled in their headphones; I wonder what made them late, where they are rushing to. Or, is rushing around just how they get from one place to the next every day? I also get inspired by other great writing, either in books, or seen in movies and television. So, the world around me spun with an imaginative twist. In Black Dust, the main idea came out of a similar tragedy in my family many years ago where we lost a young cousin in an auto accident. In missing her, I began to wonder what happened to the other two people that were in the car with her. What kind of a toll was survival?
2) When did you first consider yourself a writer?
- I can’t really pinpoint a dawning moment, but the obvious journey that led me to publication would rank pretty high. I’ve been writing in some form since childhood; I journaled almost daily from second grade well into young adulthood. I remember looking for creative writing classes in school—even so much as signing up for one against a guidance counselor’s advice to take “college prep” courses. Sadly, it was not creative writing as titled, but the journalism class that provided articles for the school paper. It wasn’t until my kids were older and I had time to allow stories to brew in my head that I began spinning tales and making the motions of “writer.”
3) Do your characters become like real people to you?
- It’s a creepy thing, isn’t it? So, yes. Definitely. And I’ll “see” them in my real life as well. “Toby” served my friend and I dinner at Craftbar in New York last May. A character in the book I’m currently writing showed up in a park this past weekend while taking a walk with my husband. When writing, I laugh at the dumb jokes my characters tell, I cry with them, wring my hands when one of them hurts the other. My moods have been known to be swayed based on the tribulations my characters are currently going through.
4) If you weren’t a writer, what else would you like to have done?
- My bachelor’s degree is in vocal music education. Had I timed things differently in my young adulthood, I probably would still be in that field. I would have given it more of a chance. But if I pull away from what I did do and consider what interests me now, I could see going back to school to study linguistics or some sort of social science. I enjoyed my time at my county library—maybe I’d go back and study library science.
5) What do you want your tombstone to say?
- In short, nothing. I don’t desire to be buried or interred. But, to play along with the question, it would be, “My cookies were ALWAYS better,” as an eternal jab to my husband and a nearly fatal comment he made while we were engaged. He had yet to learn that loyalty to one’s mother has its limits, especially when comparing her always-burnt chocolate chip offerings to his fiancée’s virtually perfect masterpieces. We’ve made sure our son learned it well before he steps in it one day with his own future mate. Love thy mother; worship thy spouse.
Thanks again & Congrats on your new release!
Book Name: Black Dust
Release Date: April 7, 2016
Fifteen years after a tragic car crash claimed a friend’s life and permanently injures his then-boyfriend, Broadway musician Tobias Spence reconnects with his former love. As Emmett and Tobias explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?
Pages or Words: 312 pages
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Romance
“I can’t, Emmett. I—can’t go back.”
“Then we are clearly not ready for any sort of commitment.”
“Wait. You won’t agree to—to us—unless I come to Indiana?”
“I won’t,” Emmett said. “It’s all feeling a little one-sided to me, and I’m not okay with that.”
“You don’t understand.”
“I do understand, Toby. I was there for everything that makes you afraid of that place.”
“Yes. You were,” Toby said, taking Emmett’s hand in his. “But my concerns about going back have nothing to do with you.”
“Maybe they should have something to do with me.”
“That’s—” Toby pulled his hand away. “That’s not fair.”
“It really is,” Emmett said. He reached across the table for Toby’s hand again. “Please?” Toby took his hand and Emmett squeezed, holding on as if he might never let go. “We experienced a great tragedy together. And while Scotty’s parents lost their son, no one felt the things we felt. No one else woke up screaming and sweating when we heard the sounds of the crash in our sleep.”
“No one else knew the fear of maybe never walking again. No one else lost weight and a semester of school because he might get thrown in jail. No one else felt the things we felt together. That’s all ours. As much as you want to, you cannot take me out of the equation.”
“But, that’s just it, Em. I don’t want to feel those things again. I cannot walk back into that—that darkness.”
Emmett pulled their joined hands to his lips and kissed Toby’s knuckles. “You already have. You have been so enamored–you’ve practically spent this entire week making love to my scars. You’re there. And it’s not so dark anymore.”
“No, because you’re whole again. You’re not broken anymore.”
Emmett saw it, then. He saw in the way Toby had almost obsessed over the ridiculous tattoo and Emmett’s scars, as if begging for them to also bring him the powers that Derek had wished upon Emmett’s body those years ago. He saw it in Toby’s insistence that they start all over as if the accident never happened, as if the years of silence weren’t strung between them like a rope and plank bridge connecting two separate lands.
So he said it. To give it power. To make it a truth they shared—like their shared tragedy. “And you still are. Broken.”
Toby nodded, grasping at Emmett’s fingers like a lifeline. “I’m so—” He took a deep, shuddering breath. “I’m so exhausted making sure no one knows.”
“Oh, Toby.” All the more reason “trying again” was a bad idea. Unready to let go, Emmett kissed Toby’s fingers again. “Then come to my home,” Emmett offered, trite as it sounded in his own ears. “I’ve remodeled the master and made a party room in my basement for the kids.”
“You’ve never told me—”
“It’s beautiful, really. It’s on a couple of acres, and the back of the property is lined with a stream you can hear from the kitchen when the windows are open. It’s very peaceful. It sounds like you need some peace.”
“You deserve a beautiful life.”
“So let me share it with you. At least think about it?”
Toby nodded and began to clean up. “Will you still come see me in San Francisco after school’s out?”
“I don’t know. I’d really like an answer before I agree to see you again.”
“Okay. I’m sorry it’s not as easy as it should be.”
“I am too, Toby. Being with you was always so easy.”
Buy the book:
Interlude Press web store: store.interludepress.com
Apple iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/black-dust/id1059517904?mt=11
Meet the author:
Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she’s not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef’s Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.
Where to find the author:
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27830185-black-dust
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Cover Art and Design by C.B. Messer
Tour Dates & Stops: