Author Name: M. Lynne Squires
Twitter Handle: @mlynnesquires
Title of Novel: Letters to My Son – Reflections of Urban Appalachia at Mid-Century
Q1. How long have you been writing? And what was the first thing you can remember writing?
I’ve been writing on and off all my life. In other words, a loooong time! My desire to be a writer was awakened in high school by a teacher I had for honours English. My first recollection of writing was playing school by my only-child self and assigning myself a term paper to write.
Q2. Did you always want to be a writer?
I actually wanted to be an English teacher, until it occurred to me that I could write for a living. Several jobs I had involved technical writing. Policy and procedures, employee handbooks, white papers and the like. Satisfying on some level, but not the same as your own words written for yourself.
Q3. How did you feel when you were writing this book?
Writing Letters to My Son was enjoyable. I wanted to write something that brought into the open the Appalachia I knew growing up. The Appalachia rarely recognized by those outside its borders. The Appalachia that didn’t include butchering hogs, trudging to school in snow drifts for miles, gathering eggs, wearing hand-me-downs, or using an outhouse. It felt good to expose the side of this region that was shadowed for so long by the rural life that for so long represented Appalachia in the media and the thus the minds of the world. My son is in college, and I wanted to connect him to his true roots.
Q4. How long did it take to write?
It took about two years, although the first eighteen months I also worked full-time non-writing job. After turning my full time attention to writing I finished it quickly. It isn’t a long book, just around 32,000 words. I also have a few other writing projects that I worked on at the same time.
Q5. Do you have a special place where you go to write?
My oak desk in the office of my home. A window looks out over the back deck and the bird feeders. Occasionally, I write on the deck in the cool of the mornings. i write better in the morning, and the deck is peaceful and quiet, other than the chatter of the birds and squirrels. If I’m not at home, I enjoy writing in busy areas; book stores, coffee shops, a mall. I find the hustle and bustle wonderful white noise. Lends that bohemian feel to being out writing among the masses. The world swirls around me as I sit in my own solitude.
Q6. When you begin writing, did you ever think you’d get to where you are now?
Yes, I knew I would eventually publish. I always felt I wasn’t meant to publish at a younger age, as time imparts many lessons that enhance writing. This is just the beginning for me. I have many stories to write, tales to tell and even some poems that will eventually find their way into a volume of their own. Until then, I savour seeing a single volume with my name across the bottom.
Thanks Lynne! I loved hearing about your new book and your writers’ journey. I wish you the best of luck for your writing future.