Interview: Lynn H. Blackburn

When you walk into a bookstore, you make a beeline for what section? Christian fiction and Christian living, followed by Mystery/Thriller.

Favorite place to write: I have my own table at Panera. The lovely people at Panera don’t realize this, of course. 🙂 But that table has never let me down and when I’m stuck on a story or need to reach a serious word count, I will make the effort to get away to Panera. If a miracle occurs and I’m alone in my house, I love to write in our home library. But most often, I write in my home office.

Go-to writing snack or drink: Americano with cream or Iced coffee with cream – no sugar.

What does your writing nook look like? We turned a small attic storage area into an office a few years ago. It’s small but private, and I love it.

Something you must do or have to write: I have lots of preferences—time, quiet, instrumental music (especially film scores), no distractions—but the truth is that if I have to, I can write anywhere. Today I’m writing in microbursts while sitting in my living room listening to one child practice piano and helping another with a report on Diocletian. It isn’t ideal, but it gets the job done in a pinch.

Favorite (doesn’t that word just make you cringe?) writer resource: Scrivener. I write everything in Scrivener—manuscripts, blog posts, newsletter, this interview. Everything. I would be lost without it.

What book is currently on your nightstand? Redemption by David Baldacci and an early copy of Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard.

Hard copy, e-reader, audio book: All 3. Hard copy is my forever favorite. Kindle Paperwhite for travel and convenience, and audio book for daily commuting, chores around the house, and evenings with a crochet or knitting project.

What was the inspiration behind Unknown Threat? I’m never completely sure how I got an idea for a book because it’s always a combination of things I’m interested in and ideas that I want to explore. For Unknown Threat, I knew I wanted the agents to be in danger, and that I didn’t want them to know where the threat was coming from. I’m a very organic writer, so I started with that. Then I was along for the ride with the characters, discovering it as I went.

Favorite part of writing Unknown Threat: I’ve always been fascinated by the U.S. Secret Service and am lucky enough to have a friend who was in a position to answer my questions. The Secret Service is so much more than the guys running alongside the presidential limo. I wanted to explore what happens in a smaller office, away from hustle of Washington, D.C. and I’m excited to continue looking at that with the next books in the series.

Hardest part of writing Unknown Threat: Getting to know a new cast of characters. I had spent several years with my Dive Team Investigations series characters and it was challenging to get into the new characters’ heads and learn their quirks and personalities. Challenging, but worth it.

If Unknown Threat was turned into a movie, who would you cast as the leads? I picture FBI Special Agent Faith Malone as a young Angie Harmon and U.S. Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell as Theo James.

What is next? I’m currently writing the second book in the Defend and Protect series and a novella that is loosely connected to the series.

What else would you like readers to know?

I’m a homeschool mom so writing is far from being my full-time occupation. Sometimes I wish I could write faster and have books releasing more often, but I know this time with my kids is precious and will be over way too soon. I’m thankful that I can write now while they’re still at home and that they get to see me pursuing my passions and my dreams. I’m also thankful that this is something I’ll be able to do more of when they head out to follow their own dreams and aspirations.

About the Story:

US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He and his team are experts at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she’s assigned. She’s been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke’s life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s hard to know how to fight back when you don’t know who the enemy is.

Luke has teamed up with Faith before, but he’s not convinced she’s up for the job and she’s not convinced he’s telling her everything he knows. As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to learn to trust each other and work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.

Connect with Lynn through her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

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