Mike Lynch‘s first book, Dublin, came out in 2007, followed by When the Sky Fell, American Midnight, The Crystal Portal, and After the Cross. He has also published numerous short stories in various magazines. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two children.
He lists some of his attributes on his website: “Christian . . . Husband . . . Father . . . Writer . . . Amateur Historian . . . and Intergalactic Wise Guy!”
I think that about says it all! Enjoy learning about Mike’s writing process.
Do you tend to write nonfiction or fiction?
How long does it take you to finish a book?
About 1 year.
What’s your usual approach? Seat of your pants? Outline?
Both actually. I like to create a general outline for my stories, and rough sketches of the main characters. This gives me the structure I need to start the book, a skeleton as it were. I then start filling in the gaps as I go from chapter to chapter. I like having a foundation to work with, but at the same time, allow for the creative process as the story unfolds before my eyes.
How many rough drafts do you usually go through before you’re satisfied with the final version?
I always send a story I’m working on to a few people first before I send it to a publisher. We all have our blind spots, and need others to help us see them. What professional sports team doesn’t have a coach to help great players become really great players. Writers are no different. People know what works when it comes to storytelling, and what doesn’t. We sometimes get so lost in our stories and/or characters that we miss elements that just don’t work. With that said, it’s always best to choose people who know something about writing and the structure of stories. Also, don’t pick too many people. Like the saying goes, “Too many chefs spoil the soup.”
Sometimes writers get so close to a piece that they aren’t good at judging what needs to stay and what should be edited out. How do you get perspective when this happens?
That’s the benefit of sending the manuscript to others first. I refer to them as “a fresh pair of eyes.” More often than not, they see things I don’t—misspelled words, character inconsistencies, plot holes, parts of the story that drag. Their comments are usually quite helpful. I have found that the problems they point out really help me to shape the story in a much better way than I could do on my own. I owe my readers a lot.
What’s your latest project?
I’m doing something a little different this time around, a romance novel entitled, Love’s Second Chance. It’s a story about a woman who’s faced a tremendous loss in her life, and retreats to a quiet town in Connecticut. She believes she’ll never be able to love again, until a man she doesn’t think much of enters her life. That’s when things really get interesting. It’s a story about the power of love and how God can work in our lives in most unexpected ways.
Where can we catch up with you online?
Books by Mike Lynch: