Can you believe there are only a few days left in the month? It's been a whirlwind month for me as I worked on book deadlines. After finishing a huge project, I'm ready to read a new book, or two, or three. :)
Today I'd like to introduce you to another 'new to me' author. Welcome Lynne Tagawa. How did you develop a love of story?
Good question. I’ve never been the storyteller type. Give me facts instead. But a funny thing happened when searching for a decent textbook for our school’s Texas History class. They were all boring. Written by committee. But the actual accounts—the real people who made up that history—were fascinating. I wrote about them, in a narrative form. Eyewitnesses wrote down conversations and I just copy/ pasted them. What a hoot! Sam Houston’s Republic was born, and it was a great “story.” When you hear the saying, “stranger than fiction,” it’s true. I still gravitate toward history, and my current manuscript is historical fiction. But my new release is something else entirely. Making up a story out of my own head was a brand new exercise.
How fascinating! So when did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’m intimidated by people who say they’ve been writing since the 5th grade. I’m a late bloomer. But I’ve been a reader all my life—well, my mother claimed I read cereal boxes at the age of two. I’ve always loved books, and as I grew older I loved books with depth and good prose even before I could explain what that meant. I have hesitated to call myself a “writer,” because that means something special to me. It indicates a devotion to the craft. Everyone writes. But to compose great sentences and paragraphs—what a challenge!
You just didn't realize for a while that you wanted to write. :) Speaking of, what is your new book about?
My new book, A Twisted Strand, is the story of a divorced couple thrown together because of a genetically engineered virus. A biology teacher by training, I decided to use what I knew—and the area where I live (South Texas) as my setting. I also wanted to tackle the issue of how the Law of Moses relates to the gospel—it’s by no means a theological treatment, just folks talking around the kitchen table, but it’s part and parcel of the motivation for the book. A user-friendly way of introducing some basic scriptural truths to babes in Christ.
You have me intrigued. What do you want readers to come away with after reading your books?
When I wrote Sam Houston’s Republic, I was deliberate in creating a narrative that showcased important ideas, such as the rule of law. I also included the spiritual dimension—something secular texts tend to leave out. In my fiction, I am deliberate in showcasing some kind of spiritual truth as well. My hope is that readers will come away with something positive and helpful.
Those are some great takeaways. What are you working on now?
A Twisted Strand is contemporary, but my current work-in-progress, The Shenandoah Road, is historical. I’m very excited about it. My story is set during the time of the Great Awakening, the 1740s. My protagonists have to deal with a lot, including a bit of George Whitefield’s preaching. I delight in research, so that aspect is not a huge problem. It’s the “romance” that challenges me. My debut novel is about a divorced couple, and it’s not lovey-dovey. It’s more about forgiveness. But A Shenandoah Road is trickier. I want 9th graders to be able to read it, so I had to just skip over the wedding night. I want it to be genuine in every aspect: cultural, emotional, you name it. But again, the goal is to leave my reader with something more lasting than mere entertainment, and I hope I succeed!
That's great. How can readers stay in touch with you?
My website is www.lynnetagawa.com.
Thanks so much for being here today, Lynne. May God bless your writing.