L.B. Griffin is surrounded by her family in Wiltshire. Before retiring she always wrote around her full-time paid job. Her stories touch upon social issues and are filled with gentle hints of romance. Her women don’t see themselves as courageous, strong, or survivors, but they certainly are.
Her debut, Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox has received 5 star reviews, amongst them Whispering stories and VINE reader/blogger Michelle Ryles, singing high praise: ‘Incredibly well-written, Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox is a magnificent debut. It’s a poignant, disturbing and a heart-warming page-turner that has left me chomping at the bit to continue Harriet’s story.’
The sequel, The Twenty-One-Year Contract, is available for pre-order.
Avis: Welcome, Lynn! It’s so good to meet you, and I know your fans are going to love your book, Secrets, Shame, and a Shoebox! Let’s get started with our first question! Did you have to cut any favorite scenes?
Lynn: Yes. The story started out at 180.000 words. Obviously, I was told it was too long. I worked hard and pared it down to 130.000. Then found it was still too long. It was suggested in the end, that it naturally fell into two books. I learned a lot from that. Cutting out your ‘darlings’ hurts but can be empowering.
Avis: Wow! 180,000 words is a bit long! LOL! I love the “cutting out the darlings” part! If you can do that, you are ready to get to the real story, which you do in your book. It’s hard to let them go, though. Next question: Do you Google yourself?
Lynn: When Google first emerged, (yes, I’m that old!) someone said they found me, and my picture with some blurb on this worldwide net thingy. I never provided either. It turned out to be an advertising campaign for the FE college I taught at. They had mentioned it, asked my permission, but I hadn’t a clue what they were talking about. Of course, I just had to look. Amazing. The only other time was when my husband searched the net when my book was about to be released – he couldn’t wait to show me. It all still feels very surreal.
Avis: For those of you who aren’t familiar with FE college, in the UK, where Lynn lives and writes, FE means Further Education. It’s a strange thing to see yourself online, but it’s a food think that people can google your name and find out more about you, so Kudos! Our next question: Does your family support your career as a writer?
Lynn: My whole family have been absolutely amazing. The trouble is when I read this now, I feel so very needy. But I am so very grateful for all their help. My IT skills are next to zero, but my family have been with me from the very start of this very exciting journey. My daughter, Kelly has started her own gifting business, I Love Surprises, and balances that with her one year and 12 year old, yet she still finds time to help me with the IT side of things! With what seems to be just clicking a few buttons, she has made me short clip videos for promotional purposes, and they are brilliant. She also said she would be happy to do the same for others if they were interested. I am so lucky.
My son Sam is just the same. He has stepped in and helped me out with blogging – which was one of the conditions of the contract with The Wild Rose Press. Sam, like so many parents he is busy with his work life at ElevateOM along with managing a growing family, but he is always there to lend a hand. Even when I don’t ask!
My husband, well what can I say. I am blessed and I know it. He is so encouraging and supportive, and steps in when I get frustrated with the computer. At times I just want to chuck it out the window, but when he comes along, I know I can breathe again.
Avis: Your family sounds amazing, and to get that kind of support without even asking is a blessing! Thanks for the info on your daughter Kelly, and her offer to create video clips! Here is the next question: Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Lynn: Yes. I doubt that anyone will find them unless they know the real me. So yes, I’ve hidden a gem or two, really just for me to know, and others to discover if they care to.
Avis: I have a friend who does this. He calls them Easter Eggs! Sometimes I can find them, but sometimes not. It’s a fun thing to build suspense and fun for fans of your work! Last question: If you didn’t write, what would you do for work? / What real life experience made it into your novel?
Lynn: I’ve always written around the paid day job. We had a growing family and bills to pay. Plus, in later life I never considered giving up paid work to write, simply because I never felt my work was good enough and we still had the bills to pay.
Before I retired, I would get up at silly o’clock in the morning, write as much as I could, then fly out the door, toothbrush in hand and sometimes forgetting I still had my slippers on! At night, after the kids went to bed, and, if there was an ounce of creativity or energy left, I might do a little more.
When I was given an opportunity to lecture SLDd (Specific Learning Difficulties/disabilities in FE (Further Education), it was a joy. Whilst I taught those wonderful, beautiful students, they taught me so much more about life that I never truly knew existed. Similarly, when I moved into Adult social care/occupational therapy, the people I met were amazing. Its fact, each and every person has a story to tell. Paid work opened my eyes and my heart to so much more. What I’ve learned from them is woven into the very fabric of my stories. They never saw themselves as courageous or survivors, but my goodness they so are.
Avis: Our lives inform our writing in so many ways, and it can’t help but show up in our writing! Your explanations, especially wearing your slippers out the door, speak to a devotion to writing that is heartwarming and shows true devotion to the craft. I get a sense of that in your pages, in how you develop your characters, and in how you create the world of your characters. Really well done!
Lynn Griffin, thank you so much for being a guest on Your Next Favorite Author! I look forward to your next book The Twenty-One-Year Contract and your next interview with us.
Here are Lynn Griffin’s links to social media and to buy her book!
US on amazon
and the UK
The Twenty-One-Year Contract to be released late spring of 2022.
L.B. Griffin’s historical, mystery romance Secret’s, Shame, and a Shoebox takes us to the 1950’s and one woman’s journey from grief, to coming of age, to battered wife, to strong independent woman. We follow Harriet Law’s and her beloved grandmother in a “two-up-two-down” in the seedier part of London. But Harriet and her Nana don’t mind. The people all have warm hearts and generous natures, and both are surrounded by friends who love and care about them.
When Harriet meets Tom and he shares his dream of expanding the bakery with his tasty confectionary inventions with her, they are both smitten with the idea and each other, but Tom says that because of their age difference they can only be friends. Harriet wishes for more but understands and grants his wish.
Their work at Daisy’s bakery keeps them close, and their friendship blossoms. When Tom invites her out to the opera, she hopes he is going to break his oath of friendship and offer her more, their evening is interrupted by CJ Rutherford, a man she met at her second job as a waitress at Luigi’s Italian restaurant, steps in to derail Tom’s plans for romance, and sets in motion a series of events that will change Harriet’s life, but not for the better.
Things with CJ are good at first, but things soon change, and before Harriet realizes what’s happening, she’s finds herself in an abusive relationship with a criminal who eventually steals the one thing she has left of her Grandmother, a priceless oil painting. After months of abuse, losing her mind and her health, Harriet devises a plan to escape, but before she does, she finds and takes incriminating evidence the CJ had been using to blackmail wealthy acquaintances.
Harriet moves to a safe house program with other battered and abused women, and she begins to heal. On a walk to the park, an old acquaintance calls her name, and Harriet, terrified, tries to run. The woman is CJ’s mistress, and when CJ emerges from the shadows, Harriet is terrified.
Sound like a lot? It is! This complex and intricately developed tale follows Harriet as she overcomes hardship at every turn and emerges stronger than ever. When she reunites with her friends, they learn that CJ never mailed her letters to them, and they rally around her, even Tom, whom she fears will never forgive her.
Griffin develops Harriet, a hero we can love and care about, someone we all root for. We laugh, we cry, and we cringe, as Harriet maneuvers her way through the pitfalls of abuse, and the dark climb from depression and fear. This book will have you biting your nails but will not disappoint. A must read for historical, mystery romances, and readers of women’s fictions. I highly recommend this fabulous novel and give it five stars!