Monday, January 9, 2017

Lynne Branard Author Interview


Book Nerd Interview

Lynne Branard Pseudonym for Lynne Hinton

Lynne Hinton was born and raised in North Carolina. She attended Wake Forest University and is a graduate of UNC-Greensboro. She also attended NC School of the Arts, School of Filmmaking and graduated with her Masters of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California. She is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and has served as a hospice chaplain and as a senior pastor in Guilford County and Asheboro, North Carolina and in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and as the interim pastor in northeastern Washington.

Lynne is the author of nineteen books, including the NY Times Bestseller, Friendship Cake and Pie Town, the 2011 NM Book of the Year: Fiction/Adventure, Drama Category and 2011 National Federation of Press Women's Fiction Book of the Year. Her 2014 book, written under the name Lynne Branard, The Art of Arranging Flowers, was also the winner of the NM-Arizona Book Awards Fiction/Adventure Category. In addition, she has penned a mystery series under the name, Jackie Lynn and has one nonfiction collection of essays. She is a regular guest columnist in the Faith and Values Section for The Charlotte Observer and was the 2008 Lucy B. Patterson Author of the Year by the General Federation of Women’s Clubs in NC. In 2010, she was the recipient of a Louisville Institute Pastoral Study Grant and was named 2012 Favorite Local Writer in Albuquerque, New Mexico by Albuquerque, The Magazine.

She has been endorsed by authors Sue Monk Kidd, Rita Mae Brown, Silas House, Malachy McCourt, Jacquelyn Mitchard, and her favorite, Dr. Maya Angelou, who wrote about the novel, Friendship Cake, "I would welcome a friendship with Lynne Hinton. I would welcome an invitation to sit down at her table, but mostly I would welcome her next book."

Her work has been compared to great writers like Eudora Welty, Rebecca Wells, and Jan Karon. And the journal Publishers Weekly has written, "Hinton has a knack in her novels for tapping into a woman’s longings for lifelong, authentic, messy friendships."

For a look at Lynne's 2015 interview on UNC TV, click here.

Lynne and her husband Bob Branard live in Guilford County, North Carolina where Lynne serves as Co-Pastor of Mount Hope UCC with Rev Kristin Gerner Vaughn.

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You were born and raised in North Carolina, was there a defining moment during your youth when you realized you wanted to be a writer?

At an early age, 12 or 13, I remember getting my dad to sit down and listen to a short story I had written for Christmas. When I finished reading I looked up and saw him crying and I thought, wow! This is real power. I wrote something that moved my father to tears. I wanted to write from that moment on.

What’s one thing that readers would be surprised to find out about you?

I went to seminary in Berkeley, California.

What was the greatest thing you learned at school?

Long story but in sixth grade I learned how you treat others means more than how well you do on a test.

What are some of the common challenges that new and experienced authors face and what advice do you have for over-coming them?

Ah, the disappointments. You work on a story, pour everything you have into it and then face rejection from editors or agents. It never gets easy and the advice I have is to remember the words of Sam Beckett, “One does not write to be published, one writes to breathe.”

For those who are unfamiliar with your novel; Traveling Light, how would you introduce it?

Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man’s ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn’t exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doing. But it’s exactly what she needs…

It all starts when Alissa impulsively puts a bid on an abandoned storage unit, only to become the proud new owner of Roger Hart’s remains. Two weeks later, she jumps in her car and heads west, thinking that returning the ashes of a dead man might be the first step on her way to a new life.

She isn’t wrong.

Especially when Blossom, who just graduated from high school, hitches a ride with her to Texas, and Alissa has to get used to letting someone else take the wheel. Posting about their road trip on Facebook, complete with photos of Roger at every stop, Blossom opens Alissa’s eyes to the road in front of her—and to how sometimes the best things in life are the ones you never see coming…

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating Alissa?

How sheltered she really was with regards to emotions and opening her heart.

If you could introduce Blossom to any character from another book, who would it be and why?

I would introduce Blossom to the astronaut in my last book, The Art of Arranging Flowers. They would totally get each other.

What are some of your current and future projects that you can share with us?

Working as a pastor means you write a lot of sermons and worship liturgies and newsletter articles. I also write a monthly column for the Charlotte Observer; so in my spare time….I am working on another novel. The main character keeps bees.

If I came to your house and looked in your closet/attic/basement, what’s the one thing that would surprise me the most?

How many great clothes I bought from Goodwill.

Where is the best place in the world you’ve been?

I loved the Canadian Rockies for the stark beauty, everywhere in New Mexico for the long skies, my grandmother’s kitchen for real warmth, the pastor’s office with my colleague for spiritual friendship, sitting real close to my husband for love.

What book are you reading now?

The Dream Lover, Elizabeth Berg and Open Mind, Open Heart, Thomas Keating

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had?

Traveling Music and Drama team member for churches in Fayetteville, NC

What scares you the most and why?

I work on keeping fear out of my life but truthfully, I’m afraid of many things. Cruelty frightens me, self-righteousness feels awfully dangerous.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a heart break or have never loved before?

Oh, surely the heart break.

If you had to go back in time and change one thing, if you HAD to, even if you had “no regrets” what would it be?

I would have gone to the prom with Phil Wren.

What decade during the last century would you have chosen to be a teenager?

60’s but only if I could have been in Northern California



From the New York Times bestselling author and masterful storyteller behind The Art of Arranging Flowers comes a new novel about the search for what really matters in life...

Driving from North Carolina to New Mexico with her three-legged dog, a strange man's ashes, and a waitress named Blossom riding shotgun isn't exactly what Alissa Wells ever wanted to be doing. But it's exactly what she needs...

It all starts when Alissa impulsively puts a bid on an abandoned storage unit, only to become the proud new owner of Roger Hart's remains. Two weeks later, she jumps in her car and heads west, thinking that returning the ashes of a dead man might be the first step on her way to a new life.

She isn't wrong.

Especially when Blossom, who just graduated from high school, hitches a ride with her to Texas, and Alissa has to get used to letting someone else take the wheel. Posting about their road trip on Facebook, complete with photos of Roger at every stop, Blossom opens Alissa's eyes to the road in front of her and to how sometimes the best things in life are the ones you never see coming.

Praise for The Art of Arranging Flowers

“There is art and beauty in this story that will linger after the final scene.”—Debbie Macomber, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“An expertly penned and tender tale.”—Richard Paul Evans, #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“Branard’s writing is a joy to read.”—Karen White, New York Times bestselling author

A beautiful novel filled with tender wisdom and unforgettable characters.”—Luanne Rice, New York Times bestselling author

You can purchase Traveling Light at the following Retailers:
       
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