Featured Interview With Lynda McDaniel
Tell us a little about yourself. Where were you raised? Where do you live now?
I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, but I’ve lived all over this country—from the Midwest to the Deep South to Appalachia to the Mid-Atlantic to the Pacific Northwest. Whew! I finally settled in Santa Rosa, California, a place that reflects the values I learned while living in the mountains of North Carolina during my 20s. That’s where I’ve set my Appalachian Mountain Mysteries as a way of paying homage to the people who taught me so much. And to share the amazing stories that happened to me there. I’m a dog lover, and I currently have the most amazing dog–Mollie. She inspired two of the dogs in my latest book.
At what age did you realize your fascination with books? When did you start writing?
I distinctly remember being in the second grade and reading “Winnie the Pooh,” a gift from my aunt and uncle. When I neared the end, I stopped reading because I loved it so much, I didn’t want to finish. I believe I was 18 or 19 before I actually read the ending! I enjoyed writing in school, but I didn’t do much beyond assignments. Interestingly, it was when I moved to a town of 200 in the mountains of N.C. that I began my 35+ year writing career. The first time I saw my byline in the “Asheville Citizen-Times” I was hooked. I’ve since gone on to write 1,200 articles for major magazines and 18 books. Like I said, I was hooked!
Who are your favorite authors to read? What is your favorite genre to read. Who Inspires you in your writings?
I’m a mystery buff, so I mostly read that genre. As for authors who inspire me, Adrian McKinty ranks high. I love his humor and character backstories that add so much to the mysteries. I’m also a big fan of P.D. James, David Baldacci, Jonathan Kellerman, and Michael Connelly. Especially Michael Connelly. Ray McKinnon–a screenplay writer, most famous for the television series “Rectify”–also inspires me. He writes engrossing stories and heartfelt scenes without a hint of sentimentality.
Tell us a little about your latest book?
“Welcome the Little Children” is the third book in my Appalachian Mountain Mysteries. This book continues the saga of Abit Bradshaw and Della Kincaid and involves a missing mother, neglected children, and lost love. Abit and Della have their work cut out for them as they get entangled in the investigation of the missing mother, searching for answers from the mountains of N.C. to the streets of D.C. Along the way, they come face-to-face with the lies and secrets plaguing their own families. I was inspired by my life in the mountains of N.C., my Irish heritage, and bluegrass music. Oh, and the eight years I spent in Washington, D.C. (Quite a difference from small-town N.C.!)
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