Saturday, November 1, 2014

Interview with Lynette Sowell

Suspense Sisters is pleased to welcome award-winning author Lynette Sowell. Lynette and I (Elizabeth Goddard) have been friends since. . .well. . .my first writing conference in 2001. She's an amazing writer, and her new Amish series set in Saratosa, Florida is definitely something new and fresh in the Amish genre. Her newest story, releasing this coming Tuesday, is also a suspense.
Please comment if you'd like a chance to enter the drawing for A PATH MADE PLAIN.

Now, here's more about Lynette: 

Lynette Sowell is the Carol award-winning author of more than 20 novels and novellas, several of which have made the ECPA best-seller list. When she's not crafting stories, she works as a freelance reporter and columnist for her local newspaper. She was born in Massachusetts, raised on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and makes her home on the doorstep of the Texas hill country with her husband, a duo of cats, and a Texas heeler named Mocha. In no particular order, Lynette loves coffee, chocolate, reading, cooking, watching movies, and is always up for a Texas road trip. You can find her on Facebook at and on Twitter @LynetteSowell.

SS: How long have you been writing?
I first began writing when I was in middle school and passed stories around the classroom. But I didn't get serious about writing fiction until 1998, when I first started dabbling in creative writing again. I received my first fiction contract in 2005.

SS: Do you write full time? If the answer is no, what else do you do? If you are a full time author, what other jobs did you have in the past?
Yes and no. I'm a freelance writer for my city newspaper and the rest of the time not filled by family, I get to write fiction. In the past, I've worked as a medical transcriptionist.

SS: Tell us about the moment you finally felt like a “real author”?
It felt real when I received the contract, but still a little surreal. I think it was when I walked into Wal-Mart and saw Windswept Weddings on the shelf! But the price tags were all covering my name. :)

SS: Who has been your greatest supporter as an author? 
Definitely my husband. He has cheered me on from the time it was a dream, and he's encouraged me when the going's been tough. I am thankful for him every day.

SS:  Why suspense? Do you write in any other genres? If so, what?
I write primarily in the romance genre, but two of my more recent releases have a strong suspense thread, Tempest's Course and my newest release, A Path Made Plain. I've enjoyed putting suspense threads into the romance very much, because I love to read a good romantic suspense!

SS: How does your faith play into your writing?
I like to think my stories are filled with faith, hope, and love, whatever the topic is. If I'm writing a contemporary romance, romantic suspense, or venturing into history, I want readers' faith to be built up while they're not being preached at.

SS: If you couldn’t write, what else would you want to do?
I'd like to help my husband build up his homemade cookie business. He makes drop cookies and I make decorated sugar cookies. Right now, though, I'm loving the writing.

SS:  Tell us about your current release.
A Path Made Plain features Betsy Yoder, who opens a pie shop and bakery in the A
mish-Mennonite village of Pinecraft in the city of Sarasota, Florida. She's far from her Ohio home and becomes a year-round resident there, living with a great-aunt. Then Thaddeus Zook roars in on his Harley. He's hiding out in Pinecraft because of some bad things that happened back in Ohio, where he worked as a pastry chef in an upscale Columbus restaurant. He's been long shunned by his immediate family, but his grandmother who lives in Pinecraft takes him in anyway. Of course, he crosses paths with Betsy, and eventually things catch up with him, and. . .
SS: Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
This is book two in my series. I already knew Betsy, a secondary character from book one, A Season of Change, would get her chance to shine. But the hero came to me when watching the documentary Amish: Out of Order. A young man had left his Order but he was homesick. He snuck back to where he used to live, under cover of night, to listen to a singing. It showed him standing outside the Amish school, in the dark, listening. And he knew he'd left all that behind. I could hear the loneliness in his voice when he talked about not knowing where he fit. And I thought, “Now, that's Thaddeus Zook.”

SS: What is the main thing you hope readers remember from your story?
The tiramisu pie. Just kidding! No matter how dire our circumstances get, God can work in ways we don't expect. Our path might change, but He's still guiding even when we don't understand it.

SS: Who is your favorite character in this book and why?
Betsy comes into her own during this book, and I loved cheering for her as she grew. But Thad is my favorite. He's handsome in a rough-around-the-edges way, but soft and tender on the inside. He hides in Pinecraft because it's far from where he used to call home, but it still carries reminders of home.

SS: Who is your least favorite character in this book? Why?
The villain. There's a thread of good in him. I wanted him to do the right thing, I did. Part of him, I think, wanted to do the right thing, especially when encountering the people of Pinecraft. But, he made his choices and he crosses the line and faces consequences.

SS: What are you working on now?
Right now I'm working on revising and editing some self-published work. I have the rights back to several books—a mystery series, and a Christmas story. So those will be released very soon. I'm mulling over a romantic suspense series I'd like to propose to Love Inspired Suspense. I'd also like to revisit Pinecraft, too, at some point—literally and in a book.

SS: A tough question: Where do you want to be career-wise in five years? Ten years? 
I'd like to still be doing what I'm doing now, writing and selling books, whether that's through a traditional publisher or independently. I'd love it if one of my books would be optioned for a movie, but that's not something I can control.

SS:  Now let’s get a little personal. Name two things on your “bucket list” that you haven’t done yet.  
1. Visit the Grand Canyon. Ever since I watched “The Brady Bunch” when I was a kid... :)
2. Take a cathedral tour outside the U.S. I loved studying art history in college and would love to see the places I read and studied about, from England to Italy, and beyond.

SS:  What is the silliest thing you have ever done? 
Made a costume out of my dorm room curtains in college.

SS: What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
Learning to let my adult children go (ages 22 and 24). Every mom needs to get to the point where she stops “mothering” them so much. It's hard, but I'm getting better at it.

SS: Where can readers find you on the internet?
Twitter: @LynetteSowell

SS: Anything else you’d like to tell or share with us?
If you're not an Amish fiction fan, I hope you'll check this one out anyway. It's a little different because it's set in Florida. There are no horses 'n buggies or farms. And, who wouldn't like a tattooed, Harley-riding pastry chef who grew up Amish?

Remember to comment if you want to enter the drawing. Or you can purchase a copy anywhere books or sold or on Amazon:


Betsy Yoder lives with her great aunt in Sarasota’s Pinecraft neighborhood, far from her family in Ohio. Heartbroken by a man who left her—and the Order—to marry someone else, Betsy instead pours her time and energy into her bakery, offering the village of Pinecraft delicious desserts from her Amish heritage, and is content in her hardworking yet peaceful life.

Enter the formerly Amish Thaddeus Zook, a pastry chef who has moved to Pinecraft after working in restaurants among the Englisch. While Betsy nurses a hesitant heart, Thaddeus shows a similar hesitancy about rejoining an Amish community. Though neither can deny the attraction between them, Thaddeus is hiding a past that could threaten their future together and put Betsy in danger.


  1. I am looking forward to reading A PATH MADE PLAIN.I enjoy reading your books.

  2. I loved the first book in the series and am looking forward to reading this one!

  3. Having family that is both Modern Day & Old Order I loved connecting to the characters in 'A Season of Change'.
    I cannot wait to read 'A Path Made Plain'!!

  4. I spent some time in Holmes County, Ohio this summer. What an amazing experience! Thanks for sharing about your book!

  5. I loved reading the first book Seasons of Change. So looking forward to reading A Path Made Plain.

    1. OH, I loved the first book too. I'm not a big Amish reader, but these books are different and definitely have a unique flavor and twists. I especially love the suspenseful twist in this story.

  6. Really enjoy your books. Thanks I would love to read this one too.

  7. This whole series is on my wish list. I would love a chance to win a copy of this book. I hope everyone has a great week.

  8. Amish and suspense in one book? Sounds great!

  9. This book sounds so good! Thanks for the chance to win it!
    Brittany McEuen

  10. Wonderful interview. I have only read a few of Lynette's books and have only recently started reading Amish books. This looks very interesting. I need to look for book 1 in the series. Thank you for sharing and the opportunity to win a book.

  11. Thank you for this chance to read

  12. Thank you for sharing this great interview and giveaway opportunity. A Path Made Plain sounds like a wonderful story!

    texaggs2000 at gmail dot com

  13. Looking forward to this read!
    Thanks, Kristie

  14. I have been reading this series, would love to win this book.


  15. I would love to win A Path made Plain,thanks for the chance

  16. My sister-in-law gave me your first book of this series to read and I did enjoy reading it. I would love to read more of this series. Thank you for the opportunity.

    1. KayLee, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping by. :D

  17. I love a romance novel that also has suspense. This sounds like a good read. I'd love to win a copy.


  18. A Path Made Plain sounds like a wonderful book! Thank you for a great interview!

    mauback55 at gmail dot com

  19. This book sounds good. Thanks to Elizabeth Goddard for sending me to this site. Enjoyed the interview.
    Carol Smith
    penelope223(at)yahoo( dot) com

  20. I have to admit you got me with the Harley riding chef. Count me in for the drawing.

    lill dot kohler at gmail dot com

  21. New author to me. Sounds like a great book. I will have to find the first book in the series at the library. Hope they have it. I would love to win a copy of A Path Made Plain. Thanks.

  22. I would love to win. angelachesnut246(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  23. Love your books and I can't wait to read this one. You are an awesome author.

  24. I do like a good suspense. I am an Amish fiction fan...:)
    dkstevensne AT outlook DOTcom