Today we’re interviewing Lynda Filler, who writes mystery/suspense and contemporary romance novels as well as memoirs.
Filler spent 2019 traveling. She left Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, and visited the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Malaysia, and India. Her travels have filled her creative mind with plots and intrigue.
Book 7 in the Code Raven Series, The Istanbul Conspiracy, is the combination of her vivid imagination and the beauty and mystery of Istanbul, Turkey.
Filler’s been accused of writing autobiographical stories, but so far no one can get her to admit it!
SADYE: What experience in your past or general aspect of your life has most affected your writing?
LYNDA: In 2008 I was given six months to live. At first, I thought was having a bad reaction to allergy drugs and found myself gasping for air.
It turned out I had idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy, or in layman’s language, an enlarged heart. The doctors had no idea why it happened.
After months of tests and treatment, they diagnosed me as incurable and told me to get “my affairs in order” — and they weren’t referring to my love life!
When you’ve been given a second chance at life, love, family, sharing the things that helped you overcome the scary events like a death sentence, become much more important.
I actually began my writing career with poetry — to write out that fear and anxiety — and then moved into memoir, LOVE the Beat Goes On, to inspire and give hope, and then fiction. I now have seventeen books on Amazon.
SADYE: Which of your characters would you most and least like to become romantically involved with?
LYNDA: I cover issues that I feel strongly about: those who give up their lives defending freedom, the refugee crisis, displaced people, cyberattacks, political events.
I’ve written about kidnappings in the Maldives, Paris burning, Syrians carrying secrets in Displaced, and a terrorist event at a wedding on a yacht in The Istanbul Conspiracy. I get one idea and run with it.
So “book boyfriends” abound for me. Luke Raven is a given, but I’m also attracted to the genius crypto-currency entrepreneur Himanish.
I also have a thing for Zach, a hottie, an Israeli orphan; and, of course the sexy DJ Turk — even though I let him marry Sude in The Istanbul Conspiracy!
I’m least likely to become involved with David, who pilots all the Raven Group prototypes. He’s a cool guy, but not intriguing enough for my liking!
In my contemporary romance and romantic suspense books, the three key men in both series — a male prostitute in Lie to Me, a young man who is part of the Mexican drug cartels in Target in the Sun, and the photographer in Shoot Me — are hot and sexy characters.
I’m so bad, I know. But I do fall in lust with my leading men.
SADYE: What have been the most surprising, rewarding, and challenging parts of your writing career?
LYNDA: Surprising and rewarding: I’m thrilled about all the people I’ve met along the way.
The other authors, the fans, and the friends I’ve made have been an amazing bonus. Without social media none of this would be possible.
I had a reader and his wife take a cruise from the USA to Puerto Vallarta, and hubby and I met at a beach bar on Los Muertos Beach where Target in the Sun takes place.
It was almost surreal to chat about my characters. And of course, after a couple of tequila sunrises, I gave up far too much information!
My latest memoir, CAFÉ CONFIDENTIAL, is about waking up one morning in Puerto Vallarta and making a decision to liquidate my life.
I sold my condo, packed one suitcase and my knapsack, and began to travel. I was restless and the desire to change my life outweighed the fear of buying a series of one-way tickets to exotic places with no return destination!
While in India, I was contacted by a book reviewer who said, let’s meet up! So that was something I never considered when I began my voyage.
The inspiration from my travels has been invaluable for my work. And the people I met along the way were given fair warning that they might show up in a future novel!
The biggest challenge is both how easy it is to publish today — so everyone is doing it — and how difficult it is to get the word out that you have something worthy to read.
I truly appreciate every single download of my work. So, it’s very important that my readers are entertained or enlightened and hopefully both.
To be an indie author today requires a lot of patience, perseverance and discipline like any other career. I can spend a couple of days a week marketing my work when I should be writing.
On the other hand, I do love the social aspects of my career.
SADYE: What has been the most touching or memorable piece of reader feedback you’ve received?
LYNDA: I think this quote stays with me because writing a memoir is so revealing:
“This book is going in the birthday bags, Christmas stockings and every get-well package that I send this year. Lynda Filler’s journey through cardiomyopathy is amazing, inspiring, and thought provoking about more than just illness. Anyone facing a major obstacle, a fork in the road, or looking to reinvent their lives would benefit from a journey through Lynda’s heart and soul story.”
This was for LOVE the Beat Goes On. I get amazing reviews for my fiction books also, but the memoirs are more personal.
This one for CAFÉ CONFIDENTIAL cracked me up and still makes me laugh out loud:
“Y’all, I loved this more than I can say. It was raw, sassy, sexy, funny, and inspirational. What more could you want?”
That sums up my own personal attitude about life, and it shows up in all my writing: what more could I want?
SADYE: What message or theme would you like readers to take away from your work?
LYNDA: I love this question. I write to entertain. I write to share a different point of view of the world and how we live and show up in the world.
My last book has a hashtag attached to it #weareallone. I believe this so deeply. If I would have one mission in life it would be to spread that word that we are all in this together.
We all work, love, feed our hearts and our souls and want the best for the world and for those we love.
Right now, I’m living in Istanbul, Turkey. I’ve written two books since I’ve been here and I’m working on the next in the Code Raven Series.
Yes, Istanbul was a two-day layover on my multiticket journey in 2019. But while I was here, I met someone.
And that hopeless romantic side of me decided that instead of Bali — where I thought my journey would end up — I returned to Istanbul to Eat Pray and Love for who knows how long.
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Thank you, Fussy Librarian!! And thanks to my readers for allowing me to live my dream!