What advice would you give to a want-to-be writer?

Writing is not something you choose to do. Writing chooses you.

What you decide to do with your gift is up to you.

I’ve always lived inside my head. I have a vivid imagination—not just for fiction but for living. I can picture myself on a plane to anywhere, anytime, even right this moment! I can read something in the news like the plane that crashed yesterday in Kazakhastan and imagine myself being a crew member when the plane went down. RIP 100 people.

I wander around my apartment in Istanbul—this time last year I was living in Mexico—and play out my next Code Raven Plot in my mind. Should I remain in Turkey, like The Istanbul Conspiracy I published on Christmas Day? The surprises in that book have me reeling! Maybe I will take CR 8 to Jerusalem, or Bangkok? Wait! But my next book will be another memoir!!

“Hah, you think you are in control, Lynda?” My cocky Muse.

“But…”

“No ‘but’s’ about it. You ended that political suspense book with too much drama. We have to know where this story will go. So sit down, and plot it out!”

“Wait. I really want to write another memoir! I traveled this year, I learned so much. I grew so much!! This memoir will be so filled with life and love. My fans are waiting.”

“Okay, we will compromise. You can work on both of them at the same time.”

“Muse! You are out of control!! First, you aged my young Alice by 7 years in this book! Then, you did the unspeakable! I mean, really, right before the wedding a terrorist attack! How could you?”

My Muse remained silent. I imagine she/he/God is smiling.

A quote comes to mind, “When man plans, God laughs.”

As a writer, I can plan all I want, but the magic happens when I let my Muse have her way with me.

Christmas Eve (for an non-traditional girl) in Istanbul. A photoblog

One must start the day off at Starbucks, and yes, Cats are revered in Turkey, in the Islam religion, so this beauty was saying hello to everyone before she went on her independent Christmas Eve day.

I sent Santa this above message and followed it up with the one below, because last year I was in Mexico, and I didn’t want him to worry about trying to locate me in Istanbul–the city has 17 million people!

Although there are no signs of Christmas in this Muslim country, colorful lights decorate every street in this intensely lively city!

And the weather feels like spring, not winter. I don’t really need to wear my winter coat just yet!

This week my boyfriend bought me chocolates from the Spice Bazaar for absolutely no reason! Well, maybe he realized Christmas was coming and I was feeling … lonely? I knocked them off in 48 hours!!! And two days later he came over with another box of the same. He adores me and thinks I look amazing even if I’m sure I’ve put on 10 chocolate pounds in the last week.

The mosques still fascinate me. I love to listen to the call to prayer. Last night I couldn’t sleep–maybe memories of Christmas past and family that is no longer with us. So I listened to the call to prayer well before sunrise. There’s something comforting in this age-old manner of professing a love of God. It’s one of the things I find special about this culture.

My hairdresser decided it was time to change my hair color for this festive time of year, He added blue!! If he had asked me first, we both would have had to use Google Translate! I laughed out loud when I saw it. It’s absolutely perfect for me.

And to top off my evening–because soup alone does not cut it on Christmas Eve–I had a lovely glass or two of Blush Shiraz from Turkey. Then I chatted online with people I love from all around the world.

And I almost forgot!! Today I released my latest Code Raven book 7 The Istanbul Conspiracy! https://amzn.to/2PSAApg My Christmas gift to you! It’s available in download and in print.

The wedding of DJ Turk and the daughter of the Minister of Defense is about to take place on a mega-yacht on the Bosphorus in Istanbul. Hours later the much-anticipated photos show corpses lined up along the dock and a bride covered in blood.
Was this a random act of terror, a targeted assassination of the Turkish political elite, or an attack on DJ Turk who leads a double life?
Luke and Samaar of the Raven Group have their own wedding to attend but it’s called off at the last minute when they uncover a breach in their security. Instead of returning to Paris, they come to the aid of the Turk to get to the bottom of this horrific event.
The conspiracy they uncover must be prevented before the balance of power in the world is perilously reversed. Get your copy at https://amzn.to/2EQdpWf

Thank you for your support in 2019. I look forward to continuing to cause trouble, shock, and entertain you in 2020!!

What books left a lasting impression on you? Quick 1, 2, 3!

Reacher takes a stroll through a small Wisconsin town and sees a class ring in a pawn shop window: West Point 2005. A tough year to graduate, Iraq, then Afghanistan. The ring is tiny, for a woman, and it has her initials engraved on the inside.

If you’re a fiction reader and love mystery and suspense, you’re familiar with Lee Child. I’ve learned so much about the art of writing from this contemporary author. I’m always reading something, blogs, books, fiction, non-fiction, Quora, research for my novels, etc. But I rarely remember a plot. The Midnight Line haunted me. Not only for the brilliance of the simple plot and unusual way LC approached a serious problem in society today; but also the empathy and passion of the character that LC created in Jack Reacher.

I have a new book coming out Dec. 25, The Istanbul Conspiracy (don’t tell the censors in TKY because I’m currently living in IST). During the writing of several scenes in this book—Code Raven 7—I found the words coming through me faster than I could type! When I would finish a section I would give thanks to LEE CHILD and The Midnight Line. I never thought I was studying his work. But I am such a fan of his plots, his simplistic yet haunting style, that I absorbed his style. And I am forever grateful.

A reviewer once compared my writing to Lee Child. That was a long time before I’d earned any such reference—and I still don’t. But he inspires and entertains me, and his books remain a source of motivation every time I sit down at the computer.

There have been many books over the years that left a lasting impression in my heart and soul. Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult.

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I have a family member caught up in a world that Lee Child explores the Midnight Line. The book helped me understand addiction in a way I could never fathom before.

This story will be forever embedded in my soul.

How many times can you reinvent yourself?

I knew I liked to shake up my life, but this year has been amazing!

It’s almost 2020, so I’m taking a moment to look back and do the proverbial: how did Lynda do in 2019? But today I’m going one step further, I’m going ALL the way back. How many times can I re-invent myself?

I was a good girl, a Canadian army brat. We moved every three years. You packed up your things, said goodbye to your friends, and moved on with your life. Didn’t everyone live like that?

In my teens, I thought I’d be a Catholic nun. I entered a convent of missionary sisters straight from high school. I was religious. I wanted to save the world, look after orphans, feed the poor. Instead, I recall days of washing floors and stealing cookies from the kitchen after lights out! Less than a year later, I left the convent, returned to Ottawa, and married my high school sweetheart. A year later, I was divorced.

I look back on my life and see the characteristics and events that define the woman I’ve become. At the time, I couldn’t see it, but as Dr. Wayne Dyer said, “I can see clearly now.”

First, I’m a loner. It turns out that’s a good thing because change is easy, maybe too easy for me. I don’t form the kind of attachments others form. As a result of my upbringing, I don’t have childhood friends. When people ask me where I come from, I never know what to say. I lived in Petawawa, Toronto, Lindsay, Edmonton, Montreal, Whistler—all in Canada. Then Puerto Vallarta Mexico for the last 17 years. What do I say Canada or Mexico? And now I’m in Istanbul, Turkey!

I could live anywhere in the world because “wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”

I did the same thing with my various careers and in my own businesses.

I started in sales part-time over the summer in Ottawa when I was 18. Then I taught myself how to type and assisted the GM of a stock brokerage firm. I moved to Toronto and began a short-lived modeling career that led me into fashion. I opened a store and sold ladies’ clothing. I built that into a chain of stores. Unfortunately, husband number 2 was a gambler, and he stole money from the business. And “the rest is history!” 

The next stop was Montreal, where I began a career as a women’s clothing buyer for retail businesses, importing, designing, and creating. I woke up one morning and said to myself, “If you can make money for someone else, why not do it for yourself.” I opened a manufacturing plant. 

Several years later, I now had two young boys. Quebec was in a recession. So I moved from Montreal to western Canada and began a career in resort sales that lasted 25 years! “Why invest money for inventory, rent, retail, and wholesale, when you can make just as much money using your sales skills without the financial risk?”

Witness the evolution of a woman:

“I can see clearly now.” 

“Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”

“The rest is history!” 

“If you can make money for someone else, why not do it for yourself.”

“Why invest the money for inventory, rent, retail, and wholesale, when you can make just as much money using your sales skills without the financial risk?”

And this brings us to the year 2019. After 54 years of working, 9-5, 8-midnight, and 3, or 4-hour days, I retired! Well, my version of retirement. I sold everything and bought an airline ticket with multiple destinations—precisely the way I’ve lived my life! I celebrated my 72nd birthday in Tel Aviv to the sound of air raid sirens. And from there, I traveled to Europe, India, Thailand. And along the way, I found Istanbul.

The one constant in my life is my love of books. I think my first memory of a book is Little Women. I will reread it someday. In my teens, I started to write poetry and journal. And in my 20’s I wrote my first novel. I never published it and lost the manuscript in one of my moves. But that’s fine with me. It was never meant to be published. I never even tried. But in 2008, I was diagnosed with incurable heart disease and told I had 6 months to live.”  

This time I not only had to re-invent myself but re-create myself. “And that has made all the difference.”

Now the promises to self kicked in, and I began to write in earnest. I published three books of poetry and wrote several books of fiction. I waited for years to write and publish my journey to healing because I wanted to be sure that I actually survived what I call my miracle. And now I’m almost on the eve of publishing my 16th book on Amazon, The Istanbul Conspiracy! The 7th in my Code Raven Series.

THE ISTANBUL CONSPIRACY https://amzn.to/34Hzh0z

So far, it’s been and wild and wondrous journey. I’ve managed to stay retired all of 2019 and finally returned to writing to gather my plots for this new release. Yes, I call this retirement even though I am super busy with writing novels, blogs, Quora, FB, IG, Twitter, yoga, traveling, and living my beautiful creative life. I love Istanbul and I think I will stay for a while. It’s been 8 months so far. I’m researching for my books, learning to cook Turkish food, wandering the streets, doing photography, and now I’m back to full-time writing. I finally have time to keep in touch with friends I’ve made along the way in Mexico and in Turkey and all over the world. 

So, tell me something. How many times can you reinvent yourself? I say, as many times as it takes!

“6 months to live.” LOVE The Beat Goes On 

I believe in miracles because I am one!

If you play by the rules, you miss all the fun!

I LOVE that I am fearless and refuse to live my life the way society dictates. Every morning I find joy in my love of life that has led me to adventures beyond what I ever thought possible.

Istanbul 2019

I woke up this morning and hit the yoga mat. I have immense gratitude that at 72 I am able to move every single part of my body without pain.

I sat down at my desk and finished editing my latest book, The Istanbul Conspiracy. I LOVE that I’ve been blessed with the gift of imagination and the ability to entertain and inspire.

When I take a my medications for heart/blood pressure, I give thanks to a world that has created drugs that have allowed a woman like me to continue living and loving even though I was given “6 months to live” in 2009!

And I take joy from my attitude in life: everything amazes, surprises, and delights me…simple things like the Istanbul cats, Starbucks coffee, caramel waffle cookies, and finding fresh lettuce for my salad at the corner store.

And I find joy — endless joy, in creativity: photography, writing my novels, reading, graphics, fashion, music. And style, like my new hair color. This is what happens when you don’t speak Turkish, your hairdresser doesn’t speak English — but he gets me!

I take joy in knowing I have two amazing sons in my life. We don’t always see eye-to-eye, but that’s okay. They are both just like me: strong-willed and on their own paths.

I’ve been through bankruptcies and divorces — make no comment about the plurals, please! But my stubborn determination to succeed means I’ve bounced back from both more times than I can remember and refuse to become hardened or bitter.

And at this moment in time, I have a very loving relationship with a guy who makes me laugh-out-loud and reminds me that I’m beautiful inside and out. He says that age is just a number to be ignored — ”It’s what’s in your heart that counts.”

Finally — although I’m sure I can come up with a lot more — I have a philosophy in life — many, actually, but I will share this one:

#1 in Contemporary Fiction Romantic Suspense $.99 cents

TARGET IN THE SUN’, a moving, high anxiety romance thriller, takes place on a perilous journey through the explosive dark underworld of organized drug trafficking and the complex, destructive human perils of use, abuse and the carnage it leaves in its unstoppable wake. Caught up in the onslaught is the powerfully engaging nurture of two lovers, Carlos and Mia, discovering and reaching out in a world that could ultimately tear them apart. 

Kindle Deal now: $.99 cents!

What do the readers say?


“a love story like no other.” Amazon Customer

“an exciting romance thriller” Amazon Customer


“Could not put it down and loved this unique and brilliant approach to letting each character tell the story through their own narrative.” Amazon Customer

Gripping and suspenseful, clever and sharp, Target in the Sun is a romance thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the format, telling parts of the story through letters. I also enjoyed how smoothly it read, the type of book that sucks you in. Highly recommended.” Jane H.

I won’t give away the plot, but trust me, it’s a great and very important read.” Vine Voice

“An unconventional love story.” A.A.

“This book is flowing, sensual, and exciting in its tragic and heartbreaking travels through two lives, as viewed by the agent. Well written with gorgeous details and descriptions.” S J

“This was a great read, with plenty of action and interesting characters. I would recommend this book.” Rea

“I’ll admit, it took me a few chapters in the first book, ‘Target in the Sun’ to get comfortable with the characters, the back-and-forth, the now-and-then, but, WOW, what a journey! I couldn’t wait to continue with the second, ‘Vanished in the Sun’. I read both in 2 days, and I’m totally exhausted now with all the action in the fight against the drug cartels, love, Mexican cultural knowledge and the beautifully descriptive word paintings of Western Mexico, especially the amazing sunsets! The super-secret off-the-grid organization keeping watch over these characters is genius! Very intriguing! Can’t wait for #3!” Bonnie T.

Highly recommend to fans of suspense, thriller, romance or anyone just looking for an interesting and different read xx Kirsty W.

“All in all I highly recommend this book for originality, vibrancy of the characters, and the solid story line that catches the reader from the first chapter.” Elizabeth Horton-Newton Author

.99 cents on Amazon deal right now. Thanks for your support.

What you may not know about Paulo Coelho

If you’re having a hard time with your sense of direction, metaphorically, these Paulo Coelho Quotes can help you understand that perseverance, diligence, and faith in yourself are keys to getting what you want.

I love this piece from Paulo Coelho’s website: Link is on the bottom for the full posting.

Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho was born on August 24, 1947. He first expressed his interest in writing during his teens. Due to his introversion and his resolution to reject the traditional path, his parents committed him to a mental institution. He escaped three times before being released at age 20.

He briefly attended law school before dropping out and lived as a hippie during the 1960s where he mostly traveled. When he returned to Brazil, he worked as a songwriter; most notably collaborating with Brazilian icon Raul Seixas. This led to his arrest over allegations that his lyrics were rebellious.

His first book, Hell Archives, was published in 1982 though it failed to gain significant success. In the late ’80s, The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist were published. However, it was in 1994 that the latter became an international bestseller after being re-published. Since The Alchemist, he has been a hugely prolific writer. His works are a combination of autobiographies, fictions, and essay collections.

Often cited as one of the most influential contemporary authors, Coelho’s books combined have sold in hundreds of millions. His journey, as arduous and diverse as it was, is an excellent example of persistence in the name of passion.  http://paulocoelhoblog.com/2019/09/07/30-paulo-coelho-quotes-on-lifes-greatest-wonders/

Here’s a few of my favorites:

Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life? – Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way. – Paulo Coelho, Brida

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

Last day!

Gift to a friend.

Never underestimate a mother’s rage!

Code Raven 2 is FREE for one more day.


ABDUCTED is a gripping suspense thriller, a roller coaster ride of cartel drug and human trafficking across tempestuous high seas off the coast of Mexico.
A ruthless Mexican drug cartel, notorious for their involvement in a world of illicit drug and human trafficking, is at the center of this action-packed drama where power, greed, and immorality are the cornerstones of their global operations. In this fast-paced high-stakes thriller, there is a rash of abductions involving young female captives who are ‘sold’ for extraordinary sums of money. Two of these captives have become the victims of extortion and manipulative leveraging in the pursuit of substantial financial gains and provide a frightening opportunity for revenge.
“The author’s style is reminiscent of CLIVE CUSSLER, LEE CHILD, and DAVID BALDACCI.” N. Huff, Indiana, USA.

What are the readers saying?

Non stop page turner ” Mr. P

“ABDUCTED: Code Raven 2 by Lynda Filler was a gut wrenching, action packed, heart pounding read that had me on the edge of my seat.. I nearly died at the end cause damn..Lynda Filler don’t mess with my heart like that.” E. Walsh

I never want to be rescued from these books!! Noble Household

“A very awesome book cover, & great font/writing style. A very well written suspense thriller book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors, nor any repetitive or out of line sequence sentences. Lots of exciting scenarios, with several twists/turns & a great set of unique characters to keep track of. This could also make another great action movie, or better yet a mini TV series. There is no doubt in my mind this is a very easy rating of 5 stars.” Tony Parsons

“I enjoyed reading about the characters that have been brought forward from the previous books. They banter and interact with each other. There is tension and emotions run high. Another amazing story that you don’t want to miss. I can’t wait to find out what is in store next for the Raven Group.” Laura Furuta

“This is a fast-paced high-stakes thriller, a rash of abductions involving young female captives are ‘sold’ for extraordinary sums of money. They become the victims of extortion and manipulative leveraging in the pursuit of huge financial gains and unforeseen opportunity for revenge.
I simply love this series.” Tracy

“Filler is very gifted at weaving a suspenseful story that will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time you are reading. I love that about her writing style and it keeps me coming back again and again for more.” Liz Vrchota

“Get ready to go on a quick, emotional roller coaster that will have your heart racing the entire time. You will be one clicking Ultimatum before you finish!” Mom & Guilty Pleasures

I hope you become as addicted to reading the Code Raven series as I am to writing it! Thanks for your support!

6 Tips that will change the way you write

What is your Best Unconventional Writing Advice?

It has nothing to do with grammar, or the English language, or what sells or doesn’t sell. I follow a few simple rules.

  1. I think I read this in Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott) “You have to stop writing as if your mother is reading over your shoulder!” I paraphrased, but you get the idea. Tell it like you see it and feel it. Be true to your thoughts, heart, and feelings.
  2. Develop a thick skin—armor. You’re going to need it. Bite your tongue at the critics. Remember if everyone loved the same things, there’d be no fashion industry or book genres, or millions of songs on the market. We are all different. Your readers will be from different walks of life and you will get reviews that hurt. Forget about them. Focus on the ones that think your work is great.
  3. Don’t beat yourself up about your writing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be a writer, but after agonizing over a novel you can’t seem to get it finished. It’s three years and still, it’s incomplete. It’s not from lack of time, writing might not be for you. If it’s not, let it go. When I was younger I took ballet. I loved it, but I couldn’t follow the line. I’m a good actress, I love to perform. But I can’t memorize a sentence! Hah, I could never make a career of acting! Let the dream go and enjoy reading instead.
  4. Editors and first readers will want you to write a certain way. One of my best friends enjoys giving me plot ideas. Recently I went crazy for about 6 weeks, trying to work with a plot idea that wasn’t right for me. You have to let that stuff go. It’s your story, book, novel, blog, whatever. It’s yours to write any way you want. I struggled to read my first Bukowski book last summer—Women. It was horrendous. Yes, he’s brilliant. But the plot was about an alcoholic loser writer and all the women he used and threw away. Really? And yet he’s considered a great author. I finished the book… I don’t know if I bothered to review it.
  5. Sometimes you have to turn off Grammerly or whatever editing program you are using. You will have a style. Not everyone will like it. Get over yourself. Think about it this way: Some will, some won’t. Next reader coming right up.
  6. Last, as an author if you are looking for someone to motivate you, forget it. Writing is a solitary career. You literally turn off the outside world and go into the one you have created in your mind. You’re the only one who sees the pictures you have created. And you are the only one who can pull those ideas away from the invisible muse and get them down on paper. You are unique. And you have to find that voice inside of you and believe that you can do this. You have to become your very own cheerleader.

Now stop hanging out on Quora (Lynda) and get working on book 7 in the Code Raven Series!

Reprinted from Author Lynda Filler on Quora

BY THE WAY, I almost forgot!! Book 2 in the Code Raven Series, ABDUCTED IS FREE TODAY AND TOMORROW!

Dangerous and/or taboo topics…

repost from Quora

How do you research dangerous or taboo topics for your stories? Do you ever worry that people will get the wrong impression?Lynda Filler, Winner of Best in Contemporary Fiction 2017 BTRC at Writers and Authors (2009-present)

That’s a great question!

I think of that when I start going deeper into things like the “dark web” or “how to hack… “ and even anything about weaponry!

The good news is, I’m sure being an older female is a plus. I certainly don’t look or act like I’m involved in anything nefarious. But these are a few things that you might find interesting.

  1. I live in Turkey right now. Although I’m a Canadian and have been living in Mexico for the last 17 years.
  2. That means that since 2016 coup attempt things like this routinely occur when I am researching for my Code Raven Series:

At first, I thought it was my internet connection. I also discovered they block porn sites (research, remember!!) But when it happened day after day, I did some research. Wiki was blocked in April of 2018. These were some facts and conclusions I came to:

  1. Turkey coup: Court hands 17 top generals 141 life terms The accused were charged with crimes against the state, attempting to kill the President and the deaths of 249 people.
  2. Last year 251 journalists languished in jails as a result of doing their jobs, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based NGO. It marked the third year in which at least 250 journalists were imprisoned around the world, though it was also the first decline since 2015. (Jan 16, 2019)
  3. Turkey Leads the World in Jailed Journalists
  4. It’s probably a great idea to stop telling people that I’m a writer/author/novelist. And if this is being read by anyone in Turkey, I write fun thrilling, mystery suspense action books that have nothing to do with any kind of political affiliation or government hate!! I LOVE Turkey! That’s why I decided to get a visa and stay awhile!!
  5. And then I remembered Kashoggi. Hmm.

The solution to the issue as all techies will tell you is using a VPN. If you have any concerns whatsoever, I suggest you get a techie to help you set up your computer for your projects.

CODE RAVEN SERIES https://amzn.to/2YSQAst