I admit it…

It’ been awhile. Have you wondered what happened to me?

I’m unpredictable, enigmatic, and always evolving. If any of my past relationships (men) are reading my blog, you can stop smiling now! I write sporadically, sometimes about topics that make you smile, shake your head, and check the post, wondering if I wrote it at all. “This is me,” as a dear friend of mine would say.

When you begin to understand me, I will do a 180 and you have to start all over again. It’s 2019. I rarely look backward, instead, I prefer to move on and live in the moment, moving towards the future. I have many amazing and beautiful things that happened in 2018, including taking back my emotional life and healing a very sad heart. Well, let me think about what I just said. I’m a woman. Do we ever truly heal our hearts? If we are open to love we will always be putting our hearts back together. So rather than look at 2018 let’s move right on into 2019!!

I have lived in Puerto Vallarta, on and off, since 2002. I fell in love with Mexico in the late 90’s. Many believe I moved here for a man. Let’s just say that I moved here out of love… a love that encompassed self-love, a lover, and a need to save my life rather than stay in a bad marriage and die a little each day.

And now the time has come to move on. I’m not saying I will never come back. But there are places to go and people to meet and stories to write and experiences to live, and love…yes, there will always be love.

I’m traveling first to the USA, then Paris to see my son and grandson, then I will visit India. I’ve never been before so if you have any places in India that touched your heart or spoke to your soul, please share them with me. After India I will spend a couple of days in Istanbul, and then I will have my birthday in Israel. First I will stay very close to the Wailing Wall, in the Arab Quarter in Jerusalem. Just writing this sends shivers up and down my spine. I’m drawn to the Holy Lands like many before me. I suppose my Catholic upbringing has a lot to do with that, but so does the life and death of IDZ, and the exploits of Samaar and Raven (operatives in my series, Code Raven– the first 3 are .99 cents).

After Israel I will go to Bangkok. From there I have absolutely no plans, but I will visit and possibly stay, in Bali. I will follow … my dreams.

Yesterday a friend of mine looked me in the eye and said, ‘You’re following your heart. You’re in love with him.” I objected profusely. “I’m in love with life, with travel, with places I’ve never been to and people I have yet to meet.” She raised her eyebrows and smiled. And then we both laughed.

Do I have a return ticket? No. I never look back and rarely go back, I always move forward. “But, will you come back to Mexico?”

“I always follow my heart.”

The prequel and the first two books in Code Raven Series available for .99 cents on Amazon

FREE Gifts!

Happy Holidays Everyone.

Here’s my first Christmas Gift…

The Code Raven Series is so much fun to write. We are up to seven books now. In the last installment, I’ve added characters and expanded the series. I hope you enjoy this first in the series–after Code Raven the prequel.

XPOSED

FREE! Download, Gift to friends for their new iPads, Kindles. This suspense thriller uncovers a dark and dangerous world of high-level intrigue, passion, power, and greed.Luci and Luke at their most intriguing!

XPOSED 

“I love a good action flick, and this book is on the top of my list. Right out of the gate we are tossed into a dire situation, and things only escalate from there.” Amazon Reviewer

“Overall I loved this book, this series, and it’s definite super high recommendation from me.” Amazon Reviewer

“XPOSED by Lynda Filler is the first book in her Code Raven series. Exciting and fast paced this book will leave you wanting more.
Luci has retired from her old life. After retrieving millions of stolen dollars she has taken her daughter and created a life as far removed from her previous one as possible.
Except she can’t leave it fully behind. On the run from her enemies, she finds herself in the company of The Ravens – a group of elite members with a certain skill set.
She is introduced and immediately recruited by their leader, Luke. Thrown into a war between the US and China Luci finds herself racing all over the world to try and stop the threat they are facing.” Amazon Reviewer

“The author does an excellent job of providing captivating moments with intrigue, suspense, and steam. This book features a series of characters that are a part of the Raven Group and their camaraderie is well captured. I found this easy to read as the story pulls you through. It includes a well-played mix of suspense within it. Overall, I really liked this book and would highly recommend to any crime, mystery, and/or suspense lover.” Amazon Reviewer

How do you do that thing you do so well?

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It’s a common question asked by those who want to write a novel. I hear this all the time on Quora. Where do you begin? How? Where do you get your ideas? Do you plot? Do you ‘wing-it?’ How do you do that thing you do–so well?

Let’s talk about my latest release, SILK ROAD Code Raven 6. It’s a great example of my personal writing process and may help you to get started on yours!

It starts with a word. I asked a friend, fellow author, to give me a country. In this case, it was Kyrgyzstan–a country that had no meaning to me. If you’re familiar with the Code Raven Series, you would know that not only do I love my characters and develop them further with each story, but I also love to take them to different countries around the globe to get into–and out of–trouble!

In my research about Kyrgyzstan, I came across the history of how this country was once a part of the Soviet Union. I already had a rough idea of the Russia/Asia part of the world but didn’t know much about the terrain. If you are anything like me, once you go on the world-wide-web, one search turns into another, and another, and before you know it, you’re off on a tangent for no particular reason. In my case, my interest was piqued by the crime lords who moved in to fill the void of a legitimate government. Corruption of all types runs rampant in this predominately Muslim country.

At this point, I became intrigued by the historical implications of this centuries-old area and the original Silk Road–the trading route moving through Asia from the East to the West.

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Without giving away the plot, let’s just say that I became intrigued by the human condition and in particular how turmoil and greed affect women and children around the globe.

HERE’S MY PROCESS:

  1. Out comes the excel spreadsheet. 
  2. Usually, I reprint the Characters names across the top of the sheet so I don’t mix up attributes, history, or activities, timelines, etc. This is important when writing a series. You would work the same way as you introduce new characters in your novel even if it’s a stand-alone book. I also used this process on my memoir LOVE The Beat Goes On
  3. Chapters numbers down the left side column.
  4. Next column a key phrase to summarize what will happen in that chapter.
  5. The next column will give more detail, possibly a paragraph of key events.
  6. In the planning stages, I might color code the chapters. If it’s fiction and action, I might color code an action event RED, something that moves the plot along in YELLOW, and a relatively soft aspect, emotional, resting chapter might be soft green. This way you can make sure you don’t lose your reader by dropping the pace. Inevitably all my reviewers say this series is ‘fast-paced.’ You want that when writing a mystery. Otherwise, your fans will get bored and put your book down! We want them to read it in “one sitting!”
  7. The chapters continue down the page until the end.

Why a spreadsheet?

I use this concept if I’m writing Action/Adventure/Mystery or Contemporary Romance or Non-fiction like my memoir. Why?

  1. It’s easy to cut-and-paste therefore changing the sequence of events, or slotting in a new chapter!
  2. You can see the entire story in one place. 
  3. The spreadsheet allows you to edit the events along the way inserting, expanding where you find your plot to be weak.

My process is always fluid. I never set a rigid plot.

Sometimes I start with one idea and watch the following events move down the page. The thoughts, ideas I have may never make it to the final story. But here’s the key: one idea leads to another, and another, and another. And my story starts to take shape from that original one word. Example:

Silk Road. Trade. Smuggling. The new Rail service from the coast of China all the way to London, England! Think about the potential here. Imagine all the events that could happen along the way! And that’s how the story moved along. And then I found activities in the Maldives that I decided to connect. And one of my main characters, Zach was summoned to Washington DC by the frightening pleas from a SEAL friend he served with in his Afghanistan/Bin Laden days.

Here’s a couple of teasers so you get a feel for the final story:

A former Navy SEAL gets a terrifying message from his estranged daughter. “I’m desperate! I need your help, Dad. Bring your friends!”

“They stole my baby Daddy! They’ve got my boy!” Will a team of ex-SEALs break US law to exact revenge?

A teenager is abducted in Kyrgyzstan. Has she become one of many kidnapped brides? Or is something far more frightening going on? The corrupt authorities ignore the parents’ pleas for help.

A new Silk Road train stretches from the eastern shores of Yiwu China to London, England. Its precious cargo is not what’s written on the manifest.

When two young children are abducted in the middle of the night from Raven’s sanctuary in the Maldives, Luci, Luke, and the Raven Group will stop at nothing to get them back.

Are all these horrific events linked?

If I’ve peaked your interest and you want a great read, written in the style of Lee Childs, David Baldacci, or Clive Cussler, get your copy on Amazon: Silk Road

 

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France’s World Cup win is a victory for immigrants everywhere!

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I’m sitting at my computer this morning in Paris, France thinking about how life often gives you exactly what you need to follow your life’s purpose. If you are a follower of my blog or a first-time viewer, let me share with you that I’m passionate about social issues.

When I had to choose a direction for my University degree in Ottawa, Canada, I chose social work. I remember the textbook, of all things. It was huge and thick and hardcover. Lugging it around seemed like I was carrying the issues of the world with me every day. But in essence, at that time, the issues were swept under the rug. We didn’t have social media to shine a light on racism, immigration, #MeToo, workplace inequality, wage disparity, universal healthcare, poverty, sex, and child-trafficking. I could go on and on and on.

I came to the realization this year after publishing many books and novellas, that in my action series or even romantic thrillers, I find a way to build my stories around world events, social issues. I shine a light on the problems in ways that keep my fans engaged, but I also humanize things like racial or gender discrimination, exploitation, government corruption, immigration, the Mexican people, and many more subjects.

I never completed the degree in Social Work. One day I put down the book and cried. I’d been reading about prostitution, and never opened it again.  I felt I could work for years as a social worker and never make a difference in peoples’ lives. I’ve only recently been thinking about this with the event of the World Cup. Each book in my Code Raven Series reflects on things happening in the world and how Luke Raven uses his vast personal fortune to deal with things in ways the governments never could. The issue closest to my heart, partially because I live full time in Mexico, is the racism experienced by the Mexicans in the United States. I know discrimination, illegal immigration, separation of parent and child–these are very real challenges the world faces today; and it’s not only in the United States of America.

I have a son and two-year-old grandson in Paris. I look at my darling Félix and wonder about the world he will inherit. When I made my plans for Paris, I had no idea the World Cup was being played. I can get caught up in writing and forget the world around me. I’ve written about Paris, France and it’s racism and the migrant camps. The violence of terrorism and the migrants living in tents, trying to find a country that will and can accept them is, unfortunately, a worldwide issue. Next month DISPLACED will come online with Samaar-codenamed Luci. I worked hard on that plot, and by its title, you know that the novella centers around immigration; but the story is a fast-paced action/thriller with a strong human interest element. I cried in sections during the writing of that book. Being in Paris while France won the World Cup is my reward for writing this story!

Why? Because I am here, walking the streets, feeling a tremendous collective and inclusive energy. When France won the semi-finals I was out in the streets wandering past the cafes, it was totally incredible! I shared the passion, the excitement and the pride of the French people.

Now it’s up to all of us to learn from this and carry the love for our fellow man into the world. After all, only WE can be the difference that can change the world.

 

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/07/15/opinions/france-world-cup-win-immigration-diversity-joseph/index.html