Happy Friday! Today’s guest is Lynn West. Thanks, Lynn.
Lynn West is an actual living and breathing person. You can find proof on Facebook. She is Editor in Chief at Dreamspinner Press and its imprints Harmony Ink Press and DSP Publications.
1) As a kid, what did you fantasize as your dream job?
I wanted to be an archaeologist. One of my first “research projects”—if you can call it that—in grade school was on a job, and that’s the one I drew out of a hat. I immediately fell in love with Egyptian mythology, pyramids, mummies, the whole nine yards. That love expanded out into any world mythologies I could find material on. Aside from the science fiction books I read at home, this fed my love for reading stories, especially love stories. Lots of love stories in mythology, ever noticed?
2) Macaroons or macarons?
Macaron. I am allergic to coconut, so most macaroons are a bad idea, and in my head, ROON = BAD. But I adore cookie sandwiches, and Elizabeth knows better than to let me go into a bakery in Europe. I guess I didn’t have a good foreign baking education, because I didn’t even know “macarons” were a thing until a few years ago when I visited London. I particularly like jam-filled.
3) Do you believe more in fate or coincidence?
Alas, to the woe of many friends, I am far too pragmatic to believe in fate and thus find myself resigned to a somewhat suspicious acceptance of coincidence. I suppose that makes my life in romantic fiction quite ironic, doesn’t it? Star-crossed lovers and all that. Perhaps that’s what makes me a better editor. I can focus on the story itself and not get caught up in the swell of violins, consuming humid heat, twinkling stars, and gasping lovers… no, not really. I’m still just as fascinated and entertained by stories about fate. But in real life, I definitely lean toward believing more in coincidence—or the fact that people twist coincidence in their favor.
4) What is your favorite word?
Unfortunately, I really can’t answer that one. I’ve had a love affair with words in multiple languages my entire life, and there’s no way I can pick one. (Although cafuné comes close. It’s Brazilian Portuguese for “tenderly stroking someone’s hair.”) But I can absolutely answer the opposite: What is your most hated word? And this really is a thing: my editors all know. I seriously—very seriously—considered outlawing use of the word totally in any Dreamspinner Press publication. Luckily, it’s not very popular in gay romance and has mostly been relegated to the realm of purple prose, although you can bet anytime one of my senior editors finds it, they bring it up during department meetings, just to taunt me with it. Curious yet?
5) Which Wonder of the Ancient World would you visit in its prime?
Top of my list would have to be The Great Pyramid of Giza, to feed my eternal love for anything ancient Egyptian. The artwork, the tombs, the poems and stories and epics written on the walls, no wonder the Egyptians believed some souls would stay entombed there forever to watch over the dead. Plenty to read!
Lynn West is one of the founders of Dreamspinner Press and was one of the first two editors employed by the press in January 2007. She was named Editor in Chief in January 2009. She has edited the work of more than a hundred authors, including many of the bestsellers in Dreamspinner’s catalog. Before and during the early years of Dreamspinner, Lynn worked as a professional editor in fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and technical writing and was a fiction and nonfiction author, a public relations writer, and an award-winning print journalist before that, thus racking up twenty years of publishing experience as of January 2014. She holds a bachelor’s degree in modern languages and a master’s degree in management, as well as a variety of advanced educational and training certifications. All that boring stuff aside, Lynn’s love of reading and writing comes thanks to a dissolute youth spent devouring Science Fiction Book Club tomes from her dad’s bookshelves. Her nickname is the Wicked Witch West, though her flying monkeys (staff) insist that “wicked” is a good thing in gay romance.