Award-winning inspirational author Lyn Cote is with us today to talk about her first original self-published novel, La Belle Christiane, the first novel she wrote and the 37th she’s released.
Can the beautiful daughter of a French courtesan find a love that lasts for a lifetime?
In the early 1770’s, Christiane Pelletier, an extraordinarily beautiful young woman, is next in a line of courtesans who have been favorites at the French court during the reigns of two monarchs. Yet she longs to be the beloved wife of one man, not a lovely piece of human art passed from one noble to another. And the winds of change are sweeping Europe. After her mother’s violent murder, Christiane flees France with her renegade father. In the Canadian wilderness, she survives the shock of leaving a life of wealth and privilege. To escape frontier violence, she moves southward only to become involved in the burgeoning American Revolution. Daughter of a French courtesan to frontier wife to companion of Lady Washington, Christiane moves into the heart of the American rebel elite. But one man in her life can never be forgotten. Once he was her friend. Now he has become her enemy. Will he become her destiny? Only God knows.
I went online and found Getty Images and their category of costume photos. When I saw this photo of this lovely girl –I felt as if I’d seen my heroine’s face at last. I hired Author-Artist Kimberly Van Meter who added the title and the flag background at the top. Kimberly did a lovely job of taking an image and making it a COVER.
What do you want your readers to think when they see it?
I want them to fall in love with a beautiful and wistful heroine and want to read her story of triumph.
What made you decide to self-publish La Belle Christiane?
When I began writing my first manuscript, I literally ran after my two toddlers with a clipboard in my hand and wrote whenever they paused! I wrote that story without knowing anything about writing or marketing fiction. In fact, I told myself just to write the book and then I’d think about polishing and marketing it. The thought of that was overwhelming at that time. It took me three years of writing to finish my first manuscript-1,000 handwritten pages. Whew!
I found out that while it garnered interest from agents and editors, it never found a publisher. I think that’s because there are “unwritten” rules for inspirational fiction and I didn’t know them or follow them. I still think it’s a good story and I’ve revised it and improved it once more. And now it’s FINALLY available in digital and print. I did this because I didn’t want it to sit ignored in my files forever. So now I’ll let the readers decide whether it deserved to be published or not. I hope you agree with me and let others know about it.
Will we be seeing more self-published books from you?
I will be putting up scenes from this book’s sequel on my blog in 2012 and I hope to bring the second book out sometime in the near future.
There are a lot of names going around for the type of fiction you write—Christian fiction, inspirational fiction, gospel fiction, you name it. How do you characterize your writing and why?
I believe it all has to do with the “heart” of the story and the person who writes it. I am a child of God so whatever I write will have God in it because God lives in me. I think something a couple of writer friends said to me recently puts this into focus. Both write secular romance and both of them said-“When we read your books, we feel that there is still hope in this world.” And yes, as long as there is God, there is hope.
What has been the greatest reward of your writing career?
The greatest reward has been letters and emails from readers telling me that my writing has made a difference in their lives. Often what they find of value in my stories never crossed my mind when I was writing. Once a lady in Nigeria emailed me that she’d decided to marry a man who had been courting her because of reading one of my stories! I quickly wrote back that if he was a good God-fearing man, she should proceed but I was not a matchmaker!
What has been the greatest challenge of your writing career?
Confidence and pride. In order to write down words and then put them out into public is akin to undressing and walking through town in my bra and panties. So I need confidence or courage and enough belief in my writing to do this. However, that confidence can transform into pride. So I try to focus on writing as a ministry, not just the way I make my living or as a popularity contest. It’s a delicate balance between confidence and pride, depending on myself or depending on God.
Where can readers find you on the web?
My blog is on my homepage, http://www.LynCote.net, and its theme is Strong Women, Brave Stories.
Where can we purchase copies of La Belle Christiane?
For print editions, go to https://www.createspace.com/3669135
For a discount code for $3 off $15.99 print edition, go to http://LynCote.net and click Contact and email Lyn.
Thanks for visiting with us, Lyn. I can’t wait to read La Belle Christiane.
Lyn will be dropping by the blog throughout the day so please say hello to her and ask any questions that you have.