My first book was born as I drove across Oklahoma on a trip from Wyoming to Florida, with two eleven-year-old boys and way too much luggage stuffed into the very tiny backseat of a Porsche 944. Instead of tuning into their squabbles and the “are we there yets”, I turned my mind to hunting down a Nazi war criminal as I drove down the interstate. That book, The Final Solution, is now hiding out in a closet, and, because I love you all, that’s exactly where it’ll stay.Lynnette Hallberg

But it was great practice, and it created in me an insatiable desire to write. I’ve finally given up my day job—teaching eighth grade language arts—and am concentrating full-time on writing. When my students learned I wrote about serial killers, they decided that had to be my alter-ego. They couldn’t quite see me there. If they only knew how much I enjoy it. But, then, don’t we all have a little Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde in us?

How nice to get up in the morning, knowing I have the whole day to spend with my characters in their world. No more dressing up to go to work. No more pantyhose. No more heeled shoes. I can sit at my computer in sweats and flip-flops and the people in my books never complain about proper dress code. I can eat Cheetos and drink diet Dr. Pepper, and with my Siamese cat curled up at my feet—she thinks she’s a dog—all is well.

Some of my best writing happens in the shower, which annoys my critique partners to no end. When we go on our bi/tri-annual writing retreats, I’ve been known to come out of the bathroom with four or five new pages I’ve written. For some reason, the cascading water frees my creative juices.

I was fortunate enough to grow up in the tiny town of Kane, PA., home to some of the best people ever. I married my high-school sweetheart, and we moved to New York State for my first teaching job. A couple years later, we borrowed my father-in-law’s camper and truck and headed to Wyoming over spring break with a friend who wanted to teach there. By the week’s end, I had an unexpected job offer there, and Dave and I headed west at the school year’s end. After eighteen years in the high desert, we packed up the family and moved from the land of the Rockies to hot, humid, flat-everywhere-you-look Florida. What a contrast. Now, we split our time between Florida and the Georgia mountains.

I love nothing better than to lose myself in my characters’ world. I love to read, and I love the chance to give my readers a story to remember. So grab a bag of Cheetos or M&Ms, put up your feet, and relax. Join me in the land of fiction.

 


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