A few months ago I did an article on the American BookExpo for another site that we are no longer affiliated with. The books at that time were revealed by Goodreads to be coming out soon. I had included a short video on a book signing being done by author Lynette Greenfield as part of the expo.
We wanted to know more about this sensational author and reached out to her. We were blessed when she informed us that she would love to share more details on her writing and novels. So I sat down with her and presented her with a few choice questions.
Also, we had a special announcement to make at the end of the interview.
The interview was enjoyed by so many all over the world that we have chosen to reprint it.
INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR LYNETTE GREENFIELD
1. How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published?
I actually remember the exact day I introduced creative writing into my life, as a self-soothing tool, because it was the day my father died from a brain hemorrhage when I was twelve years old. His death hit me really hard and while I was never truly close with anyone else in my family, it still broke us apart for a long time, in a way that words can only begin to describe. It was a quiet time for me, a confusing time, and in a way, I was quite lost. But writing gave me the clarity I needed. I had a way of describing the pain, analyzing it and dissecting it so that I could begin to try and find myself again. That way of writing has resulted in six poetry editions, four romance/drama novels, and four children’s books. Fourteen in total, with much more to come.
2. What started your passion for becoming an author?
I actually never thought of becoming an author until I had so much work that I needed a way of compiling all of my poetry into a neat format. Once I saw what they looked like as an actual book, I was hooked. Then, once I realized my publishing potential, I became excited. And now that I am immersed in the thick of the publishing world and all of the incredible opportunities that come along with it, I’m totally addicted. I’m in love with that satisfying moment when you hold the final draft in your hands after so much hard work. It is an exhilarating and empowering high, I wish everyone could experience.
3. Who or what are your inspirations?
For me, it’s a combination of both who and what. I’m intensely moved and inspired by people who want, then actually act. It doesn’t matter if you’re a race car driver, an architect, or a dog walker. If you have a passion and if you wake up and can’t think of anything but fulfilling that dream, then actually spend every waking hour making it happen, I take my hat off to you. As an example: two artists who inspire me are the street dancers, Les Twins, the French brothers who I came across on YouTube years ago. Back then, no-one knew about them, but I still watched in awe as their passion for dance radiated and made me want to do better with my own dreams. The world knows who they are now because they never stopped working and striving to achieve. It’s people like Les Twins, with drive and positivity, who are my inspiration. My hope is that I am motivating others out there, maybe not on the same level, but certainly in the same way.
4. You recently attended the American Book Expo in New York City. Is this your first expo appearance?
New York was my second Book Expo. I also attended the Expo in Chicago in 2016. They were both amazing. At both events, there was just as much anticipation that, at any moment, I might meet that one person who could change my life.
5. On your Facebook page, there is an image of the book signing at the Expo. I quote “One of the greatest days of my life!” Share with us in detail what it was like for you.
Yes, I said that! It really was. I didn’t think I could feel any more excited than I had at my first Book Expo in Chicago, but surprisingly, stepping into the very beautiful, very large, Javits Center in New York City, was almost indescribable. Chicago was the beginning and meeting fans was amazing, but the crowd in New York was the amplified version. This time, fans arrived with books in hand, waiting to meet me and have a photo with me. My books were gone before my allotted time at the booth and I made connections and friendships that will last a lifetime. I honestly felt like it was the moment I had been waiting for in my literary career.
6. You look so calm and collected. Was it that easy to hold your composure?
When you know that where you are is where you’re meant to be, nervousness has no chance of survival. Here’s the thing, I write about very personal experiences that I feel I can deliver without reservation because my novels evolved from poetry and an exclusive, deep, expressive way of thinking. And while it may seem strange to some, that I have an ability to stand tall behind a novel without my knees buckling, what they don’t realize is that it is actually the book holding me up.
My new novel, The Day it Rained Forever, is about gang rape, but it is also about survival and self-preservation. Now that I have a family of my own, and people in my life, and around the world who I influence, the subject matter is more important to me than ever. I don’t necessarily have an interest in changing the world, rather, for my fans and for my kids, I want to make the right choices when it comes to setting an example.
I was raped by four men who used a video camera, but I found a way of turning that into a story of strength and of moving forward, and I am extremely proud to share it with the world. And love the idea that it will be left as a legacy for my kids, to show them that speaking out doesn’t always have to be aggressive or self-damaging. There are ways of making a point through speaking out and hopefully helping others along the way.
7. What other projects are you working on at this point?
I am currently writing two novels as well as my seventh poetry edition, all at the same time. I’m also collaborating with a US Artist and Producer to create a soundtrack for my latest book. We’re working together on the lyrics. I’m excited about this project because it gives a portion of my work a different dimension. I hope to have it completed by the BEA in 2018 in New York, so I can give copies away at the book signing.
8. In our discussion, I learned that you are from Melbourne originally, but I believe you are still in Australia? Do you often travel the world for book signings?
I lived in Atlanta for a while but decided to move back to Australia my home country in 2009. I just couldn’t live without some of my creature comforts, like vegemite! In terms of work, I’ve only traveled to the United States for the Book Expos and Book Cons so far, but talk of possibly attending the BEA in the U.K. has been on the table in discussions with my manager this year.
9. You also mentioned that while studying for a Sound Engineering Course at JMC Academy you met the guys that did the soundtrack for the Matrix!!?
I have always had a very strong interest in collaboration and in finding ways of exploring other genres as ways of expressing myself. Music is just one form and a few years ago I decided to take a course in Sound Engineering. It was such an enriching experience and I learned so much about music and the dynamics of the programs around it.
And yes, while I was there, I met the guys who worked on part of the soundtrack for the Matrix. I was lucky enough to be shown their actual recording for the film and it was extremely motivating. Over the years I’ve actually met and connected with a lot of amazing people in various creative industries. In the early years, around my poetry number book two or three, Keri Hilson the singer/songwriter contacted me online and our discussion about making it in our fields was really encouraging.
But it’s not always famous people or people who end up being famous, who play an important motivational role in my life. There are also influences such as friends and people I hear of who push limits and move forward regardless of the roadblocks ahead. There have been a lot of outside influences in my life, but growing up, ultimately, I only ever had myself to lean on. When my father died, emotionally, I lost my mother as well. I had to go out on my own and find my way and I never had any guidance, but that also meant I never had any restrictions.
Life has a way of pulling you down and trying to convince you that you’re not enough when you’re struggling the most. It constantly tells us that we can’t achieve our goals, no matter how small they are. But by turning grief, sadness, confusion, loss, and hopelessness into something creative and complete, I feel like my past has actually helped me arrive here, and here, is where I feel grateful, calm, and full.
10. You seem to have other interests outside writing then. What hobbies do you have when not working on a novel?
I am not working on a novel, but when I do force a break, I am generally working on something either related to my novels or working in general. I have a side business baking party/celebration cakes and cupcakes. I also have four children and two of them are on the Autism Spectrum, so I am heavily focused on therapy and homeschooling. I am always asked by friends and family ‘How do you do it?’ but in a strange way, keeping busy, keeps me focused.
SPECIAL FIRST ANNOUNCEMENT
And now it’s time for the special announcement. Just this morning after polishing off this interview, Lynette and I have gone into an agreement for me to adapt her novel, The Day it Rained Forever, into the film. I will be creating the script for the adaptation and the pursuing leads in the film industry to have it produced. I already have one in mind, but will announce here on Celenic Film Studios when it when it becomes official.
You can read more details on this book here
Shaun M Jooste
Director: Celenic Earth Publications