Author Spotlight: Thomma Lyn Grindstaff
Posted by Debbie Mumford
I’m very excited to have the opportunity to introduce you to my good friend and fellow indie published writer, Thomma Lyn Grindstaff. TL and I have never met in the real world, but we encourage each other on a weekly basis in a private goals group. She’s a great person and writes wonderful tales of love and redemption, but enough from me…let’s hear from Thomma Lyn!
Thomma Lyn Grindstaff
Destiny rarely gives a woman a second chance at love, especially not with a man who died twenty years ago.
As a young woman, Laurel misinterpreted a psychic vision, causing the death of her first and only love. She has lived with guilt ever since. Two decades later, struggling to free herself from a toxic marriage, she’s pulled to an alternate reality where her beloved still lives. There, she’s the dead one, and he and their children are grieving for her. When she tries to contact them, they think she’s a ghost or a product of their wishful thinking.
She desperately wants to remain in her family’s reality and connect with them. By enjoying a long, happy life with the man she loves, she can rectify her mistake and free herself from her guilt. But she’s running out of time. Every shift between realities damages her body further. And her soon-to-be-ex will stop at nothing to shackle her to a life she despises.
Welcome, TL! I’m thrilled you could join us. Now, something I’ve been curious about for a while, how did you get started writing fiction? Was it a childhood dream?
I started writing fiction when I was a little girl, and yes, it was a childhood dream. I started reading at a very young age. The wonderful stories I read delighted me and swept me away. I longed to write stories that would sweep other people away.
Do you classify your writing as fantasy, paranormal, or magical realism? Why did you choose that genre?
It depends on the book. Heart’s Chalice is dark, edgy women’s fiction / magical realism. Mirror Blue, my debut novel, is classified by its publisher, Black Lyon, as a literary love story. Patchwork Stained Glass, another of my novels, is mainstream fiction with romantic elements. As a writer, I tend toward genre-bending. My #1 consideration is telling a good story; genre/classification comes second.
Are you comfortable being categorized as a women’s fiction / magical realism writer?
Sure. :-) I’m comfortable being called a writer of women’s fiction, magical realism, romance, literary love stories, mainstream fiction, literary fiction… however readers experience my fiction is A-OK by me. One recent reader of Heart’s Chalice classified it as a hybrid of fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery! Um, did I mention I tend to be a genre-bender? ;)
Where do you get your inspiration?
All sorts of places. In a word: life. One of my biggies is what I think of as the Magic Mountain. I live near a network of gorgeous mountain trails, and I hike every opportunity I get. The mountain, with its forest and waterfalls, directly inspired Heart’s Chalice: characters, story, and setting. Another tremendous source of inspiration is music, another of my lifelong passions. I’m a classically-trained pianist and I compose songs and instrumental pieces.
What’s your greatest obstacle to writing? What gets your through it?
I’d have to say my greatest obstacle to writing is getting in my own way. When I let the story flow, unimpeded by anxiety, that’s when I’m at my best. When I feel blocked, I spend time at my piano, go for a hike on the mountain, or enjoy a peaceful meditation. One of my mantras is “Let go and let be.” In the context of my writing, “Let go and let be” means to strive for excellence, but to let go of outcomes and write joyfully, in the moment.
Who are your favorite authors?
Here are just a few: Haruki Murakami, Isak Dinesen, Madeleine L’Engle, William Styron, Amy Tan, Khaled Hosseini, Carl Sagan, Dorothy Parker, Charles Frazier, Alan Watts, Pema Chodron, Sherman Alexie, Cormac McCarthy, Jodi Picoult, the Bronte sisters, Joyce Carol Oates, Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, A.S. Byatt, Dōgen… oh, I could go on and on.
What can readers look forward to next?
My next novel will be a time-travel love story called Maestro. Like Heart’s Chalice, it’s a wild ride. And my hero, a hunky concert pianist (for whom the novel is titled), is quite a hottie, even if I do say so myself. ;)
I, for one, can’t wait to read Maestro! Bring on the hunkie concert pianists *lol*