Sunday, December 8, 2013

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Author Lynn Albrecht

Lynn Albrecht, Author
Mystery author Lynn Albrecht brings us DYING FOR SEX  touted by reviewers as a “Great mystery, great humor” and “Sex, drugs, and an old folks home? How could it get any better?” Albrecht values humor—which comes through in her interview—but understands that a mystery with lots of twists, turns, and red herrings creates an entertaining book.

Albrecht originally worked in broadcasting and then in the field of corporate communications—a career I pursued for more than 25 years. (I, too, did not do well with the power suits.) So I can appreciate her career change to become a social worker. Today she continues to work part time as a social worker and lives in Canada with her husband.

Be sure to check into her "Huge Kindle Giveaway" posted at the end of the interview. You could win a Kindle Paperwhite!

Q:  Your reviewers praise the mystery in DYING FOR SEX. How did you conceive it? What inspired it? Was it based on real events?

Lynn Albrecht: I had tried to write novels in my thirties––a romance and a historical novel. I never got very far. Many years passed until the urge to write a story came over me again. This time I knew that in order to succeed, I had to write about what I knew. When I started writing DYING FOR SEX at the age of fifty-four, I figured I knew about quite a few things. I’d had some career changes, a couple of kids, a failed marriage, fallen in love again, and watched my formerly toned youthful body morph into something I barely recognized. I worked with the elderly as a social worker and realized that as we age the twenty-year old voice inside us is still there despite what is happening on the outside.  I wanted the main character to be older and going through the stuff that we go through as we age. And I wanted the seniors in the story to be fun and have distinct personalities just like in real life.

I also knew that I had to have the whole swinger scenario in the story somehow. Most of my adult life I have heard a lot of rumors and stories about the swinger lifestyle. When I started researching it for the book, I was astounded to learn there was actually an “adult lifestyle club” in the heart of the city I lived at that time. The more I looked into it the more I realized that a) it was more popular than I ever realized, and b) for me, it’s a subject that inspires hilarity. Could I ask for more? Let’s face it, sex can just be downright funny.

Q: How important is humor to telling your story?

Lynn Albrecht:  Very. My main goal was to make people laugh. I have always loved Janet Evanovich’s and Laura Levine’s books. I started reading the Stephanie Plum series in my forties and I can tell you those books saved me from plunging into total insanity some days. My son wanted to get his gazillieth piercing, my daughter announced she was leaving university to learn how to massage horses, and my boobs were starting to droop so badly they slapped me in the face when I jogged. So I would lose myself in one of Janet’s books and the world suddenly didn’t look so bad anymore, although the whole boob thing remained very disconcerting.

Q: Your reviewers point out the successful integration of intrigue and humor in DYING FOR SEX.  How did you keep readers in suspense and laughing?

Lynn Albrecht:  I had to keep reminding myself not to get too serious. I knew I had to have lots of twists and turns in the plot and a few red herrings, but I kept the voice of Lindy in the forefront.  She just has a way of turning a potentially serious situation into mayhem. DYING FOR SEX is not a scary book. No blood, no gore, but a good mystery that I think, keeps you guessing as well as laughing.

Q: How do you create credibility for your amateur sleuth, Lindy Sutton, to the extent that we believe she can solve the mystery? Why do readers care what happens to her?

Lynn Albrecht:  She’s a lot like you and me. She’s just this woman who’s been drawn into helping solve a mystery by the victim’s brother. She has absolutely no idea how to go about it. So she pulls in her best friend and her sister to help, as well as this old gay guy named Chappy Lowton, who lives at the retirement home where the victim worked. They’re all just ordinary people, bumbling along asking questions, and getting into trouble in the process. Along the way, life intrudes. Her son brings home this outrageously ugly bus and parks it in their driveway, her long dormant hormones fire up for the very annoying detective on the case, and her sister constantly makes fun of her. Lindy’s not particularly brilliant or brave, she’s hard on herself, and uses humor to cover up her insecurities. She doesn’t solve the mystery in a concise, methodical way, because she’s not like a Kay Scarpetta.  But she does solve it. And I think she does it the way you or I might, and I think that’s why people like her character.

Q:  Did you write DYING FOR SEX purely for entertainment? Or were you trying to educate your readers? Deliver a message?

Lynn Albrecht:  My goal was to entertain and hopefully, keep people guessing about the identity of the murderer and what was going to happen next. Any messages that are in the book are pretty simple I think. Seniors are not staid, used-up, people with nothing to offer. The elderly people in DYING FOR SEX, all have very different, and I think, interesting personalities and they are important to the storyline. Fifty-year old women can be funny, still have a lot to offer and think about sex. People are diverse and therefore diverse in their tastes and proclivities. Mothers will protect a child no matter how old either of them get. Laughter just makes life better. Nothing too pithy.  DYING FOR SEX ain’t  Dostoyevsky after all.

Q: How helpful is the concept of villain versus hero to telling your story? Do the actions of your villain result in the heroic responses of the protagonist?

Lynn Albrecht: Lindy is not the typical kind of hero you see in a lot of mysteries. This is a light mystery so Lindy isn’t going to grab a machine gun and take out a gaggle of assassins or anything like that. I tried to make it believable even though Lindy tends to end up in some ridiculous situations. She’s kind of a chaos magnet, but believable chaos. I think because it is a light mystery, the idea of the villain is less intense but still does bad things. Lindy reacts to that, but again, in a way that you or I might.

Q: Is any of DYING FOR SEX based on real events? Is the back story based on your own experiences or did you need to do research?
Lynn Albrecht:  Well as I said earlier, I am a little older than Lindy. So I did base some of her thoughts, feelings on things I have been through, especially her relationship with her son Brent, how she feels about her changing body, sexuality, and her love of Spanx of course. The swinger part of it required a whole lot of on-line research, which needed nerves of steel and a few stiff drinks. But I got through it.

Q: Did your characters push you around and make you write what they wanted? Or were you in control? Did you start with an outline?

Lynn Albrecht: I sat down one Easter weekend and wrote out the entire plot on index cards. Then I started writing, going from one card to the next. At first it was a struggle to let the characters’ voices come out. It took me a while before I relaxed and just let their voices take over. I kept control of the plot and where the characters were going, but I let the characters take over control of the dialogue and the narrative feel of the book. In particular, I felt that Lindy’s voice had to be strong and consistent.

Q:  What’s next?

Lynn Albrecht: I still work part-time as a social worker and I’m working hard to promote DYING FOR SEX.  I’m a novice when it comes to things like twitter, face book, and well, blog tours. It’s a steep learning curve. My publisher does help, but really the onus is on me to get the book noticed. But I’m learning and it’s another adventure. I’m enjoying it.

When I am not promoting DYING FOR SEX, I am working on the second Lindy Sutton mystery. The same characters are in it––Lindy, Patty, Toni, Dixie, and of course, Chappy Lowton.

Q:  Tell us about Lynn Albrecht. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

Lynn Albrecht: Not a hell of a lot. Give me a good mystery and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc and I’m happy. I do travel with my husband when we have the time and money to do so. I love Sedona, Arizona in particular so we try to visit there once a year. I periodically bug my two adult children in a valiant effort to make them remember I’m still around and have relevance in their lives. Sometimes it works. And I spend an inordinate amount of time sussing out sales on Spanx and trying to figure out why my knees have started to droop.

About Lynn Albrecht
Lynn C. Albrecht started her career in broadcasting. Quickly realizing she was not going to be the next Lisa Laflamme, she entered the world of corporate communications. After years of writing videos, speeches, advertising, and dressing in power suits with shoulders pads that made her look like Hunter Hearst Helmsley, she had a great epiphany. She ditched the shoulder pads and returned to school. Five years later, she was released into the unsuspecting healthcare system as a social worker. She works at St. Mary’s General Hospital in Kitchener, Ontario.
Lynn lives in Baden, Ontario with her infinitely patient husband, John Belton.
 DYING FOR SEX is her first book. She is currently hard at work on the second Lindy Sutton mystery.

Lindy Sutton has her hands full. In between having her clown act clobbered by pint-sized critics, keeping a group of sex-crazed octogenarians from starting brawls in the raciest bar in town, and trying to keep her crazy Aunt Pip from being tossed out of Laughing Pines retirement home, she still has to contend with her son’s garish band bus parked in her driveway. Could things get any worse? Yup! Margaret Quaid, the social worker at Laughing Pines is found dead of an apparent overdose and the drop dead handsome detective on the case, thinks she stole the drugs from the retirement home and was pretty active in the world of wife swapping to boot. Lindy’s temper soars, along with her long dormant hormones, as she sets out to clear Margaret’s name, find the murderer and make the sexy detective eat crow. Aided and abetted by the aging but flamboyant Chappy Lowton, her eccentric and sarcastic sister, her best friend Patty, and that hoard of sex-crazed geriatrics, Lindy wades into the world of swingers only to find that there are plenty of people with a motive to kill the social worker.
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Giveaway:  Enter here

First Prize: Kindle Paperwhite and an autographed copy of Dying for Sex

Second Prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of Dying for Sex

Third Prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of Dying for Sex


  1. Hello Joyce,

    On behalf of Lynn Albrecht and Book Marketing Services, I would like to thank you for hosting Lynn today on Strand’s Simply Tips. She is thrilled to be here today. After reading your interview with her, she would love if some of your readers left a comment or question. She will be by later in the day to respond to everyone.

    Lynn is having a giveaway during her tour. 1st prize: Kindle Paperwhite, 2nd prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card, 3rd prize: $25 Amazon Gift Card. Remember to enter for your chance to win one of these fabulous prizes

    Please join Lynn tomorrow, Tuesday, December 10th, 2013, when she will be in the author spotlight on Mary’s Cup of Tea

  2. I found your great blog through the WLC Blog Follows on the World Literary Cafe! Great to connect!