Wednesday, August 10, 2016

WHAT THE EXPERTS SAY: Lynn Steward, Author

Lynn Steward, Author
Reviewers describe Lynn Steward’s literary fiction novel, WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN, as “a perfect Time warp read for all fashionistas” that  “offers a detailed and somewhat prosaic insight into the operations of retail fashion in New York in the Seventies.” It is the second  novel in the Dana McGarry series.  Alathough set in the 1970s, Steward says her “theme of ambition and the consequences of life’s choices” can be followed regardless of the time period.

Steward, who had a  career in the New York  fashion industry, is currently pitching the Dana McGarry series as a TV series. She prefers indoor activities and enjoys cooking, reading, and redecorating.

Q: In what genre would you place WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN? Is it romance? Literary fiction? Historical fiction? 

Lynn Steward: Literary Fiction

Q:  Why did you set your Dana McGarry series in the 1970s?  Were you able to draw from this time period to tell your story?

Lynn Steward: Yes. It was the time of my career in the New York fashion world.

Q: As a participant in the New York fashion industry, did you base your characters on real people? How do you engage readers to care what happens to Dana McGarry?

Lynn Steward: The main characters were not inspired by fashion leaders. I do introduce real people from the fashion world but they are woven into the plot in their real-life role.

Q: Could your novel have been set in a different place and time and still have told your story? Did setting and time period contribute to your plot?

Lynn Steward: Yes. The theme of ambition and the consequences of life’s choices are universal and transcend any period.

Q: Did the role of heroes vs villains play a role in telling your story? If so, what makes an effective villain?

Lynn Steward: An effective villain gets under your skin – he/she is a person you love to hate.

Q: Did you write WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN to entertain solely, or did you embed a few messages along the way?

Lynn Steward: No embedded messages, although I’m finding that readers bring their own experiences to the story, either relating to the period or their career journey.

Q: WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN is part of a series. What do you find are the benefits of writing a series? Should we read them in order? Or are they standalone?

Lynn Steward: Reading the series in order gives you the benefit of seeing the characters grow and you have a better understanding of their new circumstances, and the choices they are making. They are building on their life experiences – for better or worse.

Q: How helpful is humor in creating your characters or telling your story?

Lynn Steward: Ironically, one of Dana’s antagonists injects the best humor.  As snarky as she is, she often makes me laugh out loud. I don’t think, however, that I make a concerted effort to inject humor, it only comes naturally for a few characters.

Q: What’s next?

Lynn Steward:  I am currently pitching the Dana McGarry Series as a TV series.

Q: Tell us about Lynn Steward. What do you like to do when you’re note writing?

Lynn Steward: I’m an indoor girl. If I’m not in the kitchen cooking, I’m in a comfortable chair reading, or redecorating a room. I always have a few projects in motion.

About Lynn Steward

Lynn Steward, a veteran of the New York fashion industry and a buyer on the team that started the women’s department at Brooks Brothers, created the Dana McGarry series, set at a transformational time in the 1970s world of fashion and in the lives of multigenerational women. WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN is the second volume in the series. A VERY GOOD LIFE Steward’s debut novel, was published in March 2014.

About WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN  vol. 2 in the Dana McGarry Series 
As a fashion buyer at one of New York’s most glamorous department stores, Dana McGarry is a tastemaker, her keen instinct for fashion trends and innovative ideas coupled with a razor sharp business sense. But like the elegant and conservative store that employs her, Dana is caught between two eras—between being liked and standing her ground, between playing by the rules and being a maverick. Dana is sensitive and beautiful, but what you see is not what you get. Behind the cool and attractive facade, Dana is both driven by her need to control yet impeded by her expectation of perfectionism. As she competes to replace women at the top of their game, she is challenged by jealous colleagues. And when a wealthy love interest wants to open doors and support her ambition, she embraces Coco Chanel’s mantra of “never wanting to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” As the women’s movement paves the way, Dana finds a path to the career she wants at the expense of happiness that will have to wait.

About A VERY GOOD LIFE – vol. 1 in the Dana McGarry Series 
Although Lynn Steward’s debut novel, A VERY GOOD LIFE, takes place in 1970s New York City, the emotional story transcends any period.  Dana McGarry is an "it" girl, living a privileged lifestyle of a well-heeled junior executive at a glamorous department store. With a storybook husband and a fairytale life, change comes swiftly and unexpectedly. Can Dana find her place in the new world where women have a voice, or will she allow herself to be manipulated into doing things that go against her growing self-confidence?

A VERY GOOD LIFE chronicles the perils and rewards of Dana’s journey, alongside some of the most legendary women of the twentieth century. From parties at Café des Artistes to the annual Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lighting ceremony, from meetings with business icons like Estée Lauder to cocktail receptions with celebrity guests like legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. Steward’s intimate knowledge of the period creates the perfect backdrop for a universal story about a woman’s quest for self-fulfillment .


Purchase links

Author links
Twitter: @LynnStewardNY

No comments:

Post a Comment