Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Welcome Guest Author - Lynette Endicott

STEPH: I don't know much about "More Than a Job." What's it about?

LYNETTE: Paige Hamilton is a single thirty-something who has given her life to her job working with people with developmental disabilities - until she is laid off. She finds there is life after that job, and more importantly, when she is no longer buried 24/7 there is room for love in her life.

STEPH: How long did it take you to write?

LYNETTE: The first draft was completed during a Book in a Week challenge. Then (blush with shame) I put it on a virtual shelf and didn't go back to editing and polishing until a critique partner asked what had happened to it. So I actually wrote it about seven years ago, then polished it for submission in about a week, then had five months to get it where I wanted before publication.

STEPH: Did you have to do a lot of research for the story?

LYNETTE: My career for over thirty years has been with services for people with disabilities, including the type of work Paige does in the story. While I have never lived in Missouri I have lived in Illinois and Kansas, on either side of it, so I know the area. I love jewelry, so the Native inlay that Josie Robinson, the hero's mom, makes is familiar. Oh, and I have traveled all over New Mexico, so no, not any research that I can think of.

STEPH: Where did you find the inspiration for the plot?

LYNETTE: I have wondered about that myself. The idea behind the Book in a Week is that you set aside a whole week including pre-cooking meals and tell everyone to leave you alone, and you write, write, write. That's what I did - sat down the beginning of every day and put in two or three two hour sessions. Sometimes I didn't have any idea what was going to happen next, but somehow the story emerged.

STEPH: Hollywood is calling. Cast the main characters.

LYNETTE: Paige Hamilton, who is fired from her job in the first scene, is a passionate advocate for and with people with disabilities in her town. You will also meet her grandmother, dad, two brothers, best friend, some of the people she served, the guy who fired her and her life coach.

Joshua Robinson's family buys the company where Paige used to work. You will also meet his parents, his twin sister, and the Human Resources Director.

STEPH: What do you hope resonates with readers after they finish the story?

LYNETTE: I hope that people will come away with a respect for people with developmental disabilities, and realize that even with diminished intellect they have the right to be treated with dignity, to live a full life, and to have someone in their lives to love.

STEPH: How long have you been writing?

LYNETTE: All my life. I started with a diary in third grade, then a journal through junior high to college, and stories all through there. My family encouraged me to write my stories from the time I was very young.

STEPH: Are you a plotter or a panster?

LYNETTE: Both. I usually plot out some basic flow to a story and write down character names and some things about them so I don't forget their hair color or eye color. After that it is panster all the way.

STEPH: What's your writing space like?

LYNETTE: I have a bedroom converted into a home office. There is a recue Cockatiel that showed up on my back patio, now in a cage in one corner, and my certified therapy dog and my calico cat, also rescues, on a pet bed in another corner, my very eclectic music going (James Taylor and Carole King right now and a few minutes ago some bagpipes and next up is Kenny Rogers followed by Enya and Bare Naked Ladies. All over the map.) I have a cup of really good whole leaf tea at hand often lukewarm by the time I finish it, and my desktop computer open to my current story, and my internet (Facebook, Twitter, email, Blog etc.) closed down for now but set up so I can pop all those pages open with a keystroke. I actually only stop and look at them a few times a day.

STEPH: Fun question: Spring is in the air. Do you have a garden? What are some of your favorite flowers?

LYNETTE: Ah, Spring. It has been going on for two months here in Central California. My first Narcissus and some early iris and Peruvian lilies have been blooming since January. Daffodils were all over in February. Now my other Irises and Daylilies are blooming, and the roses, Penstemmon, Columbine and Lavender have buds on them. I love my flowers. I often have a bouquet on my desk when I am writing so that I don't miss being outside too much. Garden breaks are essential most of the year if it is sunny. The secret to my garden is coffee grounds from Starbucks. I pick them up in 5 gallon buckets and have for the 12 years we've lived here. The worms come out for the coffee and leave wonderful rich soil behind.

Find Lynette at:


  1. Lynette, it was a pleasure to have you visit. I wish you much success for "More Than a Job" and it was great to get to know you better.


  2. Lynette--I've never written a story about someone with a disability, but I have read some. Oh, I did put a blind man in one story--a secondary character. It would be easier for you since you worked with disabled people.
    I recently read a good novel by a young woman.
    The hero in the story was a paraplegic--waist down--right term? I hope so. She really did a good job with both characters.
    Interesting interview, ladies--keep up the good work, Steph.

  3. Lynette, I live close to a cousin with disability and wonderful parents. He managed to become a lawyer, but the horrendous effort to achieve this has taken its toll on his general health. He recently lost his colon. Since then he has changed into a bitter person who resents everyone, doesn't want to do anything and expects his parents to serve him and the family to entertain him. He doesn't want to go anywhere or see a psychologist. I'm afraid he'll soon be suicidal, but wonder how to help. Any suggestion?

    1. Mona, everyone tackles what life gives them in different ways, but we can all learn from each other. If he were asking I would suggest getting with other people with disabilities to strategize how to best deal with the colostomy and related concerns. A good place to start would be the local Center for Independent Living. This isn't a residential program but is a place run by people with disabilities who provide peer support. All disabilities. You can find a national directory at

  4. Interesting interview Lynette and your book sounds like a great read. Have to say I can't accept lukewarm tea - sacrilege! My husband claims I must have an asbestos mouth after years of boiling hot tea drinking. Time to put the kettle on... Wishing you many sales - Love the cover.

    Angela Britnell

    1. Thanks, Angela, for the good wishes and I am sure Jennifer appreciates the compliments on the cover. I love it, too. I love good whole leaf tea, and it is best hot but good tea is good at any temperature.