An Interview with Lynette Duffy: Author
Sylvia: Hi Lynette, it is such a pleasure to interview you. Please give our readers a brief introduction of yourself and a little about your book.
Lynette: Hi Sylvia, I was born in Rockhampton on the 24th July 1959 and I am the third daughter (of 7) of Raymond and Yvonne Davidson. Yvonne died in September 2007 and Ray died in August 2008. It has been with the assistance of my inheritance that it has been possible for me to self-publish my cookbook and two illustrated children’s books hence the fulfilling of one of my lifetime dreams. My parents moved from Rockhampton Queensland to Emerald Queensland in 1977. I remained in Rockhampton where I was already working. I met my future husband Peter at a meeting in Rockhampton early in 1980. A firm friendship formed and love eventually blossomed. In 1981, Peter moved to Townsville Queensland due to a job promotion so when we married in October 1982 I moved to Townsville. In 1987, Peter was promoted once again to a position based in Ipswich Queensland so we relocated. We have lived in Ipswich since. Our only son James was born in February 1992 after many failed pregnancies and miscarriages. My family still lives in various towns around Central Queensland.
My first book, “My Friend Inchy” has a companionship theme and as I stated earlier was written as part of a Pre-School Teachers Aide course in the early 1980’s. I had a dream about reading this book to the Preschool children in my child care centre. The dream was so vivid I went looking for the book and could not find it. It was then that I realised that I was meant to write it.
I have always had an interest in writing, reading, cooking and working with young children. While still in high school in 1975 I was presented 3rd prize for a short story I had written for a Queensland competition. I was extremely proud as it was the first competition I had entered and to win 3rd was truely amazing. While living in Townsville one of my positions was working in the office of a childcare centre. When the office hours were cut to part time because of government funding, an opportunity became available so I undertook and successfully completed a 1-year Pre-School Teachers Aide course. One of my children’s books “My Friend Inchy” was written as part of this course. I had to present a children’s story and could not find one I liked so I wrote one. Another part time position I was fortunate to acquire while working at the childcare centre, was the cook’s position. I undertook and passed all the nutritional and health regulations for this position, which entailed designing, cooking and presenting in a fun and nutritionally balanced manner a Monday-Friday menu, suitable for children aged 6 weeks to 6 years.
“Back to Basics” is designed to assist various age groups from people starting out on their own, busy families and those trying to develop a healthier lifestyle. It is filled with nutritionally balanced recipes people can eat every day emphasizing low fat, sugar and salt. The recipes are designed to be cooked in a fast manner so as not to burden your time or the electricity and household budgets. All the listed ingredients are reasonably priced and readily available in Australia.
Sylvia: The book cover is very inviting. I love the look! What inspired you to become a children’s author?
Lynette: I have always been interested in children, cooking, reading and self-expression through writing, so this was a natural progression for me. Since the age of 3 when people asked me what I wanted to be I would say “A Mother” (they would laugh of course) but I felt this was a vital role for any woman to follow as you were inspiring and raising the next generation of individuals. I have always had a vivid imagination and recording these thoughts, ideas and stories just happened to come naturally for me. I have always been fascinated with psychology and how each individuals mind works, so I undertook non accredited courses in particularly in child psychology so this has played a role in my ideas also.
Sylvia: Very interesting! Do you have any advice for other writers?
Lynette: The best advice I can give is know your topic and target audience. You will be challenged by your readers and media about the content and they are too willing to point out your mistakes or flaws. Find a publisher you can relate to, because things crop up all the time and there can be personality clashes. Have your manuscript already formatted for them to save you money. Colour is money when printing, so, if possible, do it in black and white i.e. my cookbook. If you are doing illustrations for books, keep them simple and relevant to the page.
Sylvia: What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books and which ones have been most successful?
Lynette: I use whatever free methods I can. From free PR people who are happy to help you start out, to utilising free publicity with Meet the Author & Book signing events and inviting local newspapers, politicians and business people to draw in the crowds and added for the papers to come and photograph you and do an article. I have even offered my books to schools, childcare centres and non-profit groups for fundraising in the hope of raising more book sales. So far, nothing stands out as being better, but I live in hope and keep trying.
Sylvia: Why should we buy your book?
Lynette: The children’s books have relevant themes – Monster has an anti-bullying theme and My Friend Inchy has a companionship theme. Back to Basics has a health, cost saving and time management message. None of my books are very expensive and will be posted free in Australia. The children’s books make better gifts than say Easter Eggs and are great stocking fillers at Christmas time. Back to Basics is not expensive to purchase and will not only save you time and money but if the recipes are followed you will lose weight also hence be healthier also. I have already had people inform me of this attribute.
Sylvia: That is very motivating! Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Lynette: I write mostly at my desk or the dining room table. Wherever it is, it has to be very quiet so I can concentrate. I do not even like music or TV playing in the background. I like to be in open spaces. Our house is open plan and we have an outdoors/indoors effect from our lounge, dining and kitchen so I can see the garden, birds and lizards. Outside in the garden is good also.
Sylvia: What projects are you currently working on?
Lynette: I am working on a couple of projects. One is another cookbook based on products from a company who has approached me to incorporate their products into recipes. Another is I am formulating ideas for a children’s cookbook and I am also working on a series of children’s books based on Australian wildlife creatures, probably a novel of short stories that are intertwined and flow but can be read individually also.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Lynette: Imagination is my power word. Without imagination, we cannot see the possibilities for writing or life. When I think of the word “imagine” my mind expands and opens to allow thoughts to formulate and hence flow onto paper.
Sylvia: Yes, if you use your imagination, the possibilities are endless. Lynette, thank you! Please share your contact information:
Lynette: My pleasure Sylvia. My contact information is below:
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Lynette-Duffy/156800761118677
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org