Lynn was born in Houston, Texas to a petite bronze-skinned mother with the face of a movie star, the legs of an athlete, the grace of a dancer, and the heart of a wounded bird. Even as a child, Lynn was not petite. She had fair freckled skin, dreams of being a ballerina, and the coordination of a baby giraffe. Lynn’s mother could walk across the room on her hands. Lynn could barely walk across the room on her feet without tripping. Her mother tried to teach her to roller skate and jump rope and walk on stilts, but each one was worse than the one before.
Lynn’s father has blue eyes that can light up a room, a smooth foxtrot, and a sweet tenor voice. He taught her that money is something you spend and laughter is something you need. From him she learned that it doesn’t matter what kind of work people do, it only matters how they do it.
In junior high, Lynn discovered acting—athleticism and grace weren’t required and she could be someone else for a couple of hours. In high school, thanks to the best English teacher ever born, she discovered poetry. She loved acting and appeared in plays in high school and college. She only wrote one poem but she worked on it for five years (yes, really).
But Lynn’s real life started when her children were born. A beautiful girl with blonde hair and green eyes and a beautiful boy with blonde hair and blue eyes. Both inherited their father’s dimples and their grandmother’s grace and coordination.
When she turned thirty, Lynn went back to school and got a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre and a Master’s degree in Literature. Unfortunately, when Lynn explained to her English professor that rhymed couplets seemed to be her natural poetic rhythm, the professor explained that rhymed couplets are the format of nursery rhymes—the first poetry many of us learn. The professor also explained that rhymed couplets are not compatible with serious soul-searching poetry. Since then, Lynn writes mostly in free verse except when she writes nursery rhymes and she tries to stay away from serious soul-searching poetry altogether.
Neither of these degrees was very lucrative. Lynn’s final degree was a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. At first it seemed like an easy job—just listen and talk to people about their problems. After the first couple of years, however, Lynn began to understand that she had a lot to learn. About listening. But first she had to stop talking.
Just before she turned fifty, Lynn’s mother died. For her birthday that year, her father gave her a book. He had saved every one of the poems Lynn had ever written and had had them printed and bound. There were two hundred copies for family and friends. It is her only published work so far and is the sweetest gift she’s ever received.
When she was fifty-three and had three grandchildren she decided to give her still-awkward but more mature body another chance at dancing. Ballroom this time. She figured she might do better if someone was holding on to her. And she did do a little better. She almost never fell down. After only a few weeks, however, she did fall in love. With the tango and the waltz and the foxtrot. (Even though some days she left in tears because it was so hard and she felt so hopelessly uncoordinated and awkward. Fortunately that stage only lasted for about eight years.)
In 2005, Lynn finally closed her therapy practice because it was interfering with her dance schedule. She started traveling around the country to ballroom competitions. Lynn became familiar with being fifth out of five, second out of two, tenth out of ten (in other words, last). After about five years, she became familiar with being fourth out of five, third out of six, fifth out of eight (in other words, not last, but still not first).
In the meantime, Lynn discovered she had an unusual gift. She started writing descriptive narrative poems about relatives and friends who had just died and reading her poems at their funerals. Sometimes she interviewed the friends and family of people she’d never met who had died. She wrote and read about them as well. The word pictures she painted seemed to bring comfort to those left behind.
As she was dancing her way through her fifties and reading her funeral poems, Lynn stumbled upon CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD by Neale Donald Walsch. She was so impressed and inspired, she began writing her own letters to God. Four hundred pages of letters later she met a writing coach named Max Regan. Max read all four hundred pages (bless his heart) and they talked about what she might do with all those pages. They decided Lynn should try writing a novel—something she’d NEVER considered—about a woman who writes letters to God.
Sandra Hester, one of the two heroines in ALMOST PERFECT, Lynn’s first novel, was born that day and her best friend Maggie McMahon showed up in Sandra’s driveway a few weeks later. Like Sandra, Lynn has always thought she was a little crazy and very presumptuous for imagining she could hear God’s Words. And like Maggie, Lynn trips on her own feet and for many years had a love/hate relationship with ballroom. It seems she may have found some peace and joy on the dance floor because her dance teacher, Jason, AKA the Prince of Patience and Henry Higgins, no longer looks at her in fear when she walks into the studio.