As seen in the February issue of Uncaged Book Reviews.

Uncaged: I really enjoyed West of Forgotten. Can you tell readers more about your books?

Thank you. I’m glad you enjoyed it. It was a difficult book to write because of the issues that I dealt with, so to have people say they enjoyed it made the journey to help Harrison and Rachel find their happily ever after worth it. All of my so far published books are western historical romance, and all are set in the fictional town of Federal, Wyoming Territory. (At one time, Federal did exist—but now it’s not even a wide spot on a spur of the Burlington/Northern Railroad line.) All of my books also deal with second chances and redemption.

Uncaged: You are part of Writers on the River, Penned Con and Wild Deadwood Reads. Have you participated in the past? What are you looking forward to most at the events?

I’ve participated in all three of these conferences previously. These are the three that I decided to attend this year for a few reasons—first and foremost are the charities that the author tables and reader tickets support and all are charities that are near and dear to my heart. Writers on the River supports Thistle Farms and Healing with Words—both charities that assist battered women to escape the cycle of violence and make a new start. Penned Con supports additional social services for children on the autism spectrum and their families. And, this year, Wild Deadwood Reads is adding support for wild horses, the very living symbol of the American West. What I look forward to the most at these conferences is the interaction between reader and authors. Selling books at these conferences is nice, but it’s not the main goal. I want to talk to the people who buy my books, find out what they like to read. I’m always amazed at the great books suggested to me by readers and I usually go home from a conference with more books bought than I ever sell.

Uncaged: You write historical western romances, how much research do you do for each book?

One of the blessings of setting all my books in the same local is I don’t have to do a lot of research for subsequent books. However, as with any book, there is research to be done. Most of the research for the first one was done over a period of twenty years…with every vacation hubby and I took to Wyoming. I usually try to figure out what I need to research before I start writing because if I don’t have a fact right, I will hear about it. And, if I need to research while writing, I’m terrified of that great rabbit hole called “internet research.” A body can get lost for days down there. That being said, I’m always looking for interesting facts and tidbits of information that help to bring authenticity to the novel.

Uncaged: Can you tell us what you have coming up next?

I’m actually working on a sequel to my second book. A reader pointed out as vile as the villain was in that book, just being in jail wouldn’t keep him down. And, that comment started the wheels turning.

Uncaged: What is one of the nicest things someone has said to you about your books?

As someone who was three credit hours short of a third undergrad major in American history, to be told how historically accurate my books are is one of the nicest things I’ve been told. But, the nicest thing I’ve been told is when a reader says she’s fallen in love with the hero in one of my books.

Uncaged: What is your favorite part about being an author? What have you found to be the least favorite?

My favorite part of being an author is I get to have imaginary friends and I can share my make-believe friends with the real world. The least favorite part is when my family forgets that this writing gig is a job.

Uncaged: What do you like to do when you aren’t writing?

When I’m not writing, I’m usually on my way to or home from a dog show. I’ve shown collies for more than thirty five years now. If you’ve ever seen the movie Best in Show, yes, I know people JUST like that. It’s a crazy hobby.

Uncaged: What is the hardest part of a book to write? What is the easiest? From start to finish, how long does it take to finish a complete book?

For me, the hardest part to write is “THAT” scene. That sex scene has to move the plot forward, I refuse to allow it to be gratuitous, and I often struggle to keep it from reading like I’m giving stage direction in a low budget porn film. I can hear the gasps now about referring to a sex scene as “porn” but I’m not really calling it that. It’s what I really want to avoid. The easiest part for me is writing the opening scene and the closing scene. I want to grab the reader by the collar and pull them immediately into the action. How long it takes to write a book depends on the book, but on average, it takes me almost six to eight months to write a complete novel. I sweat every word.

Uncaged: What would you like to say to fans, and where can they follow you?

I promise a happy ending, no matter how many twists and turns it takes to get there. It’s just not romance without a happy ever after—or at least a happy for now ending. If anyone wants to follow me, I’m on Twitter at @LyndaCox; on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/lyndajcox; I’m on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Lynda-J.-Cox/e/B009LW3JZ6; and my web site is www.lyndajcox.com

I was born and raised on Chicago’s south side, into a family of staunch White Sox fans and Democratic Party bosses…and much to their consternation, I’m not a White Sox fan and I refuse to discuss politics. (Some things are much better left unsaid.) To think that I would finally see my beloved Cubbies win the World Series was too much to hope for, but they finally did it in my lifetime. If anyone asks, I bleed Cubbie blue. I also grew up with a steady diet of syndicated Western television shows, John Wayne movies, and the Sunday night staple of Lassie. I blame those television shows and movies for my lifelong love of the American West and Collies. Only after researching the breed did I learn two very important things about Collies. One is that Lassie is really not a beautiful collie (as far as confirmation goes) but he (yes, HE) has been the best PR my breed could ever ask for. And secondly, Lassie lied…Collies are not that smart. By the time I was legally an adult (I refuse to grow up), I couldn’t wait to get out of Dodge, so to speak. I moved first to the wilds of central Wisconsin and then to south central Indiana to the middle of a corn field, where I currently reside with my best friend, biggest supporter, and husband, Ken. We have a beautiful piece of property in the woods of central Tennessee I escape to every chance I get. Now, to just convince hubby it’s time to put away the veterinary practice and become a backwoodsman in Tennessee. Does he really think I was learning all those survival skills because I’m expecting an apocalypse of biblical proportions? (Don’t answer that, Dear Heart!) I wrote my first published novel while working on the critical introduction of my creative project for my master’s degree. It wasn’t the most perfect timing but my Muse isn’t the most cooperative, either. She dropped Colt and Amelia into my head and insisted I write their story. So, I tried to reason with Her. Yeah…that wasn’t going to work either. In between writing pages of that critical intro, I kept a second document open and wrote their story. I have to say that The Devil’s Own Desperado was inspired by my husband. He was complaining shortly before I started writing that novel about not being able to retire because his clients wouldn’t let him. If I remember rightly, he said, “They won’t let me hang up the hardware.” All of my published novels are western historical romance. I love this period of our nation’s history. The national psyche was recovering and healing in the aftermath of the American Civil War and the westward expansion helped to heal that psyche. The research I’ve had to do with each novel makes the history geek in my totally giddy. Those weren’t survival skills I was learning. I was researching how my characters would have lived. The Devil’s Own Desperado won The Laramie Award for best debut novel, and the next three novels (Smolder on a Slow Burn, Seize the Flame, and West of Forgotten) have all received 4 stars or better from InD’Tale Magazine, and two were RONE nominated. When I’m not writing, I show those Collies I first fell in love with as a child. I’ve bred more than thirty champions and am currently campaigning my smooth boy, Vander (known to his closest friends as “Lavender Larry Princess Paws”). For the past five years, he has been ranked in the top ten. The greatest thrill of my life showing this boy was to win Best of Opposite Sex to Best of Variety at the National specialty show in 2017. I also make beaded “bling” leads to sell to help support my dog show addiction/habit. Dog shows are the reason I don’t have too many vices–I can’t afford another habit.