A University of Iowa journalism graduate who went on to become a best-selling spy novelist says aspiring authors who want to follow in her tracks need to apply themselves.
Gayle Lynds, a Council Bluffs native whose new novel “The Last Spymaster” hit book store shelves this week, says wanna-be writers need to do just that — write. “If this is really what you want, you must treat it with the seriousness that you would a regular job — or a love affair,” she says. “Writing is not a hobby.”
Lynds’ books have sold more than six million copies. She’s considered the first contemporary woman to successfully write international spy thrillers and co-created the best-selling “Covert One” series with Robert Ludlum. “If you want to publish, it takes a commitment and a passion,” she says. “If you don’t have those things, it’s much better to look at other things in life, but at the same time, gosh, the years are going to pass. It’s so important to do something that really means a great deal to you, that’s deep within your soul, and the people who have that kind of passion, that kind of commitment generally tend to succeed because they become very, very good at writing.”
Lynds’ husband, renowned detective novelist Dennis Lynds (pen name Michael Collins), died in August of 2005. Lynds says her writing was part of what helped her endure the hardship of that loss. “About a month after his death, I did sit down and I just really focused on it and it was therapy. I’m grateful for my work. I miss him a lot of course, because we not only lived together and loved one another deeply, but he was another writer and so we had that — we shared that,” Lynds says. “But I’m going on and I’ve started my next book.”
Lynds counts former U-of-I lit teacher Kurt Vonnegut as one of her early inspirations to become a writer.
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Author Gayle Linds