Born in Massachusetts and now a Texas resident, Lynette Sowell is uniquely qualified to the tell the story love story of Tamarind Brown – a beautiful, green-eyes, Texas barbecue champ – and Rick Mantovani – a New England pasta genius who wants to learn the art of true Texas barbecue.
What led you to write The Sweetheart of Starlight?
First, my editor said I needed to highlight something special in Texas, so in this book it’s the barbecue. My heroine, Tamarind Brown, runs a barbecue restaurant in the town of Starlight, Texas. She was a minor character in books 1 and 2, so she was waiting patiently for her story to be told. I loved following her journey and I hope readers do too.
Starting out, who were the authors who inspired you? Who inspires you now?
Terri Blackstock’s books, plus Dee Henderson’s books were particularly inspiring to me. Now I get a lot of inspiration from many authors. I have eclectic tastes … I read anything from historical fiction (Susan Page Davis) to suspense (Brandilyn Collins) to Southern lit (Rachel Hauck).
How does your faith influence your writing?
Lots of times something I’ve gone through is something the character’s face—an issue of faith, that is, and not necessarily circumstances. Whether it’s trusting God in the face of bad circumstances, dealing with grief and heartache, realizing I’ve been wrong.
How long have you known you wanted to be an author?
I think it’s ever since I was a kid. I had a love affair with books from an early age and my love of writing came naturally because of that.
What do you most hope that readers get from reading your work?
First of all, I want them to enjoy the read, to just have fun and escape for a while. I think if there’s a “message” in there, I want them to maybe find an answer or two to a question they’ve had about God, or maybe be inspired to ask more questions of God themselves.