Friday, July 15, 2016

5 Questions with Lynn Steward, Author of 'What Might Have Been'

Lynn Steward, a veteran of the New York fashion industry and a buyer on the team that started the women’s department at Brooks Brothers, created the Dana McGarry series, set at a transformational time in the 1970s world of fashion and in the lives of multigenerational women. What Might Have Been is the second volume in the series. A Very Good Life, Steward’s debut novel, was published in March 2014.
Q: What’s inside the mind of a literary fiction author?
A: The characters’ inner narrative: their personal struggles and journeys, as they grow, learn, and conquer.
Q: Tell us why readers should buy What Might Have Been.
A:  Dana McGarry’s quest for identity will touch your heart. You will empathize with her challenges and be inspired by her tenacity. As a fashion buyer at one of New York’s most glamorous department stores, Dana McGarry is a tastemaker, her keen instinct for fashion trends and innovative ideas coupled with a razor sharp business sense. But like the elegant and conservative store that employs her, Dana is caught between two eras—between being liked and standing her ground, between playing by the rules and being a maverick. Dana is sensitive and beautiful, but what you see is not what you get. Behind the cool and attractive facade, Dana is both driven by her need to control yet impeded by her expectation of perfectionism. As she competes to replace women at the top of their game, she is challenged by jealous colleagues. And when a wealthy love interest wants to open doors and support her ambition, she embraces Coco Chanel’s mantra of “never wanting to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” As the women’s movement paves the way, Dana finds a path to the career she wants at the expense of happiness that was not meant to be. Readers will discover that What Might Have Been is a story with life-lessons that transcends any period.
Q: What makes a good literary fiction?  
A: Likeable, lingering characters.
Q: What is a regular writing day like for you?
A: My favourite time to write is early in the morning, around 5:30 a.m., when my mind is clear, it is peaceful and there are no interruptions. I don’t let anything distract me for at least three hours, and I am always surprised and disappointed how fast the time passes. I also can spend thirty hours at my desk during a quiet weekend, researching, outlining and writing. I never spend enough time with my story.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about being an author?
A: The process: outlining plots, developing characters, researching historical events, and most of all, the quiet time required to weave and write the story.
ABOUT THE BOOK

NameLynn Steward
Book Title:  What Might Have Been
Genre:  Literary Fiction
Publisher:  Lynn Steward Publishing
As a fashion buyer at one of New York’s most glamorous department stores, Dana McGarry is a tastemaker, her keen instinct for fashion trends and innovative ideas coupled with a razor sharp business sense. But like the elegant and conservative store that employs her, Dana is caught between two eras—between being liked and standing her ground, between playing by the rules and being a maverick. Dana is sensitive and beautiful, but what you see is not what you get.Behind the cool and attractive facade, Dana is both driven by her need to control yet impeded by her expectation of perfectionism. As she competes to replace women at the top of their game, she is challenged by jealous colleagues. And when a wealthy love interest wants to open doors and support her ambition, she embraces Coco Chanel’s mantra of “never wanting to weigh more heavily on a man than a bird.” As the women’s movement paves the way, Dana finds a path to the career she wants at the expense of happiness that was not meant to be.

Steward captures the nuances of 70s life in New York City and provides the perfect backdrop for an independent woman determined to make her mark. What Might Have Been is a story that transcends any period.