Sunday, December 18, 2011

Viva Independence

A couple of summers back we went to the Midwest to watch baseball and to drive around a part of the country we’d never seen. While there, we unexpectedly fell in love with Chicago. We still find it amazing that a couple of California suburbanites could harbor such affection for America’s Second City, but we found Chicago’s sassy self-reliance and stubborn Midwestern charm irresistible. Last month we virtually met a Chicago independent author whose personality reflects the city where she lives. Elizabeth Marx’s undeniable charm and her robust wit won us over completely. Straightforward while also self-effacing, Elizabeth has an ability to enliven her novels with unforgettable characters, no doubt due to the fact that she is one herself.

Elizabeth discovered our blog when she was looking to promote her novel, Binding Arbitration, which is a story about a major league pitcher and a powerhouse lawyer who have a past they must come to terms with for the sake of a child. Swapping emails, we found more in common than just baseball and the law, so we agreed to read and review each other’s “chick lit” novels. Elizabeth also proposed that we conduct a virtual interview of her for our blog. We were more than happy to oblige since we’d never done anything like that before.

The interview and the emails before and after left us with the impression that Elizabeth is as funny as she is hard charging. We’re sure her two daughters must complain regularly about the embarrassment their mother puts them through but we would also bet that the Marx house is where all the school kids stop by because there is always something entertaining going on. We also wouldn’t be surprised if Elizabeth’s husband has a difficult time getting party guests to leave once she gets on a roll. This take-no-prisoners approach to life, love, and humor is the essence of Binding Arbitration and we figure with her novel, the apple that didn’t fall from her personality tree.

We’ve posted the interview with Elizabeth at  At the bottom, you’ll also find our full review of Binding Arbitration. It can be read on Amazon and Barnes and Noble, which is where Elizabeth was kind enough to post her opinions of The Valentine’s Game. Elizabeth has also offered to provide a free copy of the prequel to Binding Arbitration called Cutters vs. Jocks and you can collect your e-copy at novella is about a small town girl versus a big man on campus. Love at first sight versus lust you can’t fight. Can anyone win when you don’t play your heart out? 

When we became Lynn Evans, it was with the idea of creating the kind of books we liked to read. We never guessed that such an endeavor would lead us into crossing virtual paths with a lively independent soul from Chicago whose thirst for life is only exceeded by her desire to write it all down. Now that we’ve met Elizabeth Marx, we are really glad that we did.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


Lynn sent around an email she received about funny auto correct mishaps. (They are all over on the web, just Google “auto correct mishaps.”) When we quit laughing it got us thinking about words.
Our second grandson is a couple of months past his first birthday and is just now starting to make sounds his grandparents can recognize (Mama, Dada, and uh-oh). Not that he needs many words. He knows where we keep the cookies in the cupboard and, now that he’s fully mobile, there no need to ask if he can have some. Just grab and go (he takes after his granddad.) And when he smiles and raises his arms there isn’t a human alive who wouldn’t pick him up for a cuddle. With Aaron, sometimes words just get in the way.

His brother is three years and a month older but the vocabulary difference is astounding. Ethan already has a dictionary worth of words at his disposal and he seems to add more every minute. There is always something new to describe in Ethan’s world. While we struggle to declare an original thought, everyday there is a new four-year-old wonder and new words to describe it. We yearn for a mind that flexible and expansive.

After the holidays, we will sit down for the final edit of our third novel, The Dragon Princess. As it stands now, we’ve used close to 80,000 words to build a fantasy world full of people and places that can only be found in our imaginations. And even with all the words we have at our disposal, we will spend hours and days adding, removing, or rearranging no more than a thousand just to make sure our story is as readable as it can be. Like all the authors before us, we’ve found it isn’t just the number of words you have but how you meld them together that makes the difference. But we love the challenge. That’s why we write, rewrite and edit. And it’s why we really think it wise to have two sets of eyes to make sure what’s written is what we meant. We really do not want to end up on the “I can’t believe that’s in a book” Google search.