Several readers have requested a more in-depth author biography, so here it is!
Lynne Vivienne Christensen was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, a prairie province known for hardworking people, plenty of sunshine and very cold winters. Lynne’s parents came from Denmark and England as first generation Canadian immigrants, both academics and published authors. Her father was a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Alberta for 27 years, excelling with graduate students researching power system optimization, and in prior years was a radio operator for the international Danish merchant marine. Lynne’s mother taught microbiology, zoology and botany at the University of Alberta, served on ski patrol, founded an association for gifted children and is now an internationally recognized genealogist.
Lynne, one of two children, was the kid who loved visiting Edmonton’s Meadowlark Mall library every Saturday, coming home with two canvas bags stuffed full of horse, animal and history books.
Every year at Christmas time, the family hosted father’s graduate students on Christmas Day, welcoming students from Egypt, China, Australia, India and many more. These experiences gave Lynne an incredible sense of appreciation for other cultures and those Christmases form some of her fondest memories.
Horses and Dressage
As a child, Lynne’s first passion was horses and she started riding at the age of seven. In her early teens, Lynne galloped racehorses for the ‘B’ tracks and did part-time management for a barn of thirty horses including lesson and show activities. After trying showjumping, eventing and Pony Club events on borrowed horses, she settled on dressage, the sport often referred to as ‘ballet on horseback’. She balanced sports training with studying for her Bachelor of Commerce degree. In her late teens, she lived with her beloved cousins in Denmark for a few months so she could learn from the European dressage experts. Lynne paid for her Danish riding lessons by working as a dishwasher at an hotel in Aalborg.
Once back home in Canada, Lynne acquired a wonderful Anglo-Arabian horse full of personality and heart named Surone (barn name ‘Ron’) that she trained (with the help of a fantastic coach) to numerous dressage and show hack championships, including Western Canadian Champion and National Reserve Champion. Sport taught Lynne about hard work, perseverance and dedication.
After moving to British Columbia, Lynne started her business career as a mailroom clerk. That particular job was quite special because it taught her that four years of university does not teach one how to unjam the photocopier! She soon became the go-to writer, no matter the company name or where her name was located on the organization chart. She started writing marketing copy, quality control manuals and consumer-facing technical documents after discussion with Subject Matter Experts. Lynne earned an MBA while working full time. Additional training helped develop her writing abilities and she later wrote/tested artificial intelligence-driven software that teaches soft skills to university level students.
Lynne’s business experience includes work in public, private as well as not-for-profit organizations. She wrote for many industries including craft brewing, horse racing, dressage, hockey training franchise, building product manufacturing, construction, architecture, quality control/third party inspections, curling, vehicle design, non-profit/associations, energy efficiency, insurance, building safety and design, disaster mitigation, family history and genealogy, laboratory testing, and engineering. Lynne sat through endless tough meetings, took countless sales calls, led numerous promotional campaigns, managed both internal and external teams, facilitated many technical discussions, and helped create sound budgets. She’s also (unfortunately) lived the nightmare of twenty two plus hour flight delays in foreign cities, thus firmly busting the myth that business travel is glamorous.
In the spirit of giving back, Lynne has donated thousands of volunteer hours to worthy organizations including holding executive positions at her local Chamber of Commerce, an energy efficiency rating organization plus an organization researching the impact of severe weather on residential and commercial buildings. She’s volunteered at Family History societies, vet clinics, a university plus helped the insurance industry by deploying to the Hurricane Katrina disaster zone to help conduct structural damage assessments.
Pre-pandemic, Lynne had the privilege of travel in Egypt, Australia, New Zealand, plus all over Western Europe, the United States and Canada. She’s visited Graceland twice and has even toured the Potato Museum on Prince Edward Island. She adores museums and archives, truly believing that nothing tops a fascinating new discovery in centuries-old documents. Lynne is currently based near scenic Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. In her spare time, she enjoys treadmill walking, learning about history and archival research. She likes watching historical period dramas/documentaries, James Herriot, Gardeners’ World with Monty Don, Antiques Roadshow, Fake or Fortune, Secrets of the National Trust, Miami Vice, programs starring John Thaw, and most 1970s British detective shows.
Q & A with Author Lynne Christensen
How do you get the ideas for your books?
I live in a home with a massive library filled with wonderful books about history, geography, biography, crafts and trades, world events etc. I had pretty unique childhood, then add in travel and life experience ... these combine to provide a starting point for all the books. The Aunt Edwina Series came alive after reflecting upon the hundreds of wonderful, eager, knowledgeable and enthusiastic seniors I’ve had the privilege to work with during my life. The Forever Charles Series is the result of seven years of focused research on what I consider a largely misunderstood monarch. I was drawn to the subject matter out of sheer curiosity over why this monarch’s other accomplishments have largely disappeared from modern day discussions.
While I don’t actually know any lobster fishermen or time traveling highwaymen, I’m an avid watcher of documentaries about anything. Trains, rose pruning, Siberia, slate mines, medieval kings, Viking archeology … I’m interested in it all. I read a lot, interact with many people all over the world and have travelled extensively. I grew up in a very academic household; the opportunities it provided opened my eyes, ears and heart to the possibilities of realistic storytelling.
Can I give these books as gifts without worrying about explicit content?
Yes. Both series are free from explicit/graphic content. You don’t have to read them first to screen out any super embarrassing, cringeworthy or dodgy pages for other readers.
I want more Aunt Edwina and/or Forever Charles books. How can I support these series?
The most helpful thing readers can do is leave an honest rating and/or review at their online retailer and book club of choice. A star rating is wonderful; there is no need to write a whole paragraph, although those are appreciated too! Ratings and reviews are super helpful to share an author’s work with the reading community, improve search results in computer algorithms, and they also encourage authors to write the next book! Readers can sign up for the newsletter (you’ll never be overwhelmed with emails from this site). Another idea is to engage with other readers to help spread the word about these book series. Suggest one for your next book club reading assignment!
Where do you write?
I have a home office where I’ve got a big computer screen, laptop and external keyboard set up. There are coasters for my mug of almond milk hot chocolate (I’m super dairy-intolerant) and glass of water, dozens of different colored pens and pencils, file cabinets, bookshelves filled with relevant material and paper to jot down ideas. I also keep a pencil and paper beside my bed for all those 2 a.m. moments of inspiration (pencil always works but a pen can fail in the dark when held upside down).
Do you write to music?
Yes and no. I draft story outlines to music, write in complete, blissful silence, and edit my drafts to music. My music tastes run from 1950s rock ’n roll, to 1980s big hair bands, to soul, to the symphony. It’s an eclectic playlist and yes, there are certain songs I use for each character in the Forever Charles series.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first novel at the age of 14 and thank goodness had the sense to shred it a few years later. There was much still to learn about the craft of writing, and the learning process never really ends. All my life I’ve enjoyed writing, both as a hobby and as part of my business career. I enjoy writing to help people communicate better as well as to entertain.
What are three pieces of advice you’d offer to beginner writers?
Research the craft of writing AND your subject matter.
Find your writing voice through many, many years of practice.
Ask for feedback on your writing from well-read people. It’s the only way to know if you have a commercially viable product.