Christina Lynch is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling novel City of Dark Magic and the sequel, City of Lost Dreams, written under the pseudonym Magnus Flyte. Also a television writer (Dead Zone, Wildfire), journalist, editor, and writing teacher, her specialties are comic fiction and nonfiction, projects with a historical bent, collaboration, short stories, mysteries. A graduate of Harvard and Antioch University, she writes for the commercial marketplace herself, and is a calm, organized and prompt editor whose goal is to give her clients the tools to make their books reflect their individual voices, yet draw a wide readership.
Christina’s Book Coaching Statement
When I was in my 20s, I wrote an entire novel, showed it to one person, and got a moderately positive response that encouraged me to revise it before sending it out. I was crushed and put it a drawer forever. I wish I could travel back in time and tell my younger self that feedback is NOT criticism, and that rewriting can be fun, energizing, electrifying and highly satisfying. It brings you closer to your work, and connects you to your readers. Writing, like life, is an ongoing education best tackled with a mix of confidence, humility, openness and curiosity.
My approach to helping you with your manuscript comes out of that early experience (followed by thirty years of toughening my hide as a television writer and New York Times bestselling novelist) and a fundamental belief that there are no absolute “good” or “bad” books—it’s all about matching reader and story. My own appreciation of a particular work is hugely influenced by what I’m thinking about in that moment in my life, and what I’m longing to find between a book’s covers. For example, if I’m sitting on a bumpy plane flight, I want complete distraction, but if I’m wrestling with a personal problem, I want deeper insights. A book I loved in my twenties may no longer speak to me, but a book I found impossible then delights me now. Understanding that we probably can’t please everyone, but we can find our core readership and blow their socks off is very freeing, and a lot of fun.
One of the first things I’ll ask you to do is to describe your ideal reader—what effect do you want your story to have on him or her? Out of that conversation, we can formulate a plan to sharpen your story and language to get your reader to that place.
My goal is not to tell you what’s “right” or “wrong,” but to show you what your options are. A first draft is a precious, wonderful thing, and at the same time it can be enormously helpful—and yes, satisfying—to revise it in order to deepen character, tighten story, and strengthen your voice.
I enjoy working with writers of all ages and experience levels, and devour all kinds of stories. I am especially excited about working with humor, history, science, animals, and stories that explore human vulnerability in all its forms.
I look forward to reading your work!