Author Interview: Lynda Allen

Author Interview: Lynda Allen

Author Interview: Lynda Allen

I interview wellness authors to find out what makes them tick and why they write the books they do. Lynda Allen regularly attends the weekly Mango Publishing Heart Wisdom author panels. Her insightful questions and caring approach to any topic impressed and intrigued me. Certain you will want to get to know her too, I asked her to participate in this series.

Nita Sweeney (NS): Tell us about your most recent book.

Lynda Allen (LA): My newest book is Grace Reflected, a collection of poetry and essays.

NS: What made you want to write this book?

LA: Writing is part of my being. So, there was no one thing that made me want to write the new collection. With poetry, I simply write as I go along through my days, especially during my morning writing time. Then there seems to be a point when I feel that the poems reach a tipping point and want to gather together in a collection. Once I get that feeling, I look back through the poems I’ve written and start listening for the order and flow.

NS: What message do you hope readers take away?

LA: I hope the words of the poems and essays will speak to the reader’s heart, will share insights with them, and will challenge and inspire them. The collection is a journey through the places I find grace reflected in my life. Sometimes I find it reflected in nature and in moments of spiritual connection, and sometimes I find it in the depths of grief or in spiritual activism.

The words surprised me over and over again with their beginnings in rage or sorrow and their endings in steps on the path to healing and forgiveness. Those forces come together through love in the words of these poems – empathy and anger, rage and forgiveness, the words offer me a path that can hold them all and allow them to coexist in a way that encourages action from love or grace.

That’s why the title for the collection is Grace Reflected. It’s not only a reflection of the sources of grace in my life, it is grace itself moving through my heart in the form of words offering me that path to healing and a reflection of wholeness. It is a reminder that is also found in the image on the cover of the book.

While the reflection of the swan looks different than the swan itself, distorted by the movement of the water, if the swan became still, the reflection would then show the swan, unbroken and whole. So, my hope is that these poems and essays will offer a reflection of what is unbroken and whole within each of us and the healing and hope that knowing offers.

NS: What led you to this path?

LA: I never imagined myself as a writer or poet. It happened, quite literally, overnight. One day I wasn’t a writer and the next day I was.

One day I had never written a poem before and the next I started writing poetry and never stopped.

It happened when I went through a spiritual discernment process guided by the friend. It was a process that invited me to listen for a question through meditation and stillness that my heart wanted to ask and then listening again for an answer. The question that arose for me at that time was, “What is mine to do to be happy?” The answer I heard was only one word: write. I had no idea how writing would make me happy, especially because I wasn’t a writer!

All I knew was that I was willing to find out what it meant. I believe that willingness and the yes that accompanied it, were the keys that unlocked one of my soul’s greatest joys. The very next morning I began to write. It was as if a dam had burst, and my heart was flooded with words. It was a powerful and slightly disorienting experience!

NS: Writing (and life) can be stressful. How do you take care of yourself?

LA: I have a short writing and meditation practice that I begin most days with. I make sure I spend time in nature observing, learning, communing, and absorbing. Finally, I take walks for exercise, for listening to audiobooks, and for the time spent outside.

NS: Do you have a motto or slogan you find helpful? If so, how did you arrive at that?

LA: My motto is to Live Heartfully! For me, that means following my internal Heart Compass. The image of the Heart Compass is an image I carried around in my mind for a while years ago and one day finally drew it on paper. I showed it to a friend, and she said it would make a nice necklace, which hadn’t occurred to me! So, I had it made and wore it every day for a couple years as a daily reminder of my intention to live from and create from the heart. It helped me transform how I live.

NS: Tell us about your other work.

LA: In addition to being a writer, I am also an artist and make jewelry. Last year I decided it was time to figure out how to make the Heart Compass necklace available to others to help them transform their lives too. So, I set about learning how to solder sterling silver, and now I make the necklaces for others!

As an artist, one of my favorite things to paint are what I call Animal Wisdom Journals. I feel a very deep connection to animals of all kinds. So, years ago I put together my connection with animals and my art in the form of these journals. They are custom made for each person. I sit in meditation while holding the person in my thoughts and invite an animal to come forward to work with that person in the form of the journal. Then I paint and burn the image of the animal into the cover of a leather journal. On the inside I also include information about the animal and the wisdom it offers.

NS: What is one thing about well-being you wish you’d learned earlier?

LA: I wish I had learned the practices of mindfulness and meditation earlier. Learning to live mindfully and developing a regular meditation practice helped transform my life and how I live it in such positive ways. My days are much more peaceful. My greatest, ongoing mindfulness challenge and peace practice is driving!

NS: Do you have a writing tip for the writers out there?

LA: For me, writing is all about listening. So, I would say, practice your listening skills. There are stories all around us all the time waiting to be told. There is wisdom and insight within us waiting to be shared.

Be still and listen for both.

NS: Has your life turned out differently than you expected? If so, how?

LA: Absolutely, and in too many ways to list! ???? The biggest surprise was discovering that I am a poet.

NS: What are you currently reading for inspiration?

LA: Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change by Sherri Mitchell and Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation by Parker Palmer

NS: What wellness book could you not put down?

LA: Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh. It is a book that changed my life. I learned so much about how to bring peace into everything I do, which some days I’m more successful at than others!

NS: What’s next for you writing wise?

LA: I’m currently seeking representation for a mystery novel, which is the first in a series, and I’m always writing poetry.


NS: Mermaids or Goddesses?

LA: Mermaids. I love the ocean!

NS: Toast or bagels?

LA: Either, because in the end they are both just vehicles for butter!

NS: Ocean, mountains, or forest?

LA: It’s too difficult a choice. I could narrow it down to ocean and forest.

NS: Leggings or jeans?

LA: Jeans, definitely.

NS: Dogs, cats, fish, guinea pigs, or horses?

LA: Sloths. I adore sloths. If we’re talking strictly pets, then cats.


Lynda Allen is first and foremost a listener. All of her work whether it’s writing, art, creating Animal Wisdom Journals, or leading meditation begins with deep listening. Lynda listens to her own inner knowing and wisdom, the natural world, and the still, small voice of the Divine in the silence. She listens. Then she creates. In all of her creations she strives to inspire others to open their hearts and embrace their journey, both the dark and the light, with gentleness, love, and joy.

Her new collection of poetry and essays Grace Reflected is now available.

She is also the author of three other poetry collections Wild Divinity, Illumine, and Rest in the Knowing, as well as The Rules of Creation, a guidebook to living life from spirit.

Lynda Allen Books









You can learn more about the many offerings of Lynda’s heart at her website, follow her on Instagram @heartfullylynda, or join her All 4/1 Facebook group.


If you purchase something through the affiliate links on this page, Write Now Columbus, a collection of resources for central Ohio writers and readers, will receive a small percentage of the sale.

Books Make Great Holiday Gifts

Books make great gifts!

If you’re looking for holiday presents (for yourself or others,) I’d adore it if you gave one or both of my books, Depression Hates a Moving Target or You Should Be Writing.

But here are some other ideas as well:


How to See the World: Poems – by Paula J. Lambert

In How to See the World, Lambert takes us deftly along as she examines the new reality in which we’ve all awakened in 2020. She peels back its complicated layers with adept use of metaphor, as well as a revelatory tone that will have readers doubling back to unfold new meanings in a line, a verse, or a poem. Real moments of brilliance sparkle calling us to look beyond surface and pattern to recognize something beyond ourselves, even while we languish in a groundswell of change.

Tell me moonlight can’t speak…she writes, then convinces us that it can. While pandemic is here and unavoidable, do not approach this collection as an outgassing of that reality. It is about much more–how interconnected we all are while teetering at the brink of change and that we must witness the miracle, not turn away.—Rose M. Smith, author of Unearthing Ida


Nothing Bad Between Us: A Mennonite Missionary’s Daughter Finds Healing in Her Brokenness by Marlena Fiol

After being publicly humiliated in front of her entire close-knit Mennonite community, Marlena Fiol didn’t know how she would recover. Follow her journey from an abusive upbringing in Paraguay to escape, love, and loss in the United States and finally on to forgiveness and reconciliation.

Discover a story of healing and personal transformation. Marlena’s childhood was full of contradictions. Her father was both a heroic doctor for people with leprosy and an abusive parent. Her Mennonite missionary community was both a devoted tribe and a controlling society. And Marlena longed to both be accepted in Paraguay and escape to somewhere new. In Nothing Bad Between Us, follow Marlena’s journey as she takes control of her life and learns to be her authentic self, scars and imperfections included.

Read my interview with Marlena.


The Gift of Crisis: How I Used Meditation to Go from Financial Failure to a Life of Purpose by Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley

Approach Crisis with Self-Love, Assertiveness and Courage—You are not alone: Since the start of the recession, 8.8 million jobs have been lost, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Bridgitte Jackson-Buckley was one of those 8.8 million people who lost their jobs. Between 2007 and 2014, she was also one of 7.3 million homeowners who lost their homes to foreclosure. Some affected by job loss and foreclosure, due to the economic downturn, were able to bounce back relatively emotionally unscathed. Many, however, internalized the outer events as a negative reflection of their personal capacities without taking a deeper look at the crisis as a potential underlying catalyst. In The Gift of Crisis, Bridgitte shows you how to explore crisis as a tool for courageous change, regaining your self-esteem with self-love and self-compassion.

Read my interview with Bridgitte.


Love Earth Now: The Power of Doing One Thing Every Day by Cheryl Leutjen

Silver Nautilus Book Award Winner! What can you do for the environment? Do you find yourself wondering what on Earth you can do about the serious environmental challenges we face today? Do you worry there’s nothing any one person can do that will make a difference? Most people say they would like to do something to make the world a better place, but they just don’t believe they have the time, energy, money or power to do anything that will make a real difference. Are you willing to devote 20 minutes a week to find out? Environmental activist Cheryl Leutjen has the planet’s back and is betting you do too. Her powerful book of inspired ideas and eco-mindfulness calls upon us all to Love Earth Now.

Read my interview with Cheryl.


The Rules of Creation by Lynda Allen

The Rules of Creation is a handbook for living life from the pure essence of divinity from which we each sprang. They not only share wisdom, but encourage each of us to explore the depths of our own innate wisdom as well. It offers eight simple rules to live by, which help us not only remember our own divinity, but to live from there with joy and certainty.


The Sudden Loss Survival Guide: Seven Essential Practices for Healing Grief by Chelsea Hanson

Restore Your Spirit after Sudden Loss—Healing after loss. When a loved one passes unexpectedly, the person left behind can lose their bearings. After the sudden loss of her mother, Chelsea Hanson, a nationally-recognized grief educator and founder of With Sympathy Gifts and Keepsakes, didn’t know where to turn for help, what to do next, or how to put the pieces of her life back together. Hanson’s The Sudden Loss Survival Guide gathers everything that she learned during her own recovery process and provides an indispensable road map to aid those who’ve experienced a life-changing loss.


Your Life Is Your Prayer: Wake Up to the Spiritual Power in Everything You Do by Sam Beasley & B.J. Gallagher
Everything you do is prayer: You may not realize it–many people don’t–but the decisions you make throughout the day, the attitudes you adopt, the conversations you have, the way you respond to other people, and the thoughts you think are all prayers. The food you choose to eat is a prayer, the way you spend your money is a prayer–even the way you drive is a prayer! We are constantly communing with the Divine, even in our most mundane activities. And our prayers are always answered in the affirmative: “Yes.”


Letters from a Better Me: How Becoming an Empowered Woman Transforms the World by Rachael Wolff

Self-esteem for empowerment. By practicing affirmations each day, you will become stronger emotionally and psychologically. Writing letters to yourself can be a powerful affirming process that will give you the courage to face adversity and help you develop resilience that can get you through anything. Become the very best and strongest you can be with the unique tools and practices in Letters from a Better Me.


Your Goal Guide: A Roadmap for Setting, Planning and Achieving Your Goals by Debra Eckerling

Start with a plan. One of the biggest reasons goals fail is that we often don’t put enough thought into what we really want before diving in. Your Goal Guide by Debra Eckerling starts with that first, crucial step: figuring out your goals and putting a plan in place. As a professional writer, communications specialist, and project catalyst with more than 20 years of experience, Eckerling is prepared to help you achieve success.

Read my interview with Debra.


Habits for Success: Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar by G. Brian Benson

A self-help book for an authentic life: Habits for Success was written creatively, consciously and with heart. Using his own growth process, triumphs and hero’s journey, the author weaves authenticity and vulnerability into his habits, ideas and stories to entertain and inspire the reader.


Story Power: Secrets to Creating, Crafting, and Telling Memorable Stories by Kate Farrell

Stories are everywhere. The art of storytelling has been around as long as humans have. And in today’s noisy, techy, automated world, storytelling is not only prevalent–it’s vital. Whether you’re interested in enlivening conversation, building your business brand, sharing family wisdom, or performing on stage, Story Power will show you how to make use of a good story. Learn from the experts and become an engaging storyteller.

Read my interview with Kate.


Heart, Sass & Soul: Journal Your Way to Inspiration and Happiness by Greta Solomon

Discover the Life-Changing Power of Freewriting and Journaling—Discover who you are: Writing for yourself is an incredible way to heal your heart, find happiness, and reconnect with the things that matter most. Journaling and freewriting can bring you a deeper level of self-awareness, allowing you to truly know who you are. Heart, Sass & Soul will show you how to develop a writing practice that nurtures inner strength and promotes a rich, fulfilled life.

Read my interview with Greta.


Say It Now: 33 Ways to Say I Love You to the Most Important People in Your Life by Sherry Ricart Belul

Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right way to say “I love you” to the people you appreciate the most in life. The emotions are there, but the words don’t come. Say It Now shows you how to put your feelings into words–and actions, too. From activities that take just a minute, to love letters, joy jars, tribute videos, surprise parties, and more, this book helps you celebrate the most important people in your life.

Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Days of Good Deeds, Inspired Ideas and Acts of Goodness by Brenda Knight & Becca Anderson

The Random Acts of Kindness movement is born. In 1995, a small group of people at Conari Press came together around the idea that small gestures and simple acts can make a difference in people’s lives. Thus, Random Acts of Kindness was born. But they had no idea how big this little idea would become.


The Book of Awesome Women: Boundary Breakers, Freedom Fighters, Sheroes and Female Firsts by Becca Anderson

Sheroes. Women hold up half the sky and, most days, do even more of the heavy lifting including childbearing and child-rearing. All after a long day at the office. Women have always been strong, true sheroes, oftentimes unacknowledged. As we shake off the last traces of a major patriarchal hangover, women are coming into their own. In the 21st Century, all women can fully embrace their fiery fempower and celebrate their no-holds-barred individuality. It is time to acknowledge the successful women of the world.


Extreme by Joan Gelfand

Hope Ellson is from the wrong side of the tracks, but her genius transcends class. When Hope joins FearToShred, a Silicon Valley extreme gaming startup, Hope’s mission is to groom the scrappy company for prime time. Enter Doug Wiser, her very married ex. While the two work in tandem, nefarious forces are at work behind the scenes. Adding to the excitement of this thriller are the stars and heroes of surfing and skateboarding. With a keen eye on women in tech, business ethics and dangerous stunts, “Extreme” will leave you breathless.

Read my interview with Joan.


Dead Pelican by Lisa Haneberg

Honeymooners hoping to find a quiet spot for a romantic picnic instead discover the dead body of Forrest Yates, a top birding guide and bottom dweller human. The murder rattles the local birding association as they prepare for the yearly influx of Sandhill Cranes and the wanna-be ornithologists who flock to the island to watch them. With Ned “The Pelican Man” Quinn as their sidekick, Xena and her team explore the dark side of birding and the tenuous relationship between commerce and nature to solve the case.


Rose by Rami Ungar

Rose Taggert awakens in a greenhouse with no clear memory of the past two years and, to her horror, finds her body transformed into an unrecognizable form. Paris Kuyper has convinced Rose that they are lovers and as Paris could not bear for her to die, he has used an ancient and dark magic to save her from certain death. But the dark magic Paris has used comes at a price. A price which a terrible demon is determined to extract from Rose.


Glorious Boy by Aimee Liu

What will it take to save Ty? This is the question that haunts Claire and Shep Durant in the wake of their four-year-old’s disappearance. Until this moment, Port Blair’s British surgeon and his young wife, a promising anthropologist, have led a charmed life in the colonial backwaters of India’s Andaman Islands–thanks in part to Naila, a local girl who shares their mysteriously mute son’s silent language.

But with the war closing in and mandatory evacuation underway, the Durants don’t realize until too late that Naila and Ty have vanished. While Claire sails for Calcutta, Shep stays to search for the children. Days later, the Japanese invade the Andamans, cutting off all communication. Fueled by guilt and anguish, Claire uses her unique knowledge of the islands’ tribes to make herself indispensable to an all-male reconnaissance team headed back behind enemy lines. Her secret plan: rescue Shep and Ty. Through the brutal odyssey that follows, she’ll discover truths about sacrifice that both shatter and transcend her understanding of devotion.

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