• Laynie Bynum

A new way to shout into the void.

Well hello there my lovelies. Thanks for stopping by.

When I was a little girl my father worked night shifts. I always hated to see him go. So much so that he started a routine of putting me to bed before he left.

He would tuck me in and sit on the edge of my bed whispering stories and fairy tales until I drifted off.

Princesses who talk to goldfish, space aliens from beyond, adventures of wonder and bravery.

Those stories stuck with me as I got older. Ear worms of the highest order.

In middle school, I found myself enjoying the assigned reading much more than the other kids. I consumed The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton in less than a week and then read it over and over again, even though I had memorized the material I needed for class.

Maybe that would have just been a one-time thing, a single book that resonated with my heart.

Except the next book that we were assigned, Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene did the same thing. And then the next book, and the next, and the next.

At that point I knew there was something about these books that had captured me completely.

But as I got older and started being told to read "older and more mature" material, I found that zest for reading dwindling. It would take me forever to get interested in the plot enough to want to keep going.

With the arrival of popular book series like Harry Potter and Twilight, the Young Adult genre exploded. All of a sudden there was a ton of books that I wanted to read.

Yes, the protagonists are younger than me and often I don't relate to their struggles. But I find that through Young and New Adult works I experiencing things for the first time, every time. It's always the first real love, the first time driving a car, the first time leaving their parents and going into the world. First jobs, first best friends, first apartments.

So young adult will always be where my heart stays.

A little factual information about me:

I am also a writer constantly toiling away on one project or another.

I have two (or three, or five, depending on who you ask) children ranging from 17 to 6.

Seventeen is my baby sister who is about to go off to college to become a Elementary School Teacher.

Fourteen is my son who is an actor who also happens to run cross country.

Ten is my nephew who changes his haircut once a week and can always be found playing Saints Row in the back room.

Seven is my daughter who is a ball of fire that has just started hip-hop dance and wants to be a cheerleader next year.

And Six is my niece who wins pageants off her sassiness alone.

Beyond my personal experience with books, I've raised kids who also love them (although they all have different genre preferences). If I am ever worried that something in my work doesn't resonate or isn't relevant, my two oldest are my harshest critics and will tell me like it is.

The two eldest of my brood.

Who run the world?

I work by day as a technical writer for a coal mining/real estate company. I love my job and the people I work for. But at the end of the day, fiction will always be my escape.

I live in a tiny suburb outside of Birmingham, Alabama. My family has been here since the Trail of Tears and the culture is ingrained deep within me. I will always have an accent and drink my tea sweet. I'll always walk a little slower and stop to look at the sunset.

It doesn't mean I agree with the history of the area or the current political climate of it.

But working towards progress is on the forefront of many peoples minds down here in Dixie.

My best friend in the world is an anime-obsessed librarian. She is a huge part of my world and an even bigger influence on who I am as a person.

I write my stories so that she can read them and that will never change.

She was my first reader friend and the moment she bought me the first copy of The Outsiders that she found at a used book store, I knew it would be a friendship for the ages.

She has since bought me every different edition she has found at used book stores for the past twenty years.

Life is just better with her in it.

The only thing that comes second to reading/writing for me is music. If I am not at home, tucked in the covers with a book or my laptop, I am out in the world at a loud, sweaty concert somewhere. There is no middle ground.

I am a complete dork and I am okay with that. I've worked for years to micro-blend my perfect brew of basic bitch and complete nerd and I am pretty satisfied with the results.

In my next post I will get into a bit more of what I hope this blog will become and what I am looking forward to, but I just wanted to give you some background before we get too deep into everything else.

I'll shut up talking about myself now and talk about some books.


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