Molly and Carla (Molly Swanton and Carla Peltonen) = Lynn Erickson.
Lynn Erickson, our alter ego, was born twenty-some years and almost fifty books ago. "Lynn" sprang from us, her birth mothers, fully-grown, fully dressed, doubly opinionated and stuffed with stories. In the late 60s, both newly returned from bumming around the world, we met in Aspen, Colorado, in the Red Onion, an Old West saloon. We were both new brides, wet behind the ears. It was several years later that we dreamed up Lynn Erickson, the pseudonym a combination of our husbands’ names. We had read every romance put out in the early 70s and started saying, "We can do better than this." Well, we couldn’t, but what the heck? We wrote two fat novels before we chanced onto an agent and made a sale. His first words to us: "The manuscript is flawed, but...
Our early books were historical romances, full of blood and guts and murder, then we turned to contemporary women’s suspense. We’ve set almost all of our books in Colorado, especially in Aspen, a town where the truth is usually stranger than fiction. Aspen is a character in our books, not just a setting. We love to drop inside jokes about the quirks and fancies of our hometown.
The scenery truly is glorious, the mountains magnificent, the skiing and hiking and fishing and horseback riding legendary. We cover the arts, too—the world-renowned music festival, the shops full of museum-quality paintings and sculptures. Southwestern art is big, of course: paintings and pottery and Navajo rugs.
We’ve done several stories about the Anasazi Indians because the subject fascinates us. We’ve written about the death penalty in Colorado, vigilante justice at the Food and Wine Festival in Aspen, an illegal adoption ring in Tucson, Arizona, a stalker with multiple personality disorder in Denver, a kidnapped child in Monument Valley, gold mining in Cripple Creek, Moki poachers in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park. You name it—if there’s a story of adventure or intrigue, we’ve made it into a book.
Our research has found us taking notes deep in a played out gold mine, sneaking into the DA’s office in Boulder, cornering Cripple Creek’s handsome sheriff, interviewing the public defender in Denver. People love to talk when you tell them you’re researching a novel.
Have a wonderful spring, and peace be with you, Molly and Carla.