Audrey Lynden Pays Literary Homage to the Milwaukee Art World
AN INTERVIEW WITH ELIZABETH LINTONEN of THE SHEPARD EXPRESS
Tricia Quinnies, also known by her pen name, Audrey Lynden, specializes in novels crafted to honor both her love of art and the history of the city of Milwaukee. Lynden’s latest novel is a testament to her ability to weave famed Milwaukee stories through the lives of her fictional characters. The outcome is meticulously designed, emotionally entertaining stories that hit close to home.
Lynden’s career began with a series of “what if?” questions. When journalism did not satisfy her urge to write in her own way, Lynden found a new outlet. “I graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a journalism degree and ended up working in advertising. Writing news stories didn’t quite do it for me, I preferred writing make-believe and human-interest stories,” says Lynden. “‘What if’ questions that kept popping in my head about people. The question cooked a bit in my head, and I attempted to write my first book. I started with making a character inspired by this story and wrote a very long book, over 120,000 words. It was called ‘Last Day in Wilmington.’ It was way too long and hidden under the bed, but it gave me the nerve to keep asking questions, and I created a lot of fun characters.”
Lynden’s latest release, The Artful Bargain, follows a romantic story of art, creativity, and adventure. “The Artful Bargain is a romantic caper with a nod to the modern art world,” says Lynden. “It explores the themes of family challenges and dysfunction while realizing that support and loyalty is at the heart of every thriving relationship whether it be friends, family, or lovers.”
For Lynden, the creative process is centered around building characters. Their motivations and passions drive the plot, and her latest novel is a dedicated nod to the world of art. “My creative process for all my books starts with my love of developing characters and being the mastermind of their fictional world,” says Lynden. “At UWM I loved my art history classes and I seemed to always gravitate to an artsy crowd. There are so many well-known artists in the Midwest, and I’ve always been fascinated with the talent that’s in Milwaukee. So many cool and quirky people in and around Wisconsin.”
Lynden’s writing career is one that highlights the beauty to be found in the Milwaukee area. “Milwaukee is my home. It’s a beautiful city with a rich history and terrific people. All over Wisconsin, there are such fun towns and shops and interesting restaurants. I love to brag about all of them in my stories,” says Lynden. “Also, Mary Nohl and her “witch’s house” was a pivotal part of my teenage years. She was such an incredible artist, I had to give her a role in The Artful Bargain.”