A Tampa author with expertise on thoroughbreds and the CIA writes a novel
about a horse-breeding
Karen A. Lynch moves with confidence and ease, unhooking the harness from the Andalusian horse she has stabled at Jdon Farms in Odessa.
She absently strokes the mare's neck. The horse's head moves to Lynch's shoulder, and Lynch gives the six-year-old Valentia a kiss. Valentia, a national champion in show driving competition, shakes her mane. Lynch grins.
"I've been with her since she was a foal," Lynch says, explaining her affection.
Lynch, who lives in Carrollwood, is 60. She says she "feels 20," but it's not necessary to put into words. With every story she tells - and she has tons of stories - her enthusiasm and wit put the lie to the theory that age dulls the spirit.
So does her quest to become a successful novelist.
Lynch will talk about writing during a book signing Saturday at the Carrollwood Barnes and Noble. She will offer guidance to other writers. Selling some books wouldn't be bad, either.
"I'd like to sell a million copies, you know, like Bill Clinton," she says.
But, in a way, it's all icing on the cake.
"I got a lot of satisfaction just writing the book," Lynch says.
That's understandable. Lynch's espionage thriller "The Game of Lies" has been 20 years in the making.
Unraveling a terrorist plot
"The Game of Lies" (AuthorHouse $23.50) centers on Alanna Reynolds, a horse breeder and undercover CIA agent. Reynolds must unravel a complex web of intrigue surrounding a terrorist plot to obtain a nuclear weapon.
The novel includes so much detail on CIA operations, that Lynch sought the agency's approval. She got it.
"The thing I am most proud of is the accuracy of the story." Lynch says.
Accuracy is the hallmark of Lynch's first book, "Decision for Disaster; Betrayal at the Bay of Pigs," a nonfiction account of the 1961 invasion of Cuba that she ghostwrote for her husband, Grayston L. Lynch. Grayston, a former CIA operative, took part in the invasion. Lynch took his notes and turned them into a book.
"Decision for Disaster" was published in 1998. Ron Howard's film production company, Imagine Entertainment, purchased the movie rights.
Her success has been gratifying, but it did not come easily. It came the way achievement usually does; through hard work and dedication.
Lynch, a Cleveland native, was a horse-riding instructor in Ohio when she first got into thoroughbred breeding. She bought three mares from a railroad magnate who abruptly decided to get into horse breeding, and then, just as abruptly, to get out. The purchase price: $750.
"When I sold the first one, I made a big profit." Lynch says. "And I thought, 'Hey how easy is this?'"
She eventually moved to Lexington, KY, center of the thoroughbred universe. To learn the business, Lynch took a job selling advertising for The Blood-Horse Magazine. She did well, but most importantly, she made contacts.
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