Lynne Klippel and her adult son Tom moved to rural Paute in 2012, taking on the challenge of building a house and living near a small village with no other expats. If you go to Chican and ask for the Gringa, you’ll be directed to Lynne’s house. Lynne still works full-time as a writer and publisher. Her company, SageMountainBooks.com, has published more than 200 books over the last 13 years and has some really good ones coming out in 2016 including, “Ecuador Bound - How to Relocate without Losing Your Money or Your Mind”, co-authored
with Gringo Visa’s Maite Duran. The ultimate bookworm, Lynne loves teaching new writers, writing, editing, and book marketing almost as much as she loves sitting on her porch with a great read.
WHERE WAS THE LAST PLACE YOU LIVED BEFORE MOVING TO CUENCA? The last place I lived before here was St Louis MO where I worked as the head of medical libraries for a large healthcare system – yes, it is all about the books!
WHY CUENCA? I came to the Cuenca area because I’d turned 50 and was ready for an adventure before I got too old to enjoy it. I’d visited Ecuador a couple of times before then and loved it. I chose this area for natural beauty, good infrastructure, and kind people.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT CUENCA? I love the freedom, peace, and opportunities here. I’m just a bus ride from Cuenca and come in at least once a week to see friends and enjoy big city life. The people I’ve met here, both in the expat and local communities, are remarkable. I am blessed to have some wonderful friends here and meet more great people here every week. I didn’t expect that. What a great surprise.
WHAT WAS YOUR PROFESSION BEFORE YOU RETIRED? I’m not retired and have a long time before I can collect pension funds, so I stay busy ghostwriting, working on my own writing projects, and publishing books. Being an entrepreneur here works well for me as long as I have the internet. I have a few extra grey hairs from times when I had 100 people registered for a training program and had no internet access. Thankfully, my internet in the country is getting better every year.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME, WOULD YOU DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT, AND IF SO, WHAT? If I could go back in time, I’d keep my same career path, even though it was a bit curvy. I started as a teacher and then a healthcare administrator. I always wrote in those professions as well as learned as much about leading teams and dealing with customers. I use those skills on a daily basis today. Who knew teaching 4th grade could lead to a great career in publishing? I would have never dreamed that, so it was a great surprise.
WHO IS YOUR HERO(ES) AND WHY? My parents. My dad was famous for his big laugh, for never meeting a stranger and his kindness. My mom was wise, a great leader, and could always say the right thing at the right time. I always wanted to be a blend of the best of both of them.
WHAT'S THE MAGIC FORMULA FOR SUCCESS? Use your natural strengths, take responsibility when things go wrong, and stay organized so things get done on time. It doesn’t hurt to have a good farm girl’s work ethic either.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PIGOUT FOOD? Popcorn. I could eat it every day.
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU TOLD A LIE AND WHAT ARE THE DETAILS BEHIND IT? I told a lie today. A group of us in Paute had a surprise birthday party for our favorite cab driver. I told a whopper to get him to the location. He was so surprised!
HOW DO YOU OVERCOME WRITER'S BLOCK? I get up and move around - take a walk or do some housework. Moving your body helps you get out of your head and unblocks the words. This is the #1 question I am asked in interviews and people always laugh when I say vacuuming or doing the laundry will get me back to writing every time.