Hello and welcome to my blog, Author Interviews. My name is Fiona Mcvie.
Let’s get you introduced to everyone, shall we? Tell us your name. What is your age?
Hi, Fiona! I’m Carissa Ann Lynch. Age: 35
Fiona: Where are you from?
I live in a tiny town called Floyds Knobs in Indiana.
Fiona: A little about yourself (ie, your education, family life, etc.).
I grew up in Indiana and I’ve lived here my whole life. I’m married with three kids. My educational background is in psychology and social work. I have a bachelor of arts degree from Indiana University. I’ve been writing novels for the past seven years …
Fiona: Tell us your latest news.
2019 has been an exciting year for me! I’ve had two new releases with HarperCollins’ Killer Reads: MY SISTER IS MISSING and WITHOUT A TRACE. I’ve also signed on for two more books called LIKE, FOLLOW, KILL (coming Oct 2019) and THE ONE NIGHT STAND (coming Mar 2020). MY SISTER IS MISSING will also be translated to Dutch and released with HarperCollins Holland in winter 2020.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve always been obsessed with books, from a very early age. And I did enjoy some writing when I was young, but mostly that involved scribbling secrets in my journal. It wasn’t until I was in my late twenties, home on maternity leave with my youngest son, that the idea for a novel popped into my head. I never had any intentions of trying to get it published, but my sister pushed me to try. No one was more shocked than me when I was offered a publishing contract…
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
When my first book was published, I had this moment of clarity: that Ihad always wanted to write books, I just hadn’t thought it was possible.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
My first book was more of a secret project I worked on in my spare time. I enjoyed writing it immensely—it felt like a stress-reliever and I was excited to see how it would end (because I had no idea how to plot at that stage of my writing career LOL).
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
I usually don’t title my books until after I’ve finished writing them. And my books rarely end up with the same title I gave them—my editor at Killer Reads came up with the titles for MY SISTER IS MISSING and WITHOUT A TRACE. (They were originally called WHO WE ONCE WERE and WHERE GIRLS GO).
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My writing routine has evolved over the years, but I’m really happy with how I manage my books now—I write for three months non-stop, then I take three months off. During my off months, I’m usually editing and working on the next story idea, so I’m not really “off”. I write fast, and I usually have a calendar with my daily word count goals so that I know I can finish in time for deadlines. Now, as far as the genre and content, most of my books are thrillers that center around women. I’ve dabbled a bit in other genres, but I always come back to women’s thrillers…
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I never know how to answer this question. My stories are completely fictional, but of course, there are traces of me in everything I write. You won’t find my personal story in the words, but I’m in there somewhere—lurking in the margins and blank spaces between the lines …
Fiona: To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
I base a lot of my books on what I already know, and several of them take place in small rural communities that are similar to my own in Indiana. But I have travelled to a few places for my writing: West Virginia, New Orleans, Tennessee. I usually travel before writing.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I usually don’t set out to promote a specific message, but sometimes, by the end of the story, there is one I’m trying to make. For example, in MY SISTER IS MISSING, the message is: who we once were affects who we are now, but that doesn’t mean we can’t overcome it. And also: bullying has long-lasting effects.
Fiona: Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favorite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
Oh my goodness: there’s too many to name. Some of my current favorite authors are: Wendy Heard, Ruth Ware, Bradon Nave, Sue Fortin, Mary Kubica, and Heather Gudenkauf. I love a good thriller, but I especially love stories that are atmospheric and feature unlikeable/unlikely heroes and villains. But I’ll read any book—if it looks good, I’ll try it.
Fiona: Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
The indie book community, hands down. When my first few books came out, I had very little support. But I was lucky enough to connect with a few indie authors and readers online. From there, it was like a domino effect—one reading group connected me to another, one author connected me to their readers, etc…I wouldn’t be where I am today without the indie community.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
No, I wouldn’t. I’m lucky enough to get to go through several rounds of editing/revisions with my editors and agent, so usually if there’s something I want to change, I have time to do it before it goes to print. I don’t read my books at all after they are printed, for fear of finding a typo HAHA.
Fiona: Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?
A few of my characters took me by surprise, and I surprised myself by rooting for characters that were seriously unlikable…
Fiona: If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
Oh, I’m not picky. I would just be glad my book was getting made into a film LOL.
Fiona: Any advice for other writers?
Don’t get hung up on one book. If you write it and you can’t sell it, or it doesn’t do well…no matter. WRITE ANOTHER ONE. And when that one’s done, WRITE ANOTHER ONE. One book doesn’t usually make a career. Keep going. I didn’t feel confident about my writing until I’d hit my tenth book – and some days, I still don’t feel confident. It’s work—just keep pumping out those stories and it’ll get easier. Also, don’t you dare write what you *think* people want to read—you need to write what you want to write, or it won’t turn out well (in my opinion). If you’re worried about people reading it and judging you…well, that means you chose the right story (also just my opinion LOL).
Fiona: Anything specific you want to tell your readers?
Well, some of my readers have been around since the very beginning of my career. They probably don’t even know how much they mean to me—I love you all! And to all my readers, old and new, thanks for giving my books a chance. I couldn’t keep writing them if you all weren’t reading them…so thank you.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
I just finished reading an ARC – Wendy Heard’s upcoming thriller: THE KILL CLUB. It’s freaking phenomenal and I can’t wait for everyone to read it so I can have someone to discuss it with.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
The first book I could read on my own was The Berenstain Bears’ Picnic. I recently went and read it to a class of second graders—still love that story!
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
I have this weird relationship with laughter: I often laugh when I’m nervous, which means that sometimes I laugh at inappropriate times. I love snarky humor. My kids make me laugh all the time—today they made up a rap song about “A Chicken in the Kitchen” and they made me pee my pants (literally).
I tend to hold in my tears until they’ve reached maximum capacity (I don’t recommend this). I also cry when I’m mad…
Fiona: Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Gosh, too many to choose…I’d love to meet Tom Petty. I got to see him in concert shortly before he died, but I would have loved to get up close and personal and watch him strum that guitar…
Fiona: Do you have any hobbies?
Mostly reading; big shocker, huh? I also like board games and card games and watching my husband play Fortnite LOL.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m not a huge TV person, but when I do watch, it’s usually shows I can binge, like series on Netflix. I love Stranger Things and The Haunting of Hill House.
Fiona: Favorite foods, colors, music?
I love carbs, especially baked potatoes and pasta. Favorite color is purple. I listen to alternative and hip-hop. I’m currently obsessed with Billie Eilish—I don’t know if she’s pop, but I like to call her alternative LOL.
Fiona: Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
IfI didn’t write, I’d work in a bookstore or do something that put me close to books in some capacity.
Fiona: You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
I would take my kids to do whatever they wanted and enjoy my time with them …
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone?
“She isn’t here. Go live your life and be happy!”
Fiona: Do you have a blog or website readers can visit for updates, events and special offers?
Here are all my links if you want to connect with me. Please do!
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bKQCyz