My Interview with Author Erin Lee.
Erin Lee is a freelance writer and therapist chasing a crazy dream one crazy story at a time. She is the author of Crazy Like Me, a novel published in 2015 by Savant Books and Publications, LLC,, Wave to Papa, 2015, by Limitless Publishing, LLC and Nine Lives (2016). She’s also author of Alters, Host, and Merge of the “Lola, Party of Eight Series,” When I’m Dead and 99 Bottles.
She also penned Her Name Was Sam, an LGBTQ awareness novella and Losing Faith, a novella with Black Rose Writing.
Lee has published numerous magazine articles, particularly on the topic of mental illness. She recently contributed to the Anonymous anthology, in support of the Semi Colon Project with her short story “One Good Reason.”
Her short story psychological thriller, as to be seen in (The Trouble with) Butterfly Kisses, “Rest in Peace?” is featured in Limitless’ 13 anthology, in support of mental wellness.
Lee holds a master’s degree in psychology and works with at-risk families and as a court appointed special advocate. She cannot write horror with the lights off. However, these days, she’s getting braver and and using candles instead. She’ll get there . . .
Lee is author of the DIARY OF A SERIAL KILLER SERIES with Zombie Cupcake Press and From Russia, With Love with Bella Tulip Publishing.
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Hi! My name is Erin Lee and I consider myself a multi-genre author. Most of my work is dark fiction or horror. Some of that work includes true stories of people and situations that I have found myself involved in in my work as a therapist for at risk children. These situations can be more terrifying than any fiction I could ever dream up.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Just Things, the first book in my Diary of a Serial Killer series, is a great introduction into the mind of Jimmie Putnam, the killer. Just Things gives readers a background into the world of this man, who appears ordinary on the outside but is actually a serial killer who has a pension for hoarding women’s bodies in his freezers at his ice cream shop or in his barn. While that sounds rather gory, it’s really not. This book is more about the mind of a killer and how it works, rather than the acts themselves. It will leave readers questioning themselves and whether or not this could be someone they know.
I was watching a documentary about serial killers and one killer said that he didn’t view his victims as people. He saw them as *insert shrug* “just things.” That’s how Jimmie sees his victims. At the time, it was called “Jimmie’s Freezers.” I changed the title that night. Then, I got to thinking: “How can I write about a murderer if I have never known one?” That’s when I got the idea to start interviewing convicted murderers as research for the series. (More on that later).
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
My degree is in psychology. I’m fascinated by people’s minds. All of my books have to do with people and their behaviors or even taboo thoughts. I think we are all a little crazy in our own ways. The difference is who acts on that crazy and who doesn’t. I wanted to know what could make an ordinary guy like Jimmie snap and kill women vrs someone, like me, who would rather do it on paper and by pen in a book as therapy.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I do weekly visits with kids to the state prison. I have often wondered about people convicted of the more taboo crimes – murder, especially premeditated, mass killings, etc. I began talking to these men in supervised visits and started listening to their life stories for research. It fascinated me to see how their lives had changed – from ordinary lives to unforgivable crime. So, in short, the story and series that follows was actually inspired by real world interviews I did with men convicted of murder at the state prison. One of the men said “I’m not all bad you know.” That is what got me to first re-write Jimmie’s character. I knew he wasn’t all bad and I wanted to figure out what motivated him to do what he did – much like Florel in the story.
Can you tell me about your Series?
The series includes three books – Just Things, Jimmie’s Ice Cream, and Thing Fifteen. Book one is about how Jimmie came to become a serial killer. It also introduces Florel, an FBI agent specializing in forensic psychology with a need for justice. Florel’s sister was abducted twenty years prior and the two of them have quite the interesting relationship as the series moves forward. Jimmie’s Ice Cream is about that relationship and how Jimmie manages to get away with his crimes. In Thing Fifteen, readers hear the story of his favorite victim, Beverly, and see the story from the victim’s perspective.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
The book I have in front of me is always my favorite. I love the foundation laid in book one. In book two, I love the dynamic between Florel and Jimmie. I’m currently working on the last book so, right now, Beverly is also the cherry on top of my day.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
When you spend your entire week working with people from all works of life who tell you their deepest, darkest secrets, you can’t possibly run out of ideas for your work. I have no books out there that don’t involve at least a shred of the truth of a client’s story. Of course, all names and situations are changed, but I always write from reality. I don’t think you need pure fiction to tell a good story because reality is so rich with experiences.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I write a minimum of 1,000 words a day. I never throw words out. When it isn’t working, I set it aside for another day when it will. I’ve tried writing from an office. The only place I am comfortable is on my couch in front of the TV and my laptop.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Very. I own a dozen baby name books. Jimmie is for the jimmies (sprinkles) that go on the top of ice cream cones, for example. He ultimately opens an ice cream shop and there are metaphors all over this book and the series about cravings for killing like cravings for ice cream.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Finding time between work and marketing.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
What’s the best thing about being an author?
The other authors I have met in the indie community whom I consider my closest friends.
Stalker Links –
Fan Group – Erin Lee’s Crazy Inklings:
Street Team – The Outsiders’ Street Team:
Just Things (Diary of a Serial Killer Series Book 1): hyperurl.co/abbzzh