MY INTERVIEW WITH CARISSA ANN LYNCH!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
I’m Carissa Ann Lynch. I write dark twisty novels about women. I typically write in the mystery/thriller genre.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
Midnight Moss releases on July 9th with Zombie Cupcake Press. Here’s a little bit about it…Fresh out of high school and stalling on college, all Dorothea wants is a little freedom. So when she’s offered an opportunity to move into her grandmother’s house in Black Cat Springs, she simply can’t resist. Cheap rent and distance from her parents is exactly what she’s always wanted…and a handsome new neighbor seals the deal. But as soon as she moves to Black Cat Springs, Dorothea’s immediately drawn to a mysterious fence in the woods, and despite her better judgement and the dark legends beyond, she sneaks inside, learning that some things from her past are better left contained…A twisted town with a mind-boggling past is about to become Dorothea’s future. And whatever she does, one thing is certain—she cannot trust her instincts.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I’ve always been obsessed with reading mysteries and thrillers, so when I finally started writing, it was the genre I naturally gravitated toward.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
Most of my writing is done at night on my laptop, after my kids go to bed. There’s just something fun about writing while everyone else is sleeping. I feel like I can be alone with my characters and get sucked into their worlds. Whenever I’m working on a book, I do it nonstop. I write every free moment I get until the project is done. But I usually take a month off in between books to relax my brain.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I love lots of upcoming books! I just finished a dark thriller called Pretty Little Dead Girls. I also have a book that I co-wrote with Bradon Nave called Shades and Shadows. And then I have a few anthology projects coming up as well: The Fractured Fairytales collection, Twist Me anthology, and 13:Déjà vu. My very first book, This Is Not About Love, is also being re-released later this year.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
Not usually. When I first started writing, I picked some names of people I knew and instantly realized that wasn’t a good idea. I don’t want people to think I’m talking about them in particular in my books, although most people don’t seem to mind that. I usually just pick a name that I like or that seems to fit my character’s attitude.
Where do your ideas come from?
I like to write about things that interest me or scare me. I have a degree in psychology, so my interest in human behavior and dark social problems usually find their way into my work.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
When it comes to writing, I don’t write for the market or try to please anyone. I write what I want to write. But therein lies the problem – sometimes I finish a book and I realize that it’s not the right word length or it doesn’t fit the genre or it’s not a popular genre at the time….so for me, the hardest part is trying to make myself tailor my projects and follow rules.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I love book trailers! Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson made me some fabulous book trailers for my Horror High and Flocksdale Files series. I definitely plan to have one for Midnight Moss as well.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
This year has been a big year of achieving goals for me. Not only did I surpass my goal of writing ten books, but one of the projects I was involved in hit the USA Today Bestseller’s list this year. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and I can’t wait to surpass my next set of goals.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Affecting people with my work—even if it’s only one person, that makes me happy. I also loving holding my finished book in my hand for the first time. It’s crazy how something that starts out as a flicker of an idea can become a real, beautiful book in my hand.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully, I’ll still be writing what I love. I hope that within ten years, I’ll have a much larger reading base.
Have you always liked to write?
Always! But I love to read even more. My love for writing definitely comes from my love for reading. I didn’t actually start writing full-length novels until 2012.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write like nobody’s watching and no one will ever read it—because that’s when the best stuff comes out of your head/heart and onto paper.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I’d probably go back to working in social work. I love being around people and hearing their stories.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I read them occasionally, but I try not to get caught up in that. I never respond on review sites, that’s a big no-no! But if someone tags me in a review on facebook or asks me to share it, of course I’ll respond! When it comes to bad reviews—I don’t expect everyone to like my book. As a reader myself, I have eclectic tastes, so I get it. Criticism before a book is published—from agents, publishers, or beta-readers—now I take that very seriously. Sometimes harsh feedback has led me to do a major revision before moving to print, and I’m very grateful for their help.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Oh, this is easy. WAITING. Publishing is a slow process. Writing the book takes time, and then you have to get it ready for the submission process. Submitting to agents and publishers can be a long, painstaking process, especially for new writers.
What are you working on now?
I’m working on my short story for the Fractured Fairytales collection and I’m finishing up the tail end of Shades and Shadows with Bradon Nave.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
Here’s a bit about Shades and Shadows…The classic game of cat and mouse…or not.
Nicolette is a woman of many skills. Her work with a blade has left many a man breathless. The 25-year-old-beauty’s mind is as twisted as the life that made her what she is. Her hatred for demoralizing, controlling and demeaning men is matched only by her longing to capture him…the one that got away.
Her blade aches for the final cut…
Countless nights, 27-year-old Anderson has tucked himself away in his Chicago studio…consumed with the idea that she might return to finish him. His life has dwindled to a pathetic existence of awaiting execution.
Not all is as it seems…
In the shade of deception and the cover of night, twisted secrets are reveled and Nicolette learns she isn’t the only predator hunting the within the shadows. Knives, sex, and two blood-lustful creatures of the night will have the people of Chicago closing their blinds each evening the second their streets succumb to shades…and shadows.
Why did you choose to write in your genre?
If you write in more than one, how do you balance them? I write what I like to read—so it just comes naturally. I have tried writing outside of my genre and I’ll be honest, I just don’t enjoy it very much. I love to write women’s fiction—whether that’s dark, romantic, paranormal. As long as it’s about women and involves mystery, I’m in my comfort zone.
Where did your love of books come from?
My house was full of books growing up. Even before I could read the actual words, I was stacking books up and looking at the pictures inside. Once I learned how to read, my grandmother took me to the bookstore every single weekend to buy a book. I would try to savor it and stretch it out to the next weekend if I could. Ever since then, I’ve always been obsessed with books—smelling them, collecting them, writing them…
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
So many! Some of my current favorite authors include Chuck Palahnuik, Gillian Flynn, Ruth Ware, Megan Abbott, Charlaine Harris, and Jessica Knoll.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Oh wow, that’s tough. I love them all. Right now I’m really in love with Ingrid—readers haven’t met her yet, but she’s the main character in my new thriller I just finished. Ingrid is a writer and she’s sort of an unlikable person, and I just relate with her on so many levels.
Where can readers go to discover more about you and your books?
They can go to my website CarissaAnnLynch.com. They can subscribe to my newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/chb46z. I’m also on facebook and twitter
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both! Have you ever been so tired that you can’t sleep—that wild, wired feeling when you know your body wants to shut down but your brain just won’t listen? That’s how writing makes me feel. It excites me, but it can be emotionally draining. And when I’m in the middle of a big project or writing something emotional, I don’t sleep much.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Ah—I have to have diet coke, lots of snacks, and my electronic cigarette handy. Without those things, I can’t get to work.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I don’t tailor my stories specifically to my readers—I would like to, but usually my writing takes me in the direction it wants to. I just cross my fingers and hope they like it LOL.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Oh, wow! Lots! The indie author community has been incredible to me. When my first book was published, I had ZERO author friends. But then I started to gain readers, and through them, I started to connect with other authors. I can’t tell you how much I rely on other authors for help and guidance—they are amazing! Plus, their creativity inspires me!
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
“Still a Work in Progress”
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Hmmm. I’m trying to think of something I haven’t been asked…I guess one question that comes to mind is: Have you ever thought about giving up? I have—I think we all have at some point. But the readers keep me going and when one idea gets completed, there’s always another one waiting…I thought I’d stop at 10 books, then 20, but now I just want to fill my house with books and meet a million new readers. The readers make it all worth it—without them, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun.
Amazon Author Page: http://amzn.to/2bKQCyz
Newsletter Sign-up: http://eepurl.com/chb46z
Midnight Moss by Carissa Ann Lynch
Published by Zombie Cupcake Press on 9th July 2017
Reviewed by Yvonne Davies
Ever since Dorothea can remember she wanted her own house. She has been buying items for when she became a house owner. So, when her mom offered her Grandma Doris’ house in Black Cat Springs she jumped at the chance. After moving in she decided to investigate the town, coming across a fence but why was it there and what secrets did it hide. Getting involved in this mystery was Adam a supermarket clerk. With only a few scribbled notes in an old box can they solve the mystery of the fence.
Dorothea was very independent, but was not spiteful. She loved her own company and once she made up her mind to do something, she lets nothing stand in her way. Although when it came to the opposite sex, she was shy and did not know how to act around them. Adam was caring, but put on an act so he wouldn’t get hurt. He still lived with his mom and acted as a surrogate big brother to Elliott. Adam and Dorothea clicked straightaway and as the story progresses you understand their relationship and why they needed to become friends.
As this is a fantasy you expect magical powers, however whilst there are hints they don’t get revealed until further into the story. It was a welcoming change to read a fantasy story that did not have your usual suspects. In this story, you have Trolls, Lake Guardians which reminded me of the children in Children of the Corn and shape shifters that could change into any creature. Although there is a touch of romance is does not detract from the story. This book is fast paced and there is always something going on. The suspense builds the further they investigate and you get the feel of the chase. An unusual twist at the end involving a body and I wonder if this is going to have an impact on book 2.
It does not matter what genre Carissa writes she always has a flair to tell an exciting story. A great fantasy adventure which I did not want to end.
Shades and Shadows: http://amzn.to/2qq53Mb