MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR LISA REGAN!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
Lisa Regan, Crime fiction
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
My family had a brush with crime several years ago and I had started reading true crime books to feel less alone. Pretty soon, it became too painful to read those because there were real people behind the stories. So I started reading crime fiction because many authors do a wonderful job capturing what it feels like to be victimized or have someone in your life victimized so I still felt like someone out there “got” what I was feeling. Then over time it just became a distraction trying to unravel the mystery ahead of the author. Then I started writing crime fiction myself.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
My most recent book is Vanishing Girls and most of my research was messaging back and forth with a friend of mine I had gone to grade school with who is now a police officer. He was really wonderful about answering my thousands of questions.
Can you tell me about your Series?
This series follows Detective Josie Quinn as she solves mysteries in a small, fictional Pennsylvania city.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
Probably the first one, VANISHING GIRLS, because it was so fun to write.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
Well, for Vanishing Girls, I kept thinking what if you found a missing person but that wasn’t the end of the story? What if that was just the beginning? And I went from there.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes. I wrote the first book and proposals for books 2 and 3 together. There are lots of things in Book 1 that you don’t really find the meaning behind until Book 3.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I get up, get my daughter ready for school, drop her off, go to my actual job as a paralegal. Then I pick my daughter up, we will often go to the gym together. Then my husband has dinner ready for us when we get home. Dinner, homework, etc and then once everything is settled down, I will sit on the couch with my laptop and try to write as much as I can. It’s not ideal but life is busy.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
Right now I’m working on Book 3 of the Josie Quinn series. As of right now it’s called The Bad Mother but titles often change before publication. It’s basically where the questions about Josie’s past are all answered.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
No, I don’t place any significance on them. Sometimes friends and family ask if I can use their names in books as characters so I try to accommodate. Other than that, I try to listen to editors if they feel any names need to be changed for any reason—for example, you don’t want two characters with names that are very similar because it can be confusing.
Where do your ideas come from?
I’m a what-if writer. I start out with a question and go from there. My last book before Vanishing Girls was Losing Leah Holloway and the idea for that came from me asking, “What if a mother drove herself and a bunch of kids off a bridge? Why would she do that? What would make a mother do that?” and I built the plot around answering those questions.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
I would love one day to try writing a fantasy novel. I think it would be fun. I’d probably be terrible at it because I wouldn’t know where to start but it is still something I’d love to try one day.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Staying focused. Life is so busy and there are so many distractions. It’s harder and harder to unplug and keep focus.
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 myself but have not found that they translate into sales—or even views for that matter. I may still create trailers in the future, but it’s not a priority.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
In life? My daughter. In writing? When a reader emails me or messages me to tell me that they connected to something in my books on a personal level. That’s a huge deal to me. I’ve had crime survivors contact me on several occasions to tell me that I “got it right” and then share their personal experiences with me. Nothing is more sacred to me than that connection between the work and the reader.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Getting to use my imagination!
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully still writing but maybe with a dedicated writing space. Hopefully with a larger following of readers, and hopefully a better writer.
Have you always liked to write?
Oh yes. I wrote my first full-length book at age eleven!
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Write, write, write. Get it all out. Worry about whether or not it makes sense later. You can fix anything later but you can’t fix what doesn’t exist. Sometimes you can’t even figure out what you want to say until you write. Write, write, write. It’s the best way to get better. Also, read a lot and don’t be afraid to butcher everything you write. That’s another way to learn to be a better writer—by changing and revising what you’ve already put down.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
I would go to law school and become a lawyer or go back to school for psychology.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do often read them. I will respond if someone brings them to my attention—often to thank the person. The bad ones are all different. Sometimes I’ll think about them and ask myself If there is something I can improve on based on what the person said—those are the “good” bad reviews because if there’s something constructive, I can use it. Some of them can get under your skin, especially if the reader takes issue with something you changed during the editing process. Some of them are downright funny. But at the end of the day, I just know that I can’t please everyone. I mean I don’t like every single thing that I read so why would I expect every reader to love my books? It’s not realistic.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Editing. Even though it makes the book so much better, it’s very hard and tedious. I always love what the end result is but I hate actually doing it.
Where did your love of books come from?
I grew up in a family of readers. We always had a ton of books around. My mom and stepdad were always reading and our living rooms were always lined with bookshelves. It never even occurred to me until I was an adult that people could or would have houses without many bookcases in them. My grandfather used to go to the library every week when the new books came in and he would take out a stack of books. Then he would mow right through them.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Karin Slaughter, Dennis Lehane, Carrie Butler, Nancy S. Thompson, Dana Mason, Michael Infinito, Jr., Katie Mettner, Jennifer Hillier, Angela Marsons
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Claire Fletcher because I felt like I was channeling her rather than creating her. Her voice was so strong, it was like she was standing behind me, whispering to me over my shoulder.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Social media. I will scroll and scroll until an hour has gone by and I didn’t even realize it. It’s terrible!
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I try to find a balance. It’s tough because readers do want original stuff but they also have certain expectations within the genre. You want to give them a good, compelling read but not be too predictable.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
My really close writing friends are Nancy S. Thompson, Dana Mason, Carrie A. Butler, Michael Infinito, Jr., Katie Mettner and Jeff O’Handley. We’ve been friends for many, many years now and they have always been willing to read anything I come up with and give me honest, in-depth impressions, suggestions and advice. They’re all so brilliant so often just reading their work will teach me something, too. I will be all swept up in one of their books and then go, “Oh, I see what they did there, that is really cool.” They are the best, most selfless, most supportive, most talented people I know. I am so lucky to have them in my life and in my corner. I can’t say enough about them. My life would suck without them, let’s just say that. I would definitely be a poorer writer without them.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Hmmm . . . I assume you want a title with no profanity in it . . . haha. I’m not really sure. Probably, Let’s Try This Again.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Author Website: www.lisaregan.com
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lisa-Regan/e/B009YY091I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️