Author Interview - Carissa Ann Lynch (USA Today Bestselling Author)
December 17, 2018
Today I had the privilege of sitting down (virtually) with my good friend and USA Today Bestselling author, Carissa Lynch. Her latest book, MY SISTER IS MISSING, will be released by Harper Collins Killer Reads in February 2019. Please take just a couple minutes to read and learn a bit about this best-selling author and rising literary star!
What book is on your bedside table right now?
There are 3 books on my bedside table: Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine (I've been eyeballing her books forever, and finally bought the first in the series the other day). The Missing by C.L. Taylor (I just finished it last week and it was amazing). And Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough (currrently reading this one - LOVE IT).
What is the one book you tell everyone to read?
It's always changing, but this year...I've been telling everyone to read Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough, In a Cottage in a Wood by Cass Green, and The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. I've read so many incredible books this year! I could talk books for days...
What is your favorite word and your least favorite word and why?
Favorite word - Accepted, Least favorite word - Rejected (I'm a writer, so these words mean everything to me in the literary world).
What one book inspired you to become a writer?
Fight ClubSo many books! But definitely by Chuck Palahniuk - I love Chuck's shocking, minimalist style. After I finished reading Fight Club, I said, "You know what? I want write a book." It’s so much harder than it looks – I had no idea how hard at the time! I met him at a signing once - I opened my mouth to tell him how much I admired him, and a bunch of gibberish came out. Not my finest hour ...
If you could read in only one genre for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
I'm an avid reader and I'll read anything that sounds interesting. But if I had to choose one - psychological thrillers, all day every day.
How long does it take you to write a book?
I can bang out a first draft in 30-60 days, but the rewriting and revising often take me several months. I enjoy writing 2-3 books a year, but I've been known to write more when I'm under deadline ...
If you could not write, what would be your biggest passion in life?
Something else involving books. Once upon a time, I dreamed of becoming a librarian or a book store owner ...
What’s your favorite character out of all you’ve created and why?
Hmmm. I love them all for different reasons. I guess I'd have to choose the character I'm working on right now: her name is Camilla and she's struggling to forgive herself after causing a fatal car accident ... she's one of those flawed characters that people are either going to love or hate, and that's my favorite kind of girl ...
What is your writing Kryptonite?
Noise and sunlight. I like to write in the dark and I like silence.
Has any book ever made you cry? Which one?
Yes, lots of books. The first book that ever made me cry was The Autobiography of Malcolm X. I had to read it for a school assignment. There was something about the rawness of his words and Malcolm’s story that shook me to the core.
If you could go back and tell your earlier writing self anything, what would it be?
RUN! Haha just kidding. I would tell myself to stop worrying so much about writing rules and writing for the market and writing what I knew others would approve of. As soon as I realized my rawest writing was my best, it forever changed the way I wrote and the content of my stories.
What has been the most effective marketing tool or strategy for you?
Connecting with other authors and readers online. I had no one when I first started out. But one reader introduced me to another, and they hooked me up with some other authors ... and my support system slowly grew from there. There's no way I could have kept going without the support of fellow authors and loyal readers.
What was your hardest scene to write?
When I killed off a main character. I still can't read that book. I wouldn't change it - but at the time, writing that scene made me feel like a real-life murderer and I grieved for a bit over that character (I know y'all are probably rolling your eyes as you read this!!)
What is the hardest part of the writing process for you?
The beginning is tough - you really have to nail those first few chapters and sometimes, it takes me a bit to get going. But once I have the momentum in a story, it's usually smooth from there.
What inspired your latest book, MY SISTER IS MISSING?
I was sulking in the woods behind my house when I looked up and realized that, through a gap between two trees, I had a clear view into my own kitchen. I could see my family inside but they couldn't see me out in the trees. The thought of someone being able to watch from that spot creeped me out. It is what initially inspired the story of Emily and her fear of the woods behind her childhood home. I also wanted to write about sisters - my sister is my best friend, and I wanted to incorporate a sister into my next story. I was also inspired by my youngest son - there's a young boy in the book who is different, and his differences often make him the target of bullies and exclusion. So, all of these things inspired the book that eventually evolved into My Sister is Missing.
Carissa Ann Lynch is the USA TODAY bestselling author of the upcoming thriller, MY SISTER IS MISSING, coming from HarperCollins' Killer Reads in February 2019. She resides in Floyds Knobs, Indiana. She's had a life-long obsession with books: reading them, writing them, smelling them...well, you get the idea.