7 Sept 2015

Author Interview / Carissa Ann Lynch

Wendi Wise is a troubled young woman who snorts her breakfast through a straw and spends more time in rehab than in the real world…

Her life is seemingly out of control.

But now she has a plan.

That plan involves a sharp set of butcher knives.

She's going back to where all of her troubles began…


Wendi was lured away from a local skating rink, at the age of thirteen, and held captive in a place she calls 'The House of Horrors.' Dumped off blindfolded on the side of a dirt road, Wendi soon discovered that she was addicted to the drugs they fed her while she was captive.

Too scared to go home, and having a new habit to deal with, she hopped on a bus, vanishing from the family she loved.

Vanishing from Flocksdale…

The town of Flocksdale is littered with fliers with a grainy image of young Wendi, and the words 'Have You Seen This Girl?' written below.

Now, eight years later, she's on a mission—a mission to find the mysterious house from her youth and the monsters who dwell inside it.

This is the end, beautiful friend, the end…”

1. IF YOU COULD WORK WITH ANY OTHER AUTHOR, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY? I'll be honest – I was a little worried you'd ask me this question! My writing habits tend to mirror my reading habits: I love to read and write everything! And I do mean everything. Horror, mystery, sci-fi, fantasy, historical romance, women's fiction, steampunk...you name it, I love it. So, picking one author I'd like to work with is tough. As a kid, I was obsessed with mystery. I loved Carolyn Keene and Agatha Christie. As I got older, I fixated on horror writers. I started with R.L. Stine, and graduated to Stephen King and Dean Koontz. As an adult, I started reading everything – from cheesy young adult stories to classics from Plato, to hard fantasy and off-the-wall steampunk. These days, I'm big on reading indie authors. I love trying out a new author I've never read before. Okay, so now to answer your question: if I had to choose one author – at this moment – I’d go with Chuck Palahniuk. I admire his minimalist, post-modern style, and I want to write like that. That man is a genius. He can make you laugh, cry, cringe, and feel terrified all within a few sentences. Now, if you ask me that question tomorrow, I'll give you a different answer…
2. WHAT WOULD BE A TYPICAL WORKING DAY FOR YOU? WHEN AND WHERE DO YOU WRITE? I know they say writers should write every day, but I don't. It's not my style. I tend to be all or nothing, and I usually write in long, compulsive spurts. I write every free chance I get for three months straight, and then I take a month off to clear the brain fog. Sometimes I just need time in between to think, read, plot out ideas, rest, and experience life. A typical day...I have three kids, so during the daytime and early evening hours, I'm writing on the go. I write on my iPhone, notebooks, and the back of receipts. Sometimes my writing gets colored over with crayons by my kids...
 My set writing time is 9pm-1am. I copy and paste or type up what I've already written on notes throughout the day, and then I work on my laptop at the kitchen table. I often write past 1 a.m., I must admit.
3. WHAT IS THE HARDEST PART OF THE WRITING FOR YOU? The hardest part for me is when I write too short or too long, and I have to meet certain word count guidelines. I'll be honest – I tend to write short, and then I'm stuck trying to "fluff" the story, which I despise. I often find myself rewriting whole sections instead, which can be time consuming. Also, once the book is done, there is so much to do as far as promotion. I'm pretty shy in real life, so I struggle with the self-promoting aspect of being an indie author.

4. WHEN AND WHY DID YOU FIRST START WRITING? I've always loved to read and write, but I wrote my first novel-length book only a few years ago. It was one o'clock in the morning; I couldn't sleep and I'd just finished the book I was reading. So, I decided on a whim to write my own book. I didn't realize how hard it was going to be, or how much I'd fall in love with doing it. I was standing in the kitchen making pancakes, and I wrote the first line to my first book on a napkin: "Making pancakes at one in the morning made Violet Cromwell feel like a single woman again..." The rest is history, as they say…

5. HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA FOR THE BOOK? With all of my books, I tend to mix what I know and what I'm interested in at the time. My current book coming out Sept 8th, Have You Seen This Girl?, is about a girl who's addicted to heroin and decides to hunt down the monsters from her youth after enduring a great deal of trauma and hardship. I have a lot of personal and professional experience with drug use, and I'm interested in many of the women's issues I address in the book: rape, PTSD, self-esteem issues, addiction, etc. I currently live in Indiana, which is suffering from a huge heroin and HIV epidemic. Overall, I tend to write about what I care about. Writing Have You Seen This Girl? was very emotional for me, more so than with my other books.

6. ARE YOU A BIG READER? IF SO, WHAT ARE YOU READING NOW? Yes! I spend more time reading than writing. I always have a book with me everywhere I go, whether I'm cooking in the kitchen, riding in the car, or going outside...I'm obsessed with reading. The other day, I nearly left the house without a book and my two-year-old ran back inside and grabbed it for me without me asking. My family knows: I have to have a book at all times! For birthdays and Mother's Day, they almost always give me books. I recently finished The Ghost Files by Apryl Baker and From Afar by Frank Scozzari, both of which were EXCELLENT. Today I'm starting the Game of Thrones series.

7. DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER ASPIRING WRITERS? I know everyone says this, but it's so true: never give up. If you want to get your book published, you can. Be persistent! You might have to rewrite it ten times, but you just have to work for it. Don't be afraid to put a book aside and start a new one, because you can always use material from that book later or rewrite it when some time has passed. Also, as much as negative feedback hurts, make it your friend. Take that criticism and use it to make your writing and your story better. Some of my best writing has been done after getting my work ripped apart. And my last piece of advice: READ!!! Reading is the best way to improve your writing and vocab skills, and it's also good to know what's hot in the market, what's been overdone, and what styles you like, etc...

Carissa's first book in the Flocksdale Files series: Have You Seen This Girl? comes out Sept 8th! It will be available for preorder August 29th. Other titles are: This Is Not About Love and Grayson's Ridge. Follow her @carissaannlynch or at facebook.com/carissaannlynchauthorfor updates!