[AUTHOR INTERVIEW] Karen M. McManus

Hello, everyone! I’m back! I’m so sorry for not posting for a while. Just had to sort out some things.

Anyway, I want to post something new and an author interview came in mind. Besides, I’ve been reading a lot of them in other blogs and it’s really enjoying.

I’m starting with Ms. Karen M. McManus.  I just want to thank her for giving me the opportunity to interview her.  Her debut novel ‘One of Us is Lying’ was a very wonderful read (see review). It is out now, so if you are interested, click the purchase links below.

So Let’s start!


  1. As a new author, what is your favourite part of the writing and publishing process? Least favourite?

I love hearing from readers who are excited about the book. I got a wonderful email from a teacher who said there was a wait list for One of Us Is Lying in her classroom, and that the kids loved talking about it with one another. That was amazing to hear. My least favorite is having hard deadlines. When I was writing for myself, if a book was giving me trouble I’d just put it aside and wait for inspiration to strike again again. Now I need to push through and stay on track.

 

  1. Tell us where the idea of the book came from. Did you immediately write it down the moment you thought of it?

No, because I was driving J. The song “Don’t You Forget About Me” came on the radio, and I thought it would be fun to write something based on The Breakfast Club. Then the phrase “… with murder” popped in my head, and it stuck. I love closed-door mysteries, so I spent the rest of the drive thinking of ways to commit a crime in class without anyone realizing who’d done it. Then the characters started to take shape in my mind, and the idea took off.

 

  1. What sort of research did you do to write this book?

I talked with subject matter experts in fields that are critical to the plot, like law enforcement, education, and medicine. I also did secondary research into areas touched upon throughout the story, like how the baseball draft works.

 

  1. What does your writing process look like?

I usually write my first draft in a frenzy, over the course of a few months. I hardly sleep during this time, because I keep waking up with ideas that I have to write down. Then I pull in critique partners and beta readers to start the revision process.

 

  1. Among the characters, which of them did you enjoy developing?

All of them, for different reasons. Addy was satisfying to develop because her arc was very intense. I loved writing Nate because his scenes were effortless—it felt like he took over and I was just along for the ride. Cooper was an interesting challenge because he’s adept at hiding his true feelings, even to himself. And Bronwyn was a joy because she’s a proactive character who moved the story forward.

 

  1. What made you decide to throw in some diversity in the book?

I wanted the cast to reflect the world we live in.

 

  1. What is the main thing you want readers to learn from ‘One of Us is Lying’?

There’s an obvious “don’t judge a book by its cover” message, because none of the four narrators are the stereotypes they appear to be in the beginning. But there’s also an overarching theme of acceptance, both of yourself and others, and how facing the worst events and hidden secrets in your life can help you grow into the person you’re supposed to be.

 

  1. For you, what are the ups and downs of technology?

Technology can be incredible for connecting people—all my writing critique partners are people I got to know via social media. Some I still haven’t met in person, but we talk nearly every day. But the always-on nature of technology can be relentless. One of the things I was interested in exploring with the book is what happens when something goes viral and the narrative of your life story—which most of us can curate to an extent through what we choose to share—is suddenly taken out of your hands.


AUTHOR BIO

As a kid I used to write books when I was supposed to be playing outside, and not much has changed. I’m a marketing and communications professional who also writes Young Adult contemporary and fantasy fiction in Cambridge, MA.

When not writing or working I love to travel, and along with my nine-year old son I’ve ridden horses in Colombia and bicycles through Paris. A member of SCBWI, I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Which I have never, ever used professionally.


PURCHASE ONE OF US IS LYING:

AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE


THANKS FOR READING!


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