I recently had the pleasure of reading Have You Seen This Girl?, by Author Carissa Ann Lynch. I read a lot of books, but the plot and characters of this particular novel stuck with me. You can read my book review, where I sing my praises, here! 🙂 I am so pleased to present to you my interview with this extremely talented Author, Carissa Ann Lynch!
Hi Carissa, thank you for agreeing to an interview on A Well Read Woman Blog. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.
First of all, thank you so much for interviewing me! I’m obsessed with your blog! So being featured on it feels pretty damn cool, I must admit. My name is Carissa Ann Lynch. I never set out to be a writer. In fact, I have a degree in psychology and my “day job”, up until the last few years, has been working as a counselor for the mentally ill, substance abusers, incarcerated, and sex offenders. Understanding human behavior and helping others has always been a passion of mine, but my number one hobby is reading. I’d written some short stories and poems, but mostly I just enjoyed reading books – not writing them. A few years ago I decided on a whim to write down a few lines and try to write a book. I was instantly hooked! I never had any plans of publishing, but my sister urged me to send in my first story: This Is Not About Love. After receiving a contract for it, I just kept on writing…That’s how it all started!
Amazing! Please tell me about your newly released novel, Have You Seen This Girl?
Have You Seen This Girl? is the first book in an edgy new series called the Flocksdale Files. I didn’t intend for it to be a series, but after I finished the first book, I couldn’t stop writing about the town of Flocksdale. Okay…so if you like books about rainbows and unicorns, this is probably not the book for you LOL. The main character of the story is Wendi Wise, and she’s definitely what you’d call an anti-hero. The story opens up with her snorting heroin in a rundown, rancid apartment in Albuquerque. There’s no hot water and the place is a dump. She’s scheduled to go to rehab, and after that she has even greater plans – those plans involve a sharp set of butcher knives. But before she explains her purpose for the knives, she’s going to tell you the story of her life, and how she became this way…Wendi and her best friend Claire were lured away from a local skating rink at the age of thirteen. Held captive in a creepy place she calls the House of Horrors, she becomes addicted to the drugs they fed her. She’s dumped off on the side of a dirt road blindfolded. She takes off, leaving behind the town and family she loves. She even changes her identity. After years in and out of rehab and foster care, she is ready to return to Flocksdale. She’s on a mission: to find the House of Horrors and slice up the demons (real and imagined) that have been haunting her dreams since childhood…
Excellent! What audience are you targeting with Have You Seen This Girl?
I originally intended the book to be for a younger audience – either young adult or new adult age range. However, because of the graphic language and violence in the book, I’d say it’s for readers 17+ years old. As far as genre, I consider it to be a psychological thriller, but some people have classified it as a mystery or very dark women’s fiction. I like to think it’s a twist of all three!
I like that classification, “dark women’s fiction”. That describes it perfectly!
Please tell me about the lead protagonist, Wendi Wise, of Have You Seen This Girl?
I don’t know how people are going to react to Wendi’s character. But I can tell you what I love most about her – Wendi is the perfect dichotomy. She is good and bad. Evil and angelic. Twisted and straight-laced. She has so much love inside of her, but also so much hate. She’s this broken person, torn between being who she was and who she’s turned out to be. Everyone wants to know where Wendi is…well, so does Wendi. She’s searching for herself, trying to find a middle ground. She isn’t sure how to get there, or which side of herself – the evil or the good side– she’ll have to use to get there, but she’s trying. She’s dark. She’s angsty. She’s whiny. She’s bitchy. But she’s also tough as nails, determined as hell, and resilient.
Absolutely she is. What I enjoyed the most out of Wendi’s character was that she never played the ‘damsel in distress” role. Even in her darkest moments, she had her own back. (And we did a character interview of Wendi, which your readers and fans can check out, here!)
If Have You Seen This Girl? was turned into a movie, who would you like to see playing Wendi? Do you have a “dream cast” of actors/actresses? If so, who could you see playing the roles of the major characters in your novel?
Ha! Listen – if somebody ever wants to turn my book into a movie, I won’t be picky about the actors/actresses! I’ll just be happy my book is being turned into a movie! But, since you asked…I’d have to say Emma Roberts or Chloe Grace Moretz for Wendi, because they’re good at playing sweet and bitchy roles. As far as the other characters, no one in particular comes to mind…but definitely a hot guy to play Officer Milby.
Awesome! I can totally see Emma Roberts as Wendi Wise! 🙂
Why did you choose The End by The Doors as a theme song for Have You Seen This Girl?
I knew you were going to ask me this question because you follow my blog (thank you for that, by the way) and I ramble about it on there. First of all, I must tell you that the original manuscript was full of Jim Morrison lyrics and my managing editor broke my heart when she told me to cut them all out. Every writer has heard the expression “kill your darlings”; well, I had my first real lesson in that. I nearly cried when I had to take them out. Music plays a role in my writing. I often use certain songs to get my head in the right place for the story I’m doing, if that makes sense. And…the honest truth is that I associate The End by The Doors with a rough patch in my own life, so I decided to incorporate it into the story and associate it with Wendi’s rough patch. This way I could get in her head while writing. I’m not sure if that makes sense…but also — now that I’ve finished and published this book, the song is no longer a negative song for me. When I hear it, I smile and think about Wendi instead. The song represented the end of Wendi’s innocence and later in the story, it represented the end of who she became. And…the story was originally titled “The End” LOL.
Oh wow! Interesting, and yes that makes total sense. I can imagine your managing editor had you “kill your darlings” because of copyright issues and what not. But, it certainly still had its impact, and now I will forever associate that song with Wendi. 🙂
When can readers expect book 2 of The Flocksdale Files to be released? Can you share what this installment will be about?
I’m happy to say that book two of the Flocksdale Files is DONE! It’s currently in editing, but I already have a release date! It’s called House of the Lost Girls and will be out Nov 3, 2015. (very soon!). In book two, there will be all new characters, but the story takes place in the same town of Flocksdale. There will be a couple familiar faces popping up though.
That is amazing! I can’t get over how quickly book 2 is coming out!
Let’s talk about other books you have written. Are they a similar genre to your latest? What are they about?
My first book is called This Is Not About Love. It’s a women’s fiction novel, written in different POV’s, about three women who are in love with the same man. It’s about their individual journeys and how their journeys intertwine with one another’s. My second book is called Grayson’s Ridge and it’s a mystery/thriller about a woman and her children who moved into a cursed house and have to unravel the clues hidden inside. I also have a virtual “trunk” with several completed manuscripts that I haven’t tried to get published yet (they still need some work before they’re ready to see the light of day). I feel like I’m finally starting to figure out which genres I enjoy writing the most, and which ones I’m better at. I enjoy writing books about women who are on a journey of some kind, but I like to mix in some mystery and horror. With the Flocksdale Files, I’m able to include all three of those and add some edge to it. 🙂
Oooh, I am adding those to my mental to-be-read list! Especially Grayon’s Ridge. Wow, that one looks excellent!
Carissa, how can your readers and fans get in touch with you?
Here are all the links for where you can find me!
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Carissa-Lynch/e/B00REPXXW6/
Thanks, Carissa! Is there anything I haven’t asked, that you would like your fans and readers to know?
There is no greater reward for me than when someone reads my books and likes them, so I hope you guys will give it a chance! Thank you so much for reading my interview! And April, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me about my books. It means the world to me.
You bet! 🙂
About Author Carissa Ann Lynch
Besides my family, my greatest love in life is books. Reading them, writing them, holding them, smelling them…well, you get the idea. I’ve always loved to read, and some of my earliest childhood memories are me, tucked away in my room, lost in a good book. I received a five dollar allowance each week, and I always — always — spent it on books. My love affair with writing started early, but it mostly involved journaling and writing silly poems. Several years ago, I didn’t have a book to read so I decided on a whim to write my own story, something I’d like to read. It turned out to be harder than I thought, but from that point on I was hooked. My first and second books were released by Sarah Book Publishing: This Is Not About Love and Grayson’s Ridge. I’m a total genre-hopper. Basically, I like to write what I like to read: a little bit of everything! I reside in Floyds Knobs, Indiana with my husband, three children, and massive collection of books. I have a degree in psychology and worked as a counselor. —Goodreads Author Bio
Purchase Books by Carissa Ann Lynch!
Have You Seen This Girl?
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…”
Have You Seen This Girl? (Paperback Edition)
Have You Seen This Girl? (Kindle Edition)
After losing her husband in combat, Sophia Alexander is struggling to make a life for herself and three children.
When she moves to the beautiful, historic Star Manor in Grayson’s Ridge, she thinks that she has found her dream home. But the residents of the town are quick to share with her the details of the grisly deaths that occurred there, and the mysterious disappearance of a young boy. Supposedly, Star Manor is cursed…but Sophia is a level-headed woman, who doesn’t believe in such nonsense. That is, until she starts hearing and seeing strange things in the house and woods surrounding the property. Now it is up to her, and her alone, to discover the secrets that lie within the walls of Star Manor.
Grayson’s Ridge (Paperback Edition)
Grayson’s Ridge (Kindle Edition)
This Is Not About Love
This Is Not About Love is not your typical romance. This is the story of three vastly different women who seem to have only one obvious connection: Michael Sinclair. First, there is Violet Cromwell, a soft-spoken librarian, who is Michael’s childhood sweetheart. Then there is Penelope Pinkerton, Michael’s fiancé and sometimes dream girl. Last but not least, is Lexi, the wild child who left Michael so many years ago… All three women will vie for his heart, and in the process, their lives will come crashing together, teaching them a thing or two about the real meaning of the word ‘love’. Who will win his heart at the end? The answer will surprise everyone, even Michael.
This Is Not About Love (Paperback Edition)
This Is Not About Love (Kindle Edition)