Today we welcome Lisa Regan.
Book ‘Em: Tell us about you and your life outside of writing.
Lisa Regan: I am the mother of a brilliant ten-year-old daughter and wife to a former Marine. We have a Boston Terrier named Phillip. All three of us baby him. We live in Philadelphia. I work full-time as a paralegal for a solo practitioner. In what little spare time I have, I love to read and watch movies. I’m addicted to the show Game of Thrones which my husband and I watch together.
Book ‘Em: Which books have you written? What are they about and why did you choose to write them? Do your books have a message? Are they fiction or nonfiction?
Lisa Regan: I write crime fiction. My titles are Finding Claire Fletcher, Kill for You, Hold Still, Cold-Blooded, Losing Leah Holloway and Vanishing Girls which comes out in January 2018.
Finding Claire Fletcher is about a down-on-his-luck police detective who meets a mysterious woman in a bar and later finds out she was abducted ten years earlier and never heard from since. The book flashes back and forth between the years of her captivity and the detective’s present-day efforts to find her once and for all.
Kill For You is about FBI profiler, Kassidy Bishop, who is investigating a series of murders across the country with the same signature: the words “for you” written at each crime scene. It soon becomes apparent that all the victims are somehow connected to her. She has to delve into her painful past to find the identity of the killer.
Hold Still is about a Philadelphia Police Detective, Jocelyn Rush who is investigating a series of brutal assaults which hit closer and closer to home. She has to connect the demons of her past to the villains in her present to stop the assailants from striking again.
Cold-Blooded is the sequel to Hold Still but it can be read as a stand-alone. In this book, Jocelyn Rush has opened her own private investigation firm where she is asked to solve the cold case of a murdered teenage track star. As Jocelyn draws the killer out, she finds herself dangerously close to being the next victim.
Losing Leah Holloway is the sequel to Finding Claire Fletcher but can also be read as a stand-alone. Five years after her return from captivity, Claire watches a mother named Leah Holloway drive a car full of children into a river. Claire saves the children but Leah drowns herself. Detective Connor Parks, Claire’s former love interest, catches the case. As Claire suspected, Connor finds a terrible and deadly secret behind the perfect façade of Leah Holloway’s life.
Vanishing Girls is about Josie Quinn, a detective in a small city in Pennsylvania. While out on leave for allegations of misconduct, she starts investigating the case of a local teenager who is missing. As she probes deeper, she finds more girls who have gone missing. She has to unravel the city’s deepest, darkest secrets before she is the next one to vanish.
Most of my books start out with what-if questions: what if this happened or what if that happened? What if you met a woman in a bar and later found out she’s been missing for ten years? That sort of thing. I get a question burning into my mind and then write a book to explore the answer.
Book ‘Em: Do you have a work in progress?
Lisa Regan: Yes, right now I am working on The Girl With No Name which is Book 2 in the Josie Quinn series.
Book ‘Em: What was the most difficult section/piece you ever wrote? What made it difficult?
Lisa Regan: Any time I have to write an action scene it is difficult. I find it so challenging. Especially scenes where there’s a struggle or a fight.
Book ‘Em: What sort of research do you do for your work?
Lisa Regan: A lot of internet research. Google maps. When it comes to guns, my husband is quite the expert. When it comes to police procedure, I will get in touch with anyone I know on the police force. I have a friend I went to grade school with who helps me tremendously (Sgt. Jason Jay) whenever I have any questions. I will usually approach people in whatever field I need to know about and ask if I can pick their brains. I’m always surprised how wonderful people are and how willing they are to give their time.
Book ‘Em: Which books and authors do you read for pleasure? Is there an author that inspires you?
Lisa Regan: Karin Slaughter, Dennis Lehane, Angela Marsons, Nancy S. Thompson, Jennifer Hillier, Carrie A. Butler, Dana Mason, Michael Infinito, Jennifer Jaynes, and Katie Mettner. I read mostly in my genre although I do enjoy some romantic suspense as well on occasion. I’m open to reading anything but am most sucked in by crime fiction. All of these authors inspire me. I am always reading as a reader—for pure pleasure—and as a writer, trying to figure out what these writers are doing that is making the reading experience so awesome so that maybe I can learn from them.
Book ‘Em: Was there a person who encouraged you to write?
Lisa Regan: My parents. They’ve encouraged this dream since I was eleven years old. They gave me a typewriter and later a word processor and then when computers became common, they got me one of those. They were always telling me not to give up.
Book ‘Em: What would you say are your strengths as an author?
Lisa Regan: That’s so hard to say because every writer I know is like me—very self-critical. Nothing seems right and you’re rarely satisfied with anything you’ve written, but what I hear the most from readers is that they love how short my chapters are and that there is a very cinematic feel to my writing in that they can picture the scenes unfolding.
Book ‘Em: How often do you write, and do you write using a strict routine?
Lisa Regan: I write every day. I don’t have a strict routine. I just try to write as much as possible whenever I can.
Book ‘Em: Five years from now, where do you see yourself as a writer?
Lisa Regan: I’d love to be in a position where I can either write full-time or work less and write more.
Book ‘Em: If you could offer one piece of advice to a novice writer, what would it be?
Lisa Regan: If I could only pick one? It would be get it out. Get it all out. Just write. Write as much and as often as possible. Vomit it all up and worry about how it sounds or if it makes sense later. Write, write, write. Once you’ve got the skeleton of a writing piece, you can do so much with it, but you have to get something down on paper.
Book ‘Em: What would you consider the best compliment a reader could give your book?
Lisa Regan: Probably when readers compare my work to other really amazing authors working in the genre. There’s nothing like being a long-time fan of an author and then having a reader of your book compare you to that author.
Book ‘Em: Provide an excerpt of your writing that you would like to share with our members.
Lisa Regan: This is the first, short chapter of my newest book, Losing Leah Holloway.
Leah knew she was driving fast enough when the children started screaming. Their shrieks punched through the air, careening off the interior walls of her SUV. Even baby Tyler wailed, the kind of purple-faced cries that not even a bottle could soothe. Still, her foot pressed harder against the gas pedal, pinning it to the floor and holding it there until her toes ached. The I-5 stretched out before her. Ahead she saw the overpass that crossed the American River. Her fingers tightened around the steering wheel. The numbers on her dashboard’s computerized screen that showed her speed jumped higher and higher.
Her daughter’s voice broke through the cacophony in the back of the vehicle. “Mommy,” Peyton said. “Slow down!”
Leah kept her eyes on the road. “I can’t, honey,” she mumbled under her breath. “Mommy needs all the speed she can get.”
As she neared the overpass, Leah spoke loudly enough for the children to hear. “God help me.”
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