Monday, April 25, 2016

A Conversation with Suspense Novelist Kaylin McFarren

Omnimystery News: Author Interview with Kaylin McFarren

We are delighted to welcome author Kaylin McFarren to Omnimystery News today.

Kaylin's new novel of suspense, the third in a series, is Banished Threads (Creative Edge Publishing; March 2016 trade paperback, audiobook and ebook formats) and we recently had the chance to catch up with her to talk more about it.

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Omnimystery News: Introduce us to the lead characters of Banished Threads.

Kaylin McFarren
Photo provided courtesy of
Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren: Chase Cohen is a handsome 35-year-old marine videographer turned treasure seeker. He has shaggy blond hair, penetrating blue eyes, chiseled features, a five o-clock shadow, expressive brows and a muscular 6'2" build. He enjoys traveling around the world and focuses on one romantic involvement at a time. He has a white Skye Terrier named Yuki and a 6-year-old daughter named Allie from an ill-fated romantic relationship. He has an easy going laid-back style and wears t-shirts with obscure logos, jeans and cowboy boots. He likes Wild Turkey on the rocks and sitting outside on his deck listening to Gregory Porter jazz. He dreams about striking it rich one day and plays the guitar to relax. Chase is sensitive but not petty, hasty and trusting, brave and daring, loving and caring and, of course, absolutely head over heels in love with Rachel Lyons.

Rachel Lyons is a beautiful 32-year-old marine biologist who closed down emotionally and went to work at the Warren Nash Foundation — handing out grants, after her father's tragic diving accident. Out of necessity, she reconnected with her ex-lover Chase and has taken on the role of his business partner at Trident Ventures. She has long auburn hair, hazel-green eyes, an oval face, sweet smile and a petite 5'6" frame. She wears berets, turtlenecks, fitted shirts and slacks and 5" heels. She loves to travel, but never seems to have time. She has a goldfish for a pet, lives in an inherited cottage in San Palo, California, loves Asian antiques and trinkets and having everything put away in its place. She limits her friendships and is prone to routines, reads a lot and enjoys her triple skinny mocha lattes every morning. She drinks liquor rarely and her cheeks blush after only one glass of wine. Her mother mysteriously ran off when she was only eight and her brother has had a history of bad relationships. She recently became pregnant by Chase Cohen and, as a result, accepted his marriage proposal, but now wonders if she made the right decision.

I love putting flawed, complicated characters together that don't seem to fit and allowing them to grow through the strengths they innately possess and the wild, dangerous adventures they share.

OMN: When plotting a new book in a series, what do you generally look at first?

KM: For my "Threads" series, since my two main characters are romantically challenged treasure-hunters, I found it easier to plot my synopsis first, which involves taking my battling duo on exciting expeditions around the world. At the end of each "stand alone" book is a new job offer or requirement that not only moves them forward in their adventures and relationship, but also encourages readers to pick up the next volume in my series.

OMN: At what point does the villain enter the picture?

KM: Since I already know my characters and how they will play into the drama I'm creating, the dastardly villains then arrive along with unexpected twists and turns in the story.

OMN: Into what genre would you generally place your books?

KM: Some readers define my books as erotic suspense, action-packed thrillers, or mysteries with romantic elements, and others as contemporary women's fiction. So I guess the best description for my writing style would be cross-over. The advantage to this genre is that I reach a broader audience, consisting of men and women — 21 and over, who are comfortable with adult language and R-rated love scenes. The disadvantage comes with attempting to place my books on formula fiction shelves and drawing the interest of a more conservative reader.

OMN: How would you tweet a summary of Banished Threads?

KM: #Sexy #Romantic #Suspense anyone? Threads Series is a #MustRead! Download @ www.amazon.com/Kaylin-McFarren/e/B003BCPKE0

OMN: How much of your own personal or professional experience have you included in your books?

KM: About 90% of my stories originate with world travels, real life experiences, and personal interactions. I find it easier to write about something you know and then later research for accurate, in-depth details. Severed Threads came from my fear of scuba diving while vacationing with my family in Costa Rica. The idea for Buried Threads was developed from my interactions with Geishas and Maikos in Kyoto, Japan and exposure to my husband's martial arts training. My latest novel, Banished Threads, was conceived from my former occupation as a gallery owner — where security issues were a major concern during art shows that thousands of people attended.

OMN: How do you go about researching the plot points of your stories?

KM: I tend to read A LOT, especially in regard to subject matters pertaining to my stories and, of course, mysteries and thrillers are at the top of my list. Lisa Jackson continues to be one of my favorite authors, and I'm impressed with Jodi Picoult books because of her remarkable phrasing, unusual angles, and controversial subject matters. For years, I studied Nora Roberts' ability to shift points of view multiple times in a chapter and have trained myself to bring all of these elements together in my stories. I believe the most challenging and exciting topic I encountered while writing my second story involved the yakuza, or Japanese mafia, as so little has been written about them.

OMN: How true are you to the settings of your books?

KM: Over the years, I've written about real countries and cities, but soon realized it was easier to stretch the truth by creating imaginary cities. For an author, there's less chance of making a mistake in regard to landmarks and time sequences if your creativity takes over. And often times, the setting — especially under the sea, becomes a character in itself, helping to direct and guide the story.

OMN: Where do you most often find yourself writing?

KM: I'm fortunate in having a sizeable library in our home, which also serves as my office and secluded writing space. Besides having a Mac computer, printer, phone and all the essentials, I've accumulated an extensive collection of books, which includes bestsellers, reference materials, and research journals that I like to keep notes in for future projects. There's also a nice view of my garden from a bank of windows at the rear of my office, which provides great light and the perfect distraction on sunny days.

OMN: What is the best advice you've received as an author?

KM: I was told years ago to read as many books as possible in order to truly understand writing and then to write what I wanted to read. This stuck with me and seems to be the best advice I can pass on. As a writer, you might be told that your story has been written before, which is harsh and unfair if it's your story to tell. I can only suggest that you write from your heart and strive to never lose faith in your ability.

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Linda Yoshida, aka Kaylin McFarren, was born in California, has lived in Washington, and now resides with her husband in Oregon. Before becoming a novelist, she was the director of a fine art gallery. She holds an AA in Literature from Highline Community College, which first sparked her passion for writing. Kaylin has earned more than a dozen literary awards and was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest. She is a member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers. She also enjoys giving back to the community through charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

For more information about the author, please visit her website at KaylinMcFarren.com and her author page on Goodreads, or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Banished Threads by Kaylin McFarren

Banished Threads by Kaylin McFarren

A Novel of Suspense

Publisher: Creative Edge Publishing

Amazon.com Print/Kindle Format(s)BN.com Print/Nook Format(s)

While vacationing at the stately Cumberforge Manor in Bellwood, England, Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen attend an elegant dinner party hosted by her uncle, Paul Lyons, and his aristocratic wife, Sara. Before the evening ends, a priceless collection of Morris Graves's paintings are stolen from her uncle's popular gallery, throwing all suspicion onto his wife's missing granddaughter.

Determined to clear Sloan Rafferty's name and, in the process, win Paul's favor, Chase scours the countryside looking for answers. In his absence, the police accuse Rachel's uncle of an unsolved murder and secrets surrounding her grandmother's death and the deaths of Sara's former husbands turn his wife into the most likely suspect. With the true villains hell-bent on destroying Paul Lyons and his family, solving both crimes while ensuring her uncle's freedom not only endangers Rachel's life but that of her unborn child. Will Chase save them before the kidnappers enact their revenge or will the ultimate price be paid, as predicted by a vagabond fortuneteller?

Banished Threads by Kaylin McFarren. Click here to take a Look Inside the book.

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