Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’m a voracious reader, an obsessive writer, a long distance walker (half marathons) and someone who drinks way too much coffee. I usually have purple ink stains on my right arm/sleeve and I’ve been told I’m not much fun to watch TV/movies with because I have a terrible habit of yelling out what I think will happen next. (I’m usually right!)
Do you ever experience writer’s block? Do you work with an outline, or just write?
Yes, yes, and yes. For me, writer’s block is not caused by a lack of ideas. It’s a result of knowing I’ve done something wrong or chosen the wrong path. Figuring out where I’ve gone wrong…whether it’s a line of dialogue, a choice a character makes, or the fact the story has strayed from the best path, is what will eventually get me “unstuck”. I chart out the major moments in the story (both the physical and emotional storyline) but there comes a point where I ignore what I’ve done and just write.
Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or purely all imagination?
The fictional town of Lakeside Acres is based on a town in Pennsylvania I spent a lot of time in as a teenager. I found it kind of creepy, especially at night. Also, I have a deep, deep love of pistachio muffins, which is why they appear in the story multiple times, lol.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I enjoy both of Emily’s escapes, because in my mind they’re sort of the bookends of the novel. My original idea for the book was centered on her fight for survival when she was a teenager, so it holds a special place in my heart. I love the mixture of absolute terror and her steely resolve in that part of the story. I also love when she “escapes” through the window of her bedroom as an adult…because…hmmmm I don’t want to give any spoilers here…because her escape is fueled by a different kind of fear, an admirable fear, imho.
It’s a great title, isn’t it? I can’t claim credit for it. I called the novel STOLEN for years, but that didn’t go over well. It was my brilliant editor, Charlotte Herscher, who came up with THE FIRST VICTIM. It was definitely one of those moments when I was left thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?”
Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I think that many writers have a central theme that they explore over and over again. My personal theme seems to be: How Far Would You Go for Someone You Love? It’s something I wrestle with in every project. In The First Victim it’s the question Emily has to answer again and again, starting with, should she go back to Lakeside Acres to care for her sister?
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
Don’t be afraid to put yourself on the page. For the longest time I wrote what I thought I “should” write…in the style I “should” be writing in. Making choices based on “shoulds” takes away from who you are and what you’re capable of doing. Once I finally got it through my thick head that all my posturing wasn’t working, and took the chance of putting down the real me on the page, things started improving.
What sort of coffee would you order? Simple coffee, complicated soy-non-fat-extra-espresso-half-caff-nightmare?
Coffee with milk/cream/creamer (but not any of those sweetened/flavored creamers). Coffee NOT Starbucks sludge…I’d drink tea instead if offered that.
Is there anyfood you refuse to eat?
White bread, pea soup, brussel sprouts, lima beans, gravy.
If you could live off of chocolate would you? What kind?
Nope. Now if I could live off cheese it would be a different story….
Although fascinated by things dark and twisted, JB Lynn is also enamored of tales of love conquering all. These dual interests manifest themselves in her stories as dangerous villains, and the heroines and heroes who must defeat them.
She has a great love of her husband, dog, coffee, purple ink, spiral notebooks, running gear, hot showers and 80’s music. Given enough time, all of these things will eventually show up in her books.