Kev’s Author Interviews
I’m delighted to be here to share the news of my most recent release! Primarily, I write mystery/suspense novels, and am a member of International Thriller Writers. I’ve been writing since childhood with my first published work in 2012. I work full-time (in the real estate industry), am married to my high school sweetheart and suffer from OCD (obsessive cat disorder). Thanks for hosting me on your blog, Kev!
Kev: What’s your latest book called and how did you come up with the title?
The book is called A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS. I’d been hanging onto the title for a while, looking for just the right book to match it with. When I started imagining the plot for Yesteryears—which is built around the urban legend of the Mothman—I knew I had a story to dovetail with the title.
Kev: Which Genre do you have it listed under and does it cross other genres?
It’s listed under the genres of suspense/mystery/thriller. I’ve also had a few reviewers reference it as supernatural suspense or a psychological thriller. The prologue addresses a true-life tragedy—the fall of the Silver Bridge in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. My main characters are children when the catastrophe occurs. Fifteen years later, my heroine returns and becomes ensnared in a deadly mystery that dates back to the bridge collapse. The story plays on the things I love weaving through my books—secrets, folklore…and murder!
Kev: Tell us a little bit more about it.
A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS
Behind a legend lies the truth…
As a child, Eve Parrish lost her father and her best friend, Maggie Flynn, in a tragic bridge collapse. Fifteen years later, she returns to Point Pleasant to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. Though much has changed about the once thriving river community, the ghost of tragedy still weighs heavily on the town, as do rumors and sightings of the Mothman, a local legend. When Eve uncovers startling information about her aunt’s death, that legend is in danger of becoming all too real…
Caden Flynn is one of the few lucky survivors of the bridge collapse, but blames himself for coercing his younger sister out that night. He’s carried that guilt for fifteen years, unaware of darker currents haunting the town. It isn’t long before Eve’s arrival unravels an old secret—one that places her and Caden in the crosshairs of a deadly killer…
Kev: Introduce us to your main character
I have two main characters, Eve Parrish and Caden Flynn. At the passing of her aunt, Eve inherits an old hotel that has been in her family for generations. She hasn’t lived in Point Pleasant since she was a child. The town has changed dramatically, decimated by the bridge collapse, and she doesn’t know the first thing about running a hotel. At the same time, it’s her family’s legacy and she has a hard time signing on the dotting line, and walking away. As she waffles on whether or not to sell the place, her curiosity leads her down a path strewn with deadly betrayals and old secrets. Even when she’s threatened and targeted by an unknown stalker, her stubbornness prevents her from fleeing.
Caden Flynn is an ex-cop with more than one tragedy in his past. He’s lived under the shadow of the bridge collapse, existing on a day-by-day basis. A man of few words, he’s driven by obligation and loyalty. His town is suffering economically, and has been plagued by rumors and sightings of a winged creature known as the Mothman. He’s well acquainted with the old urban legend, and knows far more about it than he’s comfortable admitting.
Kev: Provide a teaser/short passage from your book.
Caden popped the door and stepped outside. The musk of leaves and soil hung heavily in the air. It was a feral odor, whispering of something ancient. The unnatural hush he’d sensed earlier surrounded them like a shroud, its touch all but tangible. Together he and Ryan walked back an overgrown trail cut between the trees. Weeds and ferns bent easily beneath their shoes, springing upright after they passed. Eventually, they reached the pond and Ryan took the lead, edging around the bank.
Caden followed, the ground soft and squishy beneath his heavy work boots. “I don’t see anything.”
“There.” Ryan pointed across the bank where a dark lump was huddled against the edge.
Caden narrowed his eyes, picking out something that might have been someone’s cast-off garbage or something far more unpleasant. An ugly premonition crawled through his gut. “I’ve got a shitty feeling about this.”
Ryan was already working his way around the edge, a long branch clutched in his hand. Extending it, he poked the thing in the water, using the tip for leverage. With effort, he was able to ease it from a tangle of rushes where it had become ensnared.
It rolled over like a fish bobbing belly upright. A bloated white face popped to the surface, the mouth slack, eyes unblinking and staring heavenward as if beseeching help.
“Oh, hell,” Ryan said. “That’s Amos Carter.”
Caden swore. “It looks like somebody beat the shit out of him. You’ve got a murder on your hands, brother.”
Kev: When you wrote this work, did you write off-the-cuff or use some kind of formula like an outline?
It was actually my NaNoWriMo book in 2012. It was the first time I’d ever participated, and I did exactly as suggested. I spent a good six weeks developing my characters and setting. By the time NaNo kicked off, I had the first three chapters outlined scene-by-scene. The rest was a blank slate, but I ran with it, “vomiting words onto the page” as the saying goes. I “won” NaNo, finishing the month at 51K, but the book was far from complete. I set it aside, worked on something else, and didn’t touch it until the next summer. Then I spent a good six months cleaning it up and adding roughly another 30K of story.
Kev: Did you research for the backdrop of your story or any other part of it?
Oh, yes! I knew I wanted to write about the Mothman, the collapse of the Silver Bridge and the numerous oddities reported in Point Pleasant. I spent months reading everything I could get my hands on related to those events. But I didn’t feel like I could do the setting justice. I’d never used an actual town in my novels before, and the idea made me nervous.
I convinced my husband we needed to take a weekend trip, so off we went to Point Pleasant. It would be the first of two trips we’ve made to explore the area. I was especially interested in visiting “the TNT” an abandoned WWII munitions site encompassing nearly 36oo acres of woods, ponds, weapons igloos and crumbling shells of buildings. It’s rumoured to be the home of the Mothman. And before you ask—no we didn’t see him, LOL!—but the place definitely got under your skin!
Kev: What challenges did this particular work pose for you?
I think my biggest concern was doing the town of Point Pleasant justice. The people who live there suffered a horrible tragedy when the Silver Bridge fell. There are still many residents alive from that time (I spoke with several). Almost everyone in Point Pleasant was impacted one way or another—either through the loss of a loved one or through the economic changes that beset the town afterward. It isn’t just a spot on the map famous for a winged cryptid, but a place that has withstood numerous changes over time…from Pre-Revolutionary War battles, through the glory days of riverboats, to a drastically-changed present. I guess wanted to make the people of Point Pleasant proud. Hopefully, I’ve done their community justice.
Kev: What methods are using to promote this work?
All the usual—blogging, Facebook ads, Twitter, newsletter, local book sales. My publisher has also pushed a lot of advertising and did a month-long blog tour.
I was also fortunate enough to snag a wonderful review from New York Times best-selling suspense author, Kevin O’Brien who called the book “masterful bone-chilling fiction.” Mr. O’Brien’s complete review can be found on my blog From the Pen of Mae Clair, should anyone be interested in reading the whole thing. It really blew me away!
Kev: Do you have any advice for new authors?
Join a critique group and/or work with a critique partner. That one-on-one sharing and contact is so vital to a writer’s growth. I don’t believe (as many do) that you have to write every day, but I do believe—if you’re serious about writing—you can’t treat it as a “when-I-have-time” endeavour. It has to be a standing commitment with a place of priority in your life.
Also, read! It’s tempting to skip reading when you’re working on your own WIP or have multiple deadlines stacking up in the wings, but writers need to read constantly. Especially within their chosen genre. You don’t have to knock out several chapters every time you sit down with a book, but make it a point to read regularly. The habit significantly contributes to a writer’s growth.
Kev, thanks so much for having me as your guest today. I enjoyed the interview immensely. It’s wonderful to visit with you and your readers!
Connect with Mae Clair at:
Purchase A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS from:
B & N