Author Corinne O’Flynn swung by the office today for her interview! Corinne’s story in TICK TOCK: Seven Tales of Time is Suicide High, in which a serial killer returns years later to finish what was started. *shivers*
What do you never leave home without, and why?
Aside from my cell phone and my prescription glasses, I almost never leave home without a list! I keep lists for all the things I have going on, from to-do items to grocery shopping, so I can usually be found with at least one list on me.
What is your fav secret indulgence?
It’s not easy having secret anything in a family of six! Tea and scones is my go-to indulgence, though it is not at all a secret. I also love listening to audiobooks. Outlander is my favorite.
What is your favorite way to celebrate finishing a novel?
There’s a vision board on the wall of my office that’s shaped like a tree. On it, I tape paper leaves with my goals written on them. When I finished a novel or a project, I take that leaf down, date it, and put it in the jar along with all the other achievement leaves. It’s incredibly satisfying!
What got you started with writing? What drives you to keep writing?
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific thing. But if I had to name the source of my love of reading and words, it would be my mom. From as far back as I can remember, she was always drawing my interest into the power of books and words and language. We used to talk for hours about books and plots and how the author achieved something that touched us. I imagine my desire to write started there.
Are you more of a half-full or half-empty kind of person? How does that influence development of your characters—plots—endings?
I am definitely a half-full person, always seeking and seeing the bright side of things. For me, it’s a choice. But that doesn’t mean all things have happy endings or that every situation is perfect—far from it. When writing characters, I think I am drawn to people who are thrust into situations they can’t control, circumstances that trigger them, and options they would never have chosen. It’s something that speaks to me because it’s rare for things to work out perfectly in life. That’s where the choice comes in. We get to decide how we will handle the outcomes in our lives, and so do my characters. That’s something that definitely comes out in my plots and endings as well.
Do you ever see yourself switching genres?
I wouldn’t say switching as much as expanding. I love writing fantasy, paranormal, and mystery, and I will continue to write those stories. I also enjoy writing contemporary crime/police mysteries. I have two novellas published in this genre, with a third on the way to complete the series. I’d love to continue developing a police procedural/detective series. These genres are what I love to read, and it’s drawing me to write in those areas as well.
What’s the best writing advice you’ve ever been given?
For being a writer, the best advice I ever received was “choose yourself”. Don’t wait for someone else to give you the green light. If you want this, make it happen. As a publishing writer, there have never been more opportunities than there are today and I am so glad I went for it.
For writing craft, the best advice I have ever received came from my friend D. who told me that all metaphors and similes need to carry two buckets of water. The thought being that when using a metaphor or simile to describe something, you should also use this as an opportunity to build the world or enhance the scene. If you’re in the forest, don’t describe something using a water comparison. Use something the character is seeing, like a tree or the leaves, to build up the visual as you describe the moment. Sounds so simple, but it was an aha moment for me!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years? In 10 years?
Writing! If everything goes according to plan (insert laugher here), I hope that in five years, I’ll have The Expatriates series completed. It’s planned for 3 books, so that’s going to be a nice fit. 😉 I have another series I am working on that is a trilogy as well. If all goes well, that would also happen in the five-year plan. At that time, I’ll have three kids in high school and one in college. That means I’ll have loads of free time, right? Right?
As for the ten-year mark, I hope to be writing and still in love with publishing. I can’t even imagine what publishing will look like in 2026!
I think the key to the half-full experience is being flexible when it comes to planning, so I expect to pivot wherever needed and go with the flow.
Thanks for reading! You can learn more about Corinne and connect with her online here.