Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Interview with 'Banished Threads' Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her own creative impulses.

Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon and visits her second home in California once a month. They have three grown daughters and two grandchildren, and look forward to having more.

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Banished Threads.

For More Information
About the Book:

A valuable art collection disappears turning a treasure-hunting duo into crime-stopping sleuths committed to vindicating family members in Kaylin McFarren's action-packed suspense novel, Banished Threads.

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?

First place - 2016 Hudson Valley RWA Hook, Line & Sinker Contest


For More Information

  • Banished Threads is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

For most of my life, I’ve been fascinated by the arts—visual, literary, and performance. At the age of eight, I penned my first poem and won my first award in a short-story writing contest sponsored by the Seattle Rotary. Throughout high school and college, I continued to write in journals, and attribute my interest in a literary major to Lonny Kaneko, a highly respected English professor at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington.

I’m drawn to writing by the people I meet and the experiences I’ve had while traveling around the world. Both of these inspire me to tell stories revolving around flawed, damaged characters who are striving to better their lives and situations, and overcome their greatest fears.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later?

I’ve enjoying writing for most of my life but didn’t attempt to be a novelist until my children were grown and had gone away to college. At 46 years old, I had become an empty nester and had basically lost my identity. Then I pulled out an old manuscript I’d written years earlier, shortly after my father’s death, and decided it was time to sit down and finish it once and for all. After taking a few workshops and sharing my story with critique partners, I submitted it to a few contests as a way to validate my writing skills. I never expected this book to win so many awards and become a RWA Golden Heart finalist, and now I’m writing and publishing new books every year. 

Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

In addition to serving on four leadership boards – art council, education and medical foundations, I preside over my own non-profit organization, the Soulful Giving Foundation. It takes a full year of planning and 160 volunteers to implement our annual music, food, and wine event, which results in selling 4,000 tickets and donating 100% of our proceeds to cancer research.

When I’m not coordinating this event, I enjoy gardening, traveling, spending time with my family, gourmet dining, oil painting, golf, interior design, writing, and experiencing fine wines.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

1)     Know your characters. Before I begin writing, I use photographs of models and actors from tabloid magazines to visualize my characters and create a character book – complete with birthdates, history, traits, habits, conflicts, interests and personal goals. Once this is done, I have a better idea of how each person will react when faced with a problem or potential love interest, or while fighting with an adversary. Even though I have a general idea of where my story will lead, I allow my characters to set the tone and to assist with developing any unexpected twists in my final manuscript.

2)     Write the story you want to read. Consider attempting a ghost story, a science-fiction piece, a realistic tale about your childhood, or whatever. The writer writes well about what he or she knows by primarily reading fiction of this kind, developing a story that both the reader and writer enjoys, and sharing personal views and experiences that make your book unique.

3)     Leave the door open. There are so many creative ways to entice readers and keep them coming back. A few of them, in addition to writing well, includes adding interesting secondary characters to your story, making it a practice not to answer every question, leaving a hook at the end of every chapter, and providing the opportunity for readers to solve the mystery or visualize an ending after absorbing the last page. By doing so, writers find it much easier to continue the storyline or adventures in a series…because if you’ve done a great job, your readers will fall in love with your characters and never want their stories to end.

What are you reading now?

I love all kinds of books, and here are some of my new favorites: Emily Bleeker – Wreckage, Paul Pen – The Light of the Fireflies, Neil Gaiman – The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Jefferey Archer – Kane & Abel, Jodi Picoult – The Pact, John Irving – Avenue of Mysteries. I’ve discovered the best way to write character-driven stories, mysteries, suspense, and action-packed thrillers is to read books in the same genres.

What are you currently working on?

I’m about two months away from completing Twisted Threads, the fourth book in my Threads series, which has been written to stand alone—like each of my books. In this story, I bring together the beloved villains from Buried Threads and Banished Threads and trap them on board a luxury cruise ship heading for Italy. Murder and mayhem abounds and the inner strength of characters are tested. Best of all, the true murderer is not revealed until the final chapter and, even then, readers will not be 100% sure. J

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