I have another fun bookish offering today! I’m thrilled to welcome my talented pal, Lyn Liao Butler, on the blog!
What can I say about Lyn? She’s multi-talented, to start with. Not only a published author, but also a professional dancer, accessories designer, and enthusiastic fitness instructor. She kept me healthy with her IG classes during the pandemic and then later while I was pregnant. To my daughter, “Auntie Lyn” is synonymous with “exercise”!
I first fell in love with Lyn’s writing after reading her upmarket Women’s Fiction debut, THE TIGER MOM’S TALE. But today we’re chatting about her domestic suspense debut, SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE.
And if you want to grab an early copy, you’re in luck because SEL is an AMAZON FIRST READS pick for January!!! This book is already a bestseller, folks! 🔥
Without further ado, here’s my chat with Lyn. Be sure to check her out on SM, links below!
AK: How did you get the idea for your book?
LLB: When we bought the house we live in currently, there was a previous buyer who had had their mortgage turned down twice and was about to ask for a third extension. The owners were freaking out because they’d already moved out, and our agent told us if we wanted the house, to come in with our strongest offer. We did and got the house. After we moved in, I started noticing a white car stopped in front of our car, and then my husband noticed it too. I imagined it was the people we’d taken the house from, and they were back to get revenge because we’d “stolen” their house and life on the lake from them. And from there, this story was born.
AK: You’re known for diverse, upmarket Women’s Fiction. How was writing a thriller different? Were you nervous about branching out to another genre and how your readership might react? I know sometimes authors choose a pen name to help distinguish their different works. Was this something you ever considered?
LLB: This book started out as upmarket Women’s Fiction. But I wrote it at the height of pandemic homeschooling (which was one of the worst things I’ve ever done – by 10:26am every morning, I got the urge to day drink), and my way of dealing with that stress was to start killing people off in this book. I guess there were one too many accidental murders because my agent was like, this isn’t women’s fiction. This is a thriller. So I joke now that I accidentally wrote a thriller. We sold it on only three chapters and a synopsis, so I had to take a crash course in how to write a thriller in only six weeks (that was when I had to turn it in). I didn’t have time to be nervous – LOL. My agent suggested I not write it under a pen name because as an author of color, we have trouble enough getting our work out there. I was already building a brand and my upmarket fiction often involved elements of thriller and suspense so we decided it was close enough of a genre to keep my name. My editor also never asked me to write it under a pen name.
AK: Setting plays a big role in your book and it’s beautifully written. I’ve never been to Kauai and yet I feel like I’ve been there now. The writing in your book is so atmospheric too, to the point that the storm feels like another character. Was that on purpose or a happy coincidence?
LLB: That was on purpose. One of the things my editor wanted me to do was make the setting and the storm so vivid that the reader could actually hear the wind howl and see the palm trees bending under the storm. I’m glad I succeeded!
AK: What’s next for you?! Can readers expect more thrillers from Lyn Liao Butler?
LLB: I have a second thriller, WHAT IS MINE, coming out in February 2024, which I’m very excited about. And I’ll be self-publishing a rom-com, titled CRAZY BAO YOU under the name Lyn Liao on June 6, 2023. I’m also working on an upmarket fiction story with my agent right now, so a lot going on! Stay tuned!
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