Wednesday, July 10, 2013
Finding Claire Fletcher by Lisa Regan: Interview
Tell us a bit about your family. I am married and have a five year old daughter. My husband and I come from huge families—his Italian and German and mine Irish. Lots of cousins and aunts and uncles. There is never a dull moment.
What is your favorite quality about yourself? My dogged determination.
What is your least favorite quality about yourself? My inability to concentrate!
How has your upbringing influenced your writing? Coming from a divorced family, I had to navigate a lot of unusual situations and some strange family dynamics. I think that gave me a lot of insight into people and what motivates them. It’s great for character development.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I don’t really know. I just remember I wanted to be an astronaut and I was always writing poems about becoming one and I realized that I should just write instead!
What genre are you most comfortable writing? Crime fiction.
What inspired you to write your first book? The Jacob Wetterling case in Minnesota. Jacob was the same age as me when he was abducted by a masked gunman. I remember the news coverage of his disappearance and the feeling like wow, that could be me. It was very scary. I never stopped wondering what happened to him.
Who or what influenced your writing once you began? My very early influences were Dean Koontz, Tami Hoag and Lisa Jackson. Other crime authors that I aspire to be like in some way are Karin Slaughter, Gillian Flynn, Gregg Hurwitz, Greg Iles, John Hart, Dennis Lehane.
Can you tell us about your main character? Well Claire Fletcher was a regular old 15 year old girl on her way to school one day when a man knocked her out and abducted her. When we meet her, she’s been his captive for ten years. At this point she has some freedom, but she is still very much under the control of her captor. She has resigned herself to her ugly fate, but there is a part of her that still yearns for freedom. That last little sliver of the old Claire Fletcher is buried deep though, and it’s a tough journey for her to reach down and capture it.
Why did you choose to write this particular book? Well I’ve been completely obsessed with the Jacob Wetterling case since I was eleven years old. He was an eleven year old boy who was abducted at gunpoint in Minnesota in 1989. His mother has never lost hope that he is alive and will one day return home. Around that same time, a TV miniseries called “I Know My First Name Is Stephen” came out and it was about Stephen Stayner, an abducted boy who returned to his family after several years missing. It was really very eye-opening for me, this idea that some of these kids were alive and out there somewhere. I just kept wondering what happens to them all those years that they’re away from their families? I always wondered what would it be like if you ran into someone and later found out they were a formerly abducted child? That was the premise of my book, really. So it grew out of an almost lifelong obsession with missing children and what happens to them if they’re actually out there alive somewhere.
What was the hardest part about writing this book? It was definitely all the scenes where Claire is tortured and abused by her abductor. It was very difficult to write those scenes but I thought it was very important to focus on the violence so that people might understand how hard it is for real life children in her situation to escape or to put down their fear and terror long enough to attempt escape.
Genre – Psychological Thriller / Crime Fiction
Rating – R
Lisa Regan is a suspense novelist. She has a Bachelor's Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She is a member of Sisters In Crime and Pennwriters. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Her first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher was recently nominated for the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards in three categories: Best Novel, Best Thriller and Best Heroine for Claire Fletcher.