Today, I'm introducing you to Erin Farwell, author of Shadowlands and "The Carver". This mystery takes place in a Halloween maze set up in a corn field - illuminated by the Jack o' Lanterns of the soon-to-be-victim. Erin's descriptions brought back memories of one of my favorite Samhain celebrations which had a corn maze with interesting encounters. Fortunately, that one was lethal for no one. So, let's learn more about Erin:
Q. I really enjoyed reading about the pumpkin walk. Were you drawing from personal experience when you wrote it?
A. The general setting is from a local farm with a great corn maze, haunted barn, hayride, bonfire, etc., but no pumpkin walk. I know many places that line paths with pumpkins but not one specifically like this. I’m sure they exist; I’ve just never had the pleasure of experiencing one.
Q. What made you decide to start writing your own stories?
A. I’ve written stories since I was a child but set that love aside when I started college. After law school I worked as a consultant, a job I loved, but my writing consisted of reports and articles. I dabbled with fiction writing until about eight years ago when I buckled down and got to work. My first novel wasn’t very good but I learned I could write a beginning, middle, and end. This may seem obvious but I had several friends who wrote great beginnings, then became bored and moved on to the next story. Even though my first book wasn’t good, I learned from that process and my second novel became my first published one.
Q. You've done a lot of traveling. Is there still a place you haven't been that you'd like to go?
A. LOL. I have an entire pinterest board devoted to places I’d like to visit. I would love to ride the Orient Express, visit the Lake District in England, and tour the pyramids. I need to start setting stories in these places so I can have an excuse to go and a tax write off as well.
Q. What is your current project?
A. I’m writing a sequel to Shadowlands. My protagonist, Cabel Evans, took his first steps back into the world in the first book. Now he must deal with his greatest challenge, his family.
Q. Can you tell us a little about your writing process?
Generally, I start with my setting. Many writers begin with their plot or characters but I need to know where the characters live, work, and since I write mysteries, die. Once I have the where, the rest of the story unfolds. When I start a project I know my beginning and my end as well as specific plot points along the way. I find that if I am too structured my writing becomes stiff and the story predictable. When I let things happen more organically the story flows better and I find that small things I put in for background are just what I need to get myself out of a corner I’ve written myself into. These happy coincidences make my stories richer and my characters more natural.
Read "The Carver" and twelve other great mysteries in All Hallows' Evil, and check out Shadowlands as well.