Although Kaylin McFarren wasn’t born with a pen in hand like so many of her talented fellow authors, she has been actively involved in both business and personal writing projects for many years. As the director of a fine art gallery, she assisted in furthering the careers of numerous visual artists who under her guidance gained recognition through promotional opportunities and in national publications. Eager to spread her own creative wings, she has since steered her energy toward writing novels. You can visit her website at www.kaylinmcfarren.com or her book’s website at www.flahertyscrossing.com.
Q: Thank you for this interview, Kaylin. Can you tell us what your latest book, Flaherty’s Crossing, is all about?
Successful yet emotionally stifled artist Kate Flaherty stands at the deathbed of her estranged father, conflicted by his morphine-induced confession exposing his part in her mother’s death. While racing home, Kate’s car mishap leads her to a soul-searching discussion with a lone diner employee, prompting Kate to confront the true reasons her marriage hangs in the balance. When her night takes an unexpected turn, however, she flees for her life, a life desperate for faith that can only be found through her ability to forgive.
Q: Is this your first novel? If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?
Yes. This is my first novel, but I’m working diligently on a second book.
Q: How difficult was it writing your book? Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?
Sixteen years ago, following my father’s death, I found myself obsessed with sitting in front of a typewriter, coming to terms with unresolved issues by banging on keys. This silent venting became a sort of “therapy through writing” exercise. However, this exercise slowly evolved, taking on a life of its own. I began creating a related fictional story about a woman’s personal journey, and in the process of exploring my main character’s growth, I found myself learning and growing as well.
Eventually, I came to believe I had a meaningful story to tell, one through which I could possibly touch other people who shared the same complicated family relationships – and maybe even make a difference in their lives. Yet I still struggled with bringing this tale to a close. It wasn’t until my eldest daughter provided her amazing writing insight that I finally came to realize why I struggled with the ending, for both the book and my father’s passing: the true resolution didn’t rest in holding onto the past; it came from opening my mind to future possibilities and honoring him – not only by setting this story free, but by becoming the professional storyteller that had been hiding in my genes.
Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel? Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?
Actually, Flaherty’s Crossing has earned more than a dozen literary awards and was a 2008 finalist in the prestigious RWA® Golden Heart contest. So I guess contest judges are becoming fans. As far as internet fans go, I can only judge by the numbers. My YouTube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idl7XJijKRA) is rapidly approaching 20,000 views and my new-found friends/fans on twitter (http://www.twitter.com/4kaylin) are well over 3,000 in number. My funniest account, however, is when an irate fan visited my website (http://www.kaylinmcfarren.com), read an excerpt, then sent me angry e-mail because he couldn’t purchase my book to finish reading it four months before it was officially released. :D
Q: What is your daily writing routine?
I guess I’m one of those compulsive writers who love to sit at the keyboard from 8 AM to 5 PM or until someone demands I move. In other words, until I eat, sleep or actually talk. Writing takes me to another world that could easily shut everything around me out. Fortunately I have patient, loving people in my life to ensure I remain part of the general populous.
Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?
I totally enjoy discovering new wines, sampling my husband’s great cooking, coloring with my grandsons, scratching my two dogs on their furry backs, walking in my garden, and watching taped episodes of Grey’s Anatomy and Desperate Housewives.
Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?
Whirlwind! My life is incredibly busy, constantly evolving and moving. And at times, it might seem a bit out of control. But I’m on a definite path and love the journey my life’s taking. I wouldn’t change it for the world. :D
Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”
I’m totally approachable and have no alterative motives when I offer assistance. I truly want to make a positive difference. That’s why I’m donating 100% of my proceeds from Flaherty’s Crossing to a cancer research project at Providence Medical Center.
Thank you for this interview, Kaylin. I wish you much success on your latest release, Flaherty’s Crossing!