Lynn Chandler Willis Interview, Author of The Rising

1) Tell us a little about yourself:

 I've worked in the corporate world, the television news industry, and the newspaper business.  But I keep coming back to writing fiction. I much prefer making up stories rather than uncovering facts. My least favorite word is “apparently” and my least favorite phrase is “according to”. I have a son and daughter, and with their spouses, they've managed to bless me with nine grandchildren. Yes – there's a set of twins in there.

2) Tell us about your new book, The Rising:

The Rising released July 26 through Pelican Book Group/Harbourlight. It's an amazing story about the power of forgiveness, primarily learning to forgive yourself. The book is about   Detective Ellie Saunders's investigation into the brutal beating of a little boy. The child has no memory of what happened to him, or even who he is. The only thing he can remember is  walking with his father along a shiny road. 

3) Where does the story take place? Why did you choose that location?:

It's set in the foothills of the beautiful North Carolina mountains. I love everything North Carolina has to offer and I needed snow for the plot. The mountains get much more snow than our coast.

4) How important is weather in choosing your settings?

Weather is like a secondary character to me. It sets the mood and atmosphere for the whole book. Passion,
whether physical or emotional, tends to rise in heat. Loneliness tends to rise to the surface in colder weather. I use the setting and its weather to play into the overall tone I'm hoping to achieve

  5) Do you prefer to write in the quiet or with background noise?

Oh, definitely background noise. Before I write the first word of any new project, I create a         playlist of music I feel works well with the tone of the story. It may contain ten songs or forty songs and I play it on a loop during each writing session. It puts me in the right mind frame to  create the world I'm hoping for.

6) How have your writing sessions evolved over the years?

              When I first started writing, I was a heavy smoker and coffee addict. Each time I sat down at the computer, the cigarettes and ashtray were on the right, coffee on the left. The three became so entangled, I felt like I couldn't write if I didn't have my cigarettes and my coffee. Well, I quit smoking, and honestly, I struggled to write. I couldn't concentrate. I finally allowed myself the time to adjust to the changes and stopped trying to force a sentence. After a couple months, it became easier and easier. I've been smoke free for three years and have two books and a WIP under my belt so I'm okay with that. I've gradually lost my interest in coffee, too. Iced Mochas now for me.

7) What was the most challenging aspect of writing The Rising?

Getting the fight scene right. I've never been in a physical altercation in my life so I relied on my son and son-in-law to stage it for me – not that they've been in fights, either (laughing) but I figured they knew more about it than I did. The medical issues were another challenge. I sought  help from several experts who were more than willing to help.

8) Where can we purchase The Rising?

              The Rising is available in print and digital formats at Pelican Book Group's website, on-line retailers, as well as my own website.


A little boy, beaten and left to die in an alley.  A cop with a personal life out of control. When their worlds collide, God intervenes. Detective Ellie Saunders's homicide investigation takes a dramatic turn when a young victim "wakes up" in the morgue. The child has no memory prior to his "rising" except walking with his father along a shiny road. Ellie likes dealing with facts. She'd rather leave all the God-talk to her father, a retired minister, and to her partner, Jesse, a former vice cop with an annoying habit of inserting himself into her life. But will the facts she follows puts Ellie's life in mortal danger? And will she finally allow God into her heart 

Lynn Chandler-Willis has worked in the corporate world (hated it!), the television news business (fun job) and the newspaper industry (not a fan of the word "apparently" and phrase "according to"). She keeps coming back to fiction because she likes making stuff up and you just can't do that in the newspaper or television news business.
She was born, raised, and continues to live in the heart of North Carolina within walking distance to her kids and their spouses and her nine grandchildren. She shares her home, and heart, with Sam the cocker spaniel.
She is the author of the best-selling true crime book, Unholy Covenant. The Rising is her debut novel.


Anne K Albert said…
Great interview, Marilyn.

Lynn, it's a pleasure to get to know you and your work. The Rising sounds like a great read. :)
Alta said…
The Rising sounds like a novel I would enjoy. I like that you feel the weather is an essential part of the story.

I enjoy all things North Carolina too but especially the beautiful mountains.
LoRee Peery said…
I was intrigued the first I saw of this novel and it did not disappoint.
M.M. Gornell said…
Great meeting you Lynn, and hearing about your work--(thanks, Marilyn for this "introduction.") I especially liked your thoughts on the weather and writing your fight scene!

Lynn said…
Thanks everyone for the comments. I do so LOVE the NC mountains. So many stories yet to be told :)
Mary L. Ball said…
Wonderful interview I can't wait to read The Rising.

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