Interview With Author Laurie Buchanan

# The pandemic has touched all of us. What kind of an impact, if any, has it had on your writing?

Because I’m in my writing studio a lot anyway, the largest impact the pandemic has had on me is the use of Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime. What had previously been in-person meetings and conferences has now turned into virtual sessions.

One of the upsides to Zoom is that it provides a way for some people who might not otherwise have been able to take part, to attend virtually.

# Your previous books are nonfiction (Note to Self: A Seven-Step Path to Gratitude and Growth and The Business of Being: Soul Purpose In and Out of the Workplace), but Indelible is your first novel. What’s different about writing a novel as opposed to nonfiction?

With nonfiction, the author is writing about preexisting, tangible, verifiable facts. The topic can be researched in books, magazines, newspapers, online, location visits, genealogists, and interviews with subject matter experts.

The characters, storyline, and sometimes even the world the story takes place in are not preexisting with fiction. Every aspect of the author’s writing comes out of their head, their imagination. The story is birthed as they write.

HOWEVER, it’s vital to verify things that are out of my area of expertise. That’s why I’ve interviewed:

  • a detective in the Major Crimes Unit of the Idaho State Police
  • a DNA specialist at the Idaho State Police Crime Lab
  • a forensic pathologist
  • a private investigator
  • a forensic psychiatrist

With nonfiction, I was satisfied to write in short bursts.

It’s turned out, at least for me, that’s not the case with fiction. So when I enter my writing studio to work on a Sean McPherson novel, it’s akin to Alice slipping down the rabbit hole. I pack my mental bags and prepare for the long haul because I know I’m going to get caught up in the location, characters, and storyline—become part of it.

And though writing nonfiction was incredibly satisfying, for me, it’s not “juicy.” But, on the other hand, there’s something utterly delicious about “playing God” and “world-building”—creating something of substance from absolute scratch in fiction writing.

I’m glad I started with nonfiction because it made me a stronger writer. I learned to research down to the gnat’s whisker. No stone was left unturned. That excellent stone-turning habit is like a great gym workout that develops strong writing muscles that are just as important in fiction writing.

# In the big picture, the Sean McPherson novels fall under the “crime fiction” umbrella with “suspense” and “thriller” as sub-genres. What’s the difference?

MYSTERY — Is about solving the puzzle, discovering “who done it?”

THRILLER — Is about the push and pull between the protagonist and the villain.

SUSPENSE — Is about the tension (can be present in any genre)

CRIME FICTION — Is about the investigation, either by an amateur or a professional detective, of a serious crime, generally a murder.

The Sean McPherson novels are a blend of all four, but the heart of them is goodness and that yearning to belong, that desire for company, for connection, which is found at Pines & Quill. We all belong somewhere. We all matter.

# Although he’s fictional, how did you meet Sean McPherson—the man who’s at the heart of the story? How did you and the character come together?

Sean “Mick” McPherson is based on a real-life groundskeeper I saw from a distance at a women’s writing retreat. He was a handsome man who walked with a limp. That was enough to set the wheels of my imagination spinning.

# This book is titled “Book One.” It sounds like you have others planned. Tell us about those and when you think they’ll be ready.

Indelible: A Sean McPherson Novel, Book One – April 6, 2021

Iconoclast: A Sean McPherson Novel, Book Two – May 3, 2022

Impervious: A Sean McPherson Novel, Book Three – Spring, 2023

Iniquity: A Sean McPherson Novel, Book Four – Spring, 2024

Right now, that’s as far as my publisher and I have projected out, but there will be more.

Not one to share any spoilers, the one thing I will tell you is that each title is a single, four-syllable word that starts with the letter “I.” I’m having a lot of fun with that. The storyline of each book contains the title word once, and only once, throughout its pages.

Author website: https://www.lauriebuchanan.com/