IR- What inspired the idea for your book?
LA- I think every parent’s worst fear is to lose a child. We imagine them affected by disease, injury, natural disasters—we dread all of these. And in particular, we fear that our children are vulnerable to strangers who could harm or exploit them. This book started with me imagining a scene in which a man claims that a young girl is not really her mother’s child, but is actually his granddaughter who was abducted many years ago as a baby.
IR- What was the most surprising thing you learned in writing this book?
LA- I found that I could understand and empathize with all of my characters, including the villain.
IR- If you were friends with a character in this book, what kinds of things would you do together?
LA- There are three main characters in the novel. I’m not sure I’d exactly be friends with any of them, but I’d be happy to spend time with them. With Maddy, the twelve-year old girl, I can imagine taking her shopping or to a movie. With Susan, Maddy’s mother: I’d like to have coffee or a glass of wine with her and just share our thoughts about being a parent (or for that matter, being a woman in today’s world). As for Daniel, the older man who wants to claim Maddy, I’d be wary but willing to meet in a public place. Perhaps a stroll in a park early in the timeframe of the book; I’d get him to tell me about his past and what happened to his family.
IR- What does it mean to you to be called an author?
LA- Being called an author is validation for the time I’ve spent developing my skills as a fiction writer. It’s recognition that my work resonates with someone besides me.
IR- How do you define success as an author?
LA- I think the goal for any writer is to learn that others enjoy reading something they’ve written.
IR- What comes first for you — the plot or the characters?
LA- I find it’s a back-and-forth process. I maybe start with a plot idea, an image. Then I consider what could lie behind that idea: how could it come about? What kinds of characters could be involved, and what would be driving them to that circumstance? As I delve deeper into the characters, the plot starts to deepen and get more complex. So I move back and forth between developing the characters and developing the plot, each enriching the other.
IR- What do you look for in a story as a reader?
LA- I look for good, clear writing, and characters that I can care about. I’m particularly attracted to stories that keep me on the edge of my seat, the kind that makes me keep wanting to “read just one more chapter.”
IR- What made you say to yourself, “Today, I am going to write a book that I will publish.”?
LA- That’s really two questions. First, when did I decide to seriously tackle writing a novel? It was in 2017; I was recently retired and had just finished a term on my local hospital board, and realized that I suddenly had no obligations, that my “plate” was clear. Around then I heard about National Novel Writing Month—when, every November, thousands of people around the world take on the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month. I had no idea if I could write that many words in a month, but I thought “if you’re not ready to try writing a novel now, when will you be ready?” So I plunged in. That effort resulted in my first draft. But it took me a couple of years of rewrites and revisions before I thought it was ready to submit for publication, and it took another two years—and more rewrites—before I found a publisher.
IR- What difference do you see between a writer and an author?
LA- A simple answer is that a writer writes, while an author publishes. But even before I had a publisher—when I started querying agents and publishers—I set up my author website and my Facebook author page. So I think I’d define the stage of “being an author” as being outward-focused, aiming toward reaching an audience, not just focused on the writing itself which is quite an individual, inward-focused activity.
IR- Aside from writing or reading, what are your hobbies or interests?
LA- For some years I’ve been active in fitness walking. I have a number of “walking buddies” with whom I walk regularly. Together we’ve undertaken challenges such as completing several half-marathons or fundraising walks. And I did a cross-England walk with my husband.
IR- What advice would you give to a writer working on their first book?
LA- Persevere. Focus on learning your craft and making your book as good as you possibly can. Be willing to consider advice and critiques. Don’t be defensive, but believe in your story.
IR- What is your author spirit animal?
LA- A groundhog. Groundhogs supposedly foretell the coming of spring—in other words, they represent optimism. The thing you’re waiting for might come sooner or it might come later, but it will come. We have one living on our property that we’ve named “Allfast Alphonse.” (The famous weather-forecasting groundhogs all have alliterative names, so who are we to buck the tradition?)
IR- What would the title of your autobiography be?
LA- Never Too Late (To Try Something New)
IR- Describe yourself in as few words as possible.
LA- Dogged but distractable.
IR- If you had a secret room that opened by pulling a book on a shelf, what book
would you choose?
LA- Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson.
IR- If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?
LA- Fly. (Why not?) [ Why not, indeed? 😃 ]
Not Your Child
by Lis Angus
April 1-30, 2022
Virtual Book Tour
When Ottawa psychologist and single mother Susan Koss discovers that a strange man has been following her twelve-year-old daughter Maddy, she fears he’s a predator. But it’s worse than that. The man, Daniel Kazan, believes Maddy is his granddaughter, abducted as a baby, and he’s obsessed with getting her back.
Susan insists on a DNA test to disprove Daniel’s claim, but the result is one she can’t understand or explain: it says she’s not Maddy’s mother.
Then Maddy vanishes. Susan’s convinced Daniel has taken her, but he has an alibi, and two searches of his house turn up nothing. The hunt is on—police are on full mobilization, and Susan fears the worst.
Read an excerpt:
Lis Angus is a Canadian suspense writer. Early in her career, she worked with children and families in crisis; later she worked as a policy advisor, business writer and editor while raising two daughters. She now lives south of Ottawa with her husband.
Catch Up With Lis:
BookBub – @lisangusauthor
Instagram – lisangus459
Twitter – @lisangus1
Facebook – @lisangusauthor
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
04/01 Guest post @ The Book Divas Reads
04/02 Review @ Savings in Seconds
04/04 Review @ Nanasbookreviews
04/05 Review @ The World As I See It
04/10 Review @ Pat Fayo Reviews
04/12 Interview @ I Read What You Write
04/13 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
04/13 Review @ Novels Alive
04/13 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
04/14 Review @ Lynchburg Reads
04/15 Review @ Socrates Book Reviews
04/16 Showcase @ Books Blog
04/18 Showcase @ Silvers Reviews
04/19 Review @ flightnurse70_book_reviews
04/20 Review @ Quiet Fury Books
04/22 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
04/23 Review @ addictedtobooks86
04/24 Review @ Margaret Yelton
04/25 Review @ Buried Under Books
04/25 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews
04/26 Review @ Sunny island breezes
04/27 Review @ 5 Minutes for Books
04/28 Guest post @ Author Elena Taylors Blog
04/29 Review @ A Room Without Books is Empty
04/30 Review @ One More Book To Read