01 September, 2020

#Interview with Patrick Canning, #Author of Hawthorn Road - #Mystery

About the Author:

Patrick Canning is the author of three novels, including Cryptofauna (2018), The Colonel and the Bee (2018), and his latest, Hawthorn Woods (2020). He has also published several short stories. When he isn’t writ- ing, he enjoys playing beach volleyball, following space exploration, and losing at bar trivia. Patrick lives in Los Ange- les with his dog Hank, who
some consider to be the greatest dog of all time.

Patrick on the Web:
Website *  Facebook * Instagram * Amazon Page

Interview with Patrick Canning

How did you come up with the idea for your current story?

I wanted to set a story in the neighborhood and time period I grew up in. The main character’s issues are more exaggerated versions of things I’ve dealt with myself, and the mystery plot (at least one of them) was partially inspired by a real story I came across while working as an intern at Fox Chicago (local news).

Are there some stories tucked away in some drawer that was written before and never saw the light of the day?

For sure—I have plenty of screenplays and shorts that have never found a place, and plenty more that were never fully completed. I’ve never written an entire novel and not done anything with it, but there are always a few ideas that haven't yet been fully developed.

Tell us about your writing process.

Once I have an idea I like to just let details filter in over time (always, always write these down or you will 100% forget them). Eventually I turn those bits and pieces into a rough outline, turn the outline into a first draft, let it sit, revise it a few times, get feedback from beta readers, revise a few more times, work with an editor on a few drafts, and hope for the best.

Did any of your characters inherit some of your own quirks?

Francine hates green olives and loves pancakes, which rings true for me, so it’s possible I tried to push my own taste agenda...

What is the best piece of advice you have received, as a writer, till date?

It’s pretty basic, but: ‘Read a lot, write a lot.’

What is the best piece of advice you would give to someone that wants to get into writing?

Don’t give yourself a hard time if you’re not a wonderful writer right off the bat. Work hard at getting better, focus on what you’re interested in/passionate about, and whenever possible, have fun with it. 

Can you share with us something off your bucket list?

Somehow make a minor contribution to a field of science, become a really good baker, become best friends with a wild animal.

What do you have in store next for your readers?

I’m working on a couple different books, but I think the first one out might be a sequel to my first novel, Cryptofauna. I'm hoping to have that one out next year.

About the Book:

Summer, 1989. Reeling from a catastrophic divorce she just can’t seem to leave behind, Francine Haddix flees San Francisco for a two-week stay at her sister’s house in Hawthorn Woods, Illinois. The quaint neighborhood of shady trees and friendly neighbors seems like the perfect place to sort through her pain and finally move on with her life—but the tranquility doesn’t last long.

Beginning with a complete stranger throwing a drink in her face at her own welcome party, Francine soon discovers the supposedly idyllic suburb is hiding a disturbing number of mysteries. Why is the handsome-ish guy next door lying about who he is? What’s hidden in the back of the teenage troublemaker’s shed? Who wrote a threatening message in blood? Which of the smiling neighbors has a secret they’d kill to keep?

Seeking to reclaim a natural passion for sleuthing numbed by her divorce, Francine rewrites her prescription from one of relaxation to one of investigation. If she can detect the lies, follow the clues, and remember how to trust herself, she might get to the bottom of what’s so very wrong in Hawthorn Woods. She might even be able to believe the future can be good again—assuming she lives long enough to be in it.

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon