Behind the Pages with The Traveling Sisters discussion

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Archived / Author Q & A's > Spoiler Free Q & A / Christina McDonald author of Behind Every Lie & The Night Olivia Fell

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message 1: by Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews (last edited Sep 29, 2019 06:58PM) (new)

Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
We are so excited Christina has an upcoming new book and will be can't wait to read it. Take a look at our discussion and see a Sneak Peek into her upcoming new book. We hope you enjoy reading our insightful Q & A with Christina McDonald.

Behind Every Lie by Christina McDonald

I have added some of the Q & A in an easier form to read at the end of this thread


message 2: by Jess☺️ (new)

Jess☺️ ooooow I can't wait I loved The Night Olivia Fell .


message 3: by Tucker (new)

Tucker  (TuckerTheReader) (tuckeralmengor) | 1 comments Ahh! How exciting! I'm hoping to get an ARC!


message 4: by Norma (new)

Norma | 72 comments Mod
Tucker wrote: "Ahh! How exciting! I'm hoping to get an ARC!"

We think having Christina joining us here is pretty exciting too, Tucker! I think there are a few of us hoping to get an ARC! Fingers crossed for you.


message 5: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments I'm so excited to chat to everybody! :)


message 6: by Aga (new)

Aga Durka | 2 comments OMG!! I can’t wait. I loved “The Night Olivia Fell” and I can’t wait to get my hands on Christina’s new book 📚 🙏🏻🥰


HollyLovesBooks (neuromd94) | 5 comments This looks great, I just looked at it on NetGalley. Right up my alley.


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
I am excited for this chat!


message 9: by DeAnn (new)

DeAnn | 19 comments Christina--so excited that you will be joining us. I will add some questions.


message 10: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments DeAnn wrote: "Christina--so excited that you will be joining us. I will add some questions." Can't wait to chat with you, DeAnn! :)


message 11: by Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews (last edited Sep 21, 2019 12:49PM) (new)

Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Hi Christina! I am so excited to be chatting with you again! Thank you so much for joining us!

Well it's no secret that The Traveling Sisters are really excited about Behind Every Lie and it's a highly anticipated read for us. We would love for you to join us and our friends for a discussion once it's released. For now lol

Can you give a sneak peek into what Behind Every Lie is about?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
How did the idea for Behind Every Lie come to you?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
What are three words you would use to describe Behind Every Lie?

The Night Olivia Fell?


message 14: by Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews (last edited Sep 17, 2019 09:07AM) (new)

Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
The Night Olivia Fell was a very loved story and there was a lot of love buzzing around for it and that was exciting to see. Now with the upcoming release of Behind Every Lie what does all this feel like for you?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
What draws you to write domestic suspense?


message 16: by DeAnn (new)

DeAnn | 19 comments Will you be going on tour at all with this book? It seems like your first book was super successful, so I hope so!


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Describe Eva Hansen from Behind Every Lie in 5 or less words


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
What comes first for you plot or characters?
Do you plan or does it come together for you as you are writing?


message 19: by DeAnn (new)

DeAnn | 19 comments Do you ever get writer's block? If so, what do you try to overcome that?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Let's chat a bit spoiler-free about The Night Olivia Fell. I am going to take a few questions from our Traveling friends and post them here for you to answer.

DeAnn asked

I'm wondering how you got the teenage voice so well? As the parent of teenagers, I sometimes feel like I don't know them at all! Did you do a lot of research for the medical side of the story?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Lindsay asked

I'm wondering how you created these very memorable and realistic characters. Did you base some of each of them on people you know in real life? Or were they simply imaginary characters that grew and developed in your mind?


message 22: by Norma (new)

Norma | 72 comments Mod
Hi Christina! Thanks so much for joining us today!

Congratulations on your success of being a USA Today Bestselling author! That is so awesome!

Can you tell us how that feels and what that means to you?


message 23: by Norma (new)

Norma | 72 comments Mod
I heard somewhere in my travels that The Night Olivia Fell has been optioned for TV. Do you have any details to share with us about that?


message 24: by Norma (new)

Norma | 72 comments Mod
I do love my covers and titles of books. Can you share with us if you had a vision of what you wanted the cover to look like or was it all in the hands of the publisher?

Did the titles of your books come first or after you were finished writing?


message 25: by MarilynW (new)

MarilynW (huecotx) | 20 comments Does an idea for a cover ever lead the way towards a book plot?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
You added and showed some different emotions with your characters in The Night Olivia Fell and I went thought a few myself while reading. After writing do you feel exhausted or energized?


message 27: by Norma (new)

Norma | 72 comments Mod
Oh I have another question, Christina that I am always curious about while I'm reading. How does an author come up with their character names? So that is my question to you. LOL Do you have a connection to the names you choose or are they just random?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
What was one struggle you face in your writing process?


message 29: by Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews (last edited Sep 21, 2019 12:48PM) (new)

Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
From the GR summary for Behind Every Lie I read that "Eva heads from Seattle to London". Why did you choose that? Is there some insight about yourself why you choose those settings?


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Is there anything you would like readers to get from your writing or books?


message 31: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Hello everybody, I'm so excited to be here and chat about The Night Olivia Fell and my upcoming book Behind Every Lie! I'm going to get started posting some answers, but feel free to ask more questions as you think of them.
Christina


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
I am going to add a few quotes from The Night Olivia Fell for you to share some insight to

I love this one

“Trust, I’d learned, was the greatest gift you could give, the greatest gift to receive. The belief that a person wouldn’t betray you required a strength and confidence”


message 33: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "Hi Christina! I am so excited to be chatting with you again! Thank you so much for joining us!

Well it's no secret that The Traveling Sisters are really excited about Behind Every Lie and it's a h..."


BEL is about Eva Hansen, who wakes up in the hospital after being struck by lightning and learns that her mother, Kat has been murdered. Eva was found unconscious down the street, but she can’t remember what happened, which of course makes the police very suspicious of her. To clear her name and to find out if she is capable of something so terrible, Eva heads to London—Kat’s former home—and begins to unravel the mystery behind her mother’s murder.


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Christina wrote: "Hello everybody, I'm so excited to be here and chat about The Night Olivia Fell and my upcoming book Behind Every Lie! I'm going to get started posting some answers, but feel free to ask more quest..."

Hello Christina! I am so glad to be chatting with you! I have some quotes I will add to see if you have some insight to share with but I will wait and add more after you finish answering the questions.


message 35: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "How did the idea for Behind Every Lie come to you?"

There were two things that really factored into the idea behind BEL. The first is I randomly saw a picture of Lichtenberg figures, which are the branching electrical marks sometimes left on the skin of people who’ve been struck by lightning. I was so fascinated that I began researching more about lightning strikes, particularly how it affects short-term and long-term memory.

During this time I read the impact statement for Emily Doe, who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner at Stanford University. It really impacted me and I thought: how do you go on after that? Your self-trust and worth would be eroded.

Now I know that sexual assault in a story can be incredibly unsettling for some readers (I don’t show it, but do reference it in this book), but I felt it was so important for women (and men, of course) to know they have a voice. Sexual assault has often been covered in stories, but not often is the pain explored through the victim’s eyes. It’s so common to see men presented as both attacker and savior, while women as powerless, and I wanted to flip that around, to show a woman taking control after that trauma and learning to trust herself again.

So I wrote BEL, which takes a thriller concept and places Eva, my protagonist, around a similar past. Now she’s been struck by lightning and can't remember if she murdered her mother, and this further erodes her self-trust. So she embarks on a journey to find out who she really is and what she’s capable of, while trying to solve the mystery of who murdered her mother.


message 36: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "What are three words you would use to describe Behind Every Lie?

The Night Olivia Fell?"


Behind Every Lie - Twisty. Emotional. Empowering.
The Night Olivia Fell - Emotional. Compelling. Suspenseful.


message 37: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "The Night Olivia Fell was a very loved story and there was a lot of love buzzing around for it and that was exciting to see. Now with the upcoming release of Behind Every Lie what does all this fee..."

Well, I’m a little nervous, to be honest! Lol As a writer you feel like you’re only as good as your last good book, and now there’s a certain level I want to hit each time. And of course I don't want my readers to feel let down in any way! lol I want to deliver a sharp, twisty, emotional book each and every time.

With TNOF I had no expectations, so learning how much people loved it and how much the mother-daughter relationship between Abi and Olivia affected people was just hugely rewarding. BEL is a little darker, it covers more sensitive topics. But it says things I want to say, and hopefully in a way that makes people feel things and explore how and why they feel those things, so I’m hoping readers love it just as much!


message 38: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "What draws you to write domestic suspense?"

I wish I knew! lol I think a big part of it is that I also enjoy reading domestic suspense, thrillers, etc. I’m not an adrenaline junkie in real life, but I love not knowing what’s going to happen, that breathless anticipation of just *needing* to turn the page to find out that next plot point.

I also think families and their complicated dynamics are such a rich mine to explore. When it comes to family, our skin is very thin and we have very high expectations, so emotions ride high.


message 39: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments DeAnn wrote: "Will you be going on tour at all with this book? It seems like your first book was super successful, so I hope so!"

I really hope so one day! It would just be a dream come true to meet all you wonderful readers who have read and loved and talked about TNOF, and now BEL. I'm overwhelmed by the support I've had and would like to meet everybody. I think you all should email my publisher and get me sent out! ☺


Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
Christina wrote: "DeAnn wrote: "Will you be going on tour at all with this book? It seems like your first book was super successful, so I hope so!"

I really hope so one day! It would just be a dream come true to me..."


Ok, give us that contact. lol But you would need to come to Canada. The mountains are breathtaking my way.


message 41: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "Describe Eva Hansen from Behind Every Lie in 5 or less words"

Sensitive. Idealistic. Haunted. Insecure. Resilient.


message 42: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "What comes first for you plot or characters?
Do you plan or does it come together for you as you are writing?"


I think a little of both! I definitely have the idea for plot first, then I sit down and sketch out who I think my characters are, their defining characteristics, how the story will change them and how they appear to others (sharp, business suit and hair in a bun says high-achieving lawyer while flowing peasant dress and long braids says carefree bohemian). I try to see my characters as a whole person, but mostly they just evolve as I write the story.

I have a general idea of what the book will be about and I might know maybe the chapter I’m working on, but that’s as far as I go with planning. Usually once I’ve written the book I look back and realize how much more I need to fill out my characters. It means a lot of edits, but it’s just the way my brain works! I have to get to know my fictional people, and like with real people, it takes time.


message 43: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments DeAnn wrote: "Do you ever get writer's block? If so, what do you try to overcome that?"

I think all writers get some form of writer’s block at one time or another. The best way to get through it is to write through it. Even if what you’ve written isn’t relevant to that story, even if the writing is completely hopeless, once you start writing you’ll eventually pick up speed.

I like to go for a walk with my dog to help untangle plots. While I’m not consciously thinking about it, my subconscious starts untangling plot threads. And if I’m still not clear on what I want or where I’m going I sleep on it! Often I’ll untangle things without evening knowing it in my sleep and wake up fresh with a new idea.


message 44: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "Christina wrote: "DeAnn wrote: "Will you be going on tour at all with this book? It seems like your first book was super successful, so I hope so!"

I really hope so one day! It would just be a dre..."


Where in Canada are you? We used to go up to Vancouver a lot (it isn't too far from Seattle!) :)


message 45: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "Let's chat a bit spoiler-free about The Night Olivia Fell. I am going to take a few questions from our Traveling friends and post them here for you to answer.

DeAnn asked

I'm wondering how you ..."


Olivia’s voice took a couple of rounds of editing to get right. I really reached inside myself to try to remember what it was like in high school and how we spoke, what we felt, the way we hid things (intentionally or not) from our parents. I like people watching, so I’d also go to coffee shops and just observe how teenagers interacted and the words they used speaking to each other.

I did LOADS of medical research for the story. I wanted to make the medical story of a pregnant woman on life support genuine and authentic, and I think the initial research before I even started writing is what took the longest.


message 46: by Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews (last edited Sep 21, 2019 02:09PM) (new)

Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews | 402 comments Mod
I am in Vancouver right now. I live in Calgary. I love Seattle and have visited a couple of times. I ran a marathon there one year and then went to wine country to celebrate and reenergize. lol


message 47: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Brenda - Host of Traveling Sisters & Friends wrote: "Lindsay asked

I'm wondering how you created these very memorable and realistic characters. Did you base some of each of them on people you know in real life? Or were they simply imaginary characte..."


All of my characters are an amalgamation of the people and the world around me. I don’t know any of them in real life, but one might get, for example, an epic beard like a friend, or a nose ring I saw on a girl I sat next to on a train.

Their internal characteristics are built as I think about how they relate to the plot. I want them to be real and authentic. What usually happens is they begin as a sort of 2-D version of a person in my mind and as I do edits and re-writes I get to know them. As that happens they grow and become memorable to me, so I’m able to convey that to my reader (hopefully!). lol


message 48: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Norma * Traveling Sister wrote: "Hi Christina! Thanks so much for joining us today!

Congratulations on your success of being a USA Today Bestselling author! That is so awesome!

Can you tell us how that feels and what that means ..."


Oh man, I am over the moon! Lol I have literally been chasing this dream since I was a kid. I used to write silly stories for my sisters and I’d act out stories with my friends, so writing has always been my joy and my passion.

While I’ve had other jobs (that have mostly revolved around writing!), being an author and telling stories has been a dream come true, and becoming a bestselling author is just amazing. It just means so much to me knowing that my book has connected with readers in some way. It wouldn’t have happened without readers, so I’m just so incredibly grateful!


message 49: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Norma * Traveling Sister wrote: "I heard somewhere in my travels that The Night Olivia Fell has been optioned for TV. Do you have any details to share with us about that?"

Yes, it has! I’m so excited about this and want SO MUCH to share more details, but unfortunately I'm not allowed to say anything except it has indeed been optioned for TV. Stay tuned…! ☺


message 50: by Christina (new)

Christina McDonald | 44 comments Norma * Traveling Sister wrote: "I do love my covers and titles of books. Can you share with us if you had a vision of what you wanted the cover to look like or was it all in the hands of the publisher?

Did the titles of your boo..."


Hmm... good question! I might have a vague idea of what I want or don't want. Like for TNOF I said something with a bridge and I didn't want any faces showing, and the cover they gave me was just a gift from the cover gods.

With BEL I didn't say anything about what I wanted, although in my head I'd thought lightning should be there somewhere, and again, the cover gods knew exactly what to do and they just got it so perfect!

Ultimately my publisher has final say, but they're amazing and they do consult with me.


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