book review

Author Interview With Chloe S. Flanagan

This week I  had the honor of interviewing the inspiring author of the book, “Forward To What Lies Ahead” as well as reviewing her book. (Click here to see the review and here to see her author bio.) She was very relatable and honest and I can’t wait for you to get to know her a little better.


Q: What inspired you to write the book, “Forward To What Lies Ahead?”

A: First off, thank you so much for inviting me to participate in this interview and for all you do to help your fellow writers.

I was inspired by the idea of picking up and moving on after some kind of upheaval. As people, we spend some of the most crucial parts of our lives dealing with this kind of thing–be it the death of a loved one, divorce, illness, a career change–anything that knocks us down and forces us to change and rebuild our lives. Radical life changes are inevitable, and it’s been my experience that God’s grace is available to pull us through these situations. I wanted to write about a character that discovers these truths.


Q: What is the main thing you want your readers to take away from this story?

A: I hope the readers walk away from the book thinking about the ways we all try to hold on and control our own outcomes in life. I’d like them to consider the possibility that everything doesn’t have to be up to us and we don’t have to fight all our battles alone.


Q: Why do you choose to write Christian Fiction?

A: I love reading all different kinds of books, but there is something special about Christian Fiction to me. A good CF novel can connect with our spirits and speak to our souls, inspiring us to consider things about God, faith, and the way we treat one another. After being blessed by so many CF authors whose books have done that for me, I was inspired to start trying it for myself.


Q: When did you write your first book and how old were you?

A: “Forward to What Lies Ahead” is my first actual book. I started working on it last year, right after my 28th birthday. I wrote a lot of smaller things prior to that, like poetry, reflections, and short stories.


Q: Tell us about your writing process. How do stories come to you?

A: Story ideas can come from all kinds of places: fragments of conversations, “what if” scenarios, movies, and books. For “Forward to What Lies Ahead,” the very first scene that came to me involved an altercation between the two main characters, Regina and Mac. I knew before I started that they would have this argument so, when building the plot, I just went backward and forward from that point in the narrative.


Q: What is your favorite place to write?

A: I really enjoy writing at the public library. It’s quiet, the staff is awesome, and there is something really inspiring about being surrounded by all of those books.


Q: What kind of books do you enjoy reading?

A: I love Christian Historical Fiction and Christian Contemporary Romance. After that, it gets pretty eclectic. I like all kinds of authors, from Jane Austen, to Agatha Christie, to H.G. Wells, to Rafael Sabatini.


Q: Out of all of the protagonists you’ve written about, which one do you relate to the most? Why?

A: I can relate to Regina, the protagonist of “Forward to What Lies Ahead” because of her strong desire to be self-reliant and to reason out problems for herself. Also, I can relate to her inclination to keep her struggles to herself, instead of seeking help. Like her, I often need to be reminded to give my struggles to God.


Q: What are some book marketing strategies that have been most successful for you? Which would you recommend to new authors?

A: I think the most successful strategy is less about strategy and more about relationships. In the months leading up to the release of my book and afterwards, I found some amazing online communities dedicated to the CF genre and indie authors. I’ve also been blessed to make friends with writers in my local community. All of these relationships have led to sharing ideas and learning about marketing and connecting with readers. I stress the word “relationship” because it’s all about people helping and learning from other people, rather than simply self-promoting.


Q: Before we go, one last question. What projects can we expect to see from you in the future?

A: I am currently working on the sequel to “Forward to What Lies Ahead.” It should be ready for release this spring. I plan to write one more related book after that sequel to complete a series of three books. Later down the road, I would like to write historical fiction, so I have some outlines for books in that genre also.


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