Best-selling suspense author Lisa Regan is perhaps best known for her two popular series, the Detective Josie Quinn and P.I. Jocelyn Rush novels. Her first published novel, Finding Claire Fletcher—about a woman kidnapped at the age of fifteen and imprisoned for a decade by her abductor—won her initial acclaim. The sequel to that novel, Losing Leah Holloway, also proved to be successful with readers. She's been writing incredible suspense novels ever since.
Lisa is also a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. She enjoys interacting with her readers and other writers, so she was more than happy to answer some questions for us
Thanks for talking with us, Lisa. Let's start with your many readers. You have an enormous following. How do you think your active presence on social media contributes to that base?
I think it contributes a great deal to my fan base because they see I'm engaged and interested in their thoughts, and I want to provide a fun space for them online. I am extraordinarily lucky to have fans who are enthusiastic about the Josie Quinn detective series. I absolutely love interacting with them and hearing everything they have to say—even the criticism. Some have become good friends. I also get to use my social media platform to introduce my readers to many other fabulous authors.
I don't view time spent cultivating relationships with my fans as a waste. To me, it is essential. These are the lovely human beings willing to spend their time reading my words. That's a sacred thing as far as I'm concerned. I wish I had more time to interact with them all, but they're pretty understanding about me taking time to write the stories they're waiting to read!
Are your series characters, Josie Quinn and Joselyn Rush, modeled from people you know? Maybe composites of those folks?
Josie and Jocelyn are not modeled after people I know. Rather, they're modeled after people I wish I could be more like. Both characters are smart, tough, strong, and gritty. Most importantly, they always run toward the danger, and they've got a strong sense of justice. I've been lucky to see these qualities in people I know, but I didn't use anyone as a model.
Will Josie and Jocelyn ever cross paths?
There are no plans for that right now, but it sure would be fun to write. And, you know, Josie only lives about two hours away from Jocelyn.
What makes these two characters so endearing to your readers?
The thing I hear most often from readers is that they love that Josie and Jocelyn are incredibly strong women. What I hear most often about Josie specifically is readers love her because she's "badass." Also, it's not lost on my amazing readers that Josie's life and emotions can be extremely complex. She always works hard to navigate both in the most graceful way possible. Josie doesn't always succeed, but she grows as a character, even when it hurts. People relate to that. No matter what happens, she gets back up, dusts herself off, and keeps trying.
You once worked in a law office. How has your experience as a paralegal influenced your writing?
It definitely taught me to be more precise in whatever I try to write. But mostly, it has taught me how to be an extremely thorough researcher. I've learned to better evaluate sources. I have also become more confident in approaching experts in their fields and figuring out which questions I need to ask to get the details in my books correct. I had to be so thorough and meticulous in my work as a paralegal, and that has carried over into writing crime fiction. I try to make things as authentic as fiction allows.
Most authors maintain a "bible" for their series to maintain continuity from book to book, further develop characters, and avoid mistakes (a character with blue eyes in one book and brown in the next). Do you use a "bible" for your series?
I have to have a bible, especially now that the Josie Quinn series is going into Book 12. It's difficult to remember where I've put everything in her fictional city of Denton and character descriptions and even names I've already used. There is a lovely woman named Claire Milto who compiled my series bible for me. With each book, she adds to it. It's invaluable and I keep the document open on my computer whenever I'm working on a first draft.