Author Interview: USA Today Bestselling Author L.A. Detwiler
L.A. Detwiler is the USA TODAY Bestselling thriller author of The Widow Next Door and several other bestselling, chilling page-turners. She is also a high school English teacher from Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania. During her final year at Mount Aloysius College, she started writing her first fiction novel, which was published in 2015. She has also written articles that have appeared in several women's publications
and websites. L.A. Detwiler lives in her hometown with her husband, Chad. They have five cats and a mastiff named Henry.
How did you become a writer?
When I was a little girl, my parents impressed upon me the value of reading and writing. I was always writing stories and poems when I was young. I even tried writing a book in sixth grade. I've always been a writer at heart, and my biggest dream was to see my name on the cover of a book. In college, I took a class called "The Literature of Health & Healing." We read a lot of books about terminally ill patients and about how you should chase your dreams. I got inspired to chase my biggest dream and started writing my first book.
What inspires you to write?
I think everything around me inspires me in some way. Most of my books come from adding the question "What if?" to something that happens in my real life. Some of my books came to be from real-life encounters with loved ones. Some were inspired by thoughts I had before bed. Many of my books come to me while I'm in the shower for some reason.
Could you share some of your challenges as a writer?
Like many writers, I think finding time to devote to writing is always a challenge. I am a full-time high school English teacher in addition to writing, so life is always a balancing act. We also have a puppy (a Great Dane named Edmund) who demands a lot of my time. Still, when you are passionate about something, I think you find time to follow your dreams. I squeeze in writing whenever I can.
I also think one of my challenges is that I like to write books that push me as a writer. I want every book to be a new experience for my readers and to help me try something new. I try to write from different perspectives or in formats that push me outside of my comfort zone. Yes, you can expect the same emotional depth and style in all of my books. However, I never want my books to become predictable or feel like the same storyline.
What are your current/future projects?
I am currently working on book two of a thriller series called Maternal Instincts. The books are all about how motherly instincts can sometimes cross the line. The first book in the series is about a woman who is living her dream life with the husband, house, and baby she always wanted. However, ever since the baby came along, there's been something really wrong with her husband. It's a domestic thriller with a very shocking twist (This is one of the only books that the twist ending came to me first). I'm working on the sequel, which will follow another woman who also finds herself relying on her motherly instincts to try to save the day.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
When I first started in the publishing business, I think I lacked confidence like so many other writers. I would let a rejection or a bad review weigh on me heavily and make me doubt my dreams. I would love to go back and tell myself to trust in who I am and in my instincts. No matter what happens, I'm a writer at the core. It's what I love doing. It's what I'm passionate about. I would tell myself to trust the path a bit more and to trust myself so I could focus on writing the stories I want to write.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
The best advice I can give is to write the story that is truly weighing on your heart. So many times, we hold back because we are afraid to write what we really want to write. We worry what others will think or we let others' opinions stop us. Write the story that haunts you, that keeps you up at night. I truly believe if you approach your writing with passion and in a genuine way, the rest falls into place when it is meant to.
What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you?