Friday, May 18, 2018

Interview with TV producer Andrea Fehsenfeld about her debut suspense novel

Author Andréa Fehsenfeld joins me today to talk about her new suspense, Completion.

An award-winning TV producer, Andréa has delivered over 180 TV commercials, series and movies for Fortune 500 companies, including the multimillion-dollar unscripted series “Peak Season” – MTV Canada’s highest rated series debut.

A life-long book lover, in 2015 she decided to channel her storytelling skills into writing fiction. Completion is her debut novel.

Andréa’s brand – Cool Stories for Cool People – reflects her readers and what they’ll find in her books: unconventional characters with a dash of wild and crazy.

Welcome, Andrea. Please tell us about your current release.
Completion is a dark tale of destinies and desires, and fans of Gillian Flynn's multilayered mysteries and Stephen King's contemporary suspense will be in familiar territory with this atmospheric debut where nothing, and no one, is what it seems.

Damien Hester seeks release from his troubled past through flame and fire. But this pyromaniac can't stay ahead of the law forever. When he ignites something beyond his control, his carefully constructed world comes crashing down and the consequences are far reaching. Now on the run, his path takes a dark turn in New Mexico and he finds himself on a mysterious cult compound. Off the grid and suddenly caught between two feuding members - Addy, a beautiful follower and Garrett, the enigmatic leader - is Damien the missing link they've been waiting for? Or will he prove to be everyone's undoing?

A riveting exploration about identity and the powerful forces of our pasts, Completion unfolds through the alternating viewpoints of Damien and Addy as their secrets and broken histories start to unravel, their destinies entwine with Garrett’s, and everything comes full circle…with a price.

What inspired you to write this book?
The initial exploration of the idea was a short story I wrote in 2015. When I finished the short, the idea would not leave me alone. I’d actually written a first draft of a different book prior to Completion (which I will release down the road) but I knew this story took precedence.

Excerpt from Completion:
He jingles through a wad of keys from his pocket, using three different ones to open three different locks.
“Inside,” he says. “And shoes off.”
I slip out of the flip flops and stutter over the threshold.
“Don’t touch anything,” he warns, and closes the door behind me.
Click. Click. Click.
The locks fall into position.
My eyeball is slow to adjust from the brightness outside. At first glance, it’s just an average room you’d find in an average house where nothing crazy is going on - like killing people - but the hint of pine, clean and antiseptic, hangs cold like a guillotine. Two couches face each other in the far corner and in front of me an Ikea-grade dining table is bare except for a pitcher of water, two glasses and a plate of cookies. Something about the set up reminds me of an interrogation, and my hand tightens on the doorknob. It’s the only connection to outside, a world that now seems light years away.
Don’t think about that.
Instead, a vision of a torture chamber enters my mind, and I’m so pre-occupied trying to get rid of it that I don’t see the door on the far wall until it opens and I almost have a heart attack at the age of twenty-one.


What exciting story are you working on next?
Title: TBD

Logline: A disillusioned rock star under pressure to deliver his next hit, finds unlikely inspiration (and complications) from a teen runaway who forces him to face the music in a way he never has.

You can take a peek at the look book here. It will be updated in the coming months.

I’m a huge music fan and this story has been so much fun to write. Watch for it in 2019!

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I’ve written on and off for years putting together TV show ideas and proposals, but books are my first love. Near the end of 2014, I made the commitment to sit down every day for two hours in the afternoon and write. It was finishing the first draft of my first book that I knew the time had come to pursue it seriously.

Do you write full-time? If so, what's your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?
I still produce TV commercials here and there – they are shorter-term projects and pay well, which allows me time off to write. I do write every day. I have several books on the go and bang out short stories when they come to me – it all depends on what and who is in my head. But right now I’m buckling down to get a final draft of novel #2 ready for beta readers and then it’s off to the editor.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
When a characters voice grips me, I’ll bang out several chapters without even knowing the full story just so I can explore and live in their skin. If I get that spidey sense, its how I know if the story is a keeper or not.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I had dreams of being an astronaut but suffered from air sickness in my youth and decided space wasn’t for me. In my teens, the freedom of being an entrepreneur appealed. I’ve always been disciplined and liked being in charge of my destiny. (A-type personality!) I’ve been self employed since I was twenty, my first career being finance before I segued into TV production.

Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
Completion unfolds in layers with several twists and turns that have surprised every reader so far. Even my editor – who has worked with several high-profile authors – didn’t guess the ending!


Thank you for joining me today, Andrea.


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