Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her won creative impulses.
Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her
participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.
McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon. They have three children and two grandchildren.
Her latest book is Buried Threads (Book 2 of the Threads series).
Visit her website at www.kaylinmcfarren.com.
Connect & Socialize with Kaylin!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m a stay at home author with years of experience in marketing and public relations under my belt. I also wore many hats ranging from fashion model, interior designer and office manager to art gallery owner, which has given me the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and all walks of life.
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Torrance, California, moved with my family to Seattle, Washington at the age of twelve, met my husband in college and moved to Beaverton, Oregon before eventually settling in Troutdale. Torrance and Seattle were both great places go grow up. In California, I was a sun-kissed baby and spent every weekend camping and waterskiing with my family and about six other families who would travel with us. There were always about a dozen kids to play and grow up with. Seattle was more about living and getting around in the city – riding the ferries, picking strawberries on Vashon Island, hanging out in Pike’s Place market and walking dogs on Alki Beach.
What is your fondest childhood memory?
I have lots of great memories but my favorite is my dad standing on the tarmac at LAX with me sitting on his shoulders watching planes take off. He was a mechanic and plant maintenance supervisor and began working at United Airlines when they still had prop engine planes and Chiclets gum.
When did you begin writing?
I’ve always loved to write stories and started showing a real interest in 6th grade. My teacher at the time realized I had a real active imagination and encouraged me to keep journals and write on a regular basis. As a result, Miss Tuttle will always be my hero.
Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?
I’m a chronic writer – typing away every opportunity I get. But mostly I follow a schedule writing from 12pm – 4pm unless I’m on roll and then it can be until 2 in the morning.
What is this book about?
Buried Threads picks up where Severed Threads left off but this book also stands alone. Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen have joined forces in a treasure hunting company and have been recruited to recover a priceless emerald from a ship in the Sea of Japan. However, unbeknownst to them, they have signed on for an Indiana Jones-style adventure taking them through shark-invested waters and a death-defying cave and ancient hidden tomb, while contending with Yakuza and school girl gang members, in order to recover three cursed samurai swords and save Japan from a monk’s frightening prediction.
What inspired you to write it?
Buried Threads is the second book in my Threads series and is one I always wanted to write since I’ve had the opportunity to meet and interact with numerous geishas and maikos in Japan. My husband’s uncle was a member of the yakuza (Japanese mafia), which fascinated me, and a good friend is a Buddhist monk with a gift of prophecy who has a large international following. They make up the heart of this story and made telling it so much more fun.
Who is your biggest supporter?
My husband will always be my greatest supporter but my children are my greatest fans.
Are you a member of a critique group? If no, who provides feedback on your work?
Yes – I’m in a group with five authors who exchange ideas and share their manuscripts for feedback.
Who is your favorite author?
I have many but find myself reading a lot of Jodi Picoult, Gillian Flynn and Lisa Gardner books.
Do you have an agent or are you looking for one?
I don’t have an agent at this time and am not actively seeking one.
Was the road to publication smooth sailing or a bumpy ride?
At the beginning, my journey was extremely rough since I was completely focused on getting an agent and went through 20 rejections before being picked up by a firm in New York. My agent absolutely loved my first book but when it came to marketing it, my incorporation of mixed genres made it a difficult sell and she wanted me to totally rewrite it, eliminating the main character and plot line. I wasn’t willing to do so and we parted ways. This book was eventually picked up by a small publisher and did extremely well. I have since elected to self publish all my books and like the idea of being in charge of my own destiny.
If you knew then, what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently?
I guess mixing genres isn’t a wise move, but Flaherty’s Crossing came from my heart and I wasn’t willing to compromise my story or beliefs to fit a mold or find a place on the shelf. So I guess I would honestly have to say no.
Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?
Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s Book Store, Creative Edge Publishing LLC, independent book stores and distributors, and my website.
Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?
Information and details about my books can be found at: www.kaylinmcfarren.com; suggestions on how to publish and market your books are available on my publishing site: www.creativeedgepublishing.com.
Do you have a video trailer to promote your book? If yes, where can readers find it?
Currently in the works with Pump Up Your Book Promotion. (The link might be finished before this interview goes to print.)
What is the best investment you have made in promoting your book?
Definitely Pump Up Your Book virtual book tours. Dorothy’s a real gem and she definitely gets the word out on new book releases. Hiring a great promoter is by far the best dollars spent.
What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?
You know your story better than anyone. Don’t compromise, learn how to market yourself and above all…stay true to their beliefs.
What is up next for you?
The last book in the Threads series – Banished Threads, which will take my treasure hunting crew to England and drop them into a twisted web of art thieves, broken promises and an ancient secret society.
Is there anything you would like to add?
Never stop reading or writing. Imagination sets the mind free!