Local author, Nora McFarland talks with Best Self about her latest book “Going To The Bad”
What inspired you to write this book?
My main character, Lilly Hawkins, began the series as an isolated loner. Over the course of two books she’s developed a group of friends and allies at her job and has committed to her first stable romantic relationship.
For Going to the Bad, I wanted to test Lilly’s emotional growth by giving her a major loss to overcome. The character who’s shot at the beginning of the book is the family member Lilly’s always been closest to. He doesn’t judge her when she makes mistakes and he’s always there when she’s in trouble.
I hoped that if Lilly could come to terms with a loss like that, and make sense of it by solving the mystery of why it happened, that she’d emerge as a healthier and stronger character.
Are any of the characters in “Going to the Bad” that are based on people in your life?
I’ve been very lucky to have supportive friends. Some characters like Leanore Drucker are based on people who have been there for me during tough times. We all need cheerleaders who want good things to happen in our lives.
How has being a TV news photographer influenced your writing?
The pace of the job is relentless and I tried to capture that in my books. Being a shooter—slang for a photographer—in a small market where resources are stretched thin is like having a twenty-four-hour-a-day job. You’re always running from assignment to assignment. I tried to pace the books in a similar fashion. They each unfold in one or two days and during that time Lilly is constantly on the move.
Can you share the plans for your next book?
Thanks for asking! I’m working on a mystery/adventure book for tweens. As soon as that’s done I’d like to write an adult book about a pandemic flu. Having lived in Atlanta, I’ve always been fascinated by the CDC and the work they do.