Interview with JB Lynn, author of THE FIRST VICTIM

I'm excited to welcome author JB Lynn to The Serial Killer Files! Her debut novel, The First Victim, is out TODAY from Carina Press!

About JB: 

Although fascinated by things dark and twisted, JB Lynn is also enamored of tales of love conquering all. These dual interests manifest themselves in her stories as dangerous villains, and the heroines and heroes who must defeat them.

She has a great love of her husband, dog, coffee, purple ink, spiral notebooks, running gear, hot showers and 80’s music. Given enough time, all of these things will eventually show up in her books.


The First Victim
by JB Lynn

She was like all the other victims. Naked, flawed, helpless...

Fifteen years ago, Emily Wright barely escaped from a serial killer dubbed the Baby Doll Strangler. She wants nothing to do with the small town where she was abducted, but when her father is hospitalized she reluctantly returns home to care for her teenage sister.

When her sister's friend is killed and left in front of Emily's house, Emily begins to relive the nightmare she endured long ago. Soon she realizes that her sister, too, is in danger from the killer—and the only person who can help is the man Emily left behind: Deputy Bailey O'Neil. Together, Emily and Bailey must discover the killer's identity before he claims his next victim...


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Welcome, JB! The First Victim is a dark, twisted novel. Consider your cover copy: She was like all the others. Naked, flawed helpless…. Because we're friends and I can take a few liberties, I'm going to start with the question all writers hate: Why do you write what you write?

JB: I write what I read. I love thrillers, suspense, mysteries! I’m a huge fan of creepy villains. I adore trying to solve a puzzle. I love the thrill of justice being carried out.


I love "How I Got Published!" stories. How did The First Victim find a home at Carina Press?

JB: I’ll give you the short version since the long one goes on for years (literally…YEARS). I submitted my manuscript to the editor-in-chief of Carina Press, Angela James. I’d met her a number of times over the years at a writing conference and while I really liked her, I never had anything I thought would be a match for her sensibilities. When I submitted The First Victim to her, I made sure to tell her that I didn’t think it was her cup of tea and that it was similar to the work of Allison Brennan. Through a strange twist of fate/luck/what have you, Charlotte Herscher, the editor who worked on Allison’s early novels, now works for Carina Press, so she ended up being the one to read my manuscript. Even then, the book didn’t have a home. Charlotte sent me a fairly extensive revision letter. It was only after I’d made the changes she’d requested (which included some drastic cuts, lol) that she sent the manuscript through the rest of the acquisition process.


The First Victim is classified as a romantic suspense. Which do you enjoy writing more – the romance, or the suspense?

JB: If it was up to me, it would be classified as "suspense with romantic elements". I enjoy writing both parts because they each have their own unique challenges. I LOVE writing from the villain’s point of view… it’s the only part of the process that’s "easy" for me, probably because there are no "rules" when it comes to bad guys.


Which authors have influenced you the most?

JB: Early James Patterson, Stephen King, Ed McBain, Robert Parker… all the authors who got me hooked on the genre as a reader… plus those who I’m always waiting to read their next books: Allison Brennan, Chelsea Cain, Harlan Coben, Lisa Lutz… that list just goes on and on, lol.


What has been the best thing about your publishing journey so far?

JB: Hmmm it may very well have been when my editor, Charlotte, told me my book creeped her out. I got such a thrill from that, knowing that she knows creepy well, considering how many of Allison Brennan’s books she’d edited. Getting that kind of visceral reaction from someone… knowing I’d managed to do what I’d set out to do, was so freaking exciting! I’m really eager to hear from readers as I think their feedback may very well be the best part of the whole journey!


What has been the most challenging thing?

JB: Waiting. So much of the publishing business revolves around waiting… actually it’s more like: Wait. Wait. Wait. HURRY UP! Wait. Wait. Wait. FOR GOD’S SAKE GET IT DONE NOW! Wait. Wait.


As writers, we're told how important social networking is. How much time do you devote to it?

I’m really struggling with finding the right balance of social networking and writing. Some days I think I haven’t done enough online and others I’m convinced I’ve done nothing else all day, lol. I blog a few times per week at Killer Chicks and my own blog, and I’m on Twitter and Facebook.


Your best advice for aspiring authors – go!

JB: I’m not sure I’m qualified to be dispensing advice, but I’ll give it a try. Writing "rules" are guidelines... just guidelines. Figure out what works for you. Find a system that works for you… some people (like me!) just aren’t built to get up at four a.m. to write, but maybe you can squeeze in thirty minutes during your lunch break. Maybe your creativity is stunted by the computer and you need to write your first draft by hand (I do!). Learn how to finish a book. It’s much, much, MUCH harder to finish a book than to start one.

Thanks so much for having me, Jenny. I’d like to give away a copy of The First Victim to one of your followers.

To enter all they have to do is leave a comment telling me their favorite villain(s) of all time. I’ll announce the winner (who will be chosen at random from the entries) in the comments section on June 17th!

To celebrate its release, I’m running multiple contests this week, so everyone should check out my blog to find other ways to be entered to win a copy of The First Victim.


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Thank you for being here, JB! Congratulations on your release! I've had my copy pre-ordered for a few weeks now and I cannot wait to dive in.

So tell me, readers... who is your favorite villain of all time? Leave your answer in the comments and be entered to win a copy of The First Victim!