This book is out today! Happy book birthday to ONE LITTLE WORD. 📖
Allegra Hudson was murdered.
Q & A with Audra ~
Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.
Well, I’m a wife, mom to two energetic little boys,
and my background is as a corporate buyer for clothing and jewelry, so I
haven’t always been a writer. I could probably write another novel about the
road to my debut. Haha. But I won’t, don’t worry.
I felt like God was calling me to be a writer about
eleven years ago, and I kept saying no by doing everything *except* learning to
be a writer. But after a year or so of everything else blowing up in my face (I
can laugh about it now) I finally said OKAY, and he blessed me with many
mentors who helped me learn what to do/what not to do during my years spent
working on my first novel, When Lilies Bloom. That novel eventually got
shelved, but I learned so much through that experience, and I can honestly say
I absolutely love writing more than any other job I’ve ever done. I didn’t get
my agent or publisher until I started shopping One Little Word around
many years later. All it takes is years of constant perseverance…no big deal,
What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
I enjoy working out (as strange as that sounds, I
know), reading, watching movies and TV, listening to music, canoeing, playing
badminton, and hiking (if it’s not too cold). My husband is a huge outdoorsman,
and my little boys have endless energy, so anything active we can do with them
is always a plus.
How do you start your day (a routine of sorts?)
First thing’s first, I get the boys up and ready for
school. This is often the most difficult part of the day as none of us are
morning people. Then, when I get back home, I do a Bible study, workout, and
then dive into whatever work I have going on. Sometimes I’m in marketing and
public relations-mode for a book that’s upcoming, and other times I’m in
editing and writing-mode. No matter which mode I’m in, the work keeps me busy
until it’s time to grab the boys from school.
Finish this: “I can’t write without…”
Tazo Zen Green Tea. I like coffee but coffee doesn’t
like me. So, my favorite drink ever is always Tazo Zen Green Tea.
Where do you get your ideas?
One Little Word
actually came to me in a dream played out like a movie in its entirety and is
the only book I’ve written out of four to do so. It was a gift. Thanks for
that, God! I woke up and jotted the main plot down and thanked the Lord because
I knew I didn’t come up with that crazy plot myself. I was so excited I wrote
the first draft in one month. I’ve never written any book as quickly as I did One
For all my other books, I’ve just been inspired by
compilations of movies and books I’ve seen and loved throughout my life. As a
kid I was obsessed with Nancy Drew, Scooby-Doo, and later everything Alfred
Hitchcock. So, I’ve always loved to solve a good mystery, and I also like to
come up with my own.
Do you have a manuscript(s) in your drawer? If so, will it ever see the light of day?
I like to work a few books ahead, so right now I’m
editing two more books I’ve completed while outlining another one. Counterplay
is next, and will hopefully release in 2023, but I don’t have a release
date from my publisher quite yet. I describe it as Gone Girl meets You
meets Dear Wife. It’s a darker book than One Little Word for
sure, but just as twisty and thrilling.
I do have one book in a drawer to speak. The one I
mentioned earlier, When Lilies Bloom. Never say never, but I have no
immediate plans to resurrect that one.
Do you have a go-to first reader after you feel your manuscript is ready?
I have an author friend who always provides
brilliant feedback. Her name is Jennifer Klepper and she is an amazing writer
and advice-giver. If that’s a word, haha. I don’t know what I’d do without her,
she’s so great.
Is there a particular author or book that inspired your writing or decision to write?
Emily Giffin really inspired me to write because
whenever I read her books, I felt like her voice was similar to what mine would
be. I had no idea where to start, but I knew I wanted to try to write a book one
day down the road. Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks, really got my wheels
turning years with the twist at the end, because at that point as a reader I
hadn’t really gotten into the suspense/thriller genre yet and when I read it, I
knew if/when I wrote a book, I wanted to write something suspenseful.
Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?
For sure the anxiety disorder that Madeleine
experiences at times is something I’ve dealt with my whole life. Although our
experiences are quite different, it was important for me to include that
struggle in the book. Hopefully others can relate.
Do you have a favorite character?
I wouldn’t say he’s my favorite character, but Lane
Stone in One Little Word is by far one of the most complicated
characters I’ve written. You never know what to expect from him.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Honestly, to survive in this industry you must love
writing and telling stories. If you check that box off, then you must have
undying levels of persistence to be traditionally published. Then, if you’re
still kicking after all that and still love writing, then writing may be for
you. It’s not easy, but your best allies are other authors. The best part of
this industry is your fellow authors. Never in my life have I seen and
experienced such kindness from other people in the “workplace”. Don’t be afraid
to reach out to other authors for help, the worst they can say is no. Find a
writing group like WFWA, Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, etc.
to begin with, and start sharing your work with others in those groups. Honest,
brutal feedback is your best-friend going forward if you truly want to grow as
Favorite band or music?
I’m pretty well-rounded. I love Taylor Swift, The
Lumineers, One Republic, Imagine Dragons, Britney Spears, Katy Perry, Mumford
& Sons, Linkin Park, Ed Sheeran, Pink, Aerosmith, and Selena Gomez.
Favorite book and/or movie?
Well, the Bible is first. But my all-time favorite fiction
novel so far is The Seven and 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart
Turton. It’s absolutely brilliant and one-of-a-kind.
As far as movies go, there are so many, but Vertigo and About Time are my current favorites.
Place you’d like to travel?
So many places! I’d love to go to Edinburgh, Mykonos,
Amsterdam, London, New York (again), Switzerland…basically all of Europe!
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
Just thank-you to anyone who took the time to read One
Little Word. And please, leave a review on Goodreads and Amazon, it helps
authors much more than you realize.
To connect with Audra: