Episode 86: How to Achieve Creative Consistency in Your Writing – Interview with Lisa Gardner

by Gabriela Pereira
published in Podcast

Welcome, welcome Word Nerds!

Today I’m delighted to host Lisa Gardner on the the show. Lisa is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seventeen previous novels, including her most recent, Crash & Burn. Her Detective D. D. Warren novels include Fear Nothing, Catch Me, Love You More, and The Neighbor, which won the International Thriller of the Year Award. She lives with her family in New England.

More personally though, I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Lisa Gardner speak about creative consistency at Thrillerfest/Craftfest 2012. Her talk made a very deep impression on me back when I was just beginning to find my footing with DIY MFA. In preparing for this interview, I went back and reviewed my notes from her talk, and I realized that I internalized many of the techniques she talked about, and that in a roundabout way many have inspired and shaped elements of DIY MFA. Today I am thrilled to have Lisa Gardner on the show to discuss her newest book, Find Her, and also hear her talk about the writing process as a whole.

In this episode Lisa Gardner and I discuss:

  • Understanding your writer’s process.
  • Committing to the time it takes to write.
  • Incentivizing your writing process.
  • Research to make your writing come alive.
  • Wearing your writing and your marketing hats.

Plus, Lisa’s #1 tip for writers.



Lisa Gardner and her writing:

Every once in a while an author writes something that is clearly set apart from anything they’ve written before. Find Her is that book for Lisa Gardner. A household name for any fan of mysteries and psychological thrillers, Gardner’s books land on the New York Times bestseller list year in and year out.

Find Her stemmed from an article Gardner read about the FBI’s Office of Victim Assistance, a little-known arm of the FBI that assigns specific agents to families going through trauma. Gardner was able to set up two interviews with victim specialists whose jobs are to be at the scene of the crime, yes, but more importantly they are there when the lights and reporters are long gone and the victim is left to be “normal” again. From there she created her character Flora Dane.

Lisa Gardner has always researched a lot more than your typical thriller writer. From riding along with police officers, attending the writer’s police academy, handling weapons and learning defense tactics, Gardner does all of this so she can get every nuance exactly right – making her thrillers utterly believable and utterly frightening. But with the creation of Flora Dane, she takes us into the mind of a victim and of the professionals coming to save the day, giving readers her most visceral book yet.


Flora Dane is a survivor. After being kidnapped and held by her captor for over a year, anyone would say that her matriculation back into a “normal” life was an all-around success. But normal isn’t exactly how Flora feels. When a college student–who reminds her far too much of herself–goes missing in a strikingly familiar fashion, Flora knows that she must do something to help, despite that fact that it could mean putting herself in danger. Flora is the only one who knows what a captor is capable of, even after all these years.

The search to find the kidnapper at large and unravel Flora’s past twists together in a compelling dual-narrative. Gardner dives into the dark underbelly of Boston’s nightlife while also casting light onto one of the lesser-known branches of the FBI, Victim Specialists. It’s these men and women, who stick by victims long after the initial rescue, that are often the victims’ only true confidant. But all of the personnel in the world can’t keep revenge at bay, and in the end everything comes down to Flora and the ghosts from her past.

If you want to learn more about Lisa Gardner, you can follow her on Facebook or Twitter (@LisaGardnerBks) visit her website.

Link to Episode 86

(Right-click to download.)

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Until next week, keep writing and keep being awesome.


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