Ask the Author: Daphne McLean

What would you like readers to know about you?


I am a busy mom of two little boys. In many ways, I’m very much like Jennifer Temple, the MC in Red Picket Fences. We’re both out of shape moms who love true crime, as well as keeping chickens. However, unlike Jennifer, I love to cook, and I’m much more social and connected to my little neighborhood than she is.


What is Red Picket Fencesabout for those who haven’t read it?


The book is a cozy mystery set in a quaint small town in New Jersey. Jennifer Temple is a restless stay-at-home mom who binge watches anything related to true crime. When her two new neighbors perish in a housefire, she knows just enough about investigating to realize things aren’t what they seem. She stumbles upon clues that put her in the center of the investigation, and in the sights of a killer.


What has been your inspiration for writing Red Picket Fences?


I’m also an indie children’s book picture book author. A friend of mine added me to a group of other writer moms who were writing adult novels. I’ve had this particular story occupying valuable brain space for a while, and I decided to give it a go.


What was your favorite scene or part of Red Picket Fences to write?


There is a stake-out scene where we meet potential suspect, and small-time mobster, Vinny Malone. I can’t say much about it, but I made myself laugh out loud writing it. I get a lot of positive feedback about that particular chapter.



What books or authors inspired you to become a writer?


Hands down it’s Augusten Burroughs. He wrote the memoire, Running With Scissors (among other books). I actually got to meet him when he came to speak to my college book club. When he submitted his first manuscript, he had no idea how much the odds were stacked against him. He broke all of the rules, and made his own way. I really admired that.



What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book?


If I can do it, so can you. I cannot say this enough. In the aforementioned mom’s writing group, there are women in there with 5 children (FIVE) who are making it happen. I’m busy, tired and pulled in many directions each day, but little by little those small writing spurts I was able to squeeze into each day became a book. I chose to self-publish because in what little time I had, I wanted to just get my book out there and market it. While traditional publishing is never out of the question. I’m proud to have acquired the humble following I have now, all on my own.


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