One Little Word by debut author Audra McElyea
Author Interview + Book & Author Info + Author Pet Corner
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One Little Word by Audra McElyea
“It’s not easy to hit me with a twist I don’t see coming, but Audra McElyea did it in One Little Word, a clever and compelling tale from an author to watch.” – Kimberly Belle, USA Today bestselling author of The Marriage Lie
“One Little Word is a riveting suspense novel packed with sharp turns and unexpected twists. Single mother and widow Madeleine Barton is the perfect protagonist, capturing your heart and bringing you along for this crazy, thrilling ride. Audra McElyea is one to watch!” – Samantha Downing, #1 internationally bestselling author of My Lovely Wife
Allegra Hudson was murdered.
An anonymous “source” drops the note into recently widowed Madeleine Barton’s lap exactly when she needs it most. As a new single mother, she is struggling to make ends meet as a freelance reporter, and covering the mysterious death of local bestselling author Allegra Hudson could be the career-launching story of her dreams.
Working with Allegra’s grieving husband, Connor, Madeleine plunges down the rabbit hole of the writer’s privileged life. The deeper she digs, the more dirt she finds: a conniving best friend, a stalker ex-boyfriend, and a marriage in shambles. The closer Madeleine gets to the truth, the murkier the waters become.
Her source’s looming presence and constant meddling in her investigation paired with her growing bond with Connor over their shared grief have blinded her to the facts, but nothing explains why Allegra Hudson’s life feels so familiar. Only one thing is certain: Madeleine can trust no one.
One Little Word is a deliciously clever game of cat-and-mouse with a completely unexpected twist.
To purchase One Little Word, click the following links: Amazon & Barnes & Noble
The Interview with One Little Word Author Audra McElyea
Tell us about your writing process for your twisty debut, One Little Word. Are you an outliner? Or an organic writer?
I am for sure a plotter. I come up with my plots first and characters second. I come up with a big twist first thing, because if it doesn’t have a big twist, I don’t write it.
Then, I do a brief outline of the entire story arc and finally fill in the gaps with a more detailed chapter by chapter outline before I begin writing. This way, when I actually begin to write, I don’t have to think too much in terms of the big picture.
What would you like readers to know about Madeleine Barton?
I think Madeleine Barton is all of us. She’s just trying to make it in a complicated world while she figures out what really matters most to her at the end of the day. She’s trying to break down why she’s a part of this world and what she’s living for as she navigates through a murder investigation (and life) that seems impossible.
What (or who) was your inspiration for Allegra Hudson’s character? What makes her the perfect victim?
Allegra Hudson is largely inspired by anyone we all look up to—whether it be an actress, an athlete, a politician, a famous writer, etc.
We think we know them since we can often see large portions of their lives play out on our screens, but essentially—they have the same problems we do. Any public figure is the perfect victim because their privacy is often penetrable by those with cruel agendas and savvy internet stalking skills.
Was One Little Word your first manuscript? Tell us about the road to your debut:
Well, I could write another novel telling the road to my debut. Haha. But I won’t, don’t worry.
One Little Word is not my first manuscript. My first manuscript was called When Lilies Bloom, and it was the book I learned to write with. I made all my mistakes on that one and it is shelved for life, but never say never, I guess. I felt like God was calling me to be a writer at the time, and he blessed me with many mentors who helped me learn what to do/what not to do during my years spent working on When Lilies Bloom.
One Little Word 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 Little Word.
You live in Tennessee, a state I love to visit. Describe your community, does it impact your writing:
One Little Word is set in Knoxville, my hometown. So, readers will get to experience the small-town feel of this not small city and its suburbs. In a way, this story is partly a love story to Knoxville and the joy it always brings me.
What are you working on now?
Right now, I’m editing my next suspense/thriller novel coming out next year from Red Adept called Counterplay, while also editing the novel after that called Hush, Dear Sister (which will hopefully go on submission soon), and also outlining another novel I’m calling Good People. I always like to be three steps ahead if I can.
Words of Wisdom 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 a writer.
Excellent advice! Thank you for your thoughtful words and good luck with all your projects!
Author Pet Corner!
My German Shepherd (Duke) and my cat (Jack)
Duke loves Jack but Jack tolerates Duke
Audra McElyea loves to write suspenseful stories that read like a modern-day Alfred Hitchcock film.
She’s a former corporate buyer, magazine writer, University of Tennessee Head Majorette, and personal trainer who has always loved to tell a story–whether it be through the movies she wrote and made her friends act out growing up, the secret songs she wrote and never showed a soul, or through the choreography she wrote for numerous dance and baton twirling teams.
Audra has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee in Consumer Services Management. She currently lives in Tennessee with her husband, two boys, and their dog and cat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, exercising, and listening to Taylor Swift songs over and over.
Audra is a proud member of the Women’s Fiction Writers Association, International Thriller Writers, and The Ink Tank. Her work has appeared in national online publications, including SheKnows magazine. Audra is represented by Liza Fleissig of Liza Royce Agency in New York.
She is active on social media click here for all her social media links.
Elena Taylor is the author of All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio book format at all your favorite bookstores and on-line retailers.
For more information on All We Buried, click on the link here to visit the home page.
Silver Falchion Award Finalist, Best Investigator 2020
Foreword INDIE Award Finalist, Best Mystery 2020