Author Emily Shiner

Emily Shiner always dreamed of becoming an author. After spending years devouring stacks of thrillers, she decided to try her hand at writing them herself. Now she gets to live out her dream of writing novels and sharing her stories with people around the world. She lives in the Appalachian Mountains and loves hiking with her husband, daughter, and their two dogs.

Get ready to delve into a world of suspense, secrets, and psychological twists as Emily takes us behind the scenes of her thrilling novels.

Latest Book by Emily Shiner…

More Books From the Author


Show Notes & Resources

Generated by Castmagic

Castmagic is an AI software tool I use to create this section and transcript. Note: I’m using my Castmagic affiliate link, but only because I use and recommend this tool.

I. Introduction
A. Speaker’s introduction and background
B. Episode number and podcast name
C. Guest introduction and background
D. Mention of website with show notes and more resources

II. Guest’s Career Path
A. Transition from banking to teaching preschool
B. Working as a house cleaner in between jobs
C. Decision to try writing books and positive experience with first romance novel

III. Overview of Guest’s Book
A. Introduction of main characters and plot summary
B. Mention of different perspectives and diary entries included in the story

IV. Writing Process
A. Plotting process before starting to write a book
B. Giving oneself the green light to start writing
C. Daily word count and time taken to finish a book
D. First pass and sending the book to an editor
E. Minimal research done for writing, relying on personal experiences and connections
F. Dependence on spouse’s knowledge of police procedures for research
G. Emphasis on the story being the most important part of the book

V. Character Development
A. Enjoyment of starting with fresh characters in each book
B. Desire to see characters from previous books in new experiences
C. Connection to characters and their motivations

VI. Interaction with Readers
A. Responding to messages and emails from readers
B. Active presence on Instagram and occasional sharing of personal activities

VII. Utilizing Social Media
A. Focus on Instagram over Facebook
B. Acknowledgment of limited knowledge in utilizing Facebook effectively

VIII. Podcast Conclusion
A. Appreciation for listeners’ support
B. Encouragement to explore the guest’s books and discover new authors
C. Promotion of website for signing up to the thrilling reads email list
D. Mention of show notes and resources on the podcast website
E. Request to subscribe, rate, and review the podcast

IX. Writing Backstories and Character Voices
A. Preference for writing before committing to a character’s voice
B. Acknowledgment of initial changes in character voices as their identity is figured out
C. Importance of making each character unique and easily identifiable

X. Working with Publishers
A. Initial self-publishing experience
B. Invitation from Incubator Books and Book Couture
C. Initial skepticism and dealing with frequent scam messages
D. Adoption of outlining process with publishers’ requirements

XI. Subverting Tropes in Writing
A. Balancing readers’ expectations with unique elements
B. Analogy of chocolate cake with different toppings to explain approach

XII. Love for Thriller Genre
A. Childhood influence of Dean Koontz and Stephen King
B. Writing romance before realizing true passion for thrillers
C. Excitement about exploring the genre

XIII. Zoom Meeting Experience
A. Relief at not attempting a Zoom meeting during a chaotic time

XIV. Inspirations for Setting and Story
A. Inspiration for the hotel setting in the story
B. Summary of the story’s premise and themes


Transcript was AI generated

The transcript for this podcast episode was generated using AI software and may contain errors or inaccuracies. Listener discretion is advised. I use and recommend Castmagic (affiliate link).

Alan Petersen [00:00:01]:

You’re listening to Meet the Thriller Author, the podcast that brings you face to face with the minds behind the most pulse pounding suspense filled stories out there. I’m Alan Peterson, an author of mysteries and thrillers myself. I have interviewed over 200 thriller and mystery authors and counting. This is episode number 195. In this episode, we’ll meet Emily Scheiner, who writes best selling psychological thrillers nestled up in the mountains of North Carolina. For show notes on this episode and to access the archives of all my other interviews, head over to my website at thriller authors .com. You’ll not only find, all my interviews there on the show notes, like I said, but you’ll also have access to book reviews and a lot more. While you’re there, don’t forget to sign up for my Thrilling Reads newsletter for exclusive deals on must read books in the thriller and mystery genre.

Alan Petersen [00:00:50]:

You can find all that over at my website at thriller authors.com. Alright. Coming up is episode number 195. Hi, everybody. This is Alan Peterson with Meet the Thriller Author. And on the podcast today, I have, Emily Shiner who lives in the mountains of North Carolina, where she writes best selling psychological thrillers. Welcome to the podcast, Emily.

Emily Shiner [00:01:21]:

Thank you so much. I’m so excited to get a chat with you.

Alan Petersen [00:01:24]:

Oh, awesome. Yes. I’m glad to have you here. Did did I put did I put you your name? I forgot to ask you before I hit record.

Emily Shiner [00:01:30]:

No. You got it. That’s perfect.

Alan Petersen [00:01:31]:

Alright. Cool. Yeah. Just to get things, rolling here, I always like to to ask my guests now. So what inspired you to start writing, thrillers and mystery books?

Emily Shiner [00:01:41]:

I love thrillers. I I grew up on Dean Koontz and Stephen King, and I remember, like, my parents putting me in bed and, like, reading under the the blankets with a flashlight and just Terrifying myself. And so, I’ve written romance before, and then I I sat down and I had, like, a real chance to sit and talked to my husband. I’m like, what do I really love? And the answer was thrillers, hands down. So it was kinda a full circle coming home kinda thing to to dip my toe in the water.

Alan Petersen [00:02:07]:

Oh, and we always like, I know the psychological thriller, genre is so is so popular right now. Is that what you decide, Is that kinda like what you gravitated to? You enjoyed reading those, so you decided to try to write one of them? Is that Yeah.

Emily Shiner [00:02:18]:

I love them. I love them. And they’re just they’re exciting. Right? I mean, they’re Some of them, it it could actually imagine it happening to you, and that’s the terrifying part for me is, you know, there’s these terrifying people out there that will follow you or try to ruin your life or get in your head. And so that was the exciting part for me is to put myself in that position.

Alan Petersen [00:02:38]:

So Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s what’s fun about those because, you know, usually, other thrillers are, like, cops or whatever detectives. This is just like regular people.

Emily Shiner [00:02:44]:

It’s regular people doing their best. Yeah. Exactly.

Alan Petersen [00:02:48]:

So before you started writing, what what What was your, your your previous what do you do before you got into writing professionally?

Emily Shiner [00:02:55]:

I’ve done everything. I I when when I graduated college, I went into banking, which It was miserable, but, you know, it it got me where I like, it was a good point to get me where I am. And then I had taught preschool for 7 years, And I ended up cleaning houses for a little while in between those jobs because I just wasn’t happy. And then I started doing content writing for some blogs online. And that’s when I was like, I’m I’m I’ve always loved to write. I always wanted to write books. I’m a pretty fast writer, so I decided to just give give it a shot. And I wrote my 1st romance novel, and I was like, This is awesome.

Emily Shiner [00:03:28]:

It’s not what I wanna do forever, but the feeling of creation was amazing.

Alan Petersen [00:03:33]:

Yeah. I’m ex at Wells Fargo. Oh, I I I should’ve said the name here, but

Emily Shiner [00:03:38]:

So you you’ve lived it. Yeah. You know it.

Alan Petersen [00:03:40]:

Yes. Yes. I lived it. For several years. Yes.

Emily Shiner [00:03:43]:

Yeah. It’s not for everybody. So

Alan Petersen [00:03:45]:

Yeah. Yeah. It’s kinda funny when I I I really read a lot of of of writers and it seems like that’s a common thread for a lot of us is with lots of different jobs before Friday because it’s, you know, it’s it’s a tough racket to make a living on. So

Emily Shiner [00:03:58]:

Exactly. Yeah. And I think it’s a it’s a big dream. So Taking that leap is kinda scary. And if you don’t have a good support system, it can be even harder. So

Alan Petersen [00:04:06]:

And so what is your system then? Like, when you, when you get an idea for for for a book to being do you like do you outline them? You say you’re a fast writer, so I’m just kinda curious about your process.

Emily Shiner [00:04:17]:

So I’d never outlined until I started working with Incubator Books and Book Couture, and they both ask for a nice, lovely fleshed out synopsis, which is Absolutely my nemesis. So I’d never written an outline until they were like, nope. You you gotta do it. So I love the pants. I get an idea, and then I like to write, like, 20,000 words and just feel what the characters are saying and and see what their motivation is before I really dive into it. So

Alan Petersen [00:04:44]:

Wow. Have you ever had, like, had a false starts where you had to abandon something after 3,000 words?

Emily Shiner [00:04:48]:

I I have a couple. I wouldn’t call them false starts. I would say they’re they’re later books. Expensive. Right. They’re just chilling. Good practice. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:04:56]:

Yeah. That does just take us waste of words.

Emily Shiner [00:04:58]:

Exactly. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:05:00]:

Oh, so that’s interesting. So as a, as a pantser basically forced through outline. How is how did that go for you for you? How did you adapt to that?

Emily Shiner [00:05:08]:

There’s a lot of laying on the sofa and staring at the ceiling and just mourning. But the people I work with are brilliant, and so I’ve come to them and been like, I think this is a good idea. There’s a nugget. You know? Let’s talk about it. And so I’m like, you’re you’re backed me into this corner where I I have to actually plot it out, so help me. So Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:05:27]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve I’ve been very impressed with Voca Chir. I keep, I keep finding myself reading a lot of their, their books they’re putting out. This is a they’re doing a really good job and

Emily Shiner [00:05:36]:

They’re amazing.

Alan Petersen [00:05:37]:

Yeah. I never had an interview that really likes them a lot. So it’s kind of cool to see like a little, and the kid kind of came out of nowhere and now they’re, they’re dominating like, freedom of fadden.

Emily Shiner [00:05:46]:

Oh, man. I mean, she’s she’s the best. Right? Like, we could all hope to be like her, but they have incredible authors at Book Couture, and she’s one of them.

Alan Petersen [00:05:55]:

Popular. Yeah. Oh, I’d be happy with 1% of her sales. So the so, oh, so what are Some of your influences, as a as a writer that influenced you with thrillers and mysteries.

Emily Shiner [00:06:06]:

Well, like I said, you know, the Dean Coots, the Stephen King, Patricia Cornwell, I recently My daughter is 12, and I walked into her the other day, and she was reading The Body Farm by Patricia Cornwell. And I was like, that’s about right. Like, that that tracks. So

Alan Petersen [00:06:18]:

You’re proud.

Emily Shiner [00:06:19]:

I’m proud of you. I, you know, I love to read what’s being released now, but I I do try to be careful so you’re not heavily borrowing from people. So but I love to watch creepy movies and, just read the newspaper. I mean, there’s so much going on in real life That you’d be amazed what you can twist it into a story. So Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:06:41]:

That’s the thing I find so fascinating about these psychological thrillers is that there’s a lot of, spends and twists and turns. Is that something, like do you, like, start thinking about the twists before you start working on on the novels? Or do you, like, say, I have to have at least 3 twists? How does work.

Emily Shiner [00:06:55]:

I mean, I don’t give myself a number, but definitely you definitely want more than 1. Right?

Alan Petersen [00:07:00]:


Emily Shiner [00:07:00]:

Because as a reader, I love when you it just comes out of left field and you have no idea what’s happening and you’re just left reeling from it. And I know other readers love that too. So Managing to work in multiple twists that can take somebody by surprise and keep them guessing and keep those pages turning is definitely something I try to do. So

Alan Petersen [00:07:19]:

Yeah. Because as as expected by the readers, they’ll probably be able to revolt if you’re not, giving them Yeah.

Emily Shiner [00:07:24]:

You gotta give them what they want. Right?

Alan Petersen [00:07:26]:

So what’s the process for you? How long does it take from the when you get an idea for the book and you get to go ahead, and you start outlining and writing it, how long does that process take for you?

Emily Shiner [00:07:36]:

Once I have suffered through the the plotting process, you mean, and, like, pulled myself back together, once I get the green light if I’m doing for myself. I’ll give myself green light well before I probably should. But once I’m got the green light from either a big incubator or book a tour, I like to write about 5,000 words a day when I’m actively working on a book. So that’s up to 3 weeks probably to get it finished, And then I set it aside for a couple of days, pretend it doesn’t exist, and then just start reading back through it to do that 1st pass before it goes to an editor. So

Alan Petersen [00:08:07]:

Do you enjoy that process of that it going back and forth with the editors that you like

Emily Shiner [00:08:11]:

the podcast? Yeah. I do. I love having somebody who wants to read what I’m writing and then has really great ideas or criticism or even, like, yes. This was a great you know, I didn’t see this one coming. So It’s just it’s validating, but it also really pushes you to to improve your work as much as possible. So Mhmm. Yeah. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:08:31]:

Yeah. And I noticed that Book of Trade and some incubator, some of these newer publishers, they kinda follow the, the indie model of publishing multiple books a year. Are you publishing more than a year in a year? How many books are you publishing in a year?

Emily Shiner [00:08:44]:

Oh, jeez. I think incubator, they like to publish every other month. And then I’ve got 2 out with Book Couture and then a few in the works for next year with them. So they definitely don’t Don’t work as quickly. I think incubator’s more towards the indie model of, like, keeping it coming, keeping your name out there. So it’s a it’s a treadmill when you’re doing it on your own, you know, to to Keep writing.

Alan Petersen [00:09:05]:

Yeah. That’s the tough part. Yeah. I’m I Yeah. I do my books have all been indie and self published. I’m like, come on. Maybe next 1, I’ll try a book at your or something.

Emily Shiner [00:09:14]:

Yeah. I mean, they’re I would both of those, publishers are incredible to work with. So

Alan Petersen [00:09:19]:


Emily Shiner [00:09:19]:

Yeah. Do

Alan Petersen [00:09:20]:

you, is that something that do Do you put books out on your own before you went to traditional?

Emily Shiner [00:09:25]:

Yeah. I was indie publishing all my thrillers, and then Incubator reached out. And then shortly after not shortly. Maybe Just under a year after that, book, Caturra reached out, and I was like, this is amazing. Like, this happens. You know, I I literally well, the when incubator reached out, She reached out to me over Instagram, and I was like, this is a scam. You know? As an individual. The scams come, like, so fast.

Emily Shiner [00:09:47]:

And so I actually emailed Brian. He’s head of it over there, and I was like, this woman is I think she’s just trying to reach out and scam authors under your name. He’s like, nope. She’s ours. I was like, Oh, will that be like Oh, yeah. Yeah. That was exciting.

Alan Petersen [00:10:04]:

Yeah. That’s crazy. How are you doing? How are you we so So you were your book’s supposed to be doing pretty well for to get into their radar.

Emily Shiner [00:10:10]:

Yeah. I mean, they Yeah. I I feel really blessed that they saw something that they liked. So Yeah. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:10:16]:

It’s pretty cool. Yeah. So how many books do you have out now, published?

Emily Shiner [00:10:21]:

20 ish. Twenty ish without looking. I I’m not entirely sure, yeah, about that.

Alan Petersen [00:10:28]:

Is that good, the romance ones too?

Emily Shiner [00:10:29]:

No. That does not. That That is the fire of mine. I don’t regret any of those words because, like, you know, there’s no bad words when you’re writing at all. It just helps you improve your craft. But, I love thrillers, and I am 100% in there. So

Alan Petersen [00:10:45]:

Yeah. I think that’s a good advice for aspiring writers that are listening is to pick a don’t write a genre. I mean, to pick one that you really like. Mhmm. We’re lucky because I I like to write thrillers too, and it’s a very popular genre. So Yep. There should be room in there for people. But

Emily Shiner [00:10:58]:

Oh, there’s plenty of room. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:11:00]:

Yeah. Yeah. But to get yeah. Like, I know, like, romance and some other stuff is very popular, but if I was to write that, it’d be like I probably would never be able to get anything done because I’d be hating it.

Emily Shiner [00:11:09]:

Yeah. It’s a very big c, romance, but you’re gonna be a very small fish. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:11:14]:

Yeah. So Yeah. No. And it’s a it’s a I mean, I’m amazed at the marketing skills of the romance, right, authors. It’s just they’re geniuses. They’re usually, like, way ahead of all the curves. See how he’s

Emily Shiner [00:11:23]:

They are. They they push the the envelope, and they lead the way. You know, you look at BookTok has just embraced romance, and I’m like, maybe one day, thrillers will, like, hit off over there. But, Honestly, social media like that is not my forte, so we need somebody else to lead the way. Maybe it’s you. Maybe you’re gonna lead the way for thriller talk.

Alan Petersen [00:11:42]:

Yeah. I will see. Yeah. That TikTok’s a, interesting beast. I’ve been I’m kinda checking it out, but it’s, yeah, it’s hard it’s hard to figure that out. This is very popular with the with the, what is that? The urban fantasy

Emily Shiner [00:11:54]:


Alan Petersen [00:11:54]:

And those paranormal, all that type of stuff. I haven’t seen too much traction for thriller peep but I know some people are doing okay with it. But

Emily Shiner [00:11:59]:

Well, people are. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:12:00]:

Yeah. That’s interesting. So you’re not you’re not on TikTok?

Emily Shiner [00:12:04]:

I I have an account, and, I think I’ve posted, like, 3 videos. And then I thought, man, I would rather be doing, like, Any number of other things.

Alan Petersen [00:12:11]:

Anything else but yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. Yeah. So I’m quite curious to know. How How much research do you put into your into your books then when before you start to write them?

Emily Shiner [00:12:23]:

I haven’t written anything. I know, like, freedom McFadden puts a ton of research when she did her, it was set in an asylum, maybe. I can’t quite remember, but I know she has done a lot of research. There’s authors who do a lot, but I I really just like creepy people in creepy situations. So I feel like at 38, I’ve done my research of just living, you know, in this world. And then My husband’s a detective, and so I definitely tap him when I have questions about how the police would respond or, you know, what steps would they take, What what would require a warrant? You know? What would incite somebody to even call the police? So he’s my research, him and all his friends that are just like, She’s calling again. You know?

Alan Petersen [00:13:03]:

Oh, that’s cool. That’s cool cool content to have.

Emily Shiner [00:13:06]:

Yeah. It’s actually handy.

Alan Petersen [00:13:07]:

Yeah. Yeah. My brother in law is a mortician, funeral directors.

Emily Shiner [00:13:10]:

That’s awesome.

Alan Petersen [00:13:11]:

Yeah. Yeah. So the spot has been in a in a whatever, underwater for 3 months. You know? What what would what would we

Emily Shiner [00:13:18]:

gonna look like? Yeah. See, that that is really cool. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:13:21]:

Yeah. Yeah. So, and I’m kinda curious as, so is your latest book, is that the wife in the photo?

Emily Shiner [00:13:28]:

The wife in the photo and the hotel are my most too, but couture released them on the same day. It was a crazy day.

Alan Petersen [00:13:34]:

Really? On the same day?

Emily Shiner [00:13:35]:

Yes. It was wild. So then they came out together. Yeah. Yeah. It was nuts.

Alan Petersen [00:13:42]:

Yes. How does that oh, wow. Can you see how see how so you were promoting 2 books, and they’re make they’re making you with 2 jobs.

Emily Shiner [00:13:49]:

It was it was kinda wild because, you know, release day is is nutty anyway with readers reaching out and just Being active on social media. And so, yeah, I just kinda was glued to my computer for most of the day just, like, drinking tea and, like, Involved in everything. So it was 8,000,000. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:14:06]:

It’s gonna be so cool. I just looked at the before we went on here, I looked at the wife in the photo, and it’s doing very well.

Emily Shiner [00:14:12]:

So Thank you.

Alan Petersen [00:14:13]:

Yeah. That’s gonna be kinda surreal when you’re seeing seeing them going up the ranks and

Emily Shiner [00:14:17]:

It’s wild.

Alan Petersen [00:14:18]:

You know?

Emily Shiner [00:14:19]:

It feels awesome, but also this This was this was my dream since I was, like, this little kid. I always wanted to be a writer, and I thought nobody makes money writing. Right? Like, you can’t do this and have a career And that allows you to, like, you know, eat food and pay your light bill and all of that. So every day that I wake up and do this, it’s just like a pinch me moment, honestly. So

Alan Petersen [00:14:39]:

And so you say so I’m kinda curious too about the writing process now. So you say you write about 5,000 words a day. And so do you, like, have set hours and usually write in the same spot? How does that work?

Emily Shiner [00:14:49]:

Yeah. Definitely. I usually get up around 4:30, and I’m at my computer by 5. And then I write yeah. I’m very tired. I write until about 6 thirty, and then I might grab another chunk of time in the afternoon. But if I don’t hit that early morning writing period, then I feel like I’m just off for the day. So

Alan Petersen [00:15:09]:

And you write every day?

Emily Shiner [00:15:11]:

Well, right now I’m in edit, so I’m not writing. But, yeah, when I’m working on a book, it’s every single day till that book is done. So

Alan Petersen [00:15:19]:

And do you work on 1 book at a time or since you were doing 2 published on the same day, do you do you do you work on 1?

Emily Shiner [00:15:24]:

At a time. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:15:25]:

Yeah. That’d be crazy.

Emily Shiner [00:15:26]:

Yeah. I think I get I’ve done that before where you work on too, and I I know a lot of writers do that because they like to have the ability to switch back and forth if they get blocked on something. But honestly, with all the twists and the characters. And I’m like, I would mix somebody up like I know I would and then have to go back and fix it all. So

Alan Petersen [00:15:43]:

So So could you tell us a little bit about the plot with, like I was I was check out the the wife in the photo, and, just the whole just the title itself and the concept is is really cool. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Emily Shiner [00:15:54]:

Sure. I would love to. So Evan is the chief of police, and his wife, Lola, has has died. She fell down the stairs and died. And now he hires somebody in to help him take care of his teenage daughter, Jessica, because the teenage daughter is gonna be acting out after losing Herb mom, but what he doesn’t know is that the woman he hired, Ariel, has ulterior motives for coming into his house. Of course. Right? We love the stranger in the house that knows something about us that we don’t know. And so it’s it’s told from Evan and Jessica and Ariel’s point of views with some diary entries in there from Lola.

Emily Shiner [00:16:27]:


Alan Petersen [00:16:28]:

oh, diary. How do you handle the diary entries? You just put, like, like are they, like yeah. How’s the formatting for that one?

Emily Shiner [00:16:34]:

Yeah. The book tour did it, and it was just, you know, chapter or whatever, and then Lola’s diary. And, you know, I once was a teenage girl writing in a diary, so it just felt very normal to Slip that it back into that angst. Right?

Alan Petersen [00:16:47]:

Cool. I’m just checking at the the hotel right now. I I love your covers, by the way. The book of shows covers are so cool.

Emily Shiner [00:16:54]:

Man, they’re awesome, I think.

Alan Petersen [00:16:56]:

Yeah. How does that work? So they they, like, show it to you, and you’re like, can you describe what that process and and what it’s like to look at your cover for the 1st time?

Emily Shiner [00:17:04]:

Yeah. It was really overwhelming because, you know, when you’re indie publishing, you’re in you’re involved in every step of it, and you’re Trying to work with a with a designer and, like, get it perfect. And with those 2, my editor from Book Couture was just like, I have a surprise for you, and they appeared in my inbox. And she’s like, what do you think? And I was like, I think this is the best ever. So

Alan Petersen [00:17:23]:

Yeah. Yeah. They’re really sharp. And so the hotel, what what can you tell us about the hotel? See, I’m gonna wait. So you have 2 releases in in on one day. I’m gonna have to ask about both of them. What’s the hotel about?

Emily Shiner [00:17:32]:

It was not even I I was so glad we didn’t try to do the Zoom then because I was just like this frazzled mess. The hotel that the hotel itself, like, the building was inspired on our last beach down South Carolina, and there’s this huge, like, 3 or 4 story pink building. And I was like, somebody’s gonna die there. You know? Like, you just see it and you know. And It’s about, The Rose, and they run a B&B, and they have their young son, Henry. And, again, it’s another stranger in the house, but this is more of like a locked room. They can’t get out because it’s set in Maine and there’s this horrific snowstorm, so everybody’s locked in. And, you don’t know who’s lying, and I don’t wanna give too much away because More than 1 person is lying about what’s going on there, and it’s definitely a revenge story.

Alan Petersen [00:18:16]:

Oh, that’s great. Great. That’s awesome.

Emily Shiner [00:18:19]:


Alan Petersen [00:18:19]:

And so the so when you’re, when you start to write now, what about the characters? I know characters are important on these on these. Do you spend a lot of time thinking about characters. And do you write, like, back stories or do you just, or do you get it as you start writing?

Emily Shiner [00:18:32]:

I don’t write the back stories, but that’s I mean, I don’t write them out Physically, but that’s why I like to do the a big chunk of writing before I feel to commit to something because their voices will change sometimes in the beginning as you start Figure out who they are and then making sure that everybody’s unique so a reader could pick up and open a chapter and be like, I know who wrote that. Like, whose POV this is from? Because because you don’t want it to feel like a blur of POVs throughout the book. So

Alan Petersen [00:18:58]:

Yeah. And and I noticed that’s so popular in the in the the psychological and then domestic thrillers is each chapters from a POV of a characters. Is that the so so I did you write your books on 3rd person or first person?

Emily Shiner [00:19:12]:

They’re all in 1st person. And Yeah. But I do love the genre. The multi the multi POV. I love it. I actually have one coming out this year with Incubator. It’s my first one that’s It’s not multi POV, and it really stressed me out writing it. I’m so used to just, like, getting to head hop and have everybody’s opinion on page.

Emily Shiner [00:19:29]:

So That was kind of stressful, but I think it’s gonna work.

Alan Petersen [00:19:33]:

And once you process that too, because, you know, we’re writing thrillers, you know, the readers expect certain tropes, but, I was just kinda curious about, how do you what’s do you how do you keep that balance of being unique, putting in your own spin, but still hitting the tropes that the readers want.

Emily Shiner [00:19:50]:

That’s hard, isn’t it? Yeah. Yeah. That’s hard. And that’s a dinner conversation we have had Multiple times because I’m like, how can we take this trope and subvert it so it’s just a little different without being so far off base that readers will be like, this is not at all what I wanted. You know, we talk, I’m in our writing Slack, and we talk about, like, If you’re giving an a reader a chocolate cake, if they want a chocolate cake, you can put chocolate frosting on it or you can fill it with, like, a raspberry filling. But if they are expecting a chocolate cake, if they’re expecting, like, a locked room mystery, and then you you give them a vanilla cheesecake, then they’re not gonna be happy. But you can give them what they want, but then just kinda add to it and change tiny bits of it to make it just a little bit different enough for them to be happy. So

Alan Petersen [00:20:36]:

you know That’s right. Yeah. That’s a good analogy because it’s kinda like when you try something that you’ve had before, be like, oh, there’s something a little different in this.

Emily Shiner [00:20:41]:

It’s really Exactly. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:20:42]:

It’s like It’s

Emily Shiner [00:20:43]:

still what they want. It’s just a little different. Yeah. Yeah. Trying to

Alan Petersen [00:20:46]:

forgot the secret ingredient that you put in there.

Emily Shiner [00:20:48]:

Exactly. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:20:49]:

And so do you ever surprise yourself when you’re writing? I know now you’re that you’re outlined. Do you still, like, Does do you sometimes still veer off, or does it surprise you where your characters go?

Emily Shiner [00:20:58]:

Yeah. I mean, they’re naughty. Right? Characters Yeah. There There have been times where I’ve written, and then they’re like, that is not what they were supposed to do. And so stop and kinda reconvene on it and think about how you can make it work Because it’s fun to go off book a little bit. So

Alan Petersen [00:21:14]:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, that’s the thing with the outline. Right? I mean, I know that it’s there for a reason, but, I mean, If if it takes you in a different direction, it’s not like you can explore that, I would imagine.

Emily Shiner [00:21:24]:

Right. Mhmm. Exactly.

Alan Petersen [00:21:26]:

Yeah. And so what do you I always ask this to all my guests because I’m nosy. What do you do when you, what do you what do you use to write your books with? You use, like, Scrivener, Word?

Emily Shiner [00:21:35]:

I use DABL.

Alan Petersen [00:21:36]:

DABL? Oh, I can go and get a trial of that. It looks really cool.

Emily Shiner [00:21:39]:

Yeah. It’s really cool. I love it because I can write it on my laptop, and then it appears on my desktop, and, like, I can even pull it up on my phone when I’m out and about. So I love that you can switch chapters around really easily. Like, I just it it works with my brain. It makes sense. So

Alan Petersen [00:21:56]:

Yeah. We usually have, like, the outline on one side and the and the

Emily Shiner [00:21:59]:

Oh, no. My outlines are all, like, scribbled out on paper.

Alan Petersen [00:22:02]:

And Oh, really?

Emily Shiner [00:22:03]:

Oh, wow. Yeah. Yeah. I And I always type it up to, like, send it in to my editor, but then I always get back to just, like, the scribbled out, starred, and highlighted, and, you know, That’s how I write it.

Alan Petersen [00:22:16]:

Yeah. It reminds me of that famous, picture of, photograph of, JK Rowling’s outline for, Harry Potter. Have you ever seen that?

Emily Shiner [00:22:23]:

No, no, I haven’t seen it.

Alan Petersen [00:22:24]:

You should Google that it’s wild. She had to.

Emily Shiner [00:22:26]:

I’ll look it up.

Alan Petersen [00:22:27]:

Yeah. It’s it’s crazy.

Emily Shiner [00:22:29]:

It’s funny how brains work, isn’t it? Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:22:32]:

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I see. Yeah. Yeah. My I probably wouldn’t be able to, read my writings. I have to I have to type it out.

Emily Shiner [00:22:39]:

I get it.

Alan Petersen [00:22:41]:

And so I’m kind of curious to know, with the, all the changes now with the, that you keep seeing on, with the, in, in, in in books and the marketing. It all just gets done to story. Do you feel like that? I mean, no matter what happens out there, as long as the the story is the most important part, is that something that

Emily Shiner [00:22:58]:

I think the story at the end of the day is the most important part. Mhmm. You know, I’ve heard it called the holy trinity of, like, the blurb, the cover, and the title. And so if you nail those, somebody’s gonna pick up your book. But if your story is no good or if your characters aren’t relatable, nobody’s gonna continue to read it. So you want it to be approachable. You know, you want somebody to look at your book and be like, I think I would enjoy that. But at the end of the day, the story is what matters.

Emily Shiner [00:23:25]:

So Yeah. Definitely.

Alan Petersen [00:23:27]:

And that’s still a little skeptical thriller still. Like, the stand alones are so popular, and everything else is always no series is the most important thing. Do you like this? Do you like that every new book is new, new characters, or are you curious about having a series will be a little easier maybe? Can it be half and half? Right? Like, can

Emily Shiner [00:23:46]:

it be sometimes it’s so fun because you’re starting out with fresh characters every single time, and there have been times where I’ve thought, man, it would be really nice to Follow this character to another book. I’m already in their head. I already know their motivation and how they would respond to things. Like, you you know that character like it’s a person. So, yes, sometimes I love to just be done with them and not have to deal with them any anymore, but other times I thought I would really like to see this character through Another traumatic experience in your life.

Alan Petersen [00:24:15]:

Yeah. Yeah. Well, you never know. Now the Freedom McFadden’s putting out a 3rd house made one.

Emily Shiner [00:24:20]:

I know, and I am excited. Yes.

Alan Petersen [00:24:24]:

Yeah. And so, what about with your readers? How do you interact with your readers? Are you on social media, Facebook, how do you

Emily Shiner [00:24:31]:

I love first of all, I love it. And, like, anytime readers, DM me or email me, I respond because it’s just, Oh, it’s so cool. Right? Like, what a neat part of the job, but I am active on Instagram. I do have Facebook. I half heartedly started a Facebook group and then Realized I didn’t really know what to do with it. So mostly, I’m on Instagram, and I do post pictures there of what I’m working on, but also just, like, I’m hiking in the woods. You know? Like, check out my new chicken. You know? Just random everyday things.

Emily Shiner [00:25:02]:


Alan Petersen [00:25:04]:

and then what about the cities in your books? Do you set them do you just set them around areas that you’ve been to? Like, they’re set in the in the south? Or

Emily Shiner [00:25:11]:

Most of them are set even if it’s not a town that exists here, most of them are set in, like, the mountainous North Carolina where I live. So I did have 1 in upstate New York. My husband is from upstate New York. Like, Adirondacks, like, almost thrown a rock and hit in Canada, Upstate. And so I sent a book there because it’s very similar to where we live here in North Carolina. But

Alan Petersen [00:25:33]:

Yeah. You know that mountain go all the way up there? The Appalachia? Business.

Emily Shiner [00:25:36]:

Appalachians. Yeah. He’s yeah. They do. Big old.

Alan Petersen [00:25:41]:

Yeah. I remember all these things just about the south, but I I remember they go way I mean, this They

Emily Shiner [00:25:45]:

go all the way you can I the whole thing up to Maine? Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:25:48]:

Yeah. I heard about that. That’s yeah. That’s, how long would that take? Up a cup couple weeks probably?

Emily Shiner [00:25:53]:

I think it’s, like, months. It’s multiple months. It’s it’s like Georgia to Maine. So

Alan Petersen [00:25:58]:

Oh, wow.

Emily Shiner [00:25:59]:

Yeah. I’ve done parts of it, but I have no interest in doing the whole thing.

Alan Petersen [00:26:04]:

Yeah. Yeah. That’d be a little, that’d be a little, hardcore. So

Emily Shiner [00:26:07]:

I think so. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:26:08]:

Yeah. I’d probably put a book in there too. If you imagine the the characters you would see in there and and the Can you

Emily Shiner [00:26:15]:

imagine there’s definitely a scene? I think that’s it. There’s a book there on the Appalachian Trail. There’s some creepy people that would be on those woods. Yep. Yeah.

Alan Petersen [00:26:22]:

Never mind. So, so So before we wrap it up here too, like, I I do have a lot of listeners or aspiring writers. What advice do you give who do you have for somebody who’s trying to think, like, oh, maybe I should write a thriller?

Emily Shiner [00:26:34]:

I mean, it’s the most basic advice and that’s just to try it. Like, just give it a shot, and it might not be good. Your first one might not be good. My first novel I wrote, Nobody’s ever read it because I was like, that that is terrible, you know, and you just shelve it, but every word that you write is gonna make you a better writer. So and read read as much as you can.

Alan Petersen [00:26:54]:

Yeah. Do you still read thrillers and and yeah.

Emily Shiner [00:26:58]:

Yeah. I do. Well, I I love everything. And my last how did I read? I read a a nonfiction book that my daughter has like, you need to read this so we can talk about it, but I love to read everything I can. So, Definitely.

Alan Petersen [00:27:11]:

Yeah. That’s good advice. And so could you give us a little sneak peek? What are you, when’s your next book coming out? And

Emily Shiner [00:27:17]:

Oh, it’s coming out this month, October 22nd. It’s with the computer. Yeah. It’s called The Better Mother, so I’m really excited about it. Cannot wait. This is the one that’s in, POV. So no pressure on that.

Alan Petersen [00:27:32]:

And what’s the, what’s the plot on that one? What’s the story?

Emily Shiner [00:27:36]:

It’s about, it is about a family where a child shows up, a teenage boy shows up at their house, and says that he is the biological son of this woman’s husband.

Alan Petersen [00:27:48]:

Oh. So

Emily Shiner [00:27:49]:

and that he needs to move in because his mother, his biological mother, is missing. So

Alan Petersen [00:27:55]:

Nice. That’s a great Yeah.

Emily Shiner [00:27:56]:

I’m really excited. And I I think I’m wrong. My this one is dual POV. My single POV is coming out in December. It’s gonna be a busy year.

Alan Petersen [00:28:04]:

So yes. How many books you come how many books do you have published this year? 6? Oh, wow. I’m not sure.

Emily Shiner [00:28:11]:

I don’t know. I just keep on going.

Alan Petersen [00:28:13]:

That was awesome. That is so cool. Alright. Alright. Well and what can the so, can you give us, like, your website? Where can readers find you?

Emily Shiner [00:28:21]:

Yeah. It’s author Emily Scheiner .com, but mostly on Instagram. My handle’s author Emily Scheiner, and you can find me there, and I respond to everybody. So

Alan Petersen [00:28:30]:

Yeah. Alright. Emily, Will, thank you so much for being on the podcast. Really enjoyed chatting with you.

Emily Shiner [00:28:33]:

This was awesome. I appreciate it.

Alan Petersen [00:28:35]:

Thank you for listening to Meet the Thriller Author. I hope you enjoyed my conversation with one of your favorite writers of mysteries and thrillers. Or if this episode’s guest is new to you, I hope you give their books a chance. Helping listeners discover new authors and books is one of the coolest outcomes of doing this podcast. As always, you can head over to thriller authors.com to sign up to my thrilling reads email list. That way you won’t miss out on any great deals in thriller and mystery books. You can also check out all the links and resources in the show notes for this episode over at thriller authors .com. And, also, please do subscribe to this podcast if you haven’t done so already, and leave a rating and review wherever it is that you’re listening to this show.

Alan Petersen [00:29:15]:

If you have done that already, I thank you. I really do appreciate your support. For my other links to my author website, social media hunts, and more, check out thrillingweeds.com forward slash links. All my links will be, on that page. So that’s it for this episode. See you next time, and stay safe out there.

About the Author
I write thriller and crime fiction novels and host the Meet the Thriller Author podcast where I interview authors of mystery, thriller, and suspense books.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join the Thrilling Reads Newsletter

Thrillers, Mysteries, Crime Fiction, All Things Killer!

Get a monthly fix of reviews, interviews, upcoming releases, giveaways, and more to satisfy your dark side.

Thank you for signing up. Please check your email to confirm your subscription.