You can start with any book you’d like. They are all able to stand alone even though some are part of a series or have sequels. Finding Claire Fletcher is the first book I ever wrote. You’re welcome to start there. My Josie Quinn books are the most popular. The first book in that series and my best-selling book thus far is Vanishing Girls although you can read any Josie Quinn book out of order. Keep in mind, my non-Josie books (Finding Claire Fletcher, Losing Leah Holloway, Hold Still, Cold-Blooded and Kill For You) all have more swearing, on-screen violence, and on-screen sex than the Josie Quinn books. That’s not to say the JQ books have none of those things, but they have significantly less.
This is the order in which they were published:
Finding Claire Fletcher (2012; republished with larger publisher in 2017)
Kill For You (2013)
Hold Still (2014)
Losing Leah Holloway (2017)
Vanishing Girls (2018)
The Girl With No Name (2018)
Her Mother’s Grave (2018)
Her Final Confession (2018)
The Bones She Buried (2019)
Her Silent Cry (2019)
Cold Heart Creek (2019)
Find Her Alive (2020)
Save Her Soul (2020)
Breathe Your Alive (2020)
Hush Little Girl (2021)
Her Deadly Touch (2021)
The Drowning Girls (2021)
Watch Her Disappear (2022)
Local Girl Missing (2022)
The Innocent Wife (2022)
Close Her Eyes (2023)
My Child Is Missing (2023)
Face Her Fear (2024)
Yes. As of January 2024, there are 19 books in the series currently out and available for purchase. There are several more planned after that one. Book 20 will be available May 14, 2024 with Book 21 to follow in September 2024 and Book 22 in January 2025 and so on. The publication schedule will remain the same, barring any catastrophes or disinterest in the series, for books to be released every January, May, and September.
I am slated to write a total of 35 books in the Josie Quinn series as long as the reader demand for the series remains strong.
The short answer is NO. Some of my most ardent and faithful readers will say yes to this but the way I’ve written them and from speaking to many, many readers over the years who picked up their first JQ book in mid-series, the answer is no, you do not have to read them in order.
Every book contains its own unique mystery or case for Josie to solve that is not dependent on any of the others that came before it. The case in each book is always resolved at the end of that book. The only thing that spans multiple books are the ongoing relationships among the series’ regular characters and also, Josie’s personal life. In terms of the relationships among those returning characters and Josie’s personal life, it will mean more to you if you read them in order, but you really do not have to do so. I try with each book to only give you enough information about any relevant past events or personal issues to ensure that you’re not confused. If I can avoid spoilers, I will. That said, in terms of Josie’s personal life/history, Book 3, Her Mother’s Grave, is her origin story and it has a huge spoiler for the rest of the series. But that huge spoiler is only about Josie’s personal life and definitely has no bearing on the plots or your enjoyment of future books. I’ve had readers start this series at Book 5 or Book 15 or even at Book 18 and have an optimal reading experience.
I cannot tell you here on this website, but I can promise that you will have more information about this topic in Book 19 and know even more by Books 20 through 22.
I do have several ideas for spin-offs but as of right now there are no plans for any. Readers seem most invested in Josie.
I have no plans for more of these books as I am currently contracted to write so many Josie Quinn books. However, never say never.
I have no plans for additional books in this series as I am contracted to write so many Josie Quinn books.
I have no idea, and that is the truth. I have no control over this at all. It is completely out of my hands. The film/TV rights to my novels are available. Someone with the power to make a film or TV series will have to option them in order for this to happen. I am with you readers, though. I would love to see Josie or even Claire brought to the big or small screen!
My ideas usually begin as a “what if” question. My first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher, was inspired by the Jacob Wetterling case. Jacob was abducted at gunpoint while out riding his bike with his brother and a friend in Minnesota. He was missing for 27 years before his case was solved. Unfortunately, Jacob was murdered. However, I was always obsessed with the case since Jacob was my age. I always held out hope that one day he would be found alive and reunited with his family. I thought, “what if a missing person was alive after several years? What if you met them somewhere and had a conversation with them and had no idea they were this missing person until later?” That was the loose inspiration for that book. For the first Josie Quinn book, Vanishing Girls, the question was, “What if there was a missing person but instead of the story ending once they were found, what if the story started when they were found? What would that look like?” For book 2 in the series, The Girl With No Name, the question was: “What if a state trooper and a newborn both went missing at the same time but the cases were connected?” Then sometimes it’s as simple as the basic, opening premise of a book. For example, the idea for book 6 of the series, Her Silent Cry, started with this: a seven-year-old girl goes missing in broad daylight from a carousel in front of dozens of people. Go! Sometimes, I just like to take clues that seem like they have absolutely no connection to one another at all and combine them and go from there. That’s what I did in book 5 of the series, The Bones She Buried. Noah’s mother is murdered and, in her house, the police find three very odd things that don’t seem connected to her murder or even to each other.
If you mean do I delve into each series regular character’s past and backstory in at least one book, then yes. We learn all about Grethen’s past and her backstory in Book 4, Her Final Confession. We learn more about Noah and his past in Book 5, The Bones She Buried. We learn about Trinity’s past in Book 8, Find Her Alive. We learn about Chief Chitwood’s past in Book 14, Watch Her Disappear. We learn about Dr. Anya Feist’s past in Book 17, Close Her Eyes. All of these characters have had some sort of interesting backstory or trauma and sometimes the trauma is simply their parents getting divorced or them getting bullied as a teen and other times, it’s a lot more serious like death and brushes with serial killers. Only Detective Finn Mettner had a lovely, well-adjusted upbringing which I touch on in Book 13, The Drowning Girls, which is also the book that mainly focuses on Amber Watts’ past. If you’re wondering about Josie, Book 3, Her Mother’s Grave is her origin story.
No, I do not. Believe it or not, there is another Lisa Regan who actually does write children’s books. She is quite prolific. There are two of us. Two Lisa Regans. I write crime thrillers for adults, and I live in Pennsylvania in the United States. Other Lisa Regan writes children’s books, and she lives in the UK. I have never been able to find any social media presence or even an email for her. I wish that I could because I get a lot of her messages and have nowhere to forward them.
I mostly like to read within my genre: crime fiction. I also love all kinds of non-fiction and in the last year or so I’ve dabbled a bit in Sci fi and fantasy. For example, I absolutely loved Fourth Wing and Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros. I love books by romance writers, Katie Mettner and Dana Mason. Basically, I’ll try anything if it looks interesting to me.
No. They’re just people I’ve made up. Sometimes, however, I will infuse characters with the qualities of people I’ve met or observed if it serves my story. For example, if I know someone who is very brusque on the outside and yells a lot and seems intimidating but is actually a big softie on the inside, that is something I would put into a character.
Probably six to eight months from idea to finished product. Sometimes not that long. I am, of course, counting the time I spend developing and outlining the idea before I sit down to write a nasty first draft. Very rarely, one of them will be a lot easier than the others in the sense that the idea comes pretty fully formed and thus, take less time.
It feels wrong to choose just one. S.A. Cosby, Jennifer Hillier, Karin Slaughter, Gregg Hurwitz, Angela Marsons, Chelsea Cain, Dennis Lehane, Kellye Garrett, Matty Dalrymple, Katie Mettner, Jane Kelly, Dana Mason, Rachel Howzell Hall, E.A. Aymar, Jane Gorman, Delia Pitts, Cheryl Head, James McCrone, Stacy Green, Nancy S. Thompson, Greg Iles, Jeff O’Handley, and Michael Robotham are certainly among my favorites. Also, you can’t go wrong with any of the Lisas: Lisa Gardner, Lisa Unger, and Lisa Jewel. As I said above, I’ve just finished Fourth Wing and Iron Flame by Rebecca Yarros and am completely obsessed with those. I’ve also just discovered Gillian McAllister and Nan Fischer. I’m sure I am forgetting many authors so please check out my social media where I frequently promote and recommend other authors.
Yes. Sometimes I do. As of right now, I’m only doing them in the Pennsylvania/New Jersey/Delaware area. You can find out about them by following any of my social media accounts. Leading up to any event, I typically post the details of any upcoming events once a day for the month beforehand.
Mr. Phillip loves people almost as much as he loves salmon. The result is that he gets extremely excited and overstimulated if he’s around a lot of people. This means that he tries to jump on people and whimpers for their attention a lot. It wears him out super fast, and let’s face it, he would completely steal my thunder.
He is a Boston Terrier. He was born October 10, 2015. He came into our lives on December 21, 2015. He is very opinionated, and he runs our household with an iron paw. He is a championship snuggler. He is also an accomplished farter. Sometimes he wakes himself up with his own flatulence. He loves slow walks, car rides, kongs, hedgehogs, stuffies, salmon, sweet potatoes, and carrots. He has been by my side (always on the right side, never on the left) for the writing of over twenty books. He complains about Josie a lot but only because I spend so much time not throwing his kong in order to write books about her. He is a very poor proofreader.
I would love to do this. Truly. I love reading. I love finding new authors. I love helping other authors. However, writing three books a year and having a family doesn’t leave me time for much else. I get an overwhelming number of requests for these and unfortunately, I simply cannot say yes to all of them. I wish that I could but it’s just not possible. That said, there’s nothing wrong with asking. Send me a message. If my schedule allows it, I certainly will!
No. I’m sorry to say that I cannot. However, I recommend the internet for a start on learning how to get published.
I don’t know the answer to this. Every author is different. Also, the business has changed so that now authors are able to approach small publishers who take un-agented submissions. In addition to that, independent publishing is available to all authors as well. Only you can decide if you need an agent or not and the answer to that question largely depends on which path to publication you’ve chosen.
There is a lot to unpack in this question. These are two very different things. Let’s start with advice for new writers. If you’ve just started writing, my advice is that you spend as much time as possible doing the actual writing. Write, write, write, and then write some more. Get used to the practice of getting your thoughts out of your head and onto a page (i.e. laptop screen). It doesn’t necessarily have to be stories at first. It can be anything. Random thoughts. Notes for a story you might write one day. Character sketches. A tirade against people who do not stop for emergency vehicles. Just write.
Read, read, read. Figure out what books you enjoy and then study them to figure out why. Read your favorite books once as a reader and then read them a second time as a writer. Try to deconstruct them. Ask yourself what the author is doing that makes the book so enthralling, and then try to figure out how they’re doing it, specifically. The more you read, the better you’ll become at writing.
Learn your craft. You’re lucky now that you’ve got the internet. Now you can just Google something like ‘how to write’ and find a plethora of resources. When I was starting out, I had to purchase books through the mail, by check, and wait four to six weeks for them to arrive. Use the internet to help you learn and hone your craft. There is a ton of free advice out there. Writers Digest has an excellent website with endless resources, both free and paid, including courses you can purchase and take at your own pace. Matty Dalrymple’s The Indy Author website also has excellent resources including a podcast that has something for all authors, indy and traditional. There is so much to learn about writing that will cost you nothing if you take the time to peruse the internet. In addition, if you’re able, go to your local library and borrow or go to a bookstore and purchase books on the craft. There is a seemingly endless supply of books on craft. One of the best books I’ve ever read on writing is On Writing by Stephen King. As mentioned above, you can also find online courses about writing. If you’re able to pay for them, I do recommend them. LitReactor has really excellent online courses.
Find other writers. Again, the internet is your friend because even if you cannot find a writing group in your geographic location, you can find other writers online and meet over Zoom or a host of other ways. You must find other writers and connect with them. Google “Writing Conferences” and consider going to one if you can afford it. There may be some in your area that you can go to which will save you money you would otherwise need to spend on travel and hotel stays. It is always good to have writer friends you can exchange pages with for the purposes of critique or beta reading. Later, you’ll learn to commiserate with one another. But joining some sort of writing community, even if it is only you and one other writer to start, is essential to your growth and future success.
If you can’t find other writers to help you with your growth, find beta readers. A beta reader is someone who reads an unedited draft of your book and tells you what’s wrong with it. They don’t do any editing. They read your book as if they had pulled it off the shelf at a store and then give you their impressions. Do NOT use family or friends as beta readers. They will never tell you the truth. They’ll say that they will but they will not. This will not help you. You want a beta reader who has no emotional stake in your work or in your feelings. You want a beta reader who does not care about your feelings. Always remember, the process is never about you personally, it’s about making your book the best it can be. If you cannot find beta readers, there are some available for hire but you should not pay a lot for this. Again, if you find other writer friends, you can beta read for each other.
Now, onto publishing. First, you need a book. Some people may tell you that you don’t need a completed book to get published. There may be some situations in which this is true. For example, if you’re an accomplished FBI agent who has interviewed hundreds of criminals and you want to write a non-fiction book about your experiences and what you’ve learned, you may only need to write a proposal instead of a completed book. If you’re writing fiction and you’ve already published some books and have won numerous awards and have an established sales record, then yeah, you can submit a proposal. However, if you’re writing fiction and you’re not an already established author, you need a completed book. It has to have a beginning, middle, and end.
Second, now that you’ve got a book, you need to ask yourself what you want out of the publishing experience? Today, there are many paths to publication. There is the traditional route where you get a literary agent who gets you a contract with, hopefully, a big publishing house who will put your book out into stores with the primary focus on selling physical copies.
There are now smaller, independent publishers. Some offer print runs and in-store distribution and some are considered digital first, meaning their focus is on the sale of ebooks and their print model is POD or Print On Demand. This means they don’t print hundreds or thousands of paperbacks and store them in a warehouse until bookstores or other retailers order them. Instead, when someone orders the book, that book is printed and shipped. POD paperbacks are not typically stocked in stores although from what I understand, you can special order them through stores.
Smaller, independent, and digital first publishers all have different models and different submissions processes. Some require agents. Some do not. If you have an agent, they can guide you through choosing one of these. If you do not, you need to do your research. Then there is Indie publishing which means that you publish your book independently. You have it edited, copy-edited, proofread. You have it formatted. You either do the cover on your own or hire someone to do it. You are responsible for everything.
Each of these paths has its pros and cons. That’s why my second piece of advice is for you to decide what you want out of publishing. Do you want your book to be reviewed by Library Journal and Publishers Weekly and to be on tables in bookstores and be eligible for traditional industry awards and maybe be recommended on the Today Show and Good Morning America? Then you will need to take the traditional route of getting an agent who can hopefully get you a deal with a big house. A deal with a big house doesn’t guarantee any of the above, but it’s your best shot.
If you want complete control over every aspect of your book and career, then the Indie path is probably a better fit for you. If you simply want readers and you don’t care about the format in which they consume your book, or awards or print runs but only that readers have access to your books, then either of the above paths could work. If you don’t want to do every single thing yourself, going with a smaller, independent publisher or a digital first publisher might be a better fit.
You might also want to consider the time that these things take. Finding an agent can take months or sometimes years. Then your book will be on submission with publishers for months—sometimes years—and there is no guarantee of a publication deal. Then, if you secure a deal, you must take into account editing and production time. Larger houses have a lot of titles on their publication schedule and print runs tend to take a lot longer than print-on-demand models. Often, a smaller publisher can move much more quickly from signing a deal to publication, and if you’re publishing independently, you set your own schedule.
Third, once you decide which path is the best for you, DO YOUR RESEARCH. Again, the internet is a great place for this. Also, if you’ve joined a writing group or have writing friends, they’ll be able to help you navigate some of this as well. Each path has different requirements and best practices. You need to figure out what those are before you begin.