Introducing D.M. Foley–  Unveiling the Mind Behind the Thrills

D.M. Foley is an American psychological thriller author who lives in Southeastern Connecticut with her husband, three sons, and her mother. She started writing during her teenage years but only published her work in September 2021.

D.M. Foley’s first book, The Lyons Garden Book One Family Ties, received favorable reviews from many of her readers and was awarded The New York Best Sellers Gold Award for December 2021, Her second book, Erasing Secrets, The Lyons Garden Book Two, has also received several 5-star reviews. Her third and final book in the trilogy, Pawns The Lyons Garden Book Three, was on September 13, 2022, and is garnering favorable reviews as well.

D.M. Foley currently lives in Southeastern, CT, with her husband, three sons, and her mom. She was born and raised in the area and enjoys adding local places to her writing to engage her readers from the area.

Before she started publishing her writing, D.M. Foley worked as a preschool teacher and went back to school to obtain her Associate’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and her Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Education and Human Development. After that, she worked in a local school system as a paraeducator, helping students succeed in their learning. No matter the age or development of the student, she incorporated her love of reading and writing into her instruction, hoping to foster a love of reading in the students she worked with. She now writes full-time.

While her current books are in the psychological thriller genre, she has several ideas for future books in other genres. Follow her on her social media accounts to keep up to date on her future writings.

You chose to write under a pen name to maintain your family’s anonymity. How has this decision impacted your writing journey and the way you connect with your readers?

The decision to use a pen name to give my family anonymity has had little impact on my writing journey. The only impact is that I have had to change all my personal social media pages to my pen name since well-meaning friends and family tagged my personal pages in posts about my books.

You’ve mentioned that it took time to believe in yourself enough to publish your writing. What was the turning point or inspiration that finally led you to publish your first book at 49?

The turning point in my writing career came during the global pandemic. I lost my Dad in January 2020, and  I resigned from my paraeducator position in September 2020 to help my youngest son navigate the world of hybrid learning. This gave me extra time on my hands, and I committed to finish writing a story I had started in 2017. That story became Family Ties: The Lyons Garden Book One.

Your first book, The Lyons Garden Book One: Family Ties, marked the beginning of your published works. Can you share what inspired this series and what themes you aim to explore through it?

My first book, which has now been re-edited and reformatted into a second edition with the title and subtitle switched to Family Ties: The Lyons Garden Book One, was inspired by my own genealogy research. In researching my family and husband’s ancestry, I came across information that linked my husband to Lion Gardener and Gardeners Island. This information intrigued me, and I did more research on the family and the island. This research got me thinking about what would happen if an unknown heir was found. What the consequences could be, how that would impact existing family members, and what might occur. As I wrote the first book, I realized the story would be best told in several parts, so I decided to make it a trilogy. This series explores the themes of the found family with the underlying themes of friendship, family relationships, grief, and the fact that there are usually unintended consequences for all actions.

In The Killer Trip, Laney Wilson faces the consequences of a past trip that suddenly impacts her present life. What drew you to the idea of past events having such significant repercussions, and how did you develop this storyline?

The Killer Trip and its storyline developed as a challenge by two of my best friends, who wanted me to write a story based on a trip the three of us had taken in high school. Since my genre is the psychological thriller sub-genre, I had to devise a way to incorporate our past trip and make it a thrilling adventure for readers. I used many real events to build upon. We met a group of guys that we hung out with during the time we were visiting, and I used that experience as a catalyst for the psychological thriller aspect of the storyline. Using the made-up scenario of one of us being arrested for the murder of one of those boys even though we didn’t commit the crime. The main character and her friends who accompany her on the trips to Canada are based on myself and my two friends. I will let readers decide which character is based on me. I loved writing this story because it does have so many real life experiences that I drew from. It has quickly become a reader favorite and the favorite story that I have written so far. There is a sequel in the works exploring the aftermath of Laney’s experiences in The Killer Trip.

Deric Dream Changer introduces readers to the concept of controlling dreams to change outcomes. What inspired this unique premise, and what challenges did you face while writing about such a fantastical element?

Deric Dream Changer came about because I personally deal with a lot of anxiety. My anxiety causes me to have very vivid nightmares at times. That, coupled with my anxiety about certain situations that can potentially happen, gave me the idea to explore what would happen if a person could alter reality after experiencing a bad dream that would normally come true if they didn’t intercede. In this book, I explore the possibility of psychic abilities and using those abilities to save lives and do good deeds. One reader likened the character of Deric to Dean Koontz’s Odd Thomas. Another reader has stated that it gave him Final Destination vibes. I like to say it is a mix of Hardy Boys meets Stranger Things because it is a standalone book within a series like the Hardy Boys, but then it has the paranormal aspects like Stranger Things. Adeline Astral Warrior, the second book in the series, is currently being written with hopes of being released by the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025.

The Lyons Garden Book Three involves a thrilling game of cat-and-mouse between the Gardiner family and a killer. How do you approach building suspense and crafting intricate plots in your thriller novels?

The Lyons Garden Book Three is the thrilling conclusion to The Lyons Garden Trilogy and continues the suspense built with the first book and Erasing Secrets The Lyons Garden Book Two. By weaving psychological thriller elements such as red herrings, cliffhangers, and multiple plot twists, I build suspense and intricate plotlines.

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