July 13, 2024

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Book Reviews, And Author Interviews

Author Elle Cosimano Talks All Things Finlay Donovan With Novel Lives

Finlay Donovan And Elle Cosimano- A Love Story

I may not have been in review mode, but anyone who knows me has been in Barnes and Noble while I was working or reads my Twitter; knows of my love for the Finlay Donovan Series by Elle Cosimano knows no bounds. For those of you that aren’t sure what I’m talking about, I’m sorry for you. In all seriousness, tomorrow, my overview post of the Finlay Donovan series will hit. There are three books in Elle Cosimano’s series: Finlay Donovan is Killin’ It (she really is), Finlay Donovan Knocks’m Dead, and Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun. There is even a Finlay Donovan TV Series in the works! Look for a summary of the books and my overview tomorrow! (Linked)

I was thrilled that Elle Cosimano agreed to take the time to answer my serious and fun questions. So, let’s jump the gun… errr… I mean, let’s jump into it!


Is there any part of you in Finlay Donovan?

My voice is very much Finlay’s voice. The dry wit, the snark, the self-deprecating humor—her inner monologues, her mom’s voice, her voice as a frustrated, struggling author—they all very closely mirror my own. I think that’s why her character resonates with so many readers. She feels real and relatable, probably because I drew those elements of her from a very authentic place.

I imagine there is always an element of surprise when a book does as well as Finlay Donovan has. But, outside of that, were you specifically surprised that your first outing with an adult book did so well?

Finlay continues to surprise me every day. Not because this was my first book for adults but because we encountered so many rejections when we first tried to sell the manuscript to publishers. There was a time when I was fairly certain this book wouldn’t be published at all. Finlay is a genre-bender. The series doesn’t fit neatly on one shelf, it straddles many—mystery, romance, dark comedy, thriller, and women’s fiction all blend. In the world of children’s books, those kinds of genre mash-ups aren’t unusual because all the books are shelved together under the “YA” label, but it’s highly unusual in the adult realm.

When a book defies a clear label, it becomes difficult to market, and I think a lot of publishers were hesitant because of that. Fast forward three years, with more than a half-million Finlay books in print, an exponentially growing global fandom spanning nearly twenty-five translation markets, and an option for a TV series, I think Finlay has surprised everyone, and I love that!


Are there any updates or hints you can drop about the Finlay Donovan tv series adoption?

Nothing I can share yet. We’re still actively working toward a television series, and I’m very optimistic we’ll get there. When there’s news I can share, you can bet I’ll be singing it from the rooftops.


I can’t believe you recommended A is for Aunties as a if you like Finlay then read… I say this because I just read Jesse Sutanto’s latest, Vera Wong’s Unsolicited Advice for Murderers, and nearly busted a gut. Of course, I immediately thought of Finlay and The Maid by Nita Prose. Have you had a chance to read it either? Thoughts? If you three (you, Jesse, and Nita Prose) wrote a book together? It would SEND ME…

I’ve read and loved Vera Wong, so much so that I offered a blurb. Jesse is an amazing voice in comedy. And The Maid is on my nightstand waiting to be read.


Speaking of dropping hints- are there any for the next adventure of Finlay Donovan?

I can’t say much without spoiling the end of book #3. I can say Finlay and Vero are taking a road trip and embarking on an exciting rescue mission. Keep your eyes on my social media feeds, as I expect we’ll see the title, cover, and a summary of the story coming very soon.

Finlay Donovan


Are there any surprising facts readers don’t know about you?

I think a lot of my readers are surprised by my age. No one is surprised to learn I’m a mom—my mom-voice is very real—but there seems to be an assumption that I am a mother of very young children, putting me closer in age to Finlay. In fact, I turned fifty this year. My two boys are now adults, one well into his college years and the other getting ready to fly the nest. That said, I feel very young at heart, maybe because of all the years I spent writing about young adults, and I think my readers pick up on that.


If you had to perform a heist and your team could only consist of authors, who would you choose and why? What would you bring to the team?

I’d never consider planning a heist (or even a novel) without my two longtime writing ride-or-die critique buddies, Megan Miranda, and Ashley Elston. Megan is the brains of the outfit (she was a bio major at MIT, which clearly qualifies her for this role), and Ashley brings the courage (she’s resourceful, iron-willed, and utterly fearless; I have never seen her back away from a challenge, and I’m convinced she’d win a season of Survivor on determination alone). I guess I would bring the heart. If you’re going to commit a crime, run from the law, then hold hands with someone as you drive off a cliff together, I’m a solid choice for a partner to ride shotgun.


One side question: I’m doing a round-up of top narrators and will include Angela Dawe (Coming throughout April) is there anything you can discuss about her work on the Finlay series, the relationship between an author and narrator? Or anything else you’d like to say?

I’m a huge fan of Angela Dawe! Our audiobook editions are currently our top-selling formats for this series, and I think it’s because Angela brings so much magic to every recording. She’s a phenomenal talent. I’m in the process of trying to schedule a virtual event for Angela, me, and our audio team at Macmillan. I’d love to chat with her, have listeners be able to tune in and ask questions, and get a better understanding of how audiobooks are created! As soon as I have details, I’ll post them on my social media feeds. Hopefully soon!

<raises hand wildly> I would LOVE to facilitate this! Maybe a taped conference call???? Calling Mr. Minotaur 🙂 


Elle Cosimano Bio And Information

All Information Courtesy of Elle Cosimano’s Official Website (Linked)

Elle Cosimano is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, an International Thriller Award winner, a Bram Stoker Award finalist, and an Edgar® Award nominee. Her acclaimed young adult novels include Nearly Gone, Holding Smoke, The Suffering Tree, and Seasons of the Storm. Elle’s debut novel for adults, Finlay Donovan Is Killing It, kicked off a witty, fast-paced contemporary mystery series, which was a PEOPLE Magazine Pick and was named one of New York Public Library’s Best Books of 2021. In addition to writing novels for teens and adults, her essays have appeared in The Huffington Post and Time. Elle lives with her husband and two sons in Virginia.

Please note that before the Finlay Donovan Series, Cosimano was a prolific YA author. Tomorrow I will provide all information on the Finlay Donovan Series.

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