You Will Remember Me by Hannah Mary McKinnon

Hannah Mary McKinnon’s latest book, You will Remember Me, is out next week on May 25th. I have been a fan of Hannah’s books and was so excited to have the opportunity to work with her publisher, MIRA Books, to participate in the blog tour for her newest book. In addition to writing she is the co-founder of First Chapter Fun (more about this in the Q&A) and I love hearing new stories twice a week. I highly recommend you check out First Chapter Fun on Facebook or Instagram. I guarantee you will find so many books to add to your TBR pile!


What a twisted story! I loved the complexity in the plot. You think someone is trying to help but turns out to be the villain. I love Hannah’s books and this one did not disappoint. You will not see the ending coming, especially the last chapter! This book will draw you in and you won't want to put it down. If you love suspense books with surprise endings, this book is for you! But you don't have to trust me. Let's hear from Hannah herself about the book.

What’s “the story behind the story.” The inspiration for YOU WILL REMEMBER ME. Where were you when the spark came to you?

A few years ago, a man from Toronto vanished from a ski hill in Lake Placid while there on vacation and showed up six days later in Sacramento. He had amnesia and couldn’t remember much, including the cross-country trip he’d made as he’d hitchhiked across the US. Everything worked out for the man in the end and he found his way home, but it made me wonder—what could have gone wrong? That was the genesis for YOU WILL REMEMBER ME. 

A while later I had a vivid image in my head—a man waking up on a deserted beach without any recollection of who he was, or what he was doing there. I kept coming back to his story, how he’d arrived on that beach, what he’d do, and how much danger he was in. As I noodled the plot around, I wondered what might happen if he found his way home but had no idea he’d actually left the town years before, and unknowingly walked back into the dragon’s den. That was it. I needed to know what happened next, who was looking for him, and if he’d survive.

Five facts readers don’t know about the book

1.      I set the book in Maine because we visited family in New Brunswick and stayed in Portland on our drive there. It’s a beautiful city and I can’t wait to go back. Newdale and Brookmount (the towns in the book) are fictional – I need to be able to take creative liberties. 

2.      One of the characters finds a library book, Creep by Jennifer Hillier. Creep propelled me to the dark side of writing suspense, and Jenny and I have become great friends. It’s an homage to her work, and her friendship. 

3.      One of the characters is originally from Portsmouth—so was my lovely mum. 

4.      While writing this book, I had a conversation about “could you kill someone using a…” with my husband. He still sleeps with one eye open. 

5.      I mention Meg White from the White Stripes in the book, and I think she’s a phenomenal drummer!


All of your books are filled with many plot twists and turns. How much of the stories have you mapped out in advance, or does your writing style, take, well, twists and turns as you go along?

I love twists and turns, and the more books I write, the more I plot them. Detailed outlines make me more productive and efficient because I know where I’m headed. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll end up at the destination I mapped out though. In The Neighbors, for example, the ending changed quite dramatically as I got closer to finishing my first draft. In Her Secret Son, the final chapters were different because I wasn’t happy with whom I’d planned to kill off. Sister Dear’s and You Will Remember Me’s endings are close to how I’d imagined but more sinister. Having said that, as I write, more twists and turns come up, and that’s another fun part of writing, discovering what your characters will do when you let them loose.

I admire authors who don’t plot or outline at all in advance, but jump right in. If I did that, I think I’d spend an awful lot of time meandering about not getting anywhere, and then fret about my deadlines.


How are you adjusting to promoting a book during a pandemic? 

I never have to ask, “Does my bum look big in this?” – which is brilliant! In all seriousness, I flipped events online very quickly and I’ve had a blast ever since. Don’t get me wrong, I miss in-person events and can’t wait until we can have them safely again, but the reach with online is so broad, it can’t be underestimated. I adore meeting and chatting with readers and other authors virtually—people who I wouldn’t otherwise get to see. There are no geographical restrictions, either. My mother was disabled, and being able to offer events to people with physical limitations, and who can’t get to an in-person event is so important. Once things return to normal, I do hope we keep the online component.

Another great thing that came out of the pandemic for me is First Chapter Fun. Back in March 2020, when Covid first hit Canada, a group of us were discussing how we could help promote one another and give our books a boost. I half-jokingly offered to read the first chapter of their novels on Facebook and Instagram, and within a few days I had over 40 daily readings lined up and launched First Chapter Fun. I read for 53 days in a row (didn’t think the “must do hair and make-up” thing through very well), introducing viewers to a new novel and author each day.

In May 2020, I teamed up with my partner-in-fictional-crime, powerhouse author Hank Phillippi Ryan. We created a new Facebook group and We read twice a week, every Tuesday and Thursday (the days with a “T) on both platforms simultaneously at 12.30 pm ET, and already have readings scheduled until the end of 2021. All the previously aired episodes are saved and can be viewed at leisure. It’s a wonderful community where we share the love of books, and introduce new and/or new-to-you authors twice a week. Our goal is to keep your “to be read” pile completely out-of-control and, or so we’ve been told, we’re succeeding. 

The one thing that surprised me the most about the writing industry is how genuine, welcoming, and helpful authors and readers are. This project is a way of paying it forward.


What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

I read a lot, as one might expect, and love being whisked away into the worlds other authors create—thrillers, or otherwise. I love getting outdoors for a hike, I’m a huge fan of the movies (I love the trailers!), I go to the gym and participate in a few obstacle runs in the summer (I live for the mud and obstacles, I’m rubbish at the running part). We have three teenage boys, so my husband and I spend time with them as often as they’ll let us. Watching films as a family is one of my favourite things. There’s something deeply comforting about us having a laugh together and just hanging out. Oh, I cook too, and love to bake. I make a mean zucchini-lime loaf, and yummy beer bread.

What are you working on now?

My 6th book is done and in my wonderful editor’s hands. It’s written from the anti-hero’s point-of-view, which I’ve never done before, and is the story of Lucas, who hired a hitman to kill his wife. A month later, Lucas receives a partial photograph of his wife in the mail. Who sent it? What do they know? And, more importantly, what do they want? I can’t wait to introduce you to my characters! In the meantime, I’m plotting and outlining Book 7, but it’s too early to give anything away.


To keep in touch with Hannah McKinnon at her website,, social media, or Friends and Fiction.

Twitter: @HannahMMcKinnon

Instagram: @hannahmarymckinnon

Facebook: @HannahMaryMcKinnon


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