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Tuesday, 23 June 2020

ℚ Closer Than She Knows - Kelly Irvin

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Closer Than She Knows (, Thomas Nelson, 352 pages), a Romantic Suspense.

"Irvin (“Every Amish Season” series; “Amish of Bee County” series) packs a lot into this Christian romantic suspense title—serial killers, gun control, faith in a family of nonbelievers, the pros and cons of parenthood, addiction, and posttraumatic stress disorder—but does so in a way that makes Teagan and Max feel like complex human beings with strengths, faults, and doubts."  —Heather Webb, Worthington Libs., OH (Library Journal)


|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||


A very warm welcome to Kelly Irvin; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Closer Than She Knows?

"Many years ago, when I worked full time in public relations and still had two kids at home, I also proofread court transcripts for several court reporters to earn extra money.

Court reporters are amazing.  What they do isn’t well understood, however, I thought it’d make an interesting occupation for a heroine in a romantic suspense tale and it’s not one I’ve seen in other mystery/suspense novels.

I was able to interview one of my court reporter friends to create the character of Teagan O’Rourke.  Kay also served as my technical consultant."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"As I’ve gotten older and my heroines haven’t, I see less of myself in them.  Teagan is a millennial who drives a Prius, does DIY projects, and loves to garden.

We share a dislike of guns and we’re tree huggers so we do have some things in common.  We both love to read murder mysteries.  There’s another huge difference between us, but I’ll leave that for readers to discover."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Closer Than She Knows - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I love the way Thomas Nelson and HarperCollins handle covers.  One of the questions on the advance marketing form is about what I’d like to see on the cover.  I describe the characters, scenes, items of interest in the story, and the creative services team runs with it.

Once they have a concept, I’m given the opportunity to take a look at it and offer feedback.  In this case they used a photo of the San Antonio skyline in the background.  The cover is bold and eye catching."
San Antonio's skyline

Why should we read Closer Than She Knows and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?

"My goal is always to give readers characters they can care about.  The suspense is important, but the story is driven by the characters.  I want readers to still be thinking about the deeper life issues after they’ve closed the book.

In Closer Than She Knows, Teagan is taunted by a serial killer who knows far too much about her—even her favorite mystery authors.  But she has a far bigger dilemma she must face that will affect the rest of her life—if she survives."
Can you tell us something quirky about Closer Than She Knows, its story and characters?
"Originally when I wrote Closer Than She Knows, Teagan’s favorite author is mystery writer John Sandford.  The letters from my serial killer were signed by killers from Sandford’s Prey series.  I love his protagonist Lucas Davenport and have read all his books.

The legal eagles at my publishing house decided this wasn’t a good idea.  So I created a fictitious series by my own author Raymond Fuentes.  His detective’s name is Jay Southerland. "
Who would you recommend Closer Than She Knows to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Anyone who likes romantic suspense, mysteries, and suspense with a Christian world- view.

It’s fairly gritty for the Christian fiction market and does contain some violent scenes."
If you could / wished to turn Closer Than She Knows into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"My cast would include Saoirse Ronan as Teagan O’Rourke (works out well that Ronan is Irish!), Mark Ruffalo as Teagan’s dad, Florence Pugh as Teagan’s sister.  I’m still debating who’ll play Max.  Most of my choices are too old!"
Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh Mark Ruffalo
Saoirse Ronan and Florence Pugh Mark Ruffalo
What do you like to write about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I write in two very different genres: romantic suspense and Amish romance.

It’s a long story, but I’ve published 16 Amish romance novels and seven novellas.  I originally broke into publishing with two romantic suspense novels, but my agent asked me to give Amish romances a shot.  She sold the first one before I finished writing it.  From there, my career blossomed.

I’ve enjoyed a lovely relationship with HarperCollins Christian Publishing in the years since.  Two years ago they agreed to partner with me to test the waters with my first romantic suspense novel in ten years, Tell Her No Lies.  It did well, which has allowed me to continue to do both.  I feel I have the best of both worlds and I’m unbelievably blessed."
What is your writing process?
"I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer.  I generally know who the characters are, including the killer, but I don’t really know how it’s all going to play out until I start writing.  This frequently results in missteps and rewrites, but it’s the only process that works for me.

Serendipitous things occur when I let my imagination run wild.  Characters show up and start talking.  One plot twist leads to another.  For me, outlining is the kiss of death.  It’s too much like homework.  I do have to create short synopsis for my publisher when my agent pitches an idea for a new book or series, but I always emphasize that the actual story will likely be much different."
What is in store next?
"I recently finished the next romantic suspense novel, also a standalone, which is entitled Her Every Move.  It will debut next year.  The protagonist is a librarian and the big finale occurs on Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in San Antonio’s iconic enchilada red library designed by Mexican architect Ricardo Legorreta. "
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Here are my two cats: Angel (Demon Kitty) and Jasmine."
Oh, wow! Blackies!  Love them!  We have five all-blacks (three girls and two boys) as well as two chocolate tortoiseshell (girls) and two tuxedos (one of each) :-)

Thank you so much for sharing!

We look forward to reading Closer Than She Knows, and we hope you are having a great tour!


A serial killer bent on revenge . . . and striking too close to home.

Closer Than She Knows
Available NOW!

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