1--What is the title of your latest release?
I LOVE IT WHEN YOU LIE
2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?
Three sisters return home to the Appalachian foothills to bury their beloved Gran. They each bring a problematic man with them, and by the end of the weekend, one of those men will be in the grave with their grandmother.
3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?
I grew up in north Alabama among strong Southern women, so I knew that I wanted to write about somewhere close to home.
4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?
Ha. Love this question. I probably have hung out with my protagonist in real life. Tara is fiercely loyal to her family and willing to go to any lengths to protect them. A lot of my friends and family could be defined this way. (She’s also a pastor’s wife who is stealing money from her husband’s church, so that’s less likely.)
5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?
Sassy, protective, fed-up
6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?
I already knew about the tradition of Decoration Sunday, in which family members visit the graves of their ‘kinfolk’ to clean and decorate them with flowers throughout each Sunday in May. However, I took time to read more about this tradition and talk to my father about what it was like to attend these events, often held at church cemeteries, when he was growing up. I got to hear about church potlucks and hymn “singins.”
7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?
I edit as I draft, largely because as a teacher I have to take breaks between writing to grade papers, plan, and teach, so when I return to the story, I need to remind myself what’s happening. It’s a great opportunity to ‘clean as I go.’
8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?
My mom’s banana pudding, a recipe she inherited from my Granny Daugette.
9--Describe your writing space/office!
I prefer to write in the hustle and bustle of coffee shops where no one knows me. At home I have three daughters, so I’m in high demand almost as soon as I step foot in the house.
10--Who is an author you admire?
Lisa Jewell. Her stories are like tapestries, the characters woven into intricate plots that make for an incredible image once she pulls everything together. I also got to meet and interview her last August at Murder by the Book in Houston, and it was lovely to discover that she’s also a kind, generous person in real life.
11--Is there a book that changed your life?
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver made me want to challenge myself to write the best book possible. I adore the multiple voices in that story, and I can only aspire to that kind of prose.
12--Tell us about when you got “the call.” (when you found out your book was going to be published)/Or, for indie authors, when you decided to self-publish.
I actually got “the email,” since my agent lives in London. It was in May of 2020, so we weren’t leaving the house much. I basically jumped up and down while my husband and kids danced around me, excited that my longtime dream was coming true.
13--What’s your favorite genre to read?
I read widely, but my favorite genre to read is probably historical fiction. I like the feeling that I’m learning about a different time and place as I read. That said, I’m very much a mood reader and sometimes just feel like science fiction, speculative dystopian, or rom-com.
14--What’s your favorite movie?
Little Women with Wynona Rider. My kids have to tell me to stop quoting the movie when we watch it around the holidays.
15--What is your favorite season?
Autumn, although in Texas we pretty much only have two seasons: Hot and Not as Hot.
16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?
I typically ask for babysitting from my parents and a date night out with my husband in lieu of a big birthday bash. I was born in late October, so school is in full swing, and life is so hectic that an evening at a quiet restaurant sounds idyllic at that time of year.
17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?
Ah. So many! TV: Apple’s Shrinking with Jason Segal. Movie: Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. Book: Tell Me How This Ends by Jo Leevers. Podcast: What I Wish I’d Known Then, a writing podcast for and by authors.
18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?
This changes regularly, but I’m really into sushi and potstickers right now.
19--What do you do when you have free time?
Um…what’s free time? JK. I get down time in the summers with my girls, and I cherish those days when we can escape to the museum or the beach for a few hours.
20--What can readers expect from you next?
I’m editing another suspense novel that should be out in Spring 2024. The working title is Watch It Burn.
A suspense novel
Just days before her eightieth birthday, Pearl Williams has the gall to up and die on everyone. Now her granddaughters must make plans for a proper send-off…all while their own lives unravel a little more each day.
Tara, the pastor’s wife, makes a series of decisions that could scatter his flock. Then there’s June, who would do anything to have a baby of her own, even if her husband won’t. Clementine, the youngest, is entangled in an affair with her professor, desperate to ignore who he really is. Finally, there’s Stephanie, the sister-in-law—an outsider who knows all the family dirt.
But Gran won’t be the only one they’ll put in a grave this weekend…because now someone has gone missing in the dark Appalachian woods.
And if Gran has taught them anything, it’s how to get rid of a good-for-nothin’ man…
Thriller Domestic | Thriller Psychological [MIRA, On Sale: March 14, 2023, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780778333432 / eISBN: 9780369732781]
Kristen Bird lives outside of Houston with her husband, three daughters, and a lab rescue. She teaches high school English, writes fiction, and bakes goodies in her free time.
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