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Paulette Kennedy | A Midcentury Wife and Mother Develops the Ability to See and Hear the Dead Following a Viral Illness

The Devil and Mrs. Davenport
Paulette Kennedy




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March 2024
On Sale: March 5, 2024
Featuring: Loretta Davenport; Curtis Hansen
ISBN: 1662514883
EAN: 9781662514883
Kindle: B0C6B67K2B
Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Paulette Kennedy:
The Devil and Mrs. Davenport, March 2024
The Witch of Tin Mountain, February 2023
Parting the Veil, November 2021

1--What is the title of your latest release?


2--What’s the “elevator pitch” for your new book?

THE DEVIL AND MRS. DAVENPORT is about a midcentury wife and mother who develops the ability to see and hear the dead following a viral illness. Her new psychic gifts set her at odds with her conservative, Bible college professor husband, leading her to seek out the advice of a notable parapsychologist, who encourages her to hone and nurture her gifts instead of suppressing them. Her gifts are a metaphor for a lot of things—but ultimately this book is about a woman finding her place and purpose at a time when women’s rights were limited. Loretta’s journey is one that will resonate with many readers, I think.

3--How did you decide where your book was going to take place?

I decided to set the novel in a fictionalized version of my hometown in the Ozarks because it’s a place where I could picture someone like Loretta living in the 1950s. Since I grew up there, I knew I could capture the setting perfectly. People are very curious about the Ozarks, I’m finding.

4--Would you hang out with your protagonist in real life?

Absolutely. Loretta is very close to my heart—perhaps my favorite character yet.

5--What are three words that describe your protagonist?

Shy, Empathetic, Strong

6--What’s something you learned while writing this book?

Just how far we’ve come with women’s rights. A woman in the United States couldn’t gain full financial independence until 1974—that’s the year I was born. Prior to that, her husband or another male relative had to co-sign for her to open a bank account or to buy anything on loan. We still have a long way to go, and we’ve definitely had some upsets in recent years, but thanks to the efforts and sacrifices of our forebears, we have a lot to be grateful for.

7--Do you edit as you draft or wait until you are totally done?

I try to wait until I’m finished with a full draft before I edit, although sometimes the temptation to edit as I go still lingers. For me, editing as I draft means I’ll get stuck in the weeds and won’t advance, so I try to avoid it.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

Andy’s Frozen Custard from my hometown.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

Our sunroom is technically my office, and I love being surrounded by my plants and my cats, who often sunbathe there while I work, but I write everywhere. This morning, it was from the warmth of my bed.

10--Who is an author you admire?

I have so many. But one of the modern authors I admire most is Hester Fox because she has made a successful career with gothic fiction and is also one of the kindest, most generous people I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know.

11--Is there a book that changed your life?

That’s hard to pin down, but I’d say My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier because it has so many layers that still resonate. I’ve read it many times and find something new to admire with every reading. Du Maurier had an almost forensic aptitude for artfully dissecting the dangers and nuances of misogyny and laying it bare in her work. That book—I could go on for ages about it.

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 remember it very well! I was outside weeding my carrots in the garden when my agent called to let me know the acquisitions board at Lake Union had offered on Parting the Veil. Every call since then has been just as memorable. I’m very grateful to now be working on my fourth book with my publisher. I hope there will be many more.

13--What’s your favorite genre to read?

Gothic fiction, naturally!

14--What’s your favorite movie?

The Others

15--What is your favorite season?


16--How do you like to celebrate your birthday?

With carrot cake and champagne.

17--What’s a recent tv show/movie/book/podcast you highly recommend?

I highly recommend She Wore Black podcast. Agatha features authors and books in the gothic, horror, and mystery genres. She is a fabulous host. I’ve learned so much listening to her show, and her recommendations have added miles to my already long to-be-read list.

18--What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

This is hard! A toss-up between Indian and Italian

19--What do you do when you have free time?

I knit, work in my garden, and read.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

My fourth novel will be coming in early 2025 from Lake Union. It’s a historical gothic set in the 1920s that features a timeslip element. I’m very excited to talk more about it soon.


The Devil and Mrs. Davenport

The bestselling author of The Witch of Tin Mountain and Parting the Veil mines the subtle horrors of 1950s America in a gripping novel about a woman under pressure—from the living and the dead.

The first day of autumn brought the fever, and with the fever came the voices.

Missouri, 1955. Loretta Davenport has led an isolated life as a young mother and a wife to Pete, an ambitious assistant professor at a Bible college. They’re the picture of domestic tranquility—until a local girl is murdered and Loretta begins receiving messages from beyond. Pete dismisses them as delusions of a fevered female imagination. Loretta knows they’re real—and frightening.

Defying Pete’s demands, Loretta finds an encouraging supporter in parapsychologist Dr. Curtis Hansen. He sees a woman with a rare gift, more blessing than curse. With Dr. Hansen’s help, Loretta’s life opens up to an empowering new purpose. But for Pete, the God-fearing image he’s worked so hard to cultivate is under threat. No longer in control of his dutiful wife, he sees the Devil at work.

As Loretta’s powers grow stronger and the pleading spirits beckon, Pete is determined to deliver his wife from evil. To solve the mysteries of the dead, Loretta must first save herself.


Thriller Paranormal - Supernatural [Lake Union Publishing, On Sale: March 5, 2024, Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9781662514883 / ]

Buy THE DEVIL AND MRS. DAVENPORTAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Paulette Kennedy

Paulette Kennedy

Originally from the Missouri Ozarks, Paulette Kennedy now lives with her family and their menagerie of pets in a quiet suburb of Los Angeles. In her free time, she enjoys tending to her garden, knitting, and finding unique vintage treasures at thrift stores and flea markets.

As a history lover, she can get lost for days in her research—learning everything she can about the places in her stories and what her characters might have experienced in the past. This dedication to research infuses her world-building with realistic detail, and creates a cinematic, immersive experience for the reader.

Paulette’s current work-in-progress is a witchy southern gothic set in rural Northern Arkansas during the Great Depression.





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