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Investigating a conspiracy really wasn't on Nikki's very long to-do list.


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Secret Identity, Small Town Romance
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April's Affections and Intrigues: Love and Mystery Bloom


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Kristen Bird | A Cultish Organization Slowly Taking Over a Town


Watch It Burn
Kristen Bird

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March 2024
On Sale: March 12, 2024
336 pages
ISBN: 0778369692
EAN: 9780778369691
Kindle: B0C46MT973
Trade Paperback / e-Book
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Also by Kristen Bird:
Watch It Burn, March 2024
Add to review list
I Love It When You Lie, March 2023
The Night She Went Missing, February 2022
The Night She Went Missing, August 2021

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

WATCH IT BURN

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

After the wife of a prominent man in the small town of Edenberg, Texas, drowns in only two inches of the Guadalupe River, three women refuse to believe it was a "slip and fall." As they dig for clues, they discover that the dead woman—Beverly Hoffman—and her husband are the founders of a cultish organization slowly taking over their town. They must decide whether or not to infiltrate the institution to dismantle it from within.

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

I’ve enjoyed visiting the Texas Hill Country, which is three hours from my home, since I was in high school. Edenberg, Texas is a fictional town based on a real-life tiny tourist town named Gruene, home of the oldest dance hall in Texas. I thought this would be the perfect place for one man to garner control and share his cult-astic ideas.

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

My protagonist is unique in that she is dead. (Yes, the dead woman in the middle of the river is one of the characters telling this multi-POV story. ) So, would I want to hang out with Beverly Hoffman? Sure. Would I be totally freaked out? Also, yes.

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

Beverly is regretful about her complicity in her husband’s organization, but she also feels conflicted by a strange sense of loyalty to him. After she dies, she also feels hope that the other women in town will take him down. So, regretful, loyal, and vengeful.

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

Early on when I was looking for ideas about real-life events in the Texas Hill Country, I learned about the 1987 bus tragedy in Comfort, TX in which ten people, mostly teens, died during a flash flood of the Guadalupe River while on their way to a summer camp. Though not the focus of the novel, a fictionalized version of this event made its way into the backstory of the book because I found it to be so powerful and emotional.

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

Both! I write relatively fast…I can get 1K words on the page in less than an hour, so I need a lot of time to let my book rest before editing and rewriting. I often start writing sessions by reviewing part of what I’ve written in my last session, and when I’ve completely finished a draft, I’ll print it and comb through it line by line before entering changes into Word. Finally, I’ll download it to my Kindle app and annotate changes there as well.

8--What’s your favorite foodie indulgence?

I love, love, love a pineapple curry dish with shrimp from a Thai restaurant near my home.

9--Describe your writing space/office!

I prefer to write at local coffee shops with the conversation of strangers buzzing in the background—but without anyone interrupting my flow. I still have three kids at home, so it’s often hard to get writing done there!

10--Who is an author you admire?

I admire R.F. Kuang who can write compelling books across genres. In the past few months, I’ve read both Yellowface and Babel, and I was equally captivated by both.

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

After reading The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty a decade ago, I knew I wanted to write in a similar genre to a similar audience. So many readers adore Moriarty, and I do too, not only for her fantastic characters and plot but also for inspiring me to start writing seriously again.

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.

Watch It Burn was my option book (the novel that the current publisher has first dibs to offer on). I was delighted to work again with my editor at MIRA.

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

I really enjoy genres that cross-pollinate. Kate Morton’s novels merge historical fiction and mystery, so they are some of my favorites.

14--What’s your favorite movie?

I rewatch The Holiday every Christmas, and I introduced it to my three children this year. It’s one of my all-time favorites, and I would watch it in or out of season.

15--What is your favorite season?

Autumn is my favorite time of year. I love the weather in Texas during October and November, and I appreciate all the fall colors and flavors.

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

My favorite birthday celebrations are when I get to go on an outing with my family or friends. One year my husband and I saw Trevor Noah’s comedy show, and another year we went to see Flight of the Conchords. Any chance to make a memory with people I love is a good one.

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

I highly recommend preordering Made for You by Jenna Satterthwaite, out this summer. It’s got romance and mystery and intrigue and AI, and it’s all woven together seamlessly.

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

I live in Texas, so, of course, it’s Tex Mex!

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

Every Friday evening, my husband and three kids and I stop what we’re doing and make homemade pizza and watch a film together. It’s the perfect way to end any kind of week.

20--What can readers expect from you next?

I don’t have an official announcement yet, but it will be a mystery with strong Southern women at the heart of the story.

WATCH IT BURN by Kristen Bird

Watch It Burn

Three women work to uncover the scorching lies and scandal behind a self-help movement, igniting a powder keg of secrets that could blow their town apart, in this suspense novel perfect for readers who love Southern mystery.

It’s early morning in the small Texas town of Edenberg when the body of sixty-five-year-old Beverly Hoffman is discovered in the Guadalupe River—drowned in only two inches of water.

After elementary school teacher Nichole Miller discovers the woman's body, she makes two phone calls: first to the police, who call Beverly's death a slip and fall, and second to her best friend, journalist Jenny Martin. Jenny is attempting to revive her flailing marriage and her all-but-DOA career, and she knows foul play when she sees it. The two women enlist the help of Beverly’s daughter-in-law, Robin, who’s eager to expose the truth.

Beverly had been beloved in the tight-knit community, having cofounded the wildly popular personal-development company Genetive, Inc., alongside her influential husband. But something sinister has been smoldering beneath the surface of their picturesque hometown. And Genetive is at the center of it all.

 

Women's Fiction Southern [MIRA, On Sale: March 12, 2024, Trade Paperback / e-Book, ISBN: 9780778369691 / eISBN: 9780369748744]

Buy WATCH IT BURNAmazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell's Books | Books-A-Million | Indie BookShops | Ripped Bodice | Walmart.com | Target.com | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR

About Kristen Bird

Kristen Bird

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.

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM

 

 

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