We recently interviewed author Kendra Elliot to learn about her background and her books, including her most recent story entitled TARGETED. Read on to learn what Kendra had to say, who also informed us about her approach to writing and her upcoming work.
Please tell us about you. Where are you from? What is your professional background and how did you become an author?
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and still live there. I have a degree in Journalism but never put it to use until I started to write less than a decade ago. I also have a Dental Hygiene degree which came into good use in my debut novel, HIDDEN, which features a forensic odontologist. I’ve always loved to read and one day after reading my favorite author for the tenth time, I decided to try my hand at it. I primarily wanted to see if I could make readers feel as good as I felt after finishing one of her books. My first novel sold in 2012 and I’m now working on my tenth.
What types of books do you write?
I write suspense novels and police procedurals with romantic elements. My Bone Secrets series each features a forensic specialist. Since I LOVE to learn things when I read fiction, I packed each book with fascinating aspects of forensics. My Callahan & McLane series features a police detective and an FBI agent and are the police procedural type novels. It’s a spin-off of Bone Secrets because readers begged me for Mason Callahan’s story. He was an important character in several of the Bone Secrets books. Once I started writing his story, I realized he needed his own entire series.
Could you please tell us about your most recent book, its overall plot, and the main characters in it?
My most recent book is the fourth book in the Callahan & McLane series, TARGETED. Here is a blurb: All Detective Mason Callahan wanted was a quiet fishing trip with the guys—a chance to get away and unwind before Halloween.
Until he finds the body of his boss, Denny Schefte, near their remote Oregon cabin. Now all he wants is to catch the sadist who slit Denny’s throat and covered his face with a mask. Mason was the last person to see him alive and will stop at nothing to find his friend’s murderer.
When the FBI learns of the mask left at the scene, they realize they have a serial killer on their hands—one who is targeting cops. They assign the case to Special Agent Ava McLane, despite her engagement to Mason. Barely recovered from her own nearly fatal injury and her sister’s attempted suicide, Ava hopes she is ready to chase another killer.
But as she delves into the increasingly disturbing case, the killer may be closer than expected—dangerously close.
Are you working on any other books(s)? If so, can you please tell us what we can expect to see from you in the future?
I’m always working on the next book! In the fall there will be two more novellas in the Rogue River series, a series I write with best-buddy author Melinda Leigh. What started as a whim to work together on a fun project turned into a series that’s sold nearly a half-million copies. January will bring the release of my first hardcover book and the beginning of a new FBI series: A MERCIFUL DEATH. This will feature a female FBI agent who was raised in an anti-government culture.
Can you please tell us about your approach to writing? For example, do you follow structures and writing rules? Or do you write in a free flow way? Do you have any particular time of the day you like to write? Or any specific environment you prefer to sit down and write in?
I write best in the morning. When I’m in the writing stage, I leave the house five days a week and sit in a coffee shop for three hours. I start by editing what I wrote the day before and then I don’t leave until I get 2000 new words. I’m done by noon and have the rest of the day to do mom stuff. Or read. I’m much more efficient when I’m not at home. At home I’m distracted by laundry, the dog, the mail, Facebook, or anything else. What I can do in three hours at a coffee shop takes eight hours at home.
I don’t plot my novels. Before I start, I know my main characters and I know the inciting incident that will become the focus of the primary investigation. From there I let a lot of the character’s backstory come to me as I write and let the story follow the natural progression of an investigation. I will sketch out about three chapters at a time so that I know my general direction. I use a large plot board where I map out the scenes once I’ve written them. It shows me where I’ve been and helps me keep the story focused and linear.
Do you have any favourite authors? If so, who are they and what do you like about their work?
I always buy the hardbacks of Lee Child, Michael Connelly, Harlan Coben, Robert Crais, Lisa Gardner, Karin Slaughter, and Tess Gerritsen. I simply love that they all tell a great story and never bore me. They write the books I wish I’d written.
What other things do you like to get up to when you’re not writing?
If I’m not writing, I’m probably reading. My husband and I like to travel, so we try to plan a big trip after I turn in each book and a short trip somewhere in the middle of my writing schedule so I don’t get burned out. I have three teenage daughters and I spend a lot of time trying to be a good mom.
How can people find out more about you?
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]