Closer Than She Knows
by Kelly Irvin
on Tour June 22 - July 24, 2020
A serial killer bent on revenge . . . and striking too close to home.
Teagan O’Rourke has always loved murder mysteries. In her job as a court reporter, she has written official records for dozens of real-life murders. She’s slapped evidence stickers on crime scene photos. She’s listened to hours of chilling testimony. But she’s never known the smell of death. And she never thought she might be a victim.
A young police officer is murdered just inches away from her, and then a man calling himself a serial killer starts leaving Teagan notes, signing each with the name of a different murderer from her favorite mystery novels.
Panicked, Teagan turns to her friend Max Kennedy. Max longs for more than friendship with Teagan, but he fears she’ll never trust someone with a past like his. He wonders how much of God’s “tough love” he can take before he gives up on love completely. And he wonders if he’ll be able to keep Teagan alive long enough to find out.
As Teagan, Max, and Teagan’s police officer father race to track down the elusive killer, they each know they could be the next victim. Desperate to save those she loves, Teagan battles fears that once haunted her in childhood. Nothing seems to stop this obsessed murderer. No matter what she does, he seems to be getting closer.
Read an excerpt:
Kelly Irvin is a bestselling author and two-time Carol Award finalist. She is a former newspaper reporter and retired public relations professional. Kelly lives in Texas with her husband, photographer Tim Irvin. They have two children, three grandchildren, and two cats.
More "stuff" about Kelly Irvin...
Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?
This book is dedicated to my grandchildren and the dedication reads: “You are the hope of a new generation. (No pressure!). The world is such a mess right now. I often lament, along with my protagonist Teagan O’Rourke in Closer Than She Knows, that we are leaving a dirty, ravaged, embattled world to our children, and in my case, my grandchildren. I hold out hope that the next generation will do better. I don’t want to reveal too much about the romantic arc, but this is part of a bigger dilemma that Teagan will have to resolve in order to find happiness with the man she loves.
Where do you get your storylines from?
From various places. Sometimes from newspaper articles. Sometimes from my journalism career. In the case of Closer Than She Knows, I drew on a period in my life when I freelanced as a proofreader for several court reporters. Reading those court transcripts taught me about crime scene investigations, police procedure, autopsies, ballistics, etc. I have tremendous respect for the court reporters who transcribe every word said in a courtroom. Most people never notice them or they think they’re stenographers. They’re so much more. I’ve never read a crime novel where the main character is a court reporter so I decided to write one.
Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others? Why?
This was a tough one. I’m a seat-of-the-pants writer (I don’t outline) and this story has multiple murders investigated by more than one jurisdiction. They occurred over a long period of time. I really had to bear down on the details to keep them straight. When my editor read it for the first time she felt it was too easy to figure out who the killer was. I had to do an extensive rewrite. I also revamped the relationship between Teagan and Max. I did more rewriting on this book than any other one I’ve written. I also did more research with this book. I had to wade through it and figure out what to use to create an authentic serial killer world. It was fascinating, but also repulsive.
Do you write in more than one genre?
I do. My first two published novels were romantic suspense. Then my agent asked me to try an Amish romance. I thought she was crazy, but I like a challenge so I gave it a shot. She sold it before I finished writing it. My writing career blossomed from there. I’ve published 18 Amish romances with four more contracted as well as several Amish novellas. Two years ago HarperCollins Christian Publishing agreed to go out on a limb with me with a romantic suspense novel called Tell Her No Lies. It did well so we’ve continued to alternate between the two genres. I’m blessed to have a publishing house willing to do this. Writing in two genres allows me to stretch in my craft and keep from getting stale.
Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?
A little over a year ago my husband and I left the San Antonio suburbs and moved to a more rural patch of land about 30 minutes from the city. I turned a bedroom with two floor-to-ceiling windows into an office. I can sit at my desk and look out at an open field with huge trees. Cardinals, hummingbirds, butterflies, squirrels, and big green lizards keep me company. I find myself staring out the window often as I contemplate story lines. Occasionally deer trot down the road in the front of our house. My office is a mess, filled with research books, files, and boxes of my books, but I’m happily playing with my imaginary friends.
And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?
I don’t remember not wanting to be a writer. My older sister and I started our own newspaper in first and second grade. I wrote poems, short stories, and plays in middle school. By high school I’d found my niche in journalism and creative writing classes. Coming from a working-class family, I knew I wanted to be able to support myself so I chose a journalism career where I would get paid to write. But I always knew I wanted to write novels. One day I turned 45 and thought I better do it before it’s too late. I may have started early but I’m a late bloomer. Four years ago I retired from my day job because of my health. Now I write full-time. I’m living my dream!
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Enter To Win!:
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Harper Collins and Kelly Irving. There will be 1 winner of CLOSER THAN SHE KNOWS by Kelly Irving (print). The giveaway begins on June 22, 2020 and runs through July 26, 2020. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.