Interview with Kristin Callender

Welcome to my first author interview! The lucky victim volunteer is Kristen Callender, and she is here to talk about her new book, The Truth Lies in the Dark. And I’d like to thank her, and welcome her to the site.

Hi there, Kristin would you please briefly introduce yourself and your book?

Kristen Callender: Hi to all you Bart’s Bookshelf fans. I am Kristin Callender. I want to thank you for stopping by to learn about me and my book, The Truth Lies in the Dark. I also want to thank the host, Bart for interviewing me and allowing me to park my book on his bookshelf for a while.

The Truth Lies in the Dark is my first mystery. It is about a woman who finds out that she has been raised with a dead girl’s identity. But to find out why and who she really is will she risk losing everything in her life now, including her loving marriage? Who is there to help her and who is there to make sure that the truth remains…in the dark?

Where did the original idea come from? And are there any major differences between the original premise and the finished book?

Kristen Callender: I am fascinated by how the brain works, how some memories are kept while others are forgotten, and then in extreme instances some are blocked or buried deep in the subconscious. I thought it would be interesting to explore this type of protective amnesia. The fact that everyone in Amanda’s life knew more about her past than her made it even more intriguing. How important is it to her to find out her true identity? As she begins to uncover the years of secrets and lies will she be able to forgive the only family she has ever known for their part in it? Will she want to?

The story stayed basically the same from start to finish. Of course I did a lot of rewriting and editing to make it cleaner. I did have one publisher that wanted a different beginning. I am willing to listen to advice and make changes that I believe in, but I loved the beginning and couldn’t change it. I am glad I held out for a publisher that loved it as much as me.

Talking of which, were there any fun surprises while writing the book? Plot deviations? Misbehaving characters? – You know, the ones that decide they know better than the author, what should happen next! 😉

Kristen Callender: My characters, in this story anyway, have behaved pretty well. I seem to have more control on them than I do my own children 🙂 The biggest surprise for me was when I dreamed about a part when Amanda had to swim out into a lake and try to save someone (I’m not saying who) from a sinking row boat. I woke up and couldn’t wait to get to that part of the story. I like to write as it happens; as close to sequence as possible. It gives me the motivation to get through to the next part. If I write out only the most exciting parts first, I will loose interest in how the characters got to that point.

Your main character Amanda, gets a unexpected free afternoon, what does she do with it?

Kristen Callender: Looking back, Amanda has more free time than most people I know. During the business trip with her husband Nick, she is left to explore San Bernardino alone while he works. At first she does some sight seeing, but her curiosity and boredom get the best of her. She starts using her time to research her family and figure out what her grandfather was trying to tell her in an unfinished letter. What she finds at the library sends her on a car trip to Nevada; where she, her grandparents and Nick were originally from. This is where the story gets really good.

Other than your Amanda, do you have a favourite character? Who is it and why?

Kristen Callender: I love all of them, but I had a great time with Antonio. I can’t tell you too much about him without ruining the surprise twist in the story. But I can say he made a very good bad guy. I also liked Candy Bell. She only had a small part, but if I decide to do a sequel I will definitely bring her character out more in it.

So describe your thoughts when you held the finished book for the first time?

Kristen Callender: The whole process took so long that I didn’t think it would ever happen. Then it was available on amazon before I received my copies. My family and friends started ordering it so they would get it before me. When I finally held it, I was excited, and proud, and honestly thought…ok what do I have to do now? That’s how my mind works; always thinking ahead.

I see from your website, the books cover was painted by your son, how did this come about? (And is he claiming any credit for your sales? ;o) If it wasn’t for the cover mum…

Kristen Callender: My son, Michael painted the picture in high school at the same time I was writing the book. It is an amazing portrait of New York City at night. Friends of ours had suggested that it would make a great cover. I figured it couldn’t hurt to submit to my editor. All he could say was no. So I cropped it a little and sent it off. My editor loved it. My son was very surprised, especially since I never told I was submitting it. And yes we did agree on a percentage that he will receive, but I told him room, board, and mental anguish gets deducted first 😀 No, seriously I don’t think he realizes how big of an accomplishment this is for him. His art was chosen as a cover. That’s resume material there.

The Truth Lies in the Dark is your first novel, what’s next?

Kristen Callender: I know that I will keep writing. As far as what’s next to be published, I have been talking to a New York publisher about a second book I have finished. This one is more of a contemporary romance. Sorry, not the bodice ripping kind, just your everyday boy meets girl, boy smashes toilet with a sledge hammer, boy and girl live happily ever after. You know, normal stuff 🙂 I have started another mystery and want to write a nonfiction book about traveling across the United States by train with children. So if there are any publishers interested in that… (wink, wink).

What are you reading at the moment?

Kristen Callender: At the moment…I want to say your questions, but I am afraid you will spell my name wrong or something like that 😀 (Note: Kristin and I had an attack of the typo’s whilst setting up this interview!)  I am reading three different books right now. All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark, Innocent in Death by J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts), and Virginia Woolf’s A Writer’s Journal. I switc
h around depending on my mood.

Is there a book or author you think everybody should read?

Kristen Callender: I think that everyone should decide what is right or interesting to them. There are so many talented authors out there and more always on the way. I say read as much and as many different books as you can until you find your favorite. With that said, I think there is a valuable life lesson in the children’s book, Everybody Poops. I know, funny title, but if we remembered that we are all human we might treat each other a little better.

Anything else you’d like to share with the readers of Bart’s Bookshelf?

Kristen Callender: I have had a great time at Bart’s Bookshelf and would love to stop by again. Hopefully I will bring some new books with me. Thanks again for stopping by. If anyone would like to learn more about me, my book, or my Book Blog Tour please go to my website: The full detailed schedule of where I am going next and where I have been is posted on:

The Truth Lies in the Dark by Kristin Callender is available at Amazon and on

3 thoughts on “Interview with Kristin Callender

  • March 23 at 11:22 am

    WOW!!! What a tour – VBT!!! And it is revealing something new with each stop. The book was great and I like mysteries. Ifyou like mysteries, put this book on your list.

  • March 23 at 6:25 am

    Great interview Bart! This book sounds really good. Hadn’t heard of it before. Onto the wishlist it goes! Hope to see many more interviews over here 😉

    Chris´s last blog post: Mailbox Monday and Bad Bloggers!

    • March 23 at 8:31 pm

      Glad you liked it Chris. I’m hoping for some more as well as this was a lot of fun!

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