This month’s suspense post showcased the supernatural Christian thriller novel, The Club by multi-published Christian author, Karin Kaufman. And as promised, here’s the story behind the story. And it’s just as thrilling as her novel.
When I first planned the Anna Denning Mystery Series, I knew two things for certain: first, the series would be set in a Colorado mountain town, and second, the series’ protagonist would battle spiritual forces in the guise of “harmless” neopagan and new age practices. I live in Colorado and love the mountains—right now I’m blessed to live very close to the foothills—so the mountain setting was a no-brainer. (Besides, my favorite mysteries play out in isolated settings, and there’s nothing quite as isolated as a mountain town!)
The protagonist who confronts neopaganism, wicca, and various new age practices? That aspect of my books come from my past, as a Christian who briefly, a long time ago, dipped her toe into wicca because, well, it seemed so appealing. I know the pitfalls, I know the dangers, and I have empathy for those who get sucked into the neopagan lifestyle. In fact, one of my returning characters, Jazmin Morningstar, is a wiccan, and I love writing about her. When people say God can use anything from your past, believe them!
Still, I didn’t want my mysteries to be nothing more than anti-neopagan polemics. Anna Denning, my main character, isn’t shy about disliking practices that fall under the umbrella of neopaganism—in fact, some readers think she should be a little less outspoken, a little sweeter—but more than anything I want my books to be entertaining. I want them to be escapes—in all the best senses of the word. I want to take readers away to the Colorado mountains, give them a few hours of thrills and chills, and introduce them to characters I hope will become friends.
The Club is the fourth book in the series, and as it opens, Anna Denning has been a widow for three years. In The Witch Tree, the first book in the series, she meets a man (Gene Westfall) and finds—much to her surprise—that she’s drawn to him, and he makes an appearance in the other books in the series too, but I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t go into details! But it’s been fun writing about two characters who take love, marriage, and Christian vows seriously.
Because Anna is a genealogist, The Club (like my other mysteries) features past crimes and misdeeds come to life—or come, finally, to a come-uppance. Payback. The past never really dies, does it? One day there’s a reckoning. In the latest mystery, Anna takes her genealogy skills to a new level, this time working for the local police department. (If you’ve been reading the series, you just knew she had to make that leap, didn’t you?) As a consultant, she finds missing identities, missing relatives of murder victims, and, in The Club, a missing finger. Literally.
I hope readers enjoy this latest book in my series. I loved writing it. I always love returning to Elk Park, my fictional (or is it?) mountain town, and reacquainting myself with the characters who call it home.
Karin lives near the foothills of the Colorado Rocky Mountains with Dakota Grace, her energetic and lovable rescued rez dog.
She’ll also keep you updated on upcoming writing contests and some of the best reads in Christian suspense.
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