Interview with Candace Irving, Author of Beneath the Bones

18 Aug 2023

What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Beneath the Bones?

Beneath the Bones is book 3 in my gritty Hidden Valor military veteran/K-9 suspense series. The heroine, Kate Holland, is a former US Army CID agent & POW with severe PTSD. As a military veteran, I wanted to portray PTSD realistically throughout the series.

Because cognitive processing therapy (CPT) is the preferred treatment for the military, VA, and thousands of psychiatrists and psychologists around the world, I chose CPT for Kate. I emailed its creator, Dr. Patricia Resick, during my research. Not only did Dr. Resick respond, she loaned me her incredible expertise as I crafted Kate’s therapy arc. Dr. Resick helped me dig so much deeper into Kate’s mind than I’d have thought possible.

The result? While Kate’s PTSD is pure fiction, her recovery and its timeline are quite real. Even better—because it’s based in reality—Kate’s PTSD arc actually drives the suspense plot at times, affecting her current murder investigations in surprising ways. How cool is that?

What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?

I love reading all sorts of mysteries & thrillers, though I tend to stick to non-fiction and memoirs when I’m actively writing.

What scene in your book was your favorite to write?

Wow. That’s tough one—mostly because any scene with Kate’s 3-year-old German Shepherd has to be in the running. I’d never written a dog or other animal into a suspense before Ruger, let alone so deeply. I’d initially decided to give Kate a dog as a coping mechanism—since, well, she was coping before the first book opened and her PTSD began to rage. But from word one of the first draft of book 1 (The Garbage Man), Ruger stole the show. The lovable snot’s been stealing it every book since. At times, Ruger drives the plot. At others, he provides a bit of desperately needed comic relief for what’s admittedly a very dark, gritty & graphic mystery series. But no matter how or why Ruger appears, he tends to steal the show.

If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?

PTSD can be a crippling and pervasive syndrome—not only among our nation’s veterans, but amid folks from every country and every walk of life. Because of this, I’ve listed a few official, real-world links for PTSD & CPT on the Hidden Valor series page on my website. If you’re suffering from PTSD or know someone who is, please check out the information & assistance at the ends of the links.


Candace Irving is the author of the new book Beneath the Bones

Connect with Candace Irving

Author Site


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