Interview with Dana Killion, author of Lies in High Places
04 Dec 2017
What can you tell us about your new release, Lies in High Places?
Lies in High Places is the story of a struggling journalist, Andrea Kellner, who finds herself in the middle of a sniper attack on a Chicago expressway. Mid-divorce and desperate for a story, she becomes suspicious of the official explanation for the shootings, making it her mission to uncover the truth and ultimately save her career. Twists, turns, political intrigue, a tiny bit of romance, the book is a fast-paced read and the first in the series.
What or who inspired you to become an author?
I’ve always been a reader. Even back when I was a kid, I had a babysitter who would bring over Nancy Drew books and read to my sister and I. I always loved the on-going puzzle solving. In high school, I’d blow through books in a couple days, choosing novels based on how thick they were to extend the read. I loved getting lost in worlds bigger than my small Wisconsin hometown. However, I never considered a career as an author. The writing bug hadn’t bitten yet. In 2006, I was going through a career and family identify crisis around flexibility and life balance, and it was literally the first time it occurred to me to try my hand at writing. I was devouring authors such as Patricia Cornwell, Linda Fairstein, and Janet Evanovich. All series, female protagonists, and largely first person POV, so I basically tried to write what I wanted to read. That starter novel sits in a drawer. But it taught me had a lot to learn and was the entry point into figuring out how badly I wanted to do this.
What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?
Anything and everything by Patricia Cornwell. I just get lost in the complexity of her world
Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask?
I actually have two. Karin Slaughter because I love how well she handles 3rd person POV. It’s something I can’t seem to wrap my head around. I’d also love to interview Robert Mueller. Obviously he isn’t in the literary world, but I’m fascinated by the process of strategically building a complex case. This isn’t a political statement but the strategy of evidence collection, witnesses, complex trails of people and business connections is fascinating to me. The problem-solving aspect of writing crime fiction is what entices me.
What’s on your writing desk?
My Mac laptop, a Blue Snowball microphone for dictation, an essential oil diffuser, and a cup of tea or a bottle of Pellegrino. My cat Isabel is often curled up napping in the chair nearby.
BAM. You’re a superhero. What’s your superpower?
I’d want the skill of lie detection. Wouldn’t it be great to have a little meter in your head that starts beeping when BS is being dished out? But then again, it might crimp my writing career as uncovering the truth is one of my core themes and fascinations.
What scene in Lies in High Places was your favorite to write?
When Andrea gets attacked in the alley. I won’t let out a spoiler but I can still read that scene and find myself tensing up.
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
I grew up in the midwest and still have those classic core values of treating others the way you would want to be treated.
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