I had the honour of interviewing one of my favourite Canadian authors Kelley Armstrong. This week, the next installment of her Rockton series, A Stranger in Town, will release! And I had the pleasure of an early review of the novel.
I have followed Kelley since I was thirteen. She creates compelling characters and dark, gritty storylines. Her Rockton series is one of the best in Canadian fiction.
So without much ado, let us all welcome Kelley!
Interview with Kelley Armstrong
What is your most difficult story or character arc you’ve written for the Rockton series?
The most difficult story was the first because it was a juggling act balancing so many aspects of the book—fashioning a precipitating event to get Casey to Rockton and then having her settle into the town and her job while tackling a murder. The murder was the toughest of those aspects, because Rockton itself seemed the star of the book.
Which character do you relate to the most? Why?
I remember doing an interview once where the interviewer tried to guess which Rockton character I’d relate to most and said Isabel. I think he meant because we both have a background in psychology, but all I could think was “The brothel owner? Really? In truth, I’d love to pick Isabel for her style and business savvy, but I lean closer to Dalton, in his love of nature and his omnivorous reading habits and his blunt honesty.
If you could visit Rockton, what would you want to do and who would you spend time with?
Casey’s reaction to Rockton mirrors what my own would be, and that’s what made it easy to write. She embraces the lifestyle and wants to learn everything she can. She was more initially reluctant than I’d be, but otherwise, it’s a good match. I’d probably want to hang out with the same characters. Except Mathias. Casey can handle Mathias, but I’d steer clear.
Which character did you have a hard time understanding?
Diana. Casey’s best friend betrays her early in the series. I wanted to feature that kind of friendship, where it’s partly toxic, and you know it, but there’s enough “good” there that you don’t let go. There’s also enough good there that even post-betrayal, you can’t completely sever the relationship. Diana cares about Casey, deeply. She just didn’t let that get in the way of pursuing her own goals. It would have been easier to make Diana a heartless traitor, and I didn’t want to do that, so I had to work hard at her character to make her comprehensible to me.
Who was the first character you created in the Rockton series?
Casey. I always need the protagonist first. I started right where the book does, in the psychiatrist’s office, with Casey and her past, and she grew from there.
About the Book
In the next riveting thriller from #1New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong, the paranoia increases – along with the stakes – as the town of Rockton tries to solve the latest mystery at their door.
Detective Casey Duncan has noticed fewer and fewer residents coming in to the hidden town of Rockton, and no extensions being granted. Her boyfriend, Sheriff Eric Dalton, presumes it’s the natural flux of things, but Casey’s not so sure. It seems like something bigger is happening in the small town they call home.
When an injured hiker stumbles from the woods, someone who seems to have come to the Yukon for a wilderness vacation but instead is now fighting for her life, it’s all hands on deck. What – or who – attacked this woman, and why?
With the woman unconscious, and no leads, Casey and Eric don’t know where the threat is coming from. Plus, the residents of their deeply secretive town are uneasy with this stranger in their midst. Everyone in Rockton wants this mystery solved – and fast.
About the Author
Kelley Armstrong graduated with a degree in psychology and then studied computer programming. Now she is a full-time writer and parent, and she lives with her husband and three children in rural Ontario, Canada.
She is the author of the Rockton mystery series featuring Detective Casey Duncan, which begins with City of the Lost, and the novel, Wherever She Goes. She is the editor of the young adult anthology, Life Is Short and Then You Die.
I want to thank Kelley, Minotaur Books, and Raincoast Books for this wonderful opportunity! I hope you all enjoyed the read. Also, stay tuned for my review. And don’t forget to check out Kelley’s latest novel, A Stranger in Town, which releases on February 9, 2021.