D. K. Hood’s seventh book in the Kane and Alton Thriller series, BREAK THE SILENCE, is hard to put down. The story propelled me forward—and even kept me up till after midnight on a couple of occasions.
The story begins when a female college student is found dead and Sheriff Jenna Alton, along with deputy David Kane, are called in to investigate. With many potential suspects and few actual leads, Jenna and her cadre of deputies and staff must methodically work their way through the information and assimilate the data.
Once you’re caught in the web of Black Rock Falls, you won’t want to extricate yourself until the perpetrator is revealed. Thanks to Hood’s storytelling ability and the hard work of Jenna Alton and her police force, a satisfying conclusion is the ultimate reward when you do turn that last page.
Like the people portrayed in her novel, Hood is somewhat mysterious. Her online bio predominantly focuses on her success since her debut crime thriller, Don’t Tell a Soul, hit number 32 in the Top 100 Bestseller list on Amazon USA in 2017, followed by Bring Me Flowers and Follow Me Home, enjoying the same success. Whisper in the Night went onto the USA Today and The Wall Street Journal bestseller lists in the same week and was the #1 bestseller in Australia on Friday the 13th.
In this exclusive interview for The Big Thrill, Hood provides a bit of insight into her writing process and the inspiration for BREAK THE SILENCE.
When did you do your research for BREAK THE SILENCE? Before, during, or after?
In BREAK THE SILENCE, I did a fair amount of research as I wrote the outline, but in all my stories, I stop at some point to check details. I use reference books, but my online history reads like I’m planning a murder.
Did you visit the locale(s) in the story?
Black Rock Falls is a fictional town created from my memories of visiting Montana. It’s a beautiful place, a very special place in the world.
What is your favorite scene or scenes in this novel and why?
I enjoy writing thrillers, so all parts of BREAK THE SILENCE that make my heart race as I’m writing are favorites. I like the banter between Jenna and Kane. I also enjoy bringing Black Rock Falls to life and showing my readers what I see when I’m writing a story.
Did you outline, write by the seat of your pants, or a combination for this manuscript? Have you done it the same way for all your books?
I have notebooks crammed with outlines; the story ideas never stop coming. From my first contract, I’ve pitched ideas to my editor, in synopsis form, so I plot my stories way ahead. Right now, BREAK THE SILENCE is Kane and Alton Book 7, but I have six more stories plotted and under contract. I always make sure I leave enough room in a plot for creative changes.
What has been your journey to success?
I had a story buzzing around in my head and it insisted I write it down. That’s the truth. I sat down to write, and the story flowed out of me.
I’ve studied forensic science and criminal law and it seemed to come together in Don’t Tell a Soul. I waited for some time before submitting my story to Bookouture (Hachette). You see, my writing style is a little different and I wasn’t sure people would like it. I write in third person but keep the characters in the action. I want my readers to be with me in the scene, every step of the way, and not distracted by dialogue tags.
The story caught the attention of one of the commissioning editors at Bookouture, and I received my first three-book contract in 2017. Two more three-book contracts followed, and then to my absolute delight, in September 2019, I signed another four-book deal. My last three books have made the USA Today bestseller list and Whisper in the Night made The Wall Street Journal list as well. I must say, I owe a great deal of my success to the amazing publishing team at Bookouture, especially my wonderful editor, who has supported me all the way.
What do you think is the single most important attribute of an aspiring author?
Never give up.
Writing about the rugged beauty of Montana and D. K. Hood’s interest in criminal forensic science goes back many years. Her debut crime thriller, Don’t Tell a Soul, was a Top 100 Bestseller on Amazon USA, with her follow-up books, Bring Me Flowers and Follow Me Home, enjoying the same success. Her novels The Crying Season and Where Angels Fear hit the USA Today Bestseller list. She was ecstatic when her last book, Whisper in Night, hit the USA Today and The Wall Street Journal’s Bestseller Lists. D. K. Hood is currently working on book 8 in the Kane and Alton series.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.