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Author Q&A with Tasha Coryell

Cindy Burnett
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Love Letters to a Serial Killer by Tasha Coryell

In Love Letters to a Serial Killer by Tasha Coryell, Hannah, a lost and desperate 30-something, falls head over heels for an accused serial killer.  

Author Tasha Coryell's debut novel, Love Letters to a Serial Killer, published this week. Hannah, a lost and desperate 30-something, falls head over heels for an accused serial killer. It’s a love story with potentially deadly consequences. Will Hannah’s new boyfriend kill her? Or will he merely break her heart? Only time will tell. Love gone so wrong it’s right.

Publishers Weekly raves: “Coryell expertly renders her protagonist’s uneasy perch between love and suspicion, keeping readers as in the dark as Hannah is about William’s true nature until the very end. This is un-put-downable.”

Tasha lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with her husband, son, and greyhound. She holds an MFA and PhD from the University of Alabama. Her stories, essays, and poems have been featured in a multitude of journals, and Love Letters to a Serial Killer is her first novel. In her free time, Tasha can be found running, cross-stitching, and watching copious amounts of television.

Tasha answers some questions that I posed to her about Love Letters to a Serial Killer:

Can you share something with me about your book that is not in the blurb?

I really wanted this to be a millennial book. On one hand, it’s absolutely a book about a woman falling in love with an accused serial killer. On the other hand, it’s about the disappointment that a lot of millennials experienced when they reached adulthood, and it was revealed that the life that was promised to them doesn’t really exist. It’s as much about Hannah’s emotional journey as it is trying to figure out whether William is actually a killer. 

What surprised you the most when writing this book?

It really forced me to examine the type of people that I’m attracted to and why. I’ve been with my husband for over a decade and he’s a very nice person, but when it comes to fictional characters I gravitate towards literal and figurative monsters. I remember when Succession first came out and I had an “oh no” moment because I was so attracted to everyone on the show even though they were terrible. I don’t have a good answer for it. I’m going to blame society. 

What is the most difficult part about writing for you?

There are a lot of ways in which I relate to Hannah on an emotional level, but when it comes to plot, this book is very fictional. Anything procedural with the courts or law enforcement is totally foreign to me. In general, I try not to get too bogged down in what “real life” looks like. Fiction is fun because it provides opportunities. 

Are you working on anything at the present that you would like to share with me?

I can’t reveal what my next book quite yet. What I can say is that I was very inspired by watching Love Is Blind and Vanderpump Rules. My goal is to write thrillers that have that same level of excitement, kissing, and betrayal along with the mystery element. 

Share something your readers wouldn’t know about you.

While I was working on edits for this book, I was also finishing my PhD in Composition and Rhetoric. My dissertation focused on the rhetoric of progressive women in Alabama, so it was a totally different topic. I remember finishing a draft of the dissertation, walking the dog, and coming home to start revision on the novel. 

What are you reading now and what have you read recently that you loved?

I’ve been listening to the audiobook versions of Karin Slaughter’s novels for a few months now. I have a former racing greyhound as a pet and I heard from a greyhound group that the dogs show up in some of the novels. My book club also recently read Tom Lake by Ann Patchett which I really enjoyed. I have a cabin in the upper peninsula of Michigan and love when novels are set there. 

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see Cindy’s monthly Buzz Reads column, her Thoughts from a Page Podcast or follow @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram. Find upcoming Conversations from a Page events here.

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