BEHIND THE WORDS With author Rebecca Kelley


Welcome, Rebecca. Thank you so much for stopping by the blog today. Rebecca’s latest release is No One Knows Us Here – a  Psychological Thriller. Let’s start by you telling our readers a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Carson City, Nevada, and now live in Portland, Oregon, with my husband and 16-year-old daughter.

How long have you been writing and it is your full time job? If not, what is your ‘real world’ job?

I’ve been writing since the age of five or so, when I wrote and illustrated my first book. My stepfather just found it in an old box. It’s called “Becky Book” and appears to be about a metaphysical religious experience.

What does your typical writing day look like?

My typical writing day begins by procrastinating. After that, I set a timer and write for an hour, every single day. Sometimes I am surprised by how much I can get accomplished in just that short amount of time. Other times I just stare at the screen, unable to move forward.

Tell us about your latest release?

No One Knows Us Here is about a 23-year-old, Rosemary, whose teenage half-sister shows up at her doorstep. Rosemary goes to extreme lengths to provide for her sister and winds up becoming the paid girlfriend of a tech billionaire.

What inspired the idea for this book?

I got the idea by imagining Crime & Punishment with a female protagonist! That said, No One Knows Us Here is not a retelling of C&P.

Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?

I’ve never been involved with a tech billionaire, taken in my orphaned half-sister, or been the subject of an international media circus, but I have worked at a high-end kitchen store … so I guess I’ll go with Rosemary, who has done all those things. 

Would you and your main character be friends?

I think if I’d met Rosemary at the age of 23, we would have become friends, but if she started telling me everything she was doing to secure a future for her little sister, I would have been very scandalized.

What part of the book was the hardest to write?

The flashback scenes from her childhood were the hardest to write. I wanted it to be clear how traumatizing her experiences were without being at all explicit about the details.

Did you model a character after someone you know?

No, unless you count Raskolnikov from Crime & Punishment.

If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

No sequel is in the works. I think the story is finished.

Could you share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book? 

I really overwrote the first draft of my book, so I left a lot of extra scenes on the cutting room floor. I have a whole different version of the Sam character, too. Original Sam was a very nice, sweet guy who always had a smile on his face. My early readers found him boring and also wondered why he’d want to be with Rosemary, who has such a messy life. I ended up giving him a personality makeover, turning him into a dryer, gruffer guy who could better handle Rosemary’s antics.  

Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write? 

I always look to my childhood favorites—Beverly Cleary, Judy Blume, and Lois Lowry, to name just a few. They wrote the books that made me love to read, before I knew anything about literary movements or the craft of writing. As a reader, I’m always hoping to get back to that pure state of getting immersed in a new story. That is what I am always hoping to achieve as a writer, too.

Any writing rituals?

Setting that timer and writing for an hour a day, every day, for 411 days, is how I wrote No One Knows Us Here. I’ve met with my writing group every Thursday evening for the last twelve years, which really helps with motivation and accountability.

What’s your favorite under-appreciated novel?

I love survival stories, and The Island Keeper by Harry Mazer is one of my childhood favorites, but not many people have read it. Incidentally, it’s a book my character Rosemary used to read to her little sister Wendy.

Do you have a secret talent readers would be surprised by? 

Yes. I can do the splits.

Your favorite go to drink or food when the world goes crazy!

Black tea. I drink this whether the world is going crazy or not.

And what is your writing Kryptonite?

Black tea? No, that’s more like the opposite of my Kryptonite. It makes me stronger!

What is the one question you never get ask at interviews, but wish you did? 

I wish someone would ask, “Teach me something I don’t know in the next five minutes.” Then I’d teach them how to make a perfect six-sided paper snowflake.

I might sign up for the snowflake class!! Thank you so much for taking the time to join us today, Rebecca. 

Here’s a quick look at NO ONE KNOWS US HERE:

In this gripping novel about obsession, control, and self-preservation, a woman desperate to provide a new life for her sister enters a compromising arrangement with an entitled tech billionaire.

Rosemary Rabourne is already struggling to pay the bills when her recently orphaned half sister, Wendy, shows up at her door. Rosemary will try anything to provide for the traumatized teenager—including offering her services as a high-end escort.

Leo Glass is the billionaire CEO of a revolutionary social app. He wants the “girlfriend experience”—someone contractually obligated to love him—and he thinks he’s found the perfect match in Rosemary. His proposition has its perks: a luxury apartment and financial security. And its conditions: constant surveillance and availability whenever Leo calls. It’s not the life Rosemary wants, but she’s out of options.

Then she meets her new neighbor, Sam, a musician with whom Rosemary shares an immediate attraction and a genuine intimacy she’s never felt with anyone. Falling in love makes it possible to imagine a real new life. But Leo won’t let go of her that easily, and his need for control escalates. So does Rosemary’s desperation—to protect Wendy, to protect herself, and, at any price, to escape.

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Her fiction writing has received the Author / Ambassador at Library Journal Self-e Authors, Winner Queen of the West Reader Favorite Award, Amazon Bestseller - Historical, Double finalist in the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in the Mystery and Humorous Categories. Writing humorous cozy mysteries and romantic comedy, Jocie can find humor in most everything, even when she shouldn't. She lives in the Midwest on Dust Bunny Farm with her family.