I always love it when I find a new author to follow. So, I was grateful to discover Kelli Hughett this past month and would like to share her with you, my dear reader. Kelli, like me, writes Christian Romantic Suspense. Her characters are lively and relatable—just the way I like them.
She agreed to come hang out with us here at InfiniteCharacters.com and let us get to know her a bit.
So here she is …
Kelli, tell us a about yourself and share something about your day-to-day life that might help a reader feel as though they know you a little better.
I’m married to the minister and have three exuberant kids! I live in rural northern Colorado in full view of the Rocky Mountains. My friends call me an urban farm-girl, but that isn’t indicative of my success in that venture! In fact, last week I was attacked by a rooster at the neighbor’s house! (still got the bruise on my knee from his spurs!) We just planted a big garden and, if we can keep the cats and weeds out of it, we’ll have some nice veggies come fall.
Well, you’re way ahead of me. I didn’t even know roosters had spurs. Tells us more …
Our house sits on the bank of a pond where I watched a family of geese paddle just this morning. We have ducks, loons, pelicans, herons, and even a bald eagle! Coffee (or tea in one of the china cups I collect) out on the porch overlooking the pond is my favorite morning pastime! (better if my husband is there with me!)
As for day-to-day life, I am a homeschool mom, so we usually start with a family breakfast and then get going on school. My favorite subject is Bible and I love reading aloud to my kids.
We’re normally done around lunch time, leaving me free in the afternoons to work on marketing (bleh) and on writing more suspense (yeah).
I second the blehs and yeahs.
How does your faith affect your writing?
Being a follower of Christ is my ultimate call and goal in life. Does it affect my writing, yes! But maybe not in the same way as it does other writers. I write suspense and romance that won’t offend the soul, but I leave the sermons for my husband to preach.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s happened to you?
It’s really hard to narrow down that long list to just one! I tend to do a lot of quirky things that end up in messes similar to Lucy Ricardo. J Probably the most embarrassing thing was crashing a shopping cart full of groceries in the parking lot because I thought I would push the cart at break-neck speed! The cart wheel hit a divot in the pavement and I flew over the up-ended cart and onto my stomach. Sprawled on the blacktop, I kept thinking, “I’m invisible. I’m invisible.”
Yep, pretty embarrassing. If I had the security video from that store…I could go viral on YouTube.
Did the invisibility chant work??? … Uh, never mind.
Were you an avid reader as a child? What did you read?
Yes. I ate books for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
(Hmm. A high-fiber diet)
Kids (that shall not be named) called me Kellis the Bookworm! Ha! My favorite book was Anne of Green Gables. Then I met Mary Higgins Clark and my horizons widened to the suspense genre. I love a good thrill without having to skip over skanky parts. Hard to come by in today’s book world.
So true. That’s why I’ve been so grateful to Christian Fiction and hope it continues to broaden into stories people of all walks can relate to.
What Genre do you read most often?
I’m always reading that writers should read extensively in their genre, but I don’t. I feel like suspense should be uniquely surprising and if I read too much in the suspense genre, I don’t feel like I have any originality. I don’t avoid suspense, but I read a lot out of the genre, too.
I love classics and am a sucker for Austen and historicals. (I love a good prairie romance and adore Regency fiction) I am really enjoying re-reading books that I loved the first time. I get more from them every time. That’s my measure of great fiction!
Definitely. And the difference between a book borrowed from the library and one that must reside on my shelves (virtual or otherwise).
My latest release, Red Zone, is a romantic suspense with a side of football. I have readers tell me every day, “I hate football, but I loved your book!”
(That would be me)
Marcy Farris practically trips over a dead body on her way up the bleachers to watch her son play football. Jack Briggs, former NFL player, nurses an old injury and contemplates life after football, but once he sees Marcy, he understands that life could have meaning if she found potential in him, even after his retirement from the game.
Sometimes an athlete’s biggest plays are made OFF the field.
It’s a tale of corruption that leads the characters deeper into danger and passion.
What inspired you to write this particular book?
Two things inspired me. #1: I saw an article about the fastest growing NFL demographic: Women. I’m an avid Broncos fan and bringing a football twist to a suspense book felt marketable to women. It was believable with the constant scandal coming from the NFL…and creating an unforgettable hero was EASY! #2: My husband went nuts when I brought up the idea! We really had fun working together on the football jargon and the mind of Jack. I tease him about having a button made that reads, “If you think Jack Briggs is sexy, you should meet my husband!”
Do you have a picture of him? … Just kidding.
What are you working on right now?
I never have just one project I’m working on. I get bored with a setting and characters just like you’d get bored sitting with the same people every day! My contemporary is about a woman who runs a hunting lodge in Colorado. I love the idea that a hunter is being hunted by a killer. (and more women are taking up hunting than any other sport in America) My second project is a historical romantic suspense that, I hope, has the feel of a creepy Victorian-era thriller. A little Frankenstein, a little Jane Eyre…a lot Kelli Hughett. J
Ooooo, sounds like fun!
I’m wanting to go write just talking about my latest projects. Writing is great stress relief for me. It’s the best place to meet the truest version of myself.
I get that!
Thanks for joining us today, Kelli. Can’t wait to see more books of yours hit the shelves. I’ll be waiting in line.
There’s nothing random about this murder.
When Marcy Farris comes face to face with a murder victim at a high school football game, she’s plunged into a game no one wants to play. Despite police conclusions, she knows it wasn’t a random murder. Could she be the next victim? To defeat her opponent, she’ll have to tackle painful memories of her husband’s suicide. He may have made one too many enemies before he died.
Struck down by an injury in his prime, former NFL linebacker, Jack Briggs, wonders if there’s life after football. The game changes when he meets Marcy. She’s his heart’s number-one draft pick. Now, Jack’s got to prove to Marcy they’re on the same team.
There is no overtime in the game of murder. Marcy and Jack must discover the madman behind the murder before the killer has a chance to score the game-winning drive, and exact his revenge on Marcy.
Sometimes, an athlete’s biggest play is made off the field.
Kelli was raised in Colorado where she and her husband are now raising and homeschooling their three kids. Kelli writes suspense with His fingerprints all over it when she isn’t tending the chickens and the garden or speaking to women’s groups. Faith and Family are the most common notes in the soundtrack of her life.
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