PW: Your bio lists no medical or legal experience. How did you come to write the stories in Kisscut?
KS: Actually, I don't have practical experience in either of those fields. I went to Emory mini-medical school, which is a four-week course that gives you an overview of what it's like to be a doctor. I can't practice medicine; I did get a T-shirt. As far as the legal stuff, I've always been interested in the law. Most of what I put in my books is vetted by doctor or lawyer friends of mine; I also have a friend who's a cop, and she goes over procedural stuff to make sure I get it right, which is important to me. So I write about what I'm interested in, and try to make it as realistic as I can.
PW: You, Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs—there seems to be a growing niche of female medical procedural novelists. Why do you think that is?
KS: I think that's something that interested them. I dated a mortician in high school, that's the closest I came to it. We spent most of our dates with me asking him about what you do if the eyes pop open, or how you make sure the mouth stays closed.
PW: Your publisher appears to be "growing" you. Is there a noticeable difference to your publishing experience between your last book, Blindsighted, and Kisscut?
KS: I don't know that much about the business. I do know that the things that are happening do seem like they're at a different level than they were with Blindsighted. So that tells me that it's building, but as far as how they treat me and what they've done for me, it's the same as my last book I'm still working with great people, and I really appreciate how Morrow has given me space, let me get used to the idea of being a published author.
PW: The clubs seem to like you very much. How has the rest of your rights record been—foreign, audio, etc.?
KS: I think it's been sold into 14 different languages. My publisher in the U.K. [Century, a division of Random House] has done fabulous things with Blindsighted, and they're preparing for the mass market now, and they've really pushed that. I get stuff every day telling me what they're doing. Audio rights here are handled by Harper Audio, and we've just been going through names of who might read [for Kisscut], and I'm very pleased with the person they've chosen.
PW: Do you base your work on actual case histories?
KS: I try to mix it. I love reading stuff on the Internet, true or not. I like seeing what people can come up with. As far as my original plots, that's generally something I think of in my head, and I might embellish it with something I know about. In Blindsighted, Lena's teeth are removed by her attacker. That's something horrific that people have commented on, but it's quite common for serial killers to do.
PW: How far do you plan on taking the Grant County series?
KS: It's open-ended. I want to keep writing it as long as I have good stories and can say original things about the characters. I love writing short stories; I'd like to do a short story collection, as well as some other projects I have in mind. But as far as the series is concerned, I've got three good outlines for the next three books, and an idea for the one after that.