Karen’s Killer Book Bench: COME WITH ME #Women’s #Psychological #Fiction by Erin Flanagan

KAREN’S KILLER BOOK BENCH: Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench, where readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site, so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!



Women’s Psychological Fiction


Two women. An old friendship rekindled. A growing fear. Not everything is as it seems in a dark and twisty novel of suspense by the Edgar Award–winning author of Deer Season.

Gwen Maner is a widowed single mom, returning to her Ohio hometown with her daughter. And thanks to former acquaintance Nicola Kimmel, this is the start of Gwen’s new and promising life.

Nicola’s secured Gwen a lucrative job, rented Gwen a house on her same street, and won the heart of Gwen’s daughter, but she almost seems too good to be true. She’s so selfless. So charismatic. And so take-charge. Gwen is sure Nicola is yearning only for someone to get close to. After all, according to Nicola, her marriage is falling apart, and her best friend just up and left one day.

But how well does Gwen really know Nicola? What does Nicola ultimately want? As their lives become more entwined, and Nicola’s grip tightens, Gwen begins to think that Nicola isn’t helping Gwen and her daughter but vying for control of every aspect of her life. And the consequences may be deadly.


Women’s Psychological Fiction


Before we get started talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself, where you’re from, what you do for a living (if you’re not a full-time writer) what hobbies you have, etc. Whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself.

I grew up in Iowa and have moved around the Midwest my whole life, but for the last 18 years I’ve been in Dayton, Ohio where I’m an English professor at Wright State University. It’s a crazy honor to go in and talk about fiction writing with my students every day, and to live in an academic world where that kind of thing is taken seriously. In my spare time, I am living the Victorian-woman life only with air conditioning. I love to read, quilt, cook, cross-stitch, and pet my animals. I also love to watch murder shows, so I guess the Victorian woman would be one of the Brontës.

  1. What appeals to you about the genre that you write?

I said to my husband the other day that I think women love thrillers because it’s almost always the husband who did it and who gets it in the end. He didn’t think that was as funny as I did. But in all seriousness, I love domestic thrillers because they’re realistic but also just a bit larger than life. Every woman I know has this rich interior life but has been taught to live within the bounds of a society that doesn’t want to see women as angry, rage-filled, duplicitous, or tough. In thrillers, we see plots that are a little bananas because I think it’s a mirror to that inner life. The child goes missing, the husband isn’t who he says, the best friend isn’t a friend after all, and it’s going to take those inner resources to get the character out of this situation alive. For me, thrillers are the best kind of fantasy, where not only do women realize their strength, but they’re celebrated for it.

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantser (one who writes “by the seat of your pants”)?

    I’m a mess, is what I am. I used to be all pants, all the time, but the longer I’ve been writing, the more I’ve gotten on board with plotting and thinking out some of the larger strokes and arcs ahead of time to save me down the road. I don’t always follow the plot I make (read: ever) but having the map just makes me feel a little bit safer.
  2. What is your favorite part of writing?

My favorite part is when everything in the story is in the right order and I can start really paying attention to details and language. I can lose myself for days at this stage. It’s the only time I look up and the clock has moved forward without me. Part of it is the joy of that kind of work, but it’s also being over the hump of, is this thing going to hold together?

  1. If you had to give up writing and do something else, what would you do instead?

This is probably the unsexiest answer ever, but I’d be a really good admin assistant. I like running a calendar and keeping everything on track and checking things off a list. I did this work out of college and really liked it but didn’t think it would sustain me over the long haul. I’d also love to work in a bookstore, but would be irritated if people didn’t take my suggestions.

  1. What’s your favorite meal of the day?

Probably the one right in front of me, lol. But really, it’s dinner. Or a lunch with a wow factor, like a piece of chocolate at the end or a really good bread for a sandwich. Although, I’ve also been making this egg/cheese quesadilla thing for breakfast the last few weeks that’s divine. Oh my god, it really is whatever meal is next.

6.  Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? Why?

I love writing anyone who is smart and snarky—kids, women, men. I just want them to say something that’s going to surprise me. I want to snort-laugh when I’m writing.

  1. If you had a superpower, what would it be, and how would you use it?

I want to say create world peace, and I guess that’s true, but on a smaller scale I’d love the superpower to never have to get ready again—to never have to do my hair, or put on makeup, or pick out what to wear. It’s the crappiest 30 minutes of every day, and each time I’m like, I’m going to have to do this all over again tomorrow. It’s so rude. If I could snap my fingers and it would be done, my life would be heaven. I’d have 30 more minutes to read a day!

  1. Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now?

You know what? I’d probably be sitting in this same chair in my same house with this little puffy lapdesk and computer on my lap. I’m pretty content with my life.

  1. Do you have any rejection stories to share? Reviews that meant something special to you?

You know how people think the internet is endless and we’ll never run out of space? I think if I told all my rejection stories, we’d finally get to test that theory. The bottom line is this: four failed novels, three of which my agent sent out on submission, and nothing. My agent and I broke up amicably and I queried sixty-six agents with the next book. Sixty-five said no and one asked to read the full, and then he said no. I published it with the wonderful University of Nebraska Press and it went on to win the 2022 Edgar for Best First Novel. Never give up on yourself.

  1. Tell us about your next book & when is it being published?

Please provide links to your website, blog, books, etc.

My next book is a thriller called COME WITH ME and it’ll be out July 22nd with Thomas & Mercer. It’s about a newly widowed mother who falls under the sway of an old acquaintance whose friends have a history of disappearing. It was loads of fun to write, and both of these women continued to surprise me until the very last page. It’s a little bananas, and I hope everyone loves it as much as I do!

About Author Erin Flanagan…

Erin Flanagan is the Edgar Award–winning author of Blackout, Deer Season, and two short story collections, The Usual Mistakes and It’s Not Going to Kill You, and Other Stories. She’s held fellowships to Yaddo, MacDowell, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, Ucross, and the Vermont Studio Center. An English professor at Wright State University, Erin lives in Dayton, Ohio, with her husband, daughter, two cats, two dogs, and her friendly, caustic thoughts. For more information, visit www.erinflanagan.net.


Links to Erin’s websites, blogs, books, #ad etc.:

$3.99 Kindle e-Book | ASIN B0BSVLG5G8

$19.99 Digital Audio | ISBN 9798400147906

Erin Flanagan’s website

Purchase CWM on Indiebound


Special Giveaway: Erin will give away a print copy of COME WITH ME (U.S. Only) to one lucky reader who comments on her Karen’s Killer Book Bench blog.

Happy Reading!


Thanks, Erin, for sharing your book with us!

Don’t miss the chance to read this book!


11 thoughts on “Karen’s Killer Book Bench: COME WITH ME #Women’s #Psychological #Fiction by Erin Flanagan”

  1. Good afternoon, Wow, your book sounds so very intriguing and I love your book cover! I love reading psychological thrillers, I love domestic thrillers also. I enjoyed reading your interview and Good for you , you Did Not Give Up , we all need to be more persistence . I loved your excerpt, thank you so much for sharing it. Thank you for the chance at your Great sounding book! Have a great day and a great rest of the week.

  2. Hi, Erin, and welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench. I love psychological suspense and thrillers. I’m intrigued by the story premise. Your book is definitely going on my TBR pile. Thanks for sharing your interview with us. This can be a tough industry so good for you sticking with it. That’s the sign of a true writer. Thanks for sharing your book with us today!

  3. The premise of this book is rather frightening. When we need help and someone seems to offer everything we need, it does raise the question of what they want. In this case, how hard is it to lessen the hold and influence? More of a question, what happened to her friend that disappeared?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.