An Interview with Author Eileen Rendahl

I read a lot of young adult and middle grade fiction and I love it. However, sometimes I want to read a grown up book with grown up cursing and other grown up things. Lucky for me Cover Me in Darkness, the newest from Eileen Rendahl, showed up in my mailbox. This fast paced psychological thriller kept me glued to my seat with creepy twists and turns and potential villains lurking in every shadowy corner. Highly recommended.

Plus, Eileen answered some questions for me about Cover Me in Darkness and her writing career. Let’s take a look…


Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I come from a long line of storytellers. Most of my family memories center around people sitting at the dining room table and spinning stories. Some of our storytellers have a little more direct relationship to the actual truth than others, but the important thing was if you made people laugh or cry. Either response was good.

My family are also readers. I don’t recall a time that my parents weren’t each reading something. My grandparents, too. It was simply a given that we all read.

So I guess the answer is that books and storytelling and reading and writing are in my blood.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

That’s hard to answer right now! I loved writing in the dark and creepy tone that characterizes Cover Me in Darkness, but I also love writing the light and comedic cozy mysteries I’m writing for Berkley Publishing and Crooked Lane Publishing as Kristi Abbott and Lillian Bell, respectively. I hope that in all cases, the emotional reality of my characters comes across. That’s what it’s really all about for me. Well, that and making you either laugh or cry or possibly both.

What was the hardest part of writing Cover Me In Darkness?

The plot. Plotting is always so hard for me. Figuring out the logical progression of events isn’t easy for this very non-linear girl. The fact that Cover Me has two different investigations going on made it extra challenging. Making sure each one was logical and that the rhythm between the two was right and that they intertwined where they needed to and didn’t when they didn’t was a struggle.

Who are your favorite authors?

Ooh! So tough! There are so many. I have a deep and abiding love of Margaret Atwood’s work. I read “Lady Oracle” and “Cat’s Eye” at the exact right moments in my life to have read them and they made an indelible mark on me. In the mystery and thriller genres, I’d have to point to Lisa Gardner and Harlen Coben. I love their voices and their expert plotting. I thought Liane Moriarty’s “Big Little Lies” was one of the most truthful, hysterical, and suspenseful books I had read in a long time and instantly became a huge fan of her. I can’t wait to see the HBO series based on the book!

What is your favorite thing to do when not writing?

Drink wine? No. That sounds terrible. Not the wine-drinking, the fact that I’d list it as what I like to do the most.

I have lived in the same small city for nearly seventeen years now and have made some amazing friends. What I like best is spending time with them and with my family. We’ve just finished cleaning up from Thanksgiving, but as far as I’m concerned, that is the perfect type of evening. Family and friends around a table groaning with food and drinks with everyone laughing and hugging. And yes. There was wine and probably some storytelling, too.

What are you working on right now?

I’ve just finished the third book in the Popcorn Shop Mystery Series that I write as Kristi Abbott and am about to start writing the first book in my Funeral Parlor Mysteries that I’ll be writing as Lillian Bell.

How do you prefer readers get in touch with you?

Email or Facebook are probably best! Find both at