Friday, December 15, 2023

Q&A with K.T. Carlisle





K.T. Carlisle is the author of the new novel Reasonable. It's the first in her What Happened to Mia Davis? series. She is based in Vermont.


Q: What inspired you to write Reasonable, and how did you create your cast of characters?


A: My father passed away in January 2019 very unexpectedly at age 56. He was one of my strongest supporters growing up, always encouraging me to pursue my writing, so losing him was one of the most difficult things I ever had to go through.


When I turned 30 this year, I just had this thought like, “Am I going to really let my entire life go by without writing a single book? Is that really how I’m going to honor this man who believed in me so much?”


I talked to my husband about it and told him how I was feeling and he told me to just go for it, so I did.


Reasonable was very much a joint effort between me and my husband in that I would bounce ideas off of him and he would give me such excellent feedback. We really created the cast of characters together in a lot of ways.


But I will say that the biggest inspiration for me came from a Dateline special on the University of Idaho killings of November 2022. I’m a huge true crime junkie and that story really stuck out to me.


While I wouldn’t say that Reasonable is based on the events that happened there; it was a major source of inspiration to me as I was getting started.


Q: Without giving anything away, did you know how the novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: Reasonable was the first full-length novel I ever completed, and I didn’t approach it with any sort of real plan. I was very much flying by the seat of my pants throughout the entire writing process.


I got about halfway through the book when I realized, “Oh my God, I can’t tell this entire story in just one novel.” That’s when I decided to break it up into three parts and eventually the ending came to me in a flash.


I’m really excited to take readers on this journey and see where the next two books go!

Q: How was the book's title chosen, and what does it signify for you?


A: I chose Reasonable as the title as a nod to the need to prove a crime beyond a “reasonable doubt.”


Like I said, I watch a lot of true crime, and some of the stories that stick with me the most are those that don’t necessarily fit that bill. Real crimes are messy, the people involved are far from perfect, and sometimes detectives get tunnel vision that prevents them from seeing other suspects clearly.


I wanted this story to be a reflection of the imperfect nature of finding and understanding a killer. So many times we read or watch mysteries that end with all the loose ends tied up in a neat little bow. Real life isn’t like this.


There are a lot of reasonable doubts to be had about all the characters involved in this particular story, and I wanted to highlight the dangers involved with favoring a simpler explanation when the waters get too muddied.


In this country especially, we have an obligation to leave no stone left unturned. We are responsible for judging our peers and determining their future based on a few weeks’ or months’ worth of testimony. We owe it to those being charged that those “reasonable doubts” aren’t overlooked.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: Two of the biggest themes in this story are those of addiction and obsession, and what happens when we don’t communicate honestly about either of these things.


I hope that readers walk away from this story with the courage to speak openly about the things that are going on inside them, even if they are difficult to articulate.


I really do believe that most of the things that go wrong in this world could be avoided if we would all communicate more effectively and honestly with one another.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: Right now, I am working on the sequel to Reasonable. Coming spring 2024, Forget-Me-Not will provide some much-needed answers for readers engrossed in the “What Happened to Mia Davis?” series.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: Readers can get updates on my work by visiting or following me on Twitter at @KT_Carlisle, Instagram at @k.t.carlisle, and Facebook at /


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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