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Kelly J. Ford Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Cottonmouths (2017)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Real Bad Things (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

Halldark Holidays(2020)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Kelly J. Ford is a bestselling mystery author from Arkansas that is best known for her award-winning novel “Cottonmouths.”

This was a work that garnered critical acclaim and the Los Angeles Review called it a work of impressive setting and depth of character. The Los Angeles Review would, later on, have the novel on its list of Best Books of 2017.

The author penned “Cottonmouths,” her debut novel in 2017 and this gave her the confidence she needed to kick on.

Ford has now made a name for herself writing about the pitfalls and power of friendships, the transcendent grittiness of the Missouri Ozarks, and the danger of long-held dark secrets.

The author currently makes her home in Vermont, where she lives with her partner and their pet cat. In addition to her writing, she is also a cohost of the podcast “Writer’s Bone.”

For most of her school years, Kelly J. Ford grew up in Fort Smith, an industrial town where there were two malls, several fast food restaurants, and a highly charged high school rivalry.

Most of her friends then were refugees from South East Asia and first-generation Americans. However, when she first moved in with her stepmother and father in the woods it was quite a difficult cultural shift.

Her family moved around a lot when she was a kid and hence she got used to being the new kid. She used to find other girls that were quiet like her and school was often a great experience that she still looks back kindly on.

Nonetheless, she has asserted that the first two fortnights in every school were usually the hardest. In hindsight, the years she spent moving all over the place where she had practically no friends with no one to talk to made her daydream a lot.

Still, she became a person who paid attention to detail as she saw and heard things most people did not. It was from these experiences that she would, later on, find the inspiration to pen some of her bestselling works.

Kelly J. Ford was inspired to write his debut novel “Cottonmouths” after she was blindsided by a breakup while she was on a trip to Alaska to visit her aunt.

She just could not interact or focus with so much emotional weight and hence she sat sulking in the back seat while her friend conversed with her aunt.

Being that they both enjoyed dark humor and are pretty macabre, many of the things they talked about included the interesting ways one could die in Alaska to her aunt’s time employed at a morgue.
When she got back to Boston, the things they had been talking about kept gnawing at her and she started penning a short story that would become her blockbuster novel.

It took her several years to get started writing her draft as she realized that writing required a lot more attention and maintenance.

She had five perspectives, a meandering plot, and a setting in two states in addition to a ghost which made for a total mess.

It was this mess that she submitted to the “Novel Incubator” program and she was lucky enough she met people that helped her whittle away at the excess and find her voice.

From draft to publication took Kelly J. Ford about 13 years during which she drank a lot of wine to keep herself focused. It was at a time when she was still a project manager at a software company and left work late, which meant she had very little time to write.

Still, she adapted and learned to write in different environments that included on airplanes, in workplace conference rooms, on her couch, and on a beach on vacation.

Up to today, all she needs is Spotify or a White Noise app and something to write with and she is good to go.

Unlike many authors, she cannot write every day given her many years working as a software project manager. As such, she loves to consider herself a weekend warrior.

Since she is very lazy, she loves to set deadlines to hold herself accountable. Nonetheless, this convoluted process has resulted in the writing of several blockbuster works that have earned her much critical acclaim.

Kelly J. Ford’s novel “Real Bad Things” introduces Emily Skinner who always thought college was going to be her ultimate escape.

However, when she fails in school, she is forced to return to the Ozarks, a place run on good Christian values and gossip. She is not alone as Jody Monroe her childhood crush and former best friend is back in town with a baby.

Emily desperately wants to reconnect with her despite her mother’s disapproval of their friendship and the nature of their parting. When Emily finds a meth lab on her former friend’s property she knows they have both fallen too far.

Emily wants to stay away from Jody but when is ejected from her home and has nowhere to go and no money she decides to become Jody’s live-in babysitter.

Soon enough they start getting closer, and Emily starts contemplating a future with Jody despite the meth selling. But then her role in the drug business becomes dangerous and she is forced to face some real consequences.
With the lies piling up, Emily will realize how desperate Jody is to save herself. She may have fallen into the trap of falling in love with someone that may never reciprocate.

“Real Bad Things” by Kelly J. Ford is an evocative suspense work about the dangers of coming home and the cost of keeping secrets. Beneath the murky waters of the Arkansas River are buried secrets and many dead men.

Warren had been a drunk and irresponsible man and hence when he went missing most people believed he got drunk and fell into the Arkansas River in Maud Bottoms.

But then Jane his daughter had come forward and confessed to killing him and should have been sent to jail. She desperately wanted to be sent to jail but since they did not have a body, it was impossible to charge her with murder.

As such, she left town and headed to Boston with her secrets. A quarter of a century later the river swells and a body floats to the surface. The town is gripped by the murder and Jane has to come to town to pay for her sins and make things right.

While her homecoming may be enlightening for some it could be a huge threat to others.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kelly J. Ford

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