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Stephanie Kuehn Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Charm & Strange (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Complicit (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Delicate Monsters (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Smaller Evil (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
When I am Through with You (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Stephanie Kuehn is a clinical psychologist and author best known for writing several freestanding psychological thrillers. She debuted her writing career with “Charm & Strange”, which won the William Morris Award in 2014. Stephanie Kuehn raised in Berkeley, California, a quirky sort of place full of bookstores. As an infant, she was adopted by a father that was an editor and journalist for the “San Francisco Chronicle”. As such, she spent a lot of her childhood with persons that had a passion and love for telling stories. From a very young age, the budding author was introduced to books, and was an employee in one of the bookstores. She would visit the bookstores every day after school and read everything that she could, though she particularly loved young adult novels. As an adult, she found her passion writing the very same type of books that she read as a teen. Her other passions include social justice, mental health advocacy, and any kind of sports. When she is not reading or writing or studying, she loves playing with her family or running. She currently lives with her husband, three children, and bunch of pets in Northern California.

Growing up she always wanted to become a filmmaker and rented a VCR and nearly every horror film that came out during the eighties. Part of her wanted to become a scriptwriter or a film director, though she was also very interested in the working of movie special effects. While she no longer does horror films, the movies that she watched explored paradigm shifts on identity, disbelief, distrust, doubt, and fear, which were emotions that she loved to, explore. Her high school years were an eclectic mix of deep and compulsive self-loathing, laughter and risk taking, boredom and thrills at Berkeley High School. For some reason she was depressed and fatalistic during the tenth grade and found her escape in movies and books. She bought tons of movies and paperbacks that she read as an escape from her depressing life. Some novels that she read include books from the likes of V.C. Andrews, Robert R. McCammon, and Peter Straub. For her high school studies, she went to the University of California Santa Cruz, where she graduated with a degree in Linguistics. As a lover of sports and psychology, she would later get a degree in sport psychology and a doctorate in clinical psychology, all of which influence her novels.

Stephanie Kuehn’s path to publication was filled with the usual rejections and frustrations many other writers face. In fact, “Charm & Strange” was not her first novel as she had written five novels before she got a publisher. She wrote the novel in 2011 and given the dark, uncomfortable, and odd nature of the work, it was rejected several times before she found the breakthrough. The journey to publishing was doubly frustrating given that she was doing it even as she was in the process of applying for pre-doctoral internship, which is even more agonizing and stressful than finding a publisher. With rejections from both spheres of her life, she found her life dreary, bleak, and overwhelming until she found Michael Bourret from the sample/query letter pages. While it was nerve racking, and frantic, it was at the same time exciting when she finally got her novel published in 2013.

Stephanie Kuehn writes dark psychological thrillers, partly because she has always enjoyed psychological thrillers in film throughout her childhood and her adult life. Her novel “Charm & Strange” is a story about the effects of trauma on people. The novel through the lead character Win asserts that people’s adulthood is largely influenced by their traumatic childhood experiences. The character experiences an unwanted attention of a girl and a random act of violence, which affects him throughout his life. In the novel “Complicit”, the author writes about psychological identity in a Hitchcock like film atmosphere. Just like in Hitchcock films, the novel’s characters have a fatal flaw that always catches up to them, regardless of their actions to stave them off. The novel “Delicate Monsters” takes a different approach to psychological suspense as it is about a young adult sociopath, and her relationship to two brothers that are her friends. However just like Stephanie’s previous novels, the book has the odd and dark themes and a moral ambiguity that makes it so intriguing.

“Charm & Strange” is a novel about a lonely teenager named Andrew Winston Winters that has to go to a boarding school in emote Vermont after a family tragedy. He shuts out his classmates given his violent impulses, which he finds almost impossible to control. His dark impulses are from his boyhood experiences from a fateful summer. Together with his teenage cousins and elder brother, he had been party to a monstrous secret that had led the children to commit an unthinkable crime. One night while he is attending a party in the remote woodlands of New England, he is forced to confront the isolation of his present and the pain of his past. Before it is light, he must reconcile himself to elemental truths or give up to the darkness in his head. He may have to accept that living may have more positives than choosing not to die.

“Complicit”, Kuehn’s second novel is the gripping award-winning psychological thriller about the psychological effects of the childhood of Jamie Henry. Two years past, Jamie Henry had been relived when his sister got sent to juvenile detention after she was found guilty of burning down a neighbor’s barn. He was not alone in this as the entire town was glad to have the insolent girl go away. She had not always been a juvenile delinquent as she had only taken up her despicable behaviors of lying, stealing, and drinking in the previous two years. She went completely to the dark side, and even played mind games with other children in the woods. She always likes to get her way or else people would pay. Two years later, she has been let out of juvenile detention and she is coming back for revenge against her brother for Jamie. Cate is determined to show her little brother that she has never been crazy and that she can take care of herself.

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