Monday, 23 April 2012

Character Spotlight ~ M.K. Gilroy's Kristen Conner

Publishing executive MK Gilroy has released his first novel, Cuts Like A Knife, available now from Worthy Publishing.


The Killer ...

Chicago has a new resident; a heartless killer on a decade-long crime spree.  When a successful young woman is found dead in her fashionable town home, a red flag goes up in Washington, D.C. The FBI knows an elusive "organized killer" is at work again.  The problem is the Feds have only one tenuous lead to assist local police in the manhunt ... a most unlikely place the killer likes to find his victims.

The Detective ...

Conner, turning thirty, single, light as a feather but tougher than nails—growing up in a cop’s home and taking every hand-to-hand combat course that the Chicago Police Department offers does that—and the coach of her niece’s 7-year-old soccer team, the Snowflakes, becomes a lead detective in her first major homicide case. She’s a good girl—loves her mom, goes to church, only yells when she’s really mad—who just can’t stop fighting with her partner, police department brass, and most of all, her TV news anchor sister, Klarissa, who can turn a single bite of chicken into a 30-minute ordeal of starting, stopping, and starting again. Her mom, sisters, and various suitors all think she’s wonderful—except for her anger and bonding issues.

The Climax ...

From the opening chase scene that leads to a back alley where a Punk with a knife awaits, to the climactic scene where Kristen goes one-on-one with a man who is killing innocent women in her town and now has her in his sights, Cuts Like a Knife, the debut novel from Mark Gilroy, is loaded with action, humor, and wry introspection through the voice of its irrepressible lead character.
Enjoy meeting Kristen Conner!

Brief physical description

Kristen Conner is a 30-year-old brunette who was a great high school and college soccer player and who is still a workout fiend. She loves to run the steps at the football stadium of the high school close to where she lives along with hand-to-hand combat training from Israeli krav maga to Brazilian jujitsu to traditional boxing, so she is in great shape. She’s a very pretty girl who doesn’t know she is pretty. Her sisters think her fashion sense is in need of a serious upgrade. She wears black slacks and a relaxed fit jacket every day; hair is often in a ponytail because that’s easiest; she wears next to no makeup – but sometimes adds a quick dash of red on the lips.

Actor/famous person

One of my first readers immediately said Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. And that’s not a bad image of Kristen Conner. I was thinking more of the Angelina Jolie fighter toughness from Mr. & Mrs. Smith – but with a little more Jennifer Garner girl-next-door facial look.

Strengths and weaknesses

She is smart and relentless – great qualities for a cop. She is loyal to her family and friends to a fault. She never misses Sunday dinner with her family, she coaches her seven-year-old niece’s soccer team, and is a great detective partner. I’ve already mentioned she is great at hand-to-hand combat. But – she can’t shoot a handgun straight and that really makes her mad. She switched from a Glock to a Beretta in Cuts Like a Knife – and she is already trying out the Sig Sauer in the next novel. She struggles with her anger – and as a result she has a way of getting into both humorous and serious fights with everyone from the barista at JavaStar to her mom and sisters to the top brass of the Chicago Police Department. Her deceased father was a legend on the force and she tagged along with him every chance she got – so even when she gets into it with colleagues it’s more like a sibling spat. Kristen is a real person with a great faith – but the doubts and troubles that plague all of us.

Quirk (if any)

Kirsten can’t tell a joke and her sense of timing when she speaks up in a meeting is always off. She is graceful but bumps into things and spills coffee. Speaking of coffee, she can’t get her order at JavaStar right. She loves everyone and they all love her – so why do they fight so much? That’s her quirk. She’s a delightful, charming, graceful – mess!

Your inspiration for the character

I love the mystery-thriller genre so having a detective as a lead character is no surprise. As the father of three daughters, I think the changes I saw with their generation helped me flesh out Kristen. More independent, more sports oriented, very can-do. She can be very lady like but is also tough and can hold her own in a tough and dangerous profession.

Background to the story

There is no single historical case or reference that served as background. I had some definite ideas on Kristen and after researching psychopathic personalities, I also had a very strong villain for her to face throughout the book in mind. Once I started writing, I think these two incredibly strong personalities went at it and basically drove the storyline through some great twists and turns of a very general plot I had in mind. Family and faith are very important to me, so those two dynamics are woven throughout in a very realistic and natural way. One of my goals that I’ve been told comes through is that I set out to NOT write a religious novel. I wanted to write a mystery-thriller with a person of faith, however. So I think this comes through as general market suspense but with a fabulous lead character who has a definite Christian worldview.

Relz Reviewz Extras
Review of Cuts Like A Knife
Visit Mark's website 
Buy Mark's book at Amazon or Koorong


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