Originally from Ohio where her Amish thrillers are set, Linda Castillo knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer—and penned her first novel at the age of thirteen. She's published thirty books for three New York publishing houses and won numerous industry awards, including a nomination by the International Thriller Writers for Best Hardcover, the Golden Heart, the Daphne du Maurier Award of Excellence, and a nomination for the prestigious Rita.
Her debut thriller, Sworn to Silence, garnered starred reviews from Library Journal, Publisher's Weekly, and Booklist—and spent four weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. The following books in the series also hit the NYT and USA Today lists and became international bestsellers. Sworn to Silence was recently adapted into a two-hour original movie re-titled An Amish Murder and starring Neve Campbell as Kate Burkholder.
In her spare time, Linda enjoys trail riding, and dabbles in barrel racing. She resides in Texas with her husband, two rescued Blue Heelers, and two Appaloosa horses. She's currently at work on her next novel, a thriller set in Amish Country and featuring Chief of Police Kate Burkholder.
How much of you is in Kate? Do you ever see her working on a case in your home state of Texas?
Well, I would like to think there’s a little bit of Kate inside me, but I don’t really measure up. J Kate is far more courageous than me. That Texas angle? I’ve learned to never say never. The series is set in the fictional Ohio Amish country town of Painters Mill. For the eighth book in the series, AMONG THE WICKED, I changed the locale (an Amish settlemen in upstate New York) and I enjoyed it tremendously. Texas isn’t out of the question (but probably not likely.)
The Amish culture has been heavily featured in your novels. What do you think is one of the biggest misconceptions about their way of life?
I love learning about the Amish and I have deep respect for their way of life. I think one big misconception people have is that they are perfect. Sure, generally speaking they are good neighbors, they are religious, and good, hardworking people. That said . . . they are also human. That means they suffer from some of the same weaknesses and frailties as the rest of us.
You’ve developed an impressive body of work in the crime fiction genre. Are there any other genres you’ve thought about exploring? If so, which ones?
I’d love to write a post apocalyptic thriller!! (with or without zombies!)
The zombie apocalypse has hit (as we all knew it would one day) which characters from books, movies or TV do you want on your team?
Okay, I’m a huge fan of THE WALKING DEAD. I’d have to have Rick Grimes on my team (along with Michonne and Daryl and Carol!) Of course Kate Burkholder and John Tomasetti would be great additions—they’re smart and capable and well armed, right?) In terms of tough guys . . . I’m thinking Ving Rhames (from DAWN OF THE DEAD), and Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson (from any movie.) Yeah, I’d feel pretty safe with that team on my side.