Kelly Utt writes emotional novels for readers who enjoy both suspense and sentimentality. She is dedicated to telling the kinds of meaningful, exciting stories she loves to read and watch. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and she studied graduate-level interactive media at Quinnipiac University.
As a kid, Kelly grew up with a dad who would read a book, ask her to read it, too, and then insist they discuss it together. Although her father passed away when she was a teenager, her passion for life’s big questions lives on. That passion is often reflected in Kelly's novels, giving them a depth which leaves readers wanting more and thinking about her stories long after the last lines are read.
Kelly is author of two different suspense-filled series.
The Rosemary Run Series is set in the fictional Northern California town of Rosemary Run where there's trouble brewing below the picture-perfect surface. Each novel in the Rosemary Run Series features one woman’s harrowing story.
The George Hartmann Series features fictional military hero turned family man George Hartmann. A centuries-old vendetta is back. And they want his boy dead.
In her free time, Kelly enjoys travel, good books, and good food, as well as a variety of media including movies, TV, music, and social media. Kelly is also founder of a Nashville-area group called Nashville Indie Authors for independent authors who are serious about earning a living from their craft. She lives in Franklin, Tennessee with her husband Sam and their two teenage sons.
If you’ve read one of Kelly’s novels, please leave a review at the retailer where you purchased and at Goodreads or Bookbub. Honest reviews of her books help bring them to the attention of other readers.
Need to get in touch? Contact Kelly.
Fun Facts About Kelly
Kelly likes dogs, especially breeds with floppy ears. Her canine sidekicks are Ellie the golden retriever and Pepper the Llewellin setter. They often appear in her social media posts. Kelly also has a black cat who thinks he’s a panther. His name is Jack and, since he was welcomed into the family as a kitten at Halloween, Kelly’s husband insists his middle name is O’Lantern. All three of her animals have a special mention in the acknowledgements section in the back of her books.
Kelly once met Mister Rogers and his friendly neighborhood delivery man Mr. McFeely, played by David Newell. Kelly was four-years-old when she visited the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania set in 1981 with her mom and her grandpa. Mister Rogers, who was as nice as you’d imagine, told her she could try operating the Neighborhood Trolley, so she flipped the switch with gusto thinking it would scoot off to the Neighborhood of Make-Believe like on TV. In reality, a staffer made a running leap and caught Trolley just before it crashed to the floor on the other side of the curtain.
When they met in Charleston, South Carolina in 1997, Kelly’s husband Sam was an active-duty member of a U.S. Air Force special ops team. He completed his military service a week later, so Kelly never had a chance to experience life as a military spouse. She remains very proud of her husband’s service, however, and is fascinated by some of the stories he tells. Many of those stories have provided inspiration for Kelly’s books. (He’s the tall one pictured above.)
Kelly’s grandpa spent summers living in Ithaca, New York for many years, and she came to know and love the city during visits to see him and his long-time companion, whom Kelly thought of as a grandmother. The character John Wendell in Ithaca’s Soldier is based on Kelly’s grandpa, and all of John Wendell’s favorite places in Ithaca are based on Kelly’s grandpa’s favorite places. Names have been changed, but if you’re familiar with the town, you might be able to make the connections between the fictional and real-life establishments.
Many of the metaphysical story lines and uncanny coincidences Kelly writes about in her books are inspired by her own remarkable experiences. Like the time when she was nine-years-old and, a few days after her grandma died, Kelly had a dream where her grandma appeared and talked to her. It wasn’t like a regular dream. There was no setting and no script. Just young Kelly and her dead grandma looking right at each other and talking, only they both knew her grandma was no longer in the land of the living. It freaked Kelly out, for sure. But she used the event as a catalyst to learn and grow, beginning a life-long interest in the kind of otherworldly experiences which many of us have, yet can’t fully explain.
Things Kelly loves (in no particular order):
Watching movies at the theater
French horn music (she plays!)
Good food, especially Italian
Farmhouse-style furniture and decor
Eating out at cozy restaurants
University of Tennessee football
Tall, handsome men
People who focus on the positive and find common ground
Floating on her back in swimming pools
Favorite writers: Liane Moriarty, John Grisham, Malcolm Gladwell, Paulo Coelho
Favorite books: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski and One by Richard Bach
Favorite literary heroine: Anna Frith from Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Favorite storyline: An ordinary man or woman becomes a hero to protect the ones they love
Favorite love stories: A Star is Born, My Best Friend’s Wedding, and Crazy, Stupid, Love
Fictional doppelgänger: Julianne Potter of My Best Friend’s Wedding, played by Julia Roberts
Fictional boyfriend: Duke from G.I. Joe, played by Channing Tatum
Fictional best friend: Buzz Lightyear (why not?)
Favorite words: pretties, intellectual, probably, babies
If she were a song, she'd be: "She’s Everything" by Brad Paisley (according to her husband, mostly accurate and very nice of him to say so)
If she were an old-time TV or movie star, she'd be: Betty White (talk about longevity!)
If she could be another writer for a day: J.K. Rowling
If she weren't a writer, she would be: A movie-industry creative of some sort
Things she keeps on her writing desk: A potted succulent, two framed photos of her boys— one taken during a trip to Lake Tahoe and the other taken during a trip to New York City, a sculpture of twin babies that was a gift from her lifelong best friend, a clear paperweight in the shape of a star that was a gift from her mom, and a 3-D printed Power T (for the University of Tennessee) that one of her sons made for her in his high school Architecture & Engineering class