Arts & Entertainment

READ: Explore the dark world of ‘Follow Her Down’ by local author Victoria Helen Stone

PARK CITY, Utah — Local author Victoria Helen Stone is set to release her latest novel, “Follow Her Down,” on June 4. Stone, who has published 29 romance stories and nine suspense novels, continues to build her reputation with this new psychological suspense.

“Follow Her Down” follows the story of 35-year-old Elise Rockwood as she returns to her small mountain hometown, grappling with the trauma of her teenage sister’s disappearance 25 years earlier. The plot thickens when her former lover is found dead in the same location where her sister was last seen, sparking a conspiracy investigation led by her brother.

Stone shared her inspiration for writing suspense after a career in romance. “I was initially scared to step away from something I was good at and put on a different hat,” she said. “But with all the political upheaval and a need to explore darker themes, I decided to take the plunge. Writing suspense gave me a sense of freedom because I didn’t have to make my characters’ actions forgivable or redeemable.”

Victoria Helen Stone at her Park City home. The mountains are a source of inspiration for many of her books. Photo: Victoria Helen Stone.
Victoria Helen Stone at her Park City home. The mountains are a source of inspiration for many of her books. Photo: Victoria Helen Stone.

Stone’s experience living in Park City for the past 20 years heavily influences her work. Although “Follow Her Down” is set in the Sierra Nevada region, she draws from her life in the mountains. “All my mountain books are inspired by Park City,” Stone explained. “I have a lot of experience living here, and it definitely influences my stories.”

Her new novel focuses on the aftermath of crime and the lives of those left behind, an aspect she finds fascinating in true crime stories. “I’m super fascinated by what happens to people after the police work and trials are over,” she said. “Elise’s journey in ‘Follow Her Down’ stems from living with the grief and trauma of her sister’s disappearance.”

Stone’s transition to writing suspense has been successful, and her previous novels, including the popular “Jane Doe” series, have received acclaim. Her favorite writing spots include her home office, which offers a panorama of the Park City mountains, and local coffee shops like Atticus Coffee and Teahouse.

Stone and her husband moved to Park City from Virginia 20 years ago and have embraced the mountain lifestyle, though she prefers hiking and snowshoeing over skiing. With 38 published books and a 39th on the way, Stone shows no signs of slowing down. This summer will be her next chance to really brainstorm her next book.

When asked where she gets her get her ideas, Stone said she listens to a lot of true crime and takes long drives, exploring.

“I watch a lot of Dateline — too much Dateline, probably according to my husband,” she said. “And then we do a lot of road trips and drive along looking out the window. You go through some small desert town and I wonder, what is it like to live there? What is it like to be a teenager there? I just spend a lot of time pondering things.”

“Follow Her Down” and Stone’s other works are available for purchase on Amazon.

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