“In hindsight, I should have known right away that something wasn’t quite right. The jarring noise in the middle of the night, the open window, the empty bed. Later, I blamed a whole slew of things for my nonchalance, everything from a headache to fatigue, down to arrant stupidity.
I should have known right away that something wasn’t right.”
These first few lines of Mary Kubica’s latest suspense novel, Don’t You Cry, hooked me right away, just as I was instantly drawn into her first two books, The Good Girl and Pretty
Baby. When I was trying to decide what to write about for my first post on Midwest Ladies Who Lit, Mary Kubica and her books immediately came to mind. Not only are Mary’s books phenomenal, but she herself is a Midwest gal!
I had planned to review each of her three books and tell you how incredible they are, BUT instead I was lucky enough to interview Mary which I thought was WAY more fun (and, if you’re interested, Goodreads has my reviews as well as descriptions for each of her reads!).
So without further ado…
I am beyond thrilled to have Mary Kubica (author of The Good Girl, Pretty Baby, and Don’t You Cry) joining Midwest Ladies Who Lit to tell us a bit about herself and her addicting reads (Seriously. Can’t put them down.).
Hi, Mary! First we want to say a huge thank you for taking the time to chat with us and our readers. We are huge fans of your books and are excited to get a bit of the inside scoop about you and your writing!
All three of your novels so far are thriller/suspense reads told from multiple points of view. Tell us a little about why you enjoy writing this genre, and a bit of what readers can expect from your books.
I’ve loved writing since I was a child, but didn’t necessarily set out to write suspense novels. I have many unfinished manuscripts that predate THE GOOD GIRL, none of which had any elements of suspense (which is maybe the reason why these manuscripts were never completed!). I’d create my characters, build up a storyline, but then lose interest in the plot. When I started THE GOOD GIRL, which of course has a kidnapping and a police investigation and various levels of mystery and intrigue, I was immediately hooked. At the time I had an infant daughter at home and another baby on the way, but I found that I simply couldn’t tear myself away from writing this book. I knew then that psychological suspense was what I was meant to write.
I write my novels using multiple, first person points of view because, to me, the first person is very intimate – this character or these characters are sharing their story with us firsthand – and also the multiple perspective provides readers with a more comprehensive story as we get to see events unfold from the eyes of a multitude of characters (and sometimes they don’t always see events in the same light, which adds an extra element of mystery as readers now have to decide which narrators to trust).
Okay, let’s time travel a bit to when you were a debut author. What was it like to see your book in print, being a part of author events and doing interviews for the first time? What was the most exciting moment for you as a new author?
Exciting, nerve-racking, intimidating, terrifying, wonderful, and everything in between! The first time I walked into a bookstore to see THE GOOD GIRL in print was truly amazing and surreal, and even now, over two years later I still fill with pride every time I see one of my books on a store shelf. I’ve hopefully gotten a bit better with the public speaking and am ever grateful to the many authors who have mentored me and graciously welcomed into this wonderful community of writers over the last few years. The most exciting part: getting to meet some of my own favorite authors in person (Alice Hoffman!) and having the opportunity to visit book clubs and discuss my books with readers.
For our readers who write: Walk us through a typical day of writing. Do you have any routines? Any suggestions for aspiring writers?
I’m an early bird, and so I’m up at 5 a.m. everyday writing or revising. I tend to write for an hour or two in the morning, until my kiddos are up, and then go through the whole morning routine, making breakfast and packing school lunches. Once the kids are off to school, I’ll spend the next few hours working until it’s time to pick the kids up, and at that point I’m usually done writing for the day. This is my ideal work day, but inevitably there are the days I need to grocery shop or clean the house, volunteer in one of the kiddos’ classrooms, etc., and so there is certainly some flexibility built into that schedule as long as I’m not about to miss a deadline. My suggestion for aspiring writers is to always try and write a few minutes a day. It keeps you fully invested in your characters and storyline and, though life gets busy or there are those days when the last thing in the world we want to do is write, try and give it just fifteen or twenty minutes because naturally those words build into pages, which turn into chapters and before you know it, you have a book. Don’t stress about first drafts; they’re meant to be revised and rewritten many, many times. Just get the words down, knowing they can be perfected later.
Aside from writing your own novels, we’ve seen “blurbs” you’ve written for a lot of books lately, including one on the highly anticipated thriller Behind Closed Doors. How does it feel to know that your literary opinion is influential to readers? What kind of books do you enjoy reading? Any titles you’d like to recommend?
It’s so exciting! I love getting first dibs on some terrific new novels and am honored every single time I’m asked to endorse one of my fellow author’s works. Thrillers are (unsurprisingly) my favorite, and a few to keep an eye out for over the next few months are Gilly Macmillan’s THE PERFECT GIRL (coming in September 2016), Emma Flint’s LITTLE DEATHS and Erica Ferenik’s THE RIVER AT NIGHT (both coming in January 2017).
Lastly, we’ve heard rumor of a new book releasing next year. Can you tell us anything about the project(s) you’re working on?
I’d love to! EVERY LAST LIE will release in the summer of 2017 and begins when a young father is killed in a car crash with his four-year-old daughter in the backseat, miraculously unharmed. The crash is ruled an accident until the coming days when the little girl begins having nightmares about another car following and pushing them from the road. The man’s widow sets off to find her husband’s killer. I’m so psyched about this novel, and can’t wait to share it with you!
Is it too early to pre-order Every Last Lie?! Because I need to be on that list. Now.
So on top of being sweet enough to give us a chance to chat with her, Mary is giving away a *signed* copy of her latest release, Don’t You Cry, to one of our lucky readers!
All you have to do to enter is:
- Follow @mwladieswholit on Instagram (we are also on FB and Twitter if you’d like to find us there!)
- Find the Mary Kubica blog post and giveaway photo and like the picture (on IG)
- Comment with the title of the book you are currently reading
- For two extra entries, tag two friends in separate comments
*Giveaway ends Saturday, September 3, 2016. US residents only. This giveaway is not endorsed or sponsored by Instagram or any social media platform.*
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about Mary, and I challenge you to pick up one of her books if you haven’t yet! In fact, you can order them here : The Good Girl, Pretty Baby, & Don’t You Cry. I’d love to hear your thoughts about her interview, books, or anything bookish in the comments!