In this smart and chilling thriller, master of suspense Mary Kubica takes domestic secrets to a whole new level, showing that some people will stop at nothing to keep the truth buried.People don't just disappear without a trace…
Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.
Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they'll find…
Q & A with Mary ~
Tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing.
A cousin got me into writing when I was a young girl. Once I started, I couldn’t stop! I loved creating fictional worlds and getting to live vicariously through my characters. I started writing professionally around 2005, after I left my teaching career to raise my family. It took two years and dozens and dozens of rejections before my first novel found an agent, but I feel so fortunate that it did!
What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
I love spending time with my family and friends. I volunteer at an animal shelter as well as foster cats and kittens, which I really enjoy doing; it’s incredibly rewarding. I’m also a runner, with plans to train for my second marathon this summer.
Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
I feel very fortunate to be able to write full time. I used to be a high school history teacher before I got into writing professionally.
Where do you get your ideas?
For the most part, my imagination! They always start as a tiny seed of an idea that grows as I write. I’m a pantser (I fly by the seat of my pants!) so I rarely have any notion where these ideas will lead me until they happen on the page.
Do you have a go-to first reader after you feel your manuscript is ready?
My editor, agent and husband are the only people who read my books in draft form.
How do you market your work?
I have an incredible marketing team at HarperCollins/Park Row Books and they do all of the heavy lifting. For me, social media is huge. It’s the way I can connect to my readers on a more personal level. I also attend many bookstore and library events to visit with my readers in person (or virtually as we’re doing these days thanks to Covid).
Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?
No, everything is fictional! (thank goodness!)
Do you have a favorite character?
I actually feel quite close to most of my characters, but I have a soft spot for the underdogs: Colin in THE GOOD GIRL, Willow in PRETTY BABY and Alex in DON’T YOU CRY.
What would your job of choice be if you didn’t write books?
I would go back to teaching high school history. It was a job I adored!
What was the most unique research you had to do for a book?
WHEN THE LIGHTS GO OUT deals with insomnia, among other things. I think one of the most interesting things I’ve learned while doing research is about a condition known as Fatal Familial Insomnia, a hereditary condition, in which a person actually loses the ability to sleep. It’s rare but always fatal.
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Getting published is hard and can take time. Stick with it! Expect rejection; it happens to almost everyone. Be true to your writing. Don’t write to please others but write the book that moves you and that you would like to read.
What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?
Writing is isolating and can certainly be lonely at times. There is no proverbial water cooler to gather around with co-workers and chat. When you encounter a problem like writer’s block or bad reviews, you mostly have to deal with it alone. That said, one of the best parts is the author community. I’ve made so many wonderful friends over the last few years and am so grateful for their endless encouragement and support.
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
Thank you so much for reading my books, and for all the love and support I see on social media and places like Goodreads. I’m so grateful!
To connect with Mary ~