I am delighted that Mary Kubica is joining me on my blog today for her Blog Tour. Mary's latest book - Pretty Baby - was published by Mira Books on 13 August 2015.
What inspired you to become a writer?
When I was about eight or nine years old, a cousin of mine shared with me a story she had written and I was completely enchanted by it, both her story itself and this creative outlet that opened up for me at the time. Though I’d always loved to read, this was really an eye-opening moment for me where I became aware of the author behind the book, and I knew right away this was something I wanted to do.
Do your personal experiences influence your writing? If so, how?
Yes and no. My novels are fictional and my characters are completely make-believe. But this doesn’t mean I don’t add certain small elements of my own life into the novel. In the case of Pretty Baby, for example, Heidi rescues orphaned kittens and ventures to turn her family into vegetarians. I, myself, am a vegetarian and work in an animal shelter. I foster orphaned kittens. But these are the small details; the basic premise of my novels and their quintessence are imaginary.
Describe your writing style in 10 words or less?
Uncomplicated, terse, plaintive, gritty, honest – or at least that’s what I aim for it to be.
Do you have any strange writing habits?
I don’t. I just sit down and write.
Are you a plotter or a pantser? Do you plot out the whole book before you start or just start writing and see where it leads you?
I am a pantser. I don’t like to outline my books before I begin, or even think through them too much; I find that overthinking the novel takes away from the natural flow. Instead, I dive right in and develop my characters and see where they lead me.
What do you consider to be the hardest part of your writing?
Getting started. Even though I may have an idea I’m excited about, the characters are brand new to me and I don’t know them yet. It takes time to develop that relationship between author and character before I have a sense of who they are and what their motivations may be. Once I’ve had a chance to develop the characters the writing becomes more free flowing and less forced.
In your latest novel, Pretty Baby, the story is narrated by Heidi, her husband Chris and a girl called Willow. How easy is to write a novel with multiple points of view?
I personally find that it’s easier to write a novel from multiple points of view rather than just one. Though it takes time to develop each of their distinct voices, there are many stories that can be told through the use of multiple narrators, and the reader is left with a well-rounded image of the tale rather than just one narrator’s perspective.
Who are your favourite authors?
Ann Hood, Heather Gudenkauf, Anita Shreve, Jodi Picoult, Pam Jenoff
How has your life changed since becoming a published author?
Writing has become a career rather than a hobby, and it’s something I get to devote time everyday to doing, rather that simply when I have the time. That’s the biggest change. I love that this is a career I can do from home, and so I get to spend nearly as much time with my kids as I always have. I am much busier, of course, between writing the books, some travel, and publicity, but I enjoy it immensely.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Never give up! I’m sure most everyone has heard the story now of how it took me two years to find an agent and so I don’t want to rehash it again, but my offer of representation came at a time when I’d all but forgotten about The Good Girl completely, and if it wasn’t for one optimistic agent, my first novel never would have been published. Write everyday, and keep sending your manuscripts out to agents until you find the one who’s as passionate about it as you!
And lastly, why should people read Pretty Baby?
Pretty Baby is a suspense tale, and yet it’s more than that, too. The novel takes a look at societal issues such as homelessness and the foster care system, as well as family dynamics and marital discord. It’s one that will hopefully have readers on the edge of their seat, and yet tug at their heartstrings, too.
About Mary Kubica
Mary Kubica holds a Bachelor or Arts degree from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, in History and American Literature. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and two children and enjoys photography, gardening and caring for the animals at a local shelter. Her debut novel, The Good Girl, was an international bestseller.
Find Mary Kubica at www.marykubica.com, on her Facebook page and on Twitter - @MaryKubica
Published by Mira Books (13 August 2015)
A chance encounter
She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head…
An act of kindness
Heidi has always been charitable but her family are horrified when she returns home with a young woman named Willow and her baby in tow. Dishevelled and homeless, this girl could be a criminal - or worse. But despite the family's objections, Heidi offers them refuge.
A tangled web of lies
As Willow begins to get back on her feet, disturbing clues into her past starts to emerge. Now Heidi must question if her motives for helping the stranger are unselfish or rooted in her own failures.
Read my review here.
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