A Balancing Act: Mary Kubica On The Writing Life

Today’s post by bestselling debut author, Mary Kubica | @MaryKubica

We’re thrilled to have Mary Kubica, one of our Books of Winter authors, with us today to share a bit about THE GOOD GIRL and how it came to be. Enjoy!

Mary Kubica

Mary Kubica

In hindsight, I don’t know how I did it. I had a daughter who’d just turned one, and a few months later I was pregnant again with another little one on the way. It was then that I got a random plot line about a Chicago woman who gets abducted and whisked off to the Minnesota wilderness – a story that would one day be known as THE GOOD GIRL – right at a time when I was lucky to get in a shower each day or to make it through the afternoon without the need for a nap. And then, before long, I was beleaguered by morning sickness and suddenly I had two children at home under the age of two, one who could not yet sleep through the night and another who was starting to toddle around and get into anything and everything.

Growing up, I loved to write, though it was always a hobby and never something I pursued professionally. I worked as a high school history teacher until my daughter was born, and it was then that I decided to stay home and raise her, opening the door to a brand new career: writing.

THE GOOD GIRL was written frantically in the hours when my children napped, or sometimes very early in the morning, or sometimes very late at night. It was written with my infant son strewn across my lap, sometimes – sharing the space with the laptop, of course – or sometimes while sitting on the playroom floor playing Little People or Barbie dolls with my daughter while typing with the other hand. Sometimes it was written with my children perched in front of the TV watching Sesame Street.

Now my children are 9 and 7 years old, and go to school all day. I have plenty of time to write, and whether this is a blessing or a curse, I’m still undecided. For me, being a mother is my foremost priority. When my children are home, I pack the writing away and take on the role of ‘mom’. I concede that spring and summer breaks will not be very productive, but the rest of the nine months will. Travel has proven to be the trickiest part, as I’m still the primary caregiver in our family. For this I thank all the family and friends who have stepped up to help – and my husband who spent all of his 2014 vacation time at home with our kids so that I could travel to promote THE GOOD GIRL.

There are limits to what I can do as a stay-at-home mom and also a working mom: I cannot be active in the PTO or volunteer in my children’s classrooms as much as they might like me to. There are nights I’m at a signing event or a book club and cannot be home for dinner. And then there is the travel, which takes its toll on my youngest, in particular, who is indeed a mama’s boy. Thank goodness for Skype and FaceTime.

Shortly after the finished copies of THE GOOD GIRL arrived, my daughter held up a copy for her friend to see. “My mom wrote this,” she said, “and it’s going to be for sale in book stores,” and I knew that she was proud. That alone makes every single moment of this experience worth it. I’m very honored to be able to call myself an author and a mother.

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9780778316558_RHC_SMP.indd“I’ve been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don’t know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she’s scared. But I will.”

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn’t show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia’s life.

Colin’s job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia’s mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family’s world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a propulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems….

About Ariel Lawhon

Ariel Lawhon is the author of THE WIFE THE MAID AND THE MISTRESS (2014), FLIGHT OF DREAMS (2016), and I WAS ANASTASIA (2018). Her books have been translated into numerous languages and have been Library Reads, One Book One County, and Book of the Month Club selections. She is the co-founder of SheReads.org and lives in the rolling hills outside Nashville, Tennessee, with her family.

4 Responses to A Balancing Act: Mary Kubica On The Writing Life

  1. Kay February 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I just want to say that I really enjoy the author posts that are shared here. It’s always a treat to hear about what goes on behind the scenes in an author’s life. Thanks so much for making this possible. And I’m so looking forward to reading Mary’s book soon.

  2. Melissa Crytzer Fry February 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    I am always in awe of young moms who manage to balance so much. I need complete silence to write, but suspect, if held to the fire, maybe I could find some juggling abilities if it was, indeed, the ONLY way to make it work. I also relate to the blessing-or-curse of writing fiction full-time. I seem to be much more productive with my fiction when I am juggling more freelance. See – there you go. Maybe I can juggle. I’m just not that great at it!

  3. Richard Kennedy February 6, 2015 at 10:17 am #

    What a great read and one of my top five in 2014. My daughter and I had the pleasure to meet Mary Kubica and her family during a signing and reading at Lake Forest Bookstore last August. She is a very clever storyteller and a clearly determined up and coming author. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

  4. stephanie elliot February 6, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

    It’s such a great book. Loved reading about how Mary balances her home life. I can’t wait to read her next one, which I can’t believe will be out soon!

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