Kate Flora: Here with a belated good morning and a post about today’s book. Today, some lucky readers who leave a comment will win copies of Steal Away, the domestic suspense book I wrote as Katharine Clark.
In my early years–those first published years that came after my ten years in the unpublished writer’s corner–my writing rhythm was write for nine months and promote for three. Then I got the idea to write a book that was different from my Thea Kozak mysteries, a book better described as suspense than mystery, and one where I first faced the challenge of writing in multiple points of view.
The story is described thusly:
Rachel Stark is about to live every parent’s nightmare: Her nine-year-old son, David, is snatched off the street in broad daylight with no apparent motive and only one clue–his red bicycle lying on the side of the road. Now, already under the strains of a troubled marriage, Rachel must channel every ounce of strength into a desperate search for David.
Into this emotionally charged scene arrive Rachel’s recently divorced sister, a bombshell who conceals explosive secrets; a by-the-book detective, infuriating in his cold detachment; and a deceptive “wait” of the Missing Child Foundation, who harbors his own hidden agenda….
And through it all there is David, still missing and crying out to be found. But are Rachel’s fleeting visions of her terrified child something real or the cruel trick of a mother’s heart consumed with love and fear?
I had the privilege of working with a fabulous editor on this book, one who pushed me hard to make it a better book. I was challenged to make the husband, Stephen, a fuller, less cardboard character, which was difficult because even though I’d created him, I didn’t like him. I had to battle my editor to leave in my vision of the child Rachel and Stephen had lost to a hereditary disease. I got to go to New York and have lunch with the editor, the publisher, and my publicist at a fancy restaurant. And I got one of the most honest responses ever from someone in publishing when I told my editor I was amazed and grateful for how I was treated.
“Ah,” she said, “but we could turn on you at any time.”
I took a lot of big steps in writing this book, both in my craft and in the story, including the important question: could I make Rachel’s psychic connection to David plausible.
There’s a concept called “imagined reality” where the story of the book lives on after the book ends in the reader’s mind. Also in the writer’s. Many years later, I would still like to write a follow-up book, not a mystery but simply fiction, to explore what happened to my characters after the book ended.
Please leave a comment. Maybe you’ll win.