What attracted you to the genre(s) you write in?
I'm an avid reader, and my preferred genre to read is thrillers, so that's what initially drew me to it. I love building suspense and weaving intricate twists and turns that shock readers and have them turning the pages backward to find the clues they missed.
How do you balance the demands of writing with other responsibilities?
I've been writing novels for four and a half years, and I've held a full-time job the entire time. I think the pressure of having fewer hours to write forces me to really use the time I have. I'm a binge writer as well.
I'm either going to write a book in two-three months or I'm not going to write anything at all. So, I'll be insanely busy for a few months, working and drafting, and then I'll take a nice break. Then the process repeats.
Does this story have a soundtrack? A playlist that inspired you while writing it?
I mostly listened to thunderstorms and loon calls while writing The Perfect Marriage. It's dark and twisty and most of it takes place at a lakehouse, so it was perfect!
There is a song that inspired the ending, but if I reveal it, it'll give it away.
What book from your childhood has shaped you most as a writer?
I would say all the Lois Duncan books. I was obsessed with them, and they were my first exposure to the mystery/thriller genre.
Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma, or something else?
The overall concept of a defense attorney defending her husband when he's accused of murdering his mistress came to me like nine years ago.
I used to dabble in screenwriting and thought I would write it as a screenplay. I ended up tucking it away in my idea book and revisited it in 2017 when I was looking to write my second novel.
What life experiences have shaped your writing the most?
The loss of my mom shaped my writing the most. Growing up, I used to leave my stories out on the kitchen table for her to read when she got home from work at night.
I'd wake up to all these amazing comments in the margins telling me how great it was (even when they weren't) and just overall encouraging me to keep going.
When she passed, I wanted to keep going for her, to make her proud, and to not throw away the gift she had given me as she too was a wonderful writer.
What marketing strategies have borne the most fruit for you?
The bookstagram community did wonders for spreading the word about my debut! I sent out twenty advanced reader copies to bookstagram accounts I long admired, and they blasted it all over Instagram. It was amazing to read "I keep seeing this book everywhere" when in reality I'd only sent out twenty copies.
TikTok has been great as well! I had a marketing video for my book amass 750K views over the course of three days a couple of months after publication and it shot my book up into the top 200 for several days in paperback and Kindle. Many of my reviews mention that the reader found my book via TikTok.