I am delighted to be taking part in this blog tour and have a fantastic q&a to share with you as well as my review .
Firstly what the book is about….
Kate,Aubrey and Jenny are inseparable at college-friends who promised they’d always be there for each other . But twenty years later ,their friendship is about to take a deadly turn.
Kate married the gorgeous party boy , Aubrey married up,and Jenny married the boy next door,but when one of the friends dies in shocking circumstances will everyone assume that it’s always the husband?
OR COULD IT BE THE BEST FRIEND?
Firstly a big thank you to Lily at hq for my proof to review . I devoured it in one go and you would not believe this is a debut !
The cover and the title are both striking and eye catching so I bet this will be jumping into people’s hands .
It is gripping and chilling , completely unpredictable as there is no telling what these three girls will do next .
Written in alternate narratives and timelines allows the reader to get to know each of the characters . They all have their ups and downs and their own role to play in this friendship group.
Michele really delves into the psychology of the female friendship and the difficulties that can arise .
A tense thriller that as we read we know something bad has happened and will happen. So early on we start to form suspicions and also judgements on the girls behaviours .
They are all so different from different walks of life so it’s fascinating to see them form such a strong firm and somewhat intense friendship.
With so many great thrillers out there each one needs to bring something that makes it unique and I think this one is the authors own background and personal insight . You can really tell she draws from this to create brilliant characters and a addictive storyline !!
Cleverly written and I look forward to reading more from her .
Do check out the other blogs taking part .
So that’s my thoughts and let’s hear from the lady behind the story .
Q: Describe your writing process.
A: I am fortunate to write full-time, which means I don’t have a day job to impinge on my writing time and get in the way of my creativity. There is a down-side to this luxury, however: the writing expands to take over my entire life! I think about my work-in-progress all day, every day, and wake up in the middle of the night to make notes under the blanket by the light of my phone so I don’t wake my husband.
In terms of the actual process, I start with a proposal that has to be approved in advance by my editor. The proposal is a summary of the concept of the book, and includes the basics of the plot, characters and setting. Once that’s approved, you’d think I would be good to go and just fly along. But it’s surprising how little guidance even the most detailed summary provides about what to write on each page. I end up re-organizing and adjusting as I write, using 4×6 inch index cards to makes notes for each scene. I post the cards in order on a bulletin board and then shuffle them around, again and again, until I get it right. The writing itself is magic. I can’t explain how I know what to write next, but once the prep work is done, the characters and story just take over. Once I have a solid first draft, my editor reads it and gives me notes. Then the rewrite process begins. For every page that makes it into the finished book, I probably wrote three to four pages that got edited, changed and rewritten beyond all recognition. The end product has to be good enough to grip readers’ imaginations and keep them guessing about whodunnit until the final page.
Q: Who or what was your biggest inspiration while writing?
A: That differs from book to book. For It’s Always the Husband, I took inspiration from my own college days. I wanted to write a book about female friendship gone very, very wrong. I needed a setting that would explain why three extremely different women, who have little in common and are clearly bad influences on one another, might form an intense friendship. I found the answer in memories of my own freshman year of college. You leave home for the first time and are suddenly surrounded by kids your own age, who may be smarter, prettier, richer, and, yes, nastier than you. That moment is incredibly intense, fraught with drama and peril as well as learning and growth. I think it makes for a very compelling read!
Q: This book uses the device of multiple points of view. Tell us a bit about that, and how you felt about the various characters who narrate this story?
A: This book is about three women from very different backgrounds who meet when they’re assigned to room together on the first day of university. They form an intense bond, despite being completely wrong for each other. A tragedy at the end of freshman year leaves them with a dark secret. Twenty years later, one of them is murdered. Did the husband do it, like the cops think, or was it one of the best friends?
The three roomies are each complicated women who engage in some pretty bad behavior. Not likeable, perhaps, but real, and fun! I give each roommate her own point-of-view chapters so the reader can get inside her head and better understand her motives and her vulnerabilities. If I had to pick one who dominates, it would definitely be Kate — the rich, spoiled bad girl who’s the queen bee. Her misbehavior drives the plot. Almost everything that Aubrey and Jenny do wrong is in reaction to something Kate did. Kate’s chapters were very fun to write. They’re extremely entertaining but also quite dark.
Q: Readers are mad for the title of this book. Why did you choose this title, and why do you think it strikes such a chord?
A: The title of my book is a reference to the plain fact that most female murder victims are killed by their husbands or boyfriends. Knowing this, the police often zero in on the husband as a suspect, ruling him in or out before following up on other leads. (I’m a former prosecutor, by the way, and this dynamic interests me very much.) In most cases, the suspicion of the husband is justified. In a few cases, it can lead to false accusation. This book explores that murky and dangerous territory. In this story, the wife filed for divorce the day she was murdered. Makes sense that the police would focus on the husband. But there’s a lot more going on in this book than meets the eye. Was it the husband, or one of the best friends who share a dangerous secret?
Q: Why write about university girls?
A: I went to Harvard, and I’ve always noticed how interested people are in the environment at the top universities. These schools are glamorous, but also pressure cooker environments where there is tremendous wealth and privilege and young people behaving badly. Such a setting is a great venue for exploring how wealth and class figure into friendship dynamics. Here, the three young women at the center of the story come from very different backgrounds. Kate is wealthy and wild, Jenny is a middle-class striver, and Aubrey is damaged by her impoverished childhood. It’s food for great drama.
Q: There are two time frames in It’s Always the Husband. Part One follows the three roommates in their first year of university, leading up to the terrible tragedy that forms their darkest secret. Part Two skips ahead over twenty years, to when one of them is murdered and the other two are possible suspects (along with their three husbands). Why write in a time-shifting structure?
A: The story is told in those two parts with a few flashbacks and flashforwards because the root of the conflict between the three roommates lies in the events of that first year at university. The tragedy that occurred then changed the three girls’ lives and shaped them forever. Did it lead to murder? You need two time frames to get the whole story.
Q: How has your unique background inspired your writing?
A: An author uses everything she knows when she writes. That includes the universal things as well as the specific things. I’m a lawyer and a former federal prosecutor, and I write about crime. I went to an Ivy League college, live in a college town, and It’s Always the Husband is set at a fictional Ivy in a fictional college town. I’m also a person, a woman, a wife, a mom, a friend. It all goes into the mix. However, I do believe that my previous career in law enforcement, as well as my familiarity with the setting, gives It’s Always the Husband an extra authenticity.