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This blog was featured on 02/13/2020
Mary Kubica on Perseverance, Process & Loving Your Characters
Written by
She Writes
February 2020
Written by
She Writes
February 2020

Mary Kubica, the New York Times best-selling author of The Good Girl, Every Last Lie and Pretty Baby, is back with another propulsive and addictive phycological thriller. It’s called The Other Mrs., and some critics are saying that it’s Kubica’s best book yet.

On Getting Her Start

Kubica has said that she always enjoyed writing, but did it privately – almost secretively, as she focused on her career as a teacher, and raised her family. Once she was ready to commit to writing, it was a painfully slow start.

“It was 2006 when I first began working on The Good Girl, and 2014 when it was published. That’s 8 years of hard work, hopes, dreams and fears – all of it,” she said.

A series of rejections followed her querying process and she had already resolved that writing as a career wasn’t for her after all. Then, two years later she received an email out of the blue from one of the agencies that had previously declined her novel.

The Good Girl had stuck with them all that time and they wanted to represent it – proof that writers, or anyone for that matter, should never give up on their dreams. It still shocks me to see my name on a book at the bookstore.”

This excerpt was originally published in Mom Advice. Read the full interview here.

As a newcomer to publishing, she quickly discovered she had a lot to learn.

“I had no idea how extensive the editorial process would be, or the great lag time that happens from the time I finish a manuscript until it publishes, or how absolutely vital good marketing and publicity is to the success of a book,” she told Lisa Unger, fellow New York Times Bestselling author during a chat.

The biggest surprise, however, was a pleasant one:

“I had envisioned a much more competitive, self-seeking environment, but what I’ve found instead is a bounty of wonderful new friends who will bend over backwards to support me and my books.”

She went on to say that she has gained a network of people she can rely on for brainstorming and accountability, as well as celebrating successes and lamenting the woes of book publishing.

On Process

Kubica enjoys the spontaneity of writing her novels and relishes the moment when the big twist reveals itself.

“I always start my novels with just a seed of an idea, and then watch it grow as I dive deeper into the manuscript.  I’m not an outliner at all,” she confides. “[I] make a concerted effort not to think too far ahead as I plot out my books.  I need to get to know my characters in order to discover how their stories will unfold on the page.”

“Because my novels are often told either nonlinearly or from multiple points of view, I break them into smaller sections to write and then combine at the end.”

This excerpt was originally published on Notes On Bookmarks. Read the full interview here.

She continues:

“I make it a point not to overthink my plot too much, and to have faith that the details, plot twists, etc. will come in due time. It’s very exciting when it all comes together in my mind, and I get to go through the manuscript and insert clues to help the reader along, or in some cases, throw them off course. It’s one of my favorite parts of writing this genre!”

This excerpt was originally published on Mom Advice. Read the full interview here.

On Advice

Love your characters, Kubica advises first and foremost to aspiring writers.

“They should never feel fabricated or fictional to you; they should be real,” she told Books By Women. “If you’re anything like me, you will think about these characters during the day, and you’ll dream about them at night. You’ll plot out their lives while you fold laundry or grocery shop, and sometimes, as I’ve done, you’ll lie sleepless in bed trying to decide whether a certain character should live or die, cogitating on it for days.”

She also recommends writing like no one’s looking.

“Try not to ponder what others will think, but write for you and only you. During the writing process I let these fears fall by the wayside, and allow my words to be audacious and bold.”

This excerpt was originally published on Books By Women. Read the full interview here.

Finally, she encourages writers to read, read, read, and talk with other authors – they are the best mentors you will ever find, she guarantees.  

“I’ve been so fortunate to connect with other authors, both in person and online; they’ve offered a tremendous amount of moral support and advice. Writing can be a solitary profession, and we need to rely on each other for support and encouragement!”

This excerpt was originally published on Novelicious. Read the full interview here.

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