Kubica’s debut, The Good Girl, charts 24-year-old Mia Dennett’s abduction and eventual reappearance, though she has no memory of what happened in between.
What inspired the novel?
I knew that I wanted to write the story of this kidnapping, which was not what met the eye. And I also liked the idea of the nonlinear time frame.
Did you know how the story was going to turn out when you started writing?
No, I didn’t know. I’m not somebody who outlines before writing. I don’t honestly do a whole lot of brainstorming. I would just sit down to write and, on any given day, didn’t necessarily know what was going to happen in the lives of my characters. But I felt really, really connected to these characters, and, as I look back on it now, I feel like it was my characters who told their stories to me.
What initial feedback did you get from family or friends?
Other than my husband, nobody had any idea that I was writing this book. I didn’t even tell family and friends, my parents, my sisters, until I had sold the book to Harlequin. And I don’t necessarily know why. I just think I had this deep-seated belief that maybe nothing was going to ever become of this.
How did you juggle writing with taking care of two toddlers?
It had to be really like a schedule. My daughter was about a year old when I started writing, and then a year later I had my son, and so my time was very limited. And, of course, with two young children, I was tired. Now I write in the very early mornings, because they sleep a little bit later, but then I would use nap time. When I’d lay the two of them down, I would get on the computer, and I’d have maybe an hour and a half, maybe two hours, to get some serious writing done, and then they’d be up again. Many days that was all I had. And I made a firm commitment to write every day during that time, even if all I got was one solid paragraph.
Did any of your four cats serve as a model for Canoe, the stray that Mia cares for during her captivity?
Not necessarily, but I love animals, and it just seemed very fitting to include an animal somewhere in there. And, as it turns out, he’s a pretty integral character.
So after writing all those scenes with Mia imprisoned in the woods, has this made you leery of cabins?
No, actually it’s the exact opposite. We’re still hoping to make a trip this summer to northern Minnesota.