When Mary Kubica arrived last year for her first BEA, she was uncertain what to expect. It certainly wasn't a huge banner hanging from the building's rafters and sporting an image of her first novel, The Good Girl. "I was," Kubica remembers, "absolutely stunned." Mira's confidence in its debut author was soon rewarded as The Good Girl became an immediate bestseller when it was released in July 2014; sales have now passed 100,000, and Anonymous Content, the company behind HBO's True Detective has just acquired the screen rights.

Not surprisingly, Kubica's first visit to BEA left her "so overwhelmed by everything that was going on that I missed out on a lot of author signings." This year, she's planning ahead. "I'll scavenge the BEA website for information, download the app, and be much better prepared. I'm really looking forward to meeting other authors... and gathering up their galleys." That's if she has time between events for her much anticipated second novel, Pretty Baby (Mira, July). It's the story of Heidi Wood, who, one freezing Chicago morning, notices a homeless teenager holding a crying baby. Over her family's objections, Wood invites the girl into their home. As clues into the girl's past start to surface, and Wood grows increasingly attached to the baby, she is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. Pretty Baby will, promises Kubica, have the "twists and turns" that made The Good Girl such a hit with readers.

While Kubica is still adjusting to the reality that "you write books in seclusion and then have to step out of your box and be social online," she's happy to report, "95% of my life hasn't really changed. I'm at home with the kids, and I love volunteering at the local animal shelter—the dogs and cats don't care if I wrote a book. Occasionally, I'll change out of jeans and put on a dress and go do something for The Good Girl. I'm still waiting for the moment when it will all feel real—it's not quite there yet."

During BEA Kubica will make three appearances, two at the Harlequin booth (2909), signing ARCs of Pretty Baby today at 3:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 10:30 a.m., while also signing in the autographing area today at 10 a.m. at Table 16. At BookCon, she will sign copies of The Good Girl on Sunday at 10 a.m. in Harlequin's booth.

This article appeared in the May 28, 2015 edition of PW BEA Show Daily.