When Mary Kubica came to her first BEA in 2014, it was as a debut novelist. Two months later, the runaway success of The Good Girl made her a bestselling author. She returned to BEA in 2015 with her second novel, Pretty Baby, and again found herself with a bestseller. Kubica’s back this year with a new novel, Don’t You Cry. “Mary’s meteoric rise has been remarkable,” says Erika Imranyi, Mira executive editor. “The Good Girl sold almost a half-million copies in North America, been published in two dozen countries, was a New York Times and international bestseller. Pretty Baby just went on sale in paperback a month ago and is following in the footsteps of Mary’s debut, with already nearly 150k sold and tremendous reviews.”
Not surprisingly, hopes are high that history will repeat itself with Don’t You Cry. “Before Pretty Baby,” says Imranyi, “The Good Girl was doing well, but it exploded when Pretty Baby came out, and the pace hasn’t let up since. We expect a similar surge when Don’t You Cry publishes in May, and being able to merchandise the books together enables Mary’s name to stay front and center continuously, both domestically and worldwide.” Like her two previous novels, Don’t You Cry is set in Kubica’s hometown of Chicago, where a young woman has disappeared from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to “My Dearest” is found among her possessions, leaving her roommate to wonder if she ever really knew her friend. Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in a quiet coffee shop.
For Imranyi, the most important factor contributing to Kubica’s ongoing success is “the fact that she continually delivers exceptional psychological thrillers book after book. She knows what her fans want, and she nails it every time.” As for the feat of producing three books in three years, Kubica credits it to “writing quickly. I’m one of those people who tends to do things quickly. I don’t sit still easily, which is unusual for an author.”
She won’t be sitting still for long after BEA, as a national tour has been planned for later this month, something Kubica much looks forward to. “There’s no time better spent than meeting readers face-to-face and connecting with the booksellers that have been vitally important to the success of my books,” she says.
Kubica is still trying to wrap her mind around a new identity as a bestselling writer. “People I’ve known for a long time are surprised that I became a novelist. Most people assumed that The Good Girl was [going to be] a children’s book—it wasn’t at all what my family and friends expected from me. There are still times when someone asks what I do and I have a hard time saying, ‘I’m an author.’”
You can pick up an ARC of Don’t You Cry today when Kubica signs at Table 9, in the Autographing Area, 11 a.m.–noon, or at the Harlequin booth (2240), at 3:30 p.m. She’ll also be at the Harlequin booth tomorrow, at 10:30 a.m.
This article appeared in the May 12, 2016 edition of PW BEA Show Daily.