It has been ten years since Autumn was taken from the supermarket and she hasn’t been seen since. Her mother, Francine, lives alone and drinks to hide her pain. Her father, Will, has a new wife and a baby on the way and has made a career out of his daughter’s disappearance. One day, Francine receives a note from a strange girl; it says, simply, ‘I know where she is’. Autumm has been renamed Mel. She lives in a house in the woods with other girls. They are used at parties. The girl is scared: the authorities know about it and she fears for her life. Will Francine ever get her daughter back? We’re about to find out.
I am really excited to welcome S.B Caves to the blog today with an interview about his haunting new thriller I Know Where She Is.
Welcome to the blog and thanks for taking the time to answer some questions. I found this one equally enjoyable and disturbing, so I’m looking forward to hearing more from you about the book.
For anyone who hasn’t read I Know Where She Is, how would you describe it?
S.B.C – Someone described it as Taken for mums. I thought that was a good description!
Me – That is actually a brilliant description! It certainly has similar themes and ideas to Taken and I think anyone who has enjoyed the film would really enjoy this book.
What was your inspiration for I Know Where She Is? Did any real life events influence your writing?
S.B.C – I don’t think there was any specific inspiration as the book started off as just an opening scene with no real planning behind it, but I watch a lot of crime documentaries and one thing that always unnerved me was the way people could go missing and never be heard from again. That got me thinking about what would happen if a mother’s daughter went missing as a child and they reunited when she was an adult. How would they feel? How would each of them deal with it? That’s also why I set the book in the US and not the UK, because I felt like the US had such a huge landscape that it would be easier to believe people could vanish without a trace.
Me- As a mum, my child disappearing is one of my biggest fears and I think that’s why the novel struck such a nerve with me. I was so anxious for both Francine and Autumn and desperate for there to be a happy ending.
Which character was your favourite to write and why?
S.B.C – Francine, the story’s protagonist, was my favourite character in the novel because she was just a no-nonsense kind of woman. She was bitter, angry, and fiercely determined to get her daughter back. There was something unhinged about her, and I wanted the reader to feel that all the way through; that Francine could lose it at any second, and she really struggled to keep herself under control.
Me- Francine was my favourite character to read. She’s so complicated and, as you say, somewhat unhinged and I was curious to see what she would do next!
As a reader and a parent, there were parts of the novel that I found tough to read. Were there any parts that you found particularly difficult to write?
S.B.C – A lot of the book was tough to write because I had to take the reader through some dark places. Some of the scenes were particularly gruelling, and I wrote most of it with apprehension, worrying about the way it would be perceived. But, I knew if I could get a reader past the horrible stuff, there would be a payoff in the end. I realised about halfway through writing the first draft that it was developing into a revenge story, and I wanted Francine to have her revenge.
Me- I think there is a payoff in the end, although I confess that some of the scenes of the novel are still haunting me a little several weeks after finishing it. I think that’s the sign of a really good book though.
What do you want people to take away from reading this novel?
S.B.C – I’d just be happy if people enjoyed it, or even if they didn’t but it gave them enough ammunition to have a discussion with a friend about it.
Me- I certainly enjoyed it and it’s prompted a few discussions. I hope that other readers find the same. If anyone has read the book and wants to discuss it, let me know, because I’d be very interested to see what others have taken away from reading.
Aside from your own books, what book would you most like to have written and why?
S.B.C – I admire Gillian Flynn and actually prefer Dark Places and Sharp Objects to Gone Girl. I think she’s an exceptional writer. If I ever wrote something half as good as one of her novels, I’d be pleased. I recently re-read Misery by Stephen King for the first time in years and rediscovered how brilliant and frightening it is. And Red Dragon by Thomas Harris is probably my favourite thriller novel of all time, so these are a couple of the benchmarks for me.
Me-Sharp Objects is my favourite of Gillian Flynn’s books. I think I Know Where She Is is just as good as any Gillian Flynn novels I’ve read and I’d definitely recommend your novel to fans of Flynn’s work.
Thank you so much for joining me today and taking the time to answer my questions.
Check out Sarah’s review on today’s blog tour.
You can catch up with the rest of the blog tour on these stops:
Have you read this book? Do you have any comments on the book or interview that you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @charlotteswhere