1. Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself.
I’m married with two little girls and a dog. We live in Pennsylvania. I’ve been working as a scientist in the pharmaceutical industry for fifteen years.
2. When did you know that you wanted to write professionally and how did you take the leap to get into the business?
I guess I technically haven’t made the leap yet. I’m still a weekend warrior when it comes to writing. I started writing my novel a year ago, with no intention of getting it published. Then when I actually finished it, which was a surprise, I thought, why not pursue publication? I feel like an accidental novelist. Somewhere along the line, something must have clicked, though, because I’m about a quarter of the way through my second one. Now everything’s a bit more intentional, and therefore, scary. Before I had no fear of failure. It was all “Eh, why not?” Now, I’m trying, and that’s a different ball of wax.
3. Can you tell me a little bit about your book and what inspired it?
I was inspired to write a novel because a good friend finished writing one. It was something I’d always wanted to do, like a bucket list thing. I came up with the plot by thinking about what would throw me for a loop more than anything else. The answer was something happening to my husband. It was interesting to me. Again, I never thought I was writing for others.
4. What do you hope that readers take way with them after reading your book?
I never thought about this before. Thanks for the great question! Both Claire and Greg, at different parts of the book, ponder “What if?” Without giving too much away, they think about that grass on the other side of the fence. And later, when Claire develops a romance with a childhood friend, that relationship is less than perfect, also. I guess if you were going to take away something from the book, it’s that real love isn’t fairy tale love. Building a life with another person isn’t easy, and it doesn’t just “happen.”
5. I find it interesting to know what environment authors find most productive… Do you use a pen and paper or laptop? Quiet room at home or bustling café? Basically, what gets your creative juices flowing?
This question cracks me up. I seem to come up with a lot in the car or the shower or in places where I can’t possibly write it down. I have to save it and write it down later. A lot of the time, I’m writing when my kids are playing around me and the dog is barking. With my life the way it is right now, I rarely have the luxury of writing in silence. My husband works 12-hour shifts, so I can’t even frequently bug off to Barnes and Noble. I can’t decide if I’ll be more or less productive in five years when I have (slightly) less chaos. I did create a writing “nook” in my bedroom, complete with a desk. That was weeks ago, and I have yet to use it.
6. What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
My toughest criticism… that’s so hard! People are genuinely impressed when you write a novel, even those who have also done it. And they’re very nice, conscious of not wanting to scar you for life. Because of this, my criticisms have been thankfully gentle. Although I’ve heard a common theme in all of them: I tend to be repetitive, I tend to tell not show, I have an adverb affliction. I’m working on all of it. My greatest compliment? More than one person has said that Claire feels like “a friend.” This tells me that I created a character that is not only relatable, but leaps off the page. At least, I hope…
7. What book is currently on your nightstand? And who are some of your favorite authors?
It pains me to say this, but I have no “book” on my nightstand. I recently downloaded Sister, by Rosamund Lupton, on my Kindle and plan on starting that as soon as I can. I try to read paper books whenever I can, but I have succumbed to the digital age. Asking me about favorite authors is like asking me about my favorite child; it depends on the day! I read a lot of suspense/thrillers when I’m not writing. John Grisham, Dean Koontz, Harlan Coben, Michael Connelly, Linwood Barclay. For a more literary read, I’ll pick up Toni Morrison or Raymond Carver. I love Jodi Piccoult and Elin Hildebrand if I’m on the beach.
8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I chase children and all that entails! Between day trips to keep the kids occupied, working, and writing, I don’t have any other downtime, unless you count sleeping. Years ago, I used to play the piano, and sometimes I can still bang out a pretty rendition of “Twinkle, Twinkle.”
9. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Just write. Don’t listen to the writing “advice.” Don’t let those voices get in your head because it’s impossible to get them out. Don’t get caught up in the things that don’t matter – what program you use, what writing communities you belong to, how to “get published.” Just sit down and put pen to paper. Or fingers to keys. There’s some psychological connection between being a writer and a horrendous procrastinator.
10. What can we expect from you next?
My work in progress is so different from Thought I Knew You. It still puts the marital relationship under the microscope, but involves a murder and a couple keeping secrets together and what that can do to a relationship.
11. Do any animals share your life? Please tell us about them.
We have one dog, a German shepherd named Bailey. She’s ten years old and starting to slow down a bit, which means she’s now acting more like a normal dog. For as long as we’ve had her, her energy has been overwhelming. I always say that having her as a puppy was harder than having either of my kids as infants! She’s very smart and loving. My only regret is that I can’t give her as much attention as she deserves. She’s great with the kids. They sit on her, pull her ears, etc., and she never seems to care. I can tell that she looks at her life, though, and wonders what the heck happened? She used to be queen of the castle!
And now for a little bit of fun:) This or That?
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Sweet or Salty? Salty
Beach or Lake? Beach
Winter or Summer? Summer
Cats or Dogs? Dogs
Zombies or Vampires? Neither. People. Living people, please.
Country or City? Country
Shower or Bath? Shower
Morning or Evening? I honestly have no preference. I stay up late and get up early. I’m productive at both ends of the day.
M&Ms or Skittles? M&M’s
Trains or Planes? Planes. Vacation can start that much sooner! J
Comedy or Drama? Comedy. I watch about a movie a month. I can’t waste it on sadness; I need to laugh.
Author: Kate Moretti
Release Date: September 15th 2012
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Size: 276 pages
Claire Barnes is shattered when her husband, Greg, goes on a business trip and never returns.
Unwilling to just wait for the police to find him, Claire conducts her own investigation. Her best friend Drew helps her look for answers, but all she finds are troubling questions.
With every clue, she discovers that Greg may not be the man she thought she married.
While battling her growing feelings for Drew and raising her two young children, Claire must learn to live with the knowledge that the truth behind Greg’s disappearance may never be revealed.
Greg and Cody disappeared on the same day.
One or two Fridays a month, Greg and I hired a babysitter for date night. The idea was to take some time for ourselves and reconnect. The reality was significantly less romantic. We typically ate at Pesto Charlie’s due to some combination of availability and timing. I’d order whatever seafood was on special, and Greg would get Chicken Picatta—light on the sauce, of course. The food was always dependable, we never had to wait for table, and with the low lighting and heady aroma of Italian spices, the restaurant was atmospheric enough to check Date Night off our to-do lists.
A few times, we tried other places, but either the food wasn’t good, the service was poor, or we’d leave the restaurant late and miss the beginning of whatever movie we planned to see. Greg refused to go into a theater late. He called it rude and always clucked disapprovingly when others did so. So Pesto Charlie’s became something of a tradition, albeit not a very exciting one. We’d get home between ten and ten-thirty, pay the sitter twenty bucks, and go to bed. Sometimes we’d make love, but not every time. Even date night wasn’t a guaranteed lay.
Greg was due back around one that Friday afternoon, having been on a business trip all week. He traveled for work more than I liked, but I’d stopped complaining about the monthly trips years ago and just accepted them as a part of life. Greg and I worked for the same company, Advent Pharmaceuticals. He was a professional trainer, not a weight lifting trainer, but adult education for the corporate set. He taught various courses on compliance, regulations, and the science behind Advent’s drugs. He was based in Raritan, New Jersey, about ten miles from where we lived in Clinton, but often flew as far as Canada. Greg was good at his job; actually, Greg was good at almost everything.
I worked part time as a technical writer. My job was less demanding, allowing me to work from home and take care of the children. I just worked for extra money. Something to do, Greg had once joked at a dinner party, his arm draped across my shoulders. My face had burned at that, even though I had said the same thing a million times.
“Mommy, I think Cody got out.” Hannah stood in the doorway between the hallway and the kitchen. Her earlier neat blond ponytail had fallen to the side, and she had some furtively acquired lipstick smeared on her cheek.
“What? Hannah, seriously, stay out of my purse, please.” No matter how hard I tried, Hannah seemed determined to look a mess. It’s like an age requirement for four-year-olds.
She pointed at the screen door. “Mommy, look!”
Sure enough, the screen swayed gently in the early October breeze. The opening between the mesh and the frame was jagged, as if it had been clawed. Had I let him out? I thought so. With the girls and the library, the memory of the morning blurred. I wasn’t concerned. Cody would have been more aptly named Houdini. Our yard was large, several acres, with a small patch of woods in the back, perfect for chasing small animals and sometimes bringing them back as prizes, dropping them on the doorstep with a triumphant thump. Given that our closest neighbors were a quarter-mile away, Cody had the run of the place, but he always knew where home was.
“Sweetie, he’ll be home. He’s just out for an adventure.” I poked my head out of the door and looked around the yard. “Cody! Come back, bud! It’s dinner time!” It wasn’t, but “dinner time” never failed to evoke a response.
I didn’t see him, but he could have been anywhere. An old barn sat at the back of our property. I could imagine him there, tucked under the rarely used workbench, bathed in a shaft of light let in by the broken side door. I’d look in a bit, after the babysitter, Charlotte, came but before we left for dinner. I let the screen door slam and checked the time. I was surprised to see that the clock showed three fifteen already. Where was Greg anyway?
I gathered two-year-old Leah from the playroom, her cheeks rouged from the same Hannah-pilfered lipstick, and plopped her in the high chair. After tossing some goldfish crackers on her tray, I picked up the phone and dialed Greg’s number. My call went directly to voicemail, so I left an irritated message. Frustrated, I tapped my fingers on the phone. Greg had likely forgotten our plans, his mind a million miles away, his wife last on his list. I stormed around the kitchen, slamming pots and pan lids, half-expecting him to appear behind me and say teasingly, “Feel better now?” like he generally does when I get cranky and start making noise.
I had to think a moment to remember the last time we spoke. Wednesday evening, he had called to say good night and to tell the girls he loved them. He didn’t call last night, but that wasn’t all that strange. I filled my time with kid-friendly activities, play dates, family, and friends, so we didn’t talk every night. I could think of a few trips, particularly in the last few months, where the week would come and go before I realized we hadn’t spoken at all.
“The bigger question, Hannah-banana, is where on earth is your daddy?”
At six, I called Charlotte and cancelled.
Then, I called my mom. “Can you believe he didn’t even call me? Should I be worried?”
“Nah, you never know when he’s coming home,” Mom reassured me. “Remember last month? His flight was delayed for a whole day.”
“Yeah, but he called at least.” I bit my bottom lip.
“Not until pretty late, though, right? He was stuck on the runway. It’s probably the same now.” I could envision her dismissively waving her hand in the air.
Her lightness eased something inside me, and I exhaled a breath I hadn’t known I was holding. “I’ll bet he forgot. It’s so typical lately. I have no idea where his head is anymore.”
“Well, if his plane was delayed, I’m sure he can’t call. That whole ‘don’t use your cell phone while flying’ rule.”
Mom and Dad lived about ten minutes away in the same house where I grew up, and I talked to my mother no less than twice a day. She loved Greg and probably knew more about our life than a mother should, but she wasn’t privy to the small details. She didn’t know about Greg’s recent distance or our inability to have a conversation lately, or our apparent—mutual—sex strike, which caused our bed to be the scene of a new Cold War. Ups and downs, is all, I kept thinking. We all got ‘em.
But when we had talked on Wednesday, things seemed a little better. Greg wanted to go to a movie; we hadn’t done that in a while. And he even suggested Mexican. His long silences, usually heavy with unsaid words, seemed lighter somehow. Almost easy. When I tried to end the call, I sensed an unusual hesitancy. Generally, Greg ended the conversation first, a sense of urgency coming through the line from the minute he said “hello,” but Wednesday had been different. Or maybe that was just my hopeful thinking.
Leah started crying from her high chair.
“Ma, I gotta go. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
After six o’clock, I secured the girls in the playroom in front of the television before bed and hiked to the back of the yard, skirting the edge of the woods. Behind the woods was a steep hill, ending in little-used railroad tracks.
“Cooooody!” I called him over and over again. I expected him to come bounding over the hill, carrying some treasure from the tracks. When he didn’t materialize, I fought a sense of deep unease, of everything being slightly out of place, two voids in the house defying reason.
Kate Moretti lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.
She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like.
Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway.
Connect with the Author: Website | Facebook
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out the rest of the tour: http://redadeptpublishing.com/knew-you-blog-tour/
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Check out the rest of the tour: http://redadeptpublishing.com/knew-you-blog-tour/