Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Q&A with Cara Reinard




Cara Reinard is the author of the new novel The Den. Her other books include Into the Sound. She also works in the pharmaceutical industry, and she lives in the Pittsburgh area.


Q: What inspired you to write The Den, and how did you create the Fox family?


A: The Den started as an assignment in my MFA YA novel beginnings class. When it was time to pitch ideas to my publisher, my agent asked me if I had anything new, and I mentioned that my entire class really loved the premise in my recent writing workshop.


I had just finished watching the season finale for Shameless, and I had this idea for a book about four siblings plotting to get rid of their awful father (imagine if Frank Gallagher had money) in order to get ahold of a newly discovered trust.


My literary agent, Ella Marie Shupe, asked me if I could write her a pitch for that premise in the adult version and together we tweaked a five-paragraph pitch that resulted in the sale of the novel. You never know where inspiration will come from, but mine started as a homework assignment.


Q: Without giving anything away, did you know how the story would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I usually have a solid idea of how my novels will end. I’m bad with figuring out the “double twist” though. It seems that one twist isn’t enough in thrillers these days. And the second twist in this book didn’t form until much later in the book.

Q: The Publishers Weekly review of the book says, in part, “The explosive plot, told through alternating narrators with wildly divergent viewpoints, creates a tense, Machiavellian atmosphere.” What do you think of that description, and how would you describe the dynamics among the Fox siblings?


A: That’s my favorite trade review I’ve ever received. Machiavelli believed it was better to be feared than loved. He also believed a prince should calculate all the wicked deeds he needs to do to secure his power.


These are themes that strongly reflect in all of the Fox siblings, some more than others. Every sibling has a different power play in the book to claim their fortune. Which one is evil enough to make murder their move though—that’s the question.


Q: What do you hope readers take away from the story?


A: I had more fun writing these devious characters than I have in past books. There’s also some dark humor threaded throughout. I hope readers find it a quick, entertaining read with a surprise ending and characters they love to hate.


Q: What are you working on now?


A: I’m working on a few different things as I wait to hear back from my literary agent on ideas for my next project.


As my agent looks over my book proposal and we prepare for next steps, I’m dabbling in writing screenplays, a skill set I picked up while completing my MFA. I’m collaborating with another screenwriter on converting a domestic suspense novel (unpublished) into a screenplay.


I graduate with my MFA from Lindenwood University this December, so I’m also working on my thesis.


Q: Anything else we should know?


A: When I’m not writing, I love to travel, and spend time with my family. This year I’ve had some of our greatest travel adventures yet: Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, NYC, Orlando, Toronto, Seattle. I can’t wait for The Den to come out and to see where the new year takes me!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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