Imogen and Beck, two sisters who couldn’t be more different, have been friends with Tilda since high school. Once inseparable, over two decades the women have grown apart—Imogen taking to the quiet of a writer’s life and Beck to the busy world of medicine, while vivacious Tilda has found herself on a meteoric rise to stardom.
But when Imogen survives a traumatic attack, Beck suggests they all reunite to hike deep into the Grand Canyon’s backcountry. A week away, secluded in nature … it’s just what they all need. But as the terrain grows tougher, tensions from the past bubble up. And when supplies begin to disappear, the women realize secrets aren’t the only thing they’re being stalked by.
Zoje Stage recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, GETAWAY:
Which took shape first: plot, character, or setting?
Setting and plot. This story is loosely inspired by an incident that happened with my family when we were backpacking in the Grand Canyon many years ago. A rather scary fellow came by our camp and said some rather alarming things. In real life, the man walked on, but GETAWAY explores the “what if” of a trio of backpackers who face a threat and aren’t so lucky.
How does this book make a contribution to the genre?
As with everything I write, GETAWAY takes a deep dive into my main character’s head and unravels her complicated thoughts on the traumas she’s experienced. Because of Imogen’s understanding of the ways life can go awry, she brings an interesting perspective on the nemesis she faces, often looking for ways in which she is similar. I love to explore how good and evil exist together, and this novel is chock full of those juxtapositions.
No spoilers, but what can you tell us about your book that we won’t find in the jacket copy or the PR material?
It was very important to me to make all of the backpacking details as accurate as possible. While I’ve backpacked in the Grand Canyon four times, I’ve not been to all of the locations mentioned in the book. I pestered my dad with a million phone calls and questions, wanting to know every detail—from the width of a creek to the exact timing of certain hikes. There are many instances where a writer might have chosen to just make something up to facilitate a plot element, but I wanted to work with the realities of the location.
Zoje Stage is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of Baby Teeth and Wonderland. A former filmmaker with a penchant for the dark and suspenseful, she lives in Pittsburgh.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.