Emily, a popular but bookish prep school senior, goes missing after a night out with friends. She was last seen leaving a party with Alex, a football player with a dubious reputation. But no one is talking.
Now three mothers, Catherine, Leslie, and Morgan, friends turned frenemies, have their lives turned upside down as they are forced to look to their own children—and each other’s—for answers to questions they don’t want to ask.
Kristen Bird recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE NIGHT SHE WENT MISSING:
What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
I hope that readers enjoy the Galveston setting, a city with a dark and interesting history. I lived on the island for a couple of years in my twenties, and I found that it had a great art scene, a hardworking medical community, and loyal townspeople who’d called the island home for generations. I also hope that readers appreciate the question that each of the mothers has to ask herself at one point in the story: To what lengths will I go in order to protect my child?
What attracts you to this book’s genre?
I am disturbed and fascinated by the idea that no one except the family who lives there really knows what happens behind closed doors. I also love creating realistic characters who are handed an extraordinary set of circumstances that they must navigate carefully in order to protect what they value most.
What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?
This book features four women, each strong and fierce in her own right. It was important that each of them have their own distinct thoughts and motivations. At times, it was a lot to keep straight in my head, but the longer I spent time with them, the more distinct each woman became.
Was there anything new you discovered, or that surprised you, as you wrote this book?
I learned a lot about pacing through the process of revision with this book. Deciding what to reveal and when became essential in the revision stage, and it made me appreciate thrillers as a writer rather than merely as a reader.
What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?
Liane Moriarty first inspired my love of this genre with her outstanding novel, The Husband’s Secret. Ruth Ware and Lisa Jewell are also two writers I greatly admire in this space.
Kristen has lived coast to coast, but with her extended family in north Alabama, her roots run Southern deep. She teaches high school English and writes in local coffee shops near her home outside of Houston. In her free time, she likes to visit parks with her three daughters, watch quirky films with her husband, and attempt to keep pace with her rescue lab-mixes.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.