The Big Thrill Discusses WHERE IS MY HUSBAND? with Ivanka Fear
Since the death of her parents, Mallory has suffered from increased anxiety and depression. When she falls in love with Jake, he revives her will to live.
One day Jake is a no-show at work, even though Mallory dropped him off there. She can’t find him anywhere. When Mallory hears noises at night and senses someone watching her inside their home, she suspects the reason for Jake’s disappearance stems from something sinister. And if her husband’s life is in danger, then so is hers and their baby’s.
As memories of her happy life with Jake morph into haunting flashbacks, Mallory realizes there’s a dark side to their relationship and that their marriage is far from perfect. She wonders if she knew her husband at all.
Now she must decide whether it’s worth having him home, or if she should forget he ever existed. Mallory has so much to lose—the perfect little family that she’s always imagined.
Ivanka Fear recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest domestic thriller, WHERE IS MY HUSBAND?.
Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?
One night, as I was waiting in the parking lot to pick up my husband from work, he didn’t come out on time. I wondered: what if he never came out? That was the beginning of a story about an anxious young woman who can’t find her husband. I considered what might have happened to him, and the possibilities led to a twisted tale of a marriage that isn’t what it appears to be. The secrets and lies leading to the husband’s disappearance formed the backdrop of the book.
A novel is such a major undertaking; there’s the writing of it, of course, then you’re spending months and months revising, polishing, and then promoting it. How did you know this was the book you wanted to spend the next couple of years on?
It was the characters that drew me in. Two opposite people getting together and making a mess of their marriage. Opposites sometimes attract, other times they collide. Mallory, with her severe anxiety and constant worrying, and Jake, who’s a bit of a jerk and a jokester, aren’t well-matched. This led to a story that is both dark and funny. Such a fun couple with crazy problems! I loved writing it!
Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?
Although I wasn’t particularly conscious of the fact as I was writing the book, it is a domestic suspense novel. Being a fan of Shari Lapena, Ruth Ware, Lucy Foley, Paula Hawkins, and so many other female domestic thriller authors, it surely influenced my writing. Music always inspires me. I choose songs for a playlist for my novels after they are written, not before. Listening to my playlist helps with the revision/editing process. Songs that Mallory can relate to are I Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) and Haunting Me.
When you first created your protagonist for this book, did you see an empty space in crime lit that you wanted to fill? What can you share about the inspiration for that character?
Having suffered from anxiety and grief myself, I hoped to normalize mental health issues that prevent us from acting in a preconceived way in any given situation by adding some humor to my protagonist’s dark reality. It’s perfectly normal to feel what you feel, even though it may seem unreasonable to onlookers. Although Mallory’s actions and reactions tend to be rather extreme, I hope that readers can identify with her panic-induced responses to trauma. In regards to Jake, I wanted to show how addictions affect the lives of loved ones. And like anxiety, an addiction isn’t something you can control.
What can you share about what you’re working on next?
My current project is a mystery novel about a letter that arrives in the mail and turns lives upside down. As is the case with all my main characters across all my books, the past is ever present, just lurking beneath the surface, ready to blow their world apart. I’m hoping this will be the start of a new series, one centered around what the mail carrier delivers to unsuspecting citizens.
Ivanka Fear is Canadian writer, born in Slovenia. She earned her B.A. and B.Ed. in English and French at Western University. Prior to pursuing writing full time, she enjoyed a long career in education. WHERE IS MY HUSBAND?, A Jake and Mallory Thriller, is her second book. Ivanka is also the author of The Dead Lie, the first book in the Blue Water Mysteries series. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, and Crime Writers of Canada.
Ivanka resides in Ontario, Canada, with her family and the stray cats that wandered in. When not reading and writing, Ivanka enjoys watching mystery series and romance movies, gardening, going for walks, and watching the waves roll in at the lake.
To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.
WHERE IS MY HUSBAND? with Ivanka Fear