GRAY AFTER DARK by Noelle W. Ihli, feature
GRAY AFTER DARK by Noelle W. Ihli, feature
Print Friendly, PDF & Email


The Big Thrill Discusses GRAY AFTER DARK with Noelle W. Ihli

Book Cover: GRAY AFTER DARK A merciless wilderness. A harrowing attack. A desperate escape.

When a tragic accident sidelines Miley’s dreams of Olympic gold, she takes a summer job at a mountain guest lodge. The Frank Church Wilderness is remote, but it’s the perfect place to train and recover. Local lore about a staffer who died years ago doesn’t scare her.

But it should.

Miley’s plans take a terrifying detour when she’s abducted during a morning run. Held captive in a desolate off-grid cabin, she’ll have to use her athletic prowess, cunning mind, and courage to survive. But as the nightmare at the cabin escalates, Miley is forced to form an unlikely alliance and attempt a risky escape.

Can she outwit her captors and survive the wilderness before it’s too late?

Author Photo: Noelle W. Ihli

Noelle W. Ihli

Noelle W. Ihli recently sat down with The Big Thrill to discuss her latest genre, GRAY AFTER DARK .

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?

I’m fascinated by ordinary people who are suddenly thrust into terrifying or dire situations. To me, that’s the scariest situation possible. You’re just minding your business on a random Tuesday, and BAM, some guy comes at you on your morning run and drags you into the forest (this is what happened to Kari Swenson). But even more than that is the tenacity and courage that got her through the ordeal that followed. When I can’t get an anecdote or a tidbit of news out of my head, combined with the goosebumps that come with seeing someone show such courage against the odds, I know it’s the kernel of a story that I’d like to develop.

Can you pinpoint a moment or incident that sparked the idea for this book?

Listening to the “My Favorite Murder” episode about Kari Swenson. It’s one of the most incredible stories that few people know about, since it took place in the eighties pre-internet. GRAY AFTER DARK is its own story, but it was inspired by Kari’s experience.

Were there any particular books, movies, or songs that were knocking around in your head while you were writing this one?

“Two of Us on the Run” by Lucius. Some of the lyrics:
“There’s no race, there’s only a runner
Just keep one foot in front of the other
1, 2, 3 even when you get tired
Just keep one foot in front of the other
There’s no race, no ending in sight
No second too short, no window too tight”

In addition to a great read, what do you hope readers will take away from this story?

I hope they feel inspired to keep going in their own lives when the going gets tough. Keep putting one foot in front of the other, like Miley does.

What can you share about what you’re working on next?

My work in progress is another thriller inspired by real events (another little-known story). The Mountain Meadows Massacre. The murders near Cedar City in Utah were one of the deadliest massacres on US soil prior to September 11th, 2001. Despite this fact, most people are not familiar with the story.


Noelle W. Ihli is the author of five thriller-suspense novels, including bestsellers Ask for Andrea and Run on Red. She lives in Idaho with her husband, two sons, and two cats. When she’s not plotting her next thriller, she’s scaring herself with true-crime documentaries or going for a trail ride in the foothills (with her trusty pepper spray).

To learn more about the author, please visit her on facebook.