Q&A: Emily Carpenter, Author of UNTIL THE DAY I DIE
I just recently read (and reviewed!) Emily Carpenter’s addictive new suspense novel, UNTIL THE DAY I DIE - and today I’m thrilled to welcome her to CBTB to give us the inside scoop on her newest release! UNTIL THE DAY I DIE is a story of psychological suspense, pitting its two female protagonists against conspiracy, betrayal, and even some high-stakes chase scenes. This book is pure “popcorn reading” material: the kind of addictive book you’ll want to devour whole. It’s got entertainment value a plenty, and readers in the market for something cinematic and suspenseful will find UNTIL THE DAY I DIE right up their alley. In today’s blog post, Emily Carpenter gives CBTB readers all the insider intel on her newest release - from details about her story’s two compelling lead characters to her writing routine and a whole lot more.
Many thanks to Emily for taking the time to answer my questions! Read on to learn more about UNTIL THE DAY I DIE, check out a snippet from my review of the book, and, of course, hear from Emily about her newest release!
This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. This in no way impacts my opinions on the book featured in this post.
UNTIL THE DAY I DIE by Emily Carpenter
From the bestselling author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls comes a riveting novel about a mother and daughter separated by grief, secrets, and a conspiracy that threatens to destroy their lives.
If there’s a healthy way to grieve, Erin Gaines hasn’t found it. After her husband’s sudden death, the runaway success of the tech company they built with their best friends has become overwhelming. Her nerves are frayed, she’s disengaged, and her frustrated daughter, Shorie, is pulling away from her. Maybe Erin’s friends and family are right. Maybe a few weeks at a spa resort in the Caribbean islands is just what she needs to hit the reset button…
Shorie is not only worried about her mother’s mental state but also for the future of her parents’ company. Especially when she begins to suspect that not all of Erin’s colleagues can be trusted. It seems someone is spinning an intricate web of deception—the foundation for a conspiracy that is putting everything, and everyone she loves, at risk. And she may be the only one who can stop it.
Now, thousands of miles away in a remote, and oftentimes menacing, tropical jungle, Erin is beginning to have similar fears. Things at the resort aren’t exactly how the brochure described, and unless she’s losing her mind, Erin’s pretty sure she wasn’t sent there to recover—she was sent to disappear.
From My Review:
A woman grieving the loss of her husband is thrown into the center of a shocking conspiracy in suspense writer Emily Carpenter’s page-turning newest. In UNTIL THE DAY I DIE, suburban bliss is shattered by a tragic accident: in an instant, Erin’s beloved husband is gone, leaving her and her teenage daughter, Shorie, to fend for themselves. In the wake of this unthinkable tragedy, Erin’s mental state begins to unravel. As she spirals towards rock bottom, her best friends (and the co-founders of the prominent tech company Erin and her husband ran) intervene, sending Erin to a luxury rehabilitation center on a remote Caribbean island. What could go wrong? A lot, as it turns out. UNTIL THE DAY I DIE is hair-raising, cinematic fun to read. From its interpersonal secrets to its high-stakes chase scenes in the Caribbean jungle, UNTIL THE DAY I DIE delivers thrills both big and small - a highly entertaining and larger-than-life concoction. Readers in the market for a binge-worthy book with a healthy dose of drama will find Carpenter’s UNTIL THE DAY I DIE right up their alley. (It doesn’t hurt that the cover is absolutely gorgeous, either!) | Continue Reading
Author Q&A: Emily Carpenter
UNTIL THE DAY I DIE
Crime by the Book: Thank you so much for stopping by Crime by the Book to tell us about your newest release, UNTIL THE DAY I DIE! In your own words, could you give us a one or two sentence overview of what this book is about?
Emily Carpenter: It’s about a mother and daughter who, though separated, both realize that someone working in the family business is up to no good and that person may be trying to hurt them. It’s a high-charged, adventure thriller with two female characters who know their stuff.
CBTB: At the heart of UNTIL THE DAY I DIE are two very compelling women: Erin, a co-founder of a tech company, and her daughter Shorie, a young woman who's just setting out on her college career. How would you describe these two characters to someone meeting them for the first time?
EC: Well, Erin’s a go-getter and Shorie’s much more reserved, but handy with computers. They’re leaders, both of them, in their own way, used to trusting their own instincts. So when things start getting really weird, they just attack things with the attitude, “I’m going to fix this.” I loved that about them.
CBTB: Grief plays a central role in this book. Can you speak to your decision to begin your story with a death? What do you hope readers take away from Erin and Shorie's experience with grief and loss?
EC: I felt like grief was probably the only thing that could knock both of these women for a loop, they were both so confident and strong. But we see that Perry was their common denominator, the bridge that kept Erin and Shorie close – because they really are so different. With him gone, they not only have to deal with the sadness around his death, but they have to start their relationship over. Rebuild something between the two of the them that doesn’t depend on Perry. I loved that concept that a mother and daughter would have to start from scratch like that.
CBTB: You have a knack for writing psychological suspense set against totally fascinating backdrops, and UNTIL THE DAY I DIE is no exception! Much of this story's drama and suspense takes place in a luxury resort on a remote Caribbean island. Where did you come up with the idea to set your story here? What about this particular backdrop interested you?
EC: So I had this idea to do a Lord of the Flies remake but with soccer moms! I pictured a bunch of women like me, scrambling around a tropical island losing their minds, which sounded fun, but in the end, wasn’t really the idea that stuck. So that was the Caribbean island component. I liked how Michael Crichton made up the island near Costa Rica in Jurassic Park because it seems wild and remote and full of dangerous elements, so I drew on that too. And of course the only reason a woman like Erin would go to an island is to rest at a posh resort. But then I thought of having another part of the story – the daughter’s story where she’s in college, which seems like an ordinary environment, but to her, it’s the totally new and completely intimidating too, just in a different way!
CBTB: I have to ask... Erin goes through some pretty intense scenes of wilderness survival in this story. Were any of these inspired by personal experience?
EC: Not at all. I am not outdoorsy in the least. I’m about the most indoorsy person you’ll meet. I like a good patio hang, that’s about as survivalist as I get.
CBTB: Let's talk about plot twists! Without spoiling anything, UNTIL THE DAY I DIE has a jaw-dropping finale that left me totally gobsmacked. When you set out to write a psychological suspense novel, do you begin knowing exactly how the book will end? Do your stories ever change course as you're writing them?
EC: I always know, in general, the ending I’m writing toward. A lot of times though, I’ll discover a great twist that I think will work – but it’s usually not the final big twist. It’s so much pressure to put on yourself, to write this Big Twist that you hope surprises everybody because setting up those expectations with sophisticated readers can backfire. People will always figure it out. So I’ll set my ending and then hope to come up with some “side twists” as I call them, along the way. Some fun surprises that make the journey more fun and eye-popping. In this case, the epilogue in this book was a last-minute addition. The day I was supposed to turn the book in, I woke up with this crazy idea and just wrote it out. I was in love with that little extra oomph it gave the story, a little behind-the-scenes peek, and hoped my editor liked it too. She did!
CBTB: What does a typical writing day look like for you? Do you have any tried-and-true writing routines that you always adhere to?
EC: I’m all over the map now, writing when I can. My kid is in school, so I do write during those hours, and I usually try to hit a daily word count when I’m working on a first draft. I’ve gone through super-disciplined phases in the past, but now I feel more comfortable with my process. I know the words are going to be there when I need them. So I realize now that some days are good for just thinking about the story and planning the next chapter, and it’s okay to just roll with it and run my errands.
CBTB: When you're not writing crime fiction, do you also read crime fiction? If so, can you share with us a few crime novels you've recently read and loved? (And if not, what kinds of books do you typically gravitate towards?)
EC: I wish I read more. I’m kind of a slow reader so it takes me time to get through a book. The three books on my nightstand right now are Matt Coyle’s detective series WRONG LIGHT, Thomas Tryon’s THE OTHER, and Stephen King’s DUMA KEY. All men at the moment, but I read a ton of women too, obviously. There are so many great books out there, I want to weep at all the books I can’t get to.
CBTB: What are you working on next?
EC: REVIVING THE HAWTHORN SISTERS is the follow-up to my first book BURYING THE HONEYSUCKLE GIRLS. Like Honeysuckle, it’s a dual narrative (present day and the 1930s) set in Alabama. It’s about an old murder that a lot of people still aren’t over, and a woman who’s dealing with the scams she knows her faith-healing grandmother perpetrated. Or if they were really scams at all.
Huge thank you to Emily Carpenter for answering my questions about her newest release! UNTIL THE DAY I DIE is available now.
Paperback: 347 pages
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 12, 2019)
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