Today, we welcome Kara Thomas, and talk about her thriller OUT OF THE ASHES. First, tell our readers a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised on Long Island, and I currently live here on the south shore with my husband, young son, and rescue cat, Felix.
How long have you been writing and is it your full time job? If not, what is your ‘real world’ job?
Writing was my full-time job for the past ten years. Last year, I completed my goal of getting a Master’s in Library Science, and I have been working part-time as an adult services librarian ever since.
What does your typical writing day looks like?
I start working for the day when I get home from dropping my son off at school around 8. I usually work for a few hours, break for lunch, catch up on chores, and then write again for a few hours in the afternoon.
Give us a look at your latest release.
Out of the Ashes is about an ICU nurse named Sam who is dealing with two family tragedies– one recent, and one over twenty years old. She finds out they may be connected when she returns home after her uncle’s death and learns that her baby sister may have actually survived the fire that covered up the still-unsolved murders of her parents.
What inspired the idea for this book?
A number of real-life true crime cases where children or people were missing after house fires.
Which of the characters do you relate to the most and why?
I relate to Sam, not because I have experienced a personal tragedy to the scale she has, but because she is very stubborn and mired in the past and can’t let things go.
Would you and your main character be friends?
Probably not! Sam is prickly and tough to get along with. I respect her, but I’m unsure I would want to hang out with her.
What part of the book was the hardest to write?
Middles of books are always difficult for me because you have to balance the various plot threads you set up at the beginning of the book.
Did you model a character after someone you know?
If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?
Out of the Ashes was always meant to be a standalone, but I am currently working on a sequel/companion novel to one of my previously published YA novels.
Could you share one detail from your current release with readers that they might not find in the book?
The book was not originally set in New York state– it was set in a small fiction town in Oklahoma.
Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write?
Dennis Lehane was a huge influence on me, and I admire his approach to crime fiction and how human it is.
Your favorite go to drink or food when the world goes crazy!
Buffalo wings and a margarita on the rocks!
What is the one question you never get asked at interviews, but wish you did?
What is your fantasy dream job that you’re not at all qualified for? I would love to be an FBI agent.
Thank you for joining us, Kara. And we all have those fantasy jobs…..
Reader’s, here’s a look at OUT OF THE ASHES:::::
A woman’s investigation into her family’s murders uncovers lies, secrets, and dangerous truths in a heart-wrenching novel of suspense.
When she was thirteen years old, Samantha Newsom’s family was murdered and their Catskills farmhouse set ablaze in an unsolved crime that left nothing behind but ashes.
Twenty-two years later, Sam is pulled back to her hometown of Carney, New York, under the shadows of the grim tragedy she’s never forgotten or forgiven. Authorities mishandled the evidence, false rumors were seeded about her family, suspects yielded nothing, and the case went cold. Not anymore. Investigator Travis Meacham has been assigned to the case, and he has news for Sam: a prison inmate has come forward with a shocking admission. Sam’s baby sister, presumed dead in the fire, made it out of the house that night.
It’s not the only reveal that upends everything Sam thinks she knows about the crime and her family. But Carney protects its secrets. And this time, Sam might not be able to escape the town alive.