Wednesday, September 3, 2014

PUYB Chats with Carly M. Duncan, author of 'Behind You'



Carly M. Duncan is a television producer by day and a writer whenever there is time. Her first short story was published when she was in high school after a writing group prompted her to begin blogging before it was cool. Carly’s debut novel, Marcie, was released in 2013. Though she’ll forever be a California girl at heart, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, two children and beloved Westie.

Her latest book is Behind You.
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About the Book:

When a mysterious attack lands Heather in the hospital on the brink of death, her family rushes to her side. Through an inconvenient maze of shadowed memory and family secrets, Heather can trust only herself to discover if her husband, parents, sister or aunt tried to kill her. During the course of their own narratives, each character confesses to their various crimes of passion, envy and ignorance, weaving Heather's mystery into an untraditional tale about seizing the opportunity to start over.

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Welcome to the book club, Carly!  Can we begin by having you tell us how you got into writing mysteries?

Carly: I love reading mysteries, so I thought I'd challenge myself with writing something that might keep people turning pages. I like the forethought required to plant tiny hints that the reader can look back and see that the writer was dropping clues for them the entire time!

You’re a television producer by day?  What shows have you had a part in producing?

Carly: I got my start at MTV and have worked on various series for TLC, NatGeo, Logo, A&E, etc. Currently airing is an FYI channel series called Tiny House Nation, which revolves around the tiny home movement. It's a really amazing show - and not just because I'm involved. The houses our design team creates from scratch are really incredible.

I imagine it’s hard to combine such a hectic career with writing.  When do you have time to relax?

Carly: I wouldn't know what to do if I had time to relax. I like to be busy. I'm not very comfortable sitting still. 

I want to know more about Behind You.  Can you tell us more about your main character, Heather?  What are her flaws and what are her weaknesses?

Carly: Heather is very layered. At first sight she's a woman who's struggling through feeling connected to her marriage. She's not sure about how to solve the problems she has and this struggle brings her to a very confused state. Luckily, she is close with her immediate family and can turn to them for support, but when her attack happens she really isn't sure about who she can trust. Her biggest flaw is that she has a hard time being honest - to herself and to the people she loves. One of her weaknesses is not being able to communicate directly and not noticing the secrets of those surrounding her. She's too focused on herself and often can't see the bigger picture.

Can you tell us a little about the supporting characters?

Carly: Susan, Heather's mother, has a competitive relationship her sister (Heather's aunt), Katherine. They have really let a life very close and devoted to each other, but there's a dangerous competitive layer there. Heather's husband, Stephen, also feels disconnected to their marriage, which doesn't help either of them. He's less driven to come to a cure, but has definite communication issues as well. Heather's father has a major secret and spends his life worried about when someone will discover all that he's trying to hide.

They say every book has at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put that book down.  What’s one of the pivotal points in Behind You?

Carly: I think after people read the first chapter they'll be quite curious about Heather's story and what will be revealed. I like to include a small cliff hanger at the end of each chapter that prompts the reader to continue reading, so there are smaller pivotal points all along the way too.

What’s next for you, Carly?

Carly: I want to take the time to properly promote Behind You. I have about a third of the my next novel written, but I haven't been writing as devotedly on it lately. My hope is to complete it in time for the holidays next year, 2015.

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