Loss Lake (November 2020) | Raven Lane | Rapid Falls
Tell us about your latest book.
Raven Lane, my second novel, came out in November 2019. It's a story about a steamy suburb where the neighbors are far too close for comfort. Esme and Benedict Werner have an idyllic life in a tight-knit community until an accident in their cul-de-sac ends in the tragic sudden death of one of their dearest neighbors. After vindicating eyewitness accounts morph into contradictory memories, suspicion, and unaccountable accusations, Benedict is arrested. Esme’s life, too, is changed forever. It’s a domestic thriller layered with the psychological tension of past mistakes coming back to call.
What's your writing process?
One week ago, I would have told you that I fit in my work during the school and preschool hours for my two kids. Now, in the chaos of COVID-19 and the uncertainty surrounding schools re-opening in Canada, I’m not sure what my process will be for writing in the foreseeable future. I see a lot of five am mornings and stolen sentences during screen time coming my way. In any case, there are a few things that won’t change. I’m an outliner. My first two outlines were basically scribbled on napkins but I’ve become more rigorous now that I’ve been through a few rounds of editing and am appreciate of how much time can be saved by the creation of a timeline. I am also a recent adopter of Scrivener which first blew my mind and then changed my life. I think my next book is going to be my best because of the software (and I promise they didn’t pay me to say that). Other than that, I would LOVE to write every day and someday I will, but for now, I write in fits and starts in between refereeing arguments and reading Harry Potter.
Are there themes you like to explore in your books?
Recently on Twitter, Elizabeth Blackwell nominated me to identify three themes in my books which tied them together. Without thinking, I typed: Dead Boyfriend, Dead Lover, Dead Husband. I think my husband had to suppress a shudder at the thread between my inciting events and I too was slightly taken aback but not surprised. My books all include the death of someone close to my main character, dark elements and complicated protagonists. I feel drawn to the theme not for the luridness but for the sense of infinite closure a book which solves a murder brings to me. Like PD James once said, "I think the main attraction isn’t the horror, it’s the puzzle, the bringing of order out of disorder."
Do you listen to music while you write?
Never ever ever. All I want to hear is the story in my own head. I find anything other than complete silence extremely distracting. I’m planning to show these answers to my children by the way.
What's your favorite genre to read?
This is like asking me who is my favorite child. I’m a genre skipper. As a teenager, I loved horror and science fiction. In my twenties, I read a lot of literary fiction and detective novels. In my thirties, I became a rabid reader of suspense, domestic thrillers, mysteries and true crime. Lately, in the uncertainty of the world, I’ve been thrilled by the warm embrace of romance and historical fiction. I read a lot and I tend to dance with the one who brought me to each party but I go to a lot of different parties.
What are you reading right now?
So case in point is what is on my bedside table. I’m currently pages away from the end of Voyager, book three of the Outlander series. I’m going to then dive into The Companion (I CANNOT WAIT) and then to Behind Every Lie but Christina McDonald.
What's the next project and when can we expect it?
Currently, I’m finishing the final proof reads on my third book, Loss Lake, which will be out in November 2020. I’m really excited for this one. Small towns and big secrets are something I really enjoy. Here’s a brief description:
Two months a widow, Mallory Dent has made the impulsive decision to pack up and move on. In remote McNamara, nestled in the northern mountains, she can escape her grief, guilt, and pain. But the day Mallory arrives, death follows her, lapping just outside her door in the form of a woman’s body floating in Loss Lake.
Amber Cowie is a novelist and freelance writer living on the west coast of British Columbia. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, and CrimeReads, among other publications. Her first novel, Rapid Falls, was short-listed for a Whistler Book Award and hit number one on the Kindle Bestsellers list and the top 100 books in the Kindle store in 2018. She has appeared at Left Coast Crime, the Pacific Northwest Writers Festival, and the Whistler Writers Festival.
She is a mother of two and reader of many. She likes skiing, running and making up stories that make her internet search history unnerving.