Mia Haas has built her life far from the North Dakota town where she grew up, but when she receives word that her twin brother is missing, she is forced to return home. Back to the people she left behind, the person she used to be, and the secrets she thought she’d buried.
We sat down with Sherri Smith to talk about recent reads, writing rituals, and how her research made some pharmacists a little suspicious. Get a preview of the first chapter here!
Will you tell us a little about Follow Me Down and what inspired you to write it?
Follow Me Down is about a woman forced to return to her hometown after learning that her twin brother has disappeared the same day the body of his high school student is pulled from the river.
I was inspired to write it, because it was the sort of book I love to read. It’s full of small town secrets, a troubled main character, guilt, addiction and the complexities of sibling relationships.
What kind of research did you do for Follow Me Down?
I did learn a great deal about different prescription drugs and their varied effects on the body. I also figured out that pharmacists find you to be pretty sketchy when you keep asking about the sort of pills that make an appearance in Follow Me Down.
What’s your favorite word?
I am not sure I have a favorite word, more so word combinations like, ‘happy hour’ or ‘nap time’ or ‘buy one get one.’ All of those work for me.
Which books are currently in your to-read pile?
I have a never-ending tower of books. Right now I am reading Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinsborough (I am halfway through and can’t tell where it’s going.) I am reading my first Peter Swanson, Her Every Fear, and I can’t wait to read his other books. I am also just finished reading While They Slept by Kathryn Harrison, a true-crime story about a son who murdered his parents and younger sister. It’s a brilliant and insightful book on how this sort of heartbreaking tragedy can unfold.
What’s the first book you remember reading?
By grade 5, I was reading my mom’s books: Danielle Steele, Mary Higgins Clark, Jackie Collins (should not have been reading Jackie Collins at that age,) Sidney Sheldon. I loved being able to access these sophisticated adult worlds so different from own, and I think this initiated me into being a voracious reader.
What’s your favorite thing about being a writer?
The loose hours. Working in my PJ’s. Being home with my children. Leading a double life, because that’s what writing can feel like when you get sucked into the lives you’re creating.
If you could only recommend one book, what would it be?
I would recommend picking out a book that makes you uncomfortable, for whatever reason, at least twice a year. Don’t play it safe when it comes to reading.
What’s your favorite method of procrastination?
With two small children I am no longer allowed the luxury of procrastination, which is too bad because I do think it’s a useful tool when it comes to writing. Some of my best ideas have come to me, when I’ve been doing anything but sitting in front of my computer.
Do you have any writing rituals?
Coffee and sitting.
What’s next for you?
I am currently writing another suspense novel. I don’t want to say too much about it at this point other than it takes place at a wellness retreat, involves psychotropic tea and murder.
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