JH: Welcome to Books by My Friends, Liz! Thanks for stopping by to share your new release The Perfect Neighborhood with us.
JH: What’s the blurb for The Perfect Neighborhood?
LA: When actress and model Allison Langley leaves her former rockstar husband, Christopher, in the middle of the night, it’s all her Oak Hill neighbors can talk about. The gossip comes to an abrupt halt when five-year-old Billy Barnes goes missing on his walk home from kindergarten. Billy’s mother, Rachel, blames herself for being at work and letting her only child walk alone. Cassidy, Billy’s teenage babysitter, was also late to arrive on the afternoon he disappeared and blames herself for his disappearance. As the clock ticks down, police are unable to find any trace of Billy, forcing Rachel to ponder the enemies she’s made in their well-off suburb. Could it be one of her neighbors who stole her son? Would they abduct Billy to hurt her? How easy would it be to take a child while the parents or nannies are distracted? When another child goes missing, the town is put under a microscope as the police try to get to the bottom of the disappearances. Will they be able to find the two children, or will it be too late? What secrets lie at the heart of this tragedy, and how far will one go to keep those dangerous secrets buried?
JH: What inspired you to write The Perfect Neighborhood?
LA: The plot came to me in a dream. I mentioned it to my husband, who said, “That’ll never work!” Then I waited six months for a new story to come to me and nothing did. All the while, this idea was rattling around inside my mind, so when I finally sat down to see if I could make it work, I wrote 6,000 words. They were very fragmented and disjointed, but still! I said to myself, “Just write it!” So I did.
JH: I LUV plots that come to writers in their dreams! What one thing do you love most about writing?
LA: I love when your imagination (or subconscious) serves up an idea and you surprise yourself. Whether it’s a sentence you love or a character suddenly deciding to go in a new direction, those moments when writing seems magical or almost effortless are what keep me coming back.
JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?
LA: I’m revising a new domestic suspense manuscript and, fingers crossed, it finds a good home, and readers enjoy it!
Liz Alterman is the author of the domestic suspense novel, The Perfect Neighborhood, the young adult thriller, He’ll Be Waiting, and the memoir Sad Sacked. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, and other outlets. She lives in New Jersey where she spends most days microwaving the same cup of coffee and looking up synonyms. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading.
JH: How can readers get in touch with you?
JH: Thanks, Liz! Please come back soon and update us on your next project.
All good things,
Note: Possible trigger warnings: infertility, infidelity.