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May Cobb: On Stolen Moments

Author May Cobb discusses offering readers a summer of mayhem with her new novel, My Summer Darlings.

May Cobb earned her MA in literature from San Francisco State University, and her essays and interviews have appeared in the Washington Post, the Rumpus, Edible Austin, and Austin Monthly. Her previous novel is The Hunting Wives. A Texas native, she lives in Austin with her family. Find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

May Cobb: On Stolen Moments

May Cobb

In this post, May discusses offering readers a summer of mayhem with her new novel, My Summer Darlings, her advice for other writers, and more!

Name: May Cobb
Literary agent: Victoria Sanders
Book title: My Summer Darlings
Publisher: Berkley
Release date: May 17, 2022
Genre/category: Thriller
Previous titles: The Hunting Wives, Big Woods
Elevator pitch for the book: Three lifelong friends plus a dangerous, sexy new stranger in town add up to a scorching summer of manipulation, obsession, and murder, from the acclaimed author of The Hunting Wives.

May Cobb: On Stolen Moments

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What prompted you to write this book?

I’m endlessly fascinated by the themes of complicated female friendships, obsession, and marriage, (or in this case, infidelity), and I was inspired by the film, The Witches of Eastwick, and the setup of a mysterious and dashing stranger moving to town and upending the lives of three lifelong best friends.

I wanted to put my characters under a pressure cooker—see how they would behave with this handsome, bewitching presence in their lives, which are already a pressure cooker of sorts: small town, approaching mid-life, raising insolent teens. And, as always, I love watching a good train wreck and lives spiraling.

How long did it take to go from idea to publication? And did the idea change during the process?

My Summer Darlings was part of a two-book deal with my previous novel, The Hunting Wives. So, I began the actual writing of it about six months after that deal was struck, and it took me about eight months to complete (with, of course, a few months disruption due to the pandemic).

The only idea that changed was that when I started thinking about it in the beginning, I wanted to set it in the 1970s, but was gently persuaded by my editor to move it to present day. And I’m so happy about that change because as I began writing it, it did feel like much more of a current day story.

May Cobb: On Stolen Moments

Were there any surprises in the writing process for this book?

As I wrote the first draft, I knew a lot of what was going to happen plot-wise, but I didn’t know the specifics of, say, the third act and exactly what dark and treacherous things the villain was up to. That had to come to me as I wrote and uncovered his character in more depth.

I’m very much led by my characters as I write and that was definitely the case here; he had to pull me along.

What do you hope readers will get out of your book?

Honestly? The biggest thing I’m hoping for is that readers will find an escape—a sizzling summer read and erotic, twisty thriller.

If you could share one piece of advice with other writers, what would it be?

You can write a novel in small chunks of time. Stolen moments are often the best moments and I was able to write my first novel in 15-20 minute chunks of time over the course of a year.

Proper grammar, punctuation, and mechanics make your writing correct. In order to truly write well, you must also master the art of form and composition. From sentence structure to polishing your prose, this course will enhance your writing, no matter what type of writing you do.

Proper grammar, punctuation, and mechanics make your writing correct. In order to truly write well, you must also master the art of form and composition. From sentence structure to polishing your prose, this course will enhance your writing, no matter what type of writing you do.

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