She left the NYPD in the firestorm of a high-profile case gone horribly wrong. Three years later, the ghosts of her past roar back to terrifying life.
When NYPD undercover cop Laney Bird’s cover is blown in a racketeering case against the Russian mob, she flees the city with her troubled son, Alfie. Now, three years later, she’s found the perfect haven in Sylvan, a charming town in upstate New York.
But then the unthinkable happens: her boy vanishes.
TRACEE: Emilya, I read HIDE IN PLACE over the weekend, actually in one day, and enjoyed it immensely. Your writing is in some ways spare, but for me that meant that each detail was important. Was that a natural style or a reflection of this story, which is a constant build of tension and action?
EMILYA: It’s a natural style that took a while to develop! Although I love flamboyant language, I have to watch myself so I don’t get carried away. My philosophy is to prune all filters and prepositions wherever possible and choose the perfect word instead. www.wordhippo.com has become invaluable when I edit.
My literary inspirations are Jack London, Stephen King, and Tana French. When trying to understand how to write a particular action or emotion, I ask myself–what would they do?
TRACEE: Your characters, in particular, resonated. Laney, her son, her friends and colleagues, are all flawed, but in complicated ways which felt true to life. Laney, like so many of us, wants to have a full and satisfying home life, yet she loves her work – work that literally makes her become another person. Were you drawn first to the story, meaning the plot, or was it the characters that said: you have to tell my story?
EMILYA: Great question! I wanted to tell the story of a teenage boy who can’t tell friend from foe and who can’t find his place in the world. The boy was my gateway into the plot because he’s such a wild card. His reactions are not expected ones and a person like him can get into terrible trouble without meaning to. Once I had him, the rest of the plot fell into place around him and the person most responsible for him, his mother, became the main character.
I wanted to show the difficulties a woman can face when trying to balance a demanding career and a difficult family. She loves becoming someone else for the same reasons actors love acting and writers love writing–it’s a creative expression that allows a person to put aside the role they’ve built around themselves in real life.
TRACEE: Can you give a hint about Laney’s next adventure? Will we see more of Holly?
EMILYA: Absolutely! Holly has a lot going on. A woman just can’t be that good, sweet, and PINK without hiding a deep, dark secret. Book 2 in the series does a deep dive into the seemingly wholesome Sylvan community, starting with a massive block party that goes very, very wrong.
TRACEE: I can’t wait!
Emilya Naymark’s short stories appear in Secrets in the Water, After Midnight: Tales from the Graveyard Shift, River River Journal, Snowbound: Best New England Crime Stories 2017, 1+30: THE BEST OF MYSTORY, and in the upcoming Harper Collins anthology A Stranger Comes to Town.
She has a degree in fine art, and her artworks have been published in numerous magazines and books, earning her a reputation as a creator of dark, psychological pieces.
When not writing, Emilya works as a visual artist and reads massive quantities of thrillers and crime fiction. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family.