MC: Why do suburban moms intrigue you?
SH: All of my characters are alpha women: Sally's got a big job, a nice but useless husband, and two kids. And in real life people are always wondering, What's really going on behind the perfect facade? Crime fiction is a way of satisfying that nosy need to know.
MC: Did your own life inspire the book at all?
SH: When my children were very young, I was slated to go on a business trip. When it was nearly canceled, I decided I wouldn't tell anyone and go off for a week's vacation anyway. In the end, the trip went off as planned. But I was intrigued by the idea of an illicit holiday.
MC: So you have escape fantasies?
SH: When I wrote this book, my children were small and life with them was hard. A lot of women feel like they should be enjoying motherhood, they should be fulfilled and shouldn't be thinking, I wish I didn't have to do this. I wanted to write a book from that point of view. Obviously, Sally's feelings were exaggerated—but it was cathartic to include them.
MC: How do you think your kids will feel about that statement?
SH: I don't think they'd take offense if I said, "I found it really hard when you were little." Not because of them—because of me. I'm not cut out to lug babies around!