Though most aspiring authors will go through a phase of rejection when starting out their writing careers, very few will stick with it. Even fewer will be willing to go through ten years of rejections, three different literary agents, and four different manuscripts before finding their “match.” Cara Reinard, however, was willing to to through that process. After many years of writing, Cara’s debut novel, Sweet Water, is finally hitting bookshelves on January 1, 2021. Cara’s dedication has paid off because Sweet Water has already received thousands of positive reviews from readers and has cleared several bestseller lists on Amazon. We recently caught up with Cara on the eve of her novel’s release and were able to ask her some questions about her career and work.
You can check out Sweet Water on AMAZON!
THRILLER MAGAZINE: Thank you for agreeing to this interview, and congratulations on the release of your debut novel. How are you feeling on the eve of your novel’s release?
CARA REINARD: I’m thrilled it’s finally here! It means a lot to me to debut in 2021 because I think it’s going to be a transformative year and Sweet Water is launching right at the beginning of it.
TM: As far as your career in writing goes, what made you decide to pick up the pen and pursue a career as an author?
CR: I didn’t decide to become a writer; it’s just something I’ve always done. I enjoyed watching movies and reading books as a child and writing stories was just a natural extension of that for me. I remember being in grade school and realizing most kids stopped at reading stories and didn’t attempt to write them and feeling strange about it, like, “Oh, you don’t do this too…”
TM: Sweet Water offers a great crime/psychological thriller! Where did the idea for the story begin?
CR: The idea for Sweet Water was inspired by my first published short story, “Geneva on The Lake.” It’s part of a compilation of short works in the Mindful Writer’s anthology called Into The Woods. The idea of knowingly leaving a body behind in the woods was one that stuck with me long after the short story was published. I decided to write a full-length novel with a similar premise closer to home in Sewickley, one of the nicest wooded suburbs in the Pittsburgh area.
TM: Speaking about your journey as an author, how was the experience in getting your first novel published? Did you have to deal with the struggles of rejection that many other authors experience?
CR: Absolutely. I don’t know any authors who haven’t struggled with rejection. Although, I’d like to think of it more as finding your “match” than being rejected. Publishing is so subjective and in order to become published you need to find an agent and an editor who both love your work, and that’s a tough process. My personal journey included ten years, three literary agents and four different submitted manuscripts before I found my match(es).
TM: Many authors often put pieces of themselves into their characters and story. Did you draw any inspirations from your personal life for Sweet Water?
CR: Sweet Water flashes back to the 1990s, the time period when I grew up. There’s a lot of music references in the book that I chose because it was music that was personally meaningful to me at the time. Also, the house featured in the book was based on the childhood home of a friend of mine who grew up in Sewickley. It’s a lovely historical house that was once the party home of one of Pittsburgh’s prominent steel tycoons.
TM: As a fairly new writer, what are some of the biggest obstacles you have had to overcome thus far?
CR: I think breaking into the publishing industry right now is very difficult because everyone is appropriately distracted by real-life struggles. I only hope my book can serve as a satisfying escape for my readers.
TM: Lastly, where do you see yourself going from here? Will there be a second part to Sweet Water, or are you tackling different projects?
CR: Sweet Water is a standalone novel, but I have a second book, Into the Sound, being released in December 2021. It’s a thriller about a woman who goes missing during a Long Island superstorm and her sister’s quest to prove that something more nefarious than the storm swept her away. I’m excited to continue my publishing journey with Amazon Publishing on this new novel!