Behind The Book With Iris Yamashita

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Behind The Book With Iris Yamashita 

I am excited to once again reunite with author & screenwriter Iris Yamashita for this edition of Behind The Book. This Behind The Book will talk about her sequel to City Under One Roof titled Village In The Dark. 

Q: Iris would you like to give a brief description of Village In The Dark for those who haven’t read the book yet? 

A: Village in the Dark continues the story that began in City Under One Roof following the mystery of what happened to Detective Cara Kennedy’s family. They disappeared on a hike and their bones were eventually found and buried. But Cara has just found shocking clues that foul play may have been involved. Just like City Under One Roof, the story is told in three voices. In the second book, aside from Cara, we follow Ellie Wright, the owner of the Cozy Condo Inn who has just found out that her estranged son has died. We also introduce a new character, Mia Upash, who grew up in an isolated village run by women, called Unity. The three women’s stories interweave, and we eventually find out how they are interconnected.

Q: In our Q&A almost a year ago, you spoke about exploring Cara’s backstory & coming across information about the high rate of violence in Alaska against women especially Alaska natives & was able to consult someone from Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center for more information. What was it like incorporating that information in the sequel? 

A: I wanted to put a bit of a spotlight on the situation although it’s not the central topic. I had also wanted to write about a women-led community for a long time and had seen how indigenous women are very self-sufficient, knowing how to live off the land. It was nice to have everything come together for me in the story.

Q: What lessons do you hope readers learn after reading Village In The Dark?

A: I don’t know if there are “lessons” per se to learn. I think a writer’s job is more about raising questions and for readers to come up with their own answers. In both the first and second book, however, a major theme is about community and the exploration of how people really need to rely on each other for survival in isolated towns.

Q: How long did it take you to write Village In The Dark? 

A: It took me about a year, including addressing the editor’s notes. Since I had a contract deadline, that helped me be more disciplined in scheduling out my drafts. 

Q: Without spoilers, what were your favorite scenes to write? I know it will be a while till we see book 3, but where do you see Cara’s story going in book 3 and beyond?

A: I enjoyed writing scenes with Ellie Wright because she was such a fun character. She was introduced in the first book and I knew she had a backstory to explore as the former “Bonnie” of a Bonnie-and-Clyde-like bank robbing team. I haven’t mapped out a continuation of Cara’s story yet as I only had a 2 book deal. I have also been consumed in writing a 6-part audio series for the BBC. I do have an outline for a book which is not part of the Cara Kennedy series, but I believe also has an interesting location for a backdrop.