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Jacqueline Bublitz Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Before You Knew My Name (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jacqueline Bublitz
Jacqueline ‘Rock’ Bublitz is a feminist, writer, and arachnophobe, that lives between her hometown on the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island and Melbourne, Australia.

Jacqueline wrote “Before You Knew My Name” after she spent a summer in New York, where she hung around the dark corners of city parks (and the human psyche) and morgues far too often.

From the start she knew that she wanted to write a book that was centered around the murder victim and gave her the sort of agency that is not often found in crime novels, where we typically learn little to nothing about the ‘dead girl’ unless it serves the other characters in the story. Letting Alice narrate her own story meant that she could decide what to tell the reader, what to share, and what to hold back, which allows the reader to get to know her as a fully formed person, and not just a plot device. And as a writer, it was both exciting and challenging to build this whole world for her, both before and after she died.

She didn’t set out to write a crime novel, however, so she wasn’t even attempting to subvert anything by handing the microphone to her. All she was trying to do was explore who Alice was before she died, who she was before this horrible thing happened to her, and give her a voice that wasn’t just about the absolute worst thing that happened to her.

While writing the novel, she came across a headline in a newspaper that said if you want to kill your novel, have a dead narrator. And while initially she was writing Alice in the past, her voice was just so compelling and strong that Jacqueline began thinking what would happen if she brought her into the present.

It was a choice that reclaims the power for the victim yet also gives a platform for Jacqueline’s own feminist rage at gendered violence. She is a capital F feminist, but she doesn’t want the book to be like some sign she holds up at a rally.

Alice allowed for her to have this sort of gentle rage come through about the sort of crime she experienced. Growing up Jacqueline knew the difference between the way she had to navigate her safety and the way her male friends or her brother did. It was being aware, not from her own experience, but from her surroundings, of issues surrounding domestic violence. From a young age, she was angry and righteous about injustice.

Through writing the novel, she came to think of Ruby and Alice as representing two sides of the same coin. It wasn’t too much about balancing two different perspectives as it was figuring ways to suggest their connection to, and understanding of, one another was inevitable. This is as a result of the two women coming from different places, both emotionally and geographically, but their experiences are somehow the same, particularly when it comes to the sorts of guys they’ve been involved with, and more importantly, their shared determination to begin their new life in New York City.

Her dad passed away as she wrote the book, and shortly after his passing she went back and looked at her draft and it felt like something was missing. So she returned to the Death Club, and she thought about all of the questions she had. This was in the first three months after her dad died, and she was with him through his illness and his death.

She had all of these questions and the only thing that she wanted to do was chat with people that were asking these same questions. So the same kinds of questions are being asked by the Death Club. Questions about if you even know you’ve died. Let alone what’ll happen after, the Death Club helps Alice process what happens to her. And she hopes that readers may have a bit of comfort to talk through some things that we do not typically talk about.

But whether there is consciousness after death, she is happy not to know. Typically she’s the sort of person that will dig as far as she can in order to get the answer to something. However what if the answer ends up being no? It would make her really sad, yet if the answer were yes, it may change how we all live our lives. She does believe the dead are always with us, and all of us have to learn by ourselves how we hang onto them, but Jacqueline still has zero firm ideas on what happens next.

“Before You Knew My Name” is the first stand alone novel and was released in 2021. This isn’t just yet another novel about some dead girl. Two women, one dead and one still living, get brought together in the dark underbelly of New York City in order to solve this tragic murder.

Alice Lee arrived in New York on her eighteenth birthday carrying just $600 in cash and a stolen camera, looking for a fresh new start. But now, only a month later, she’s the city’s most recent Jane Doe. She might be dead, but that does not at all mean her story has ended.

Ruby Jones, meanwhile, is also attempting to reinvent herself. After she traveled halfway around the world, she is lonelier than ever in the Big Apple. Until she trips over a woman’s body near the Hudson River, and all of a sudden finds she’s unbreakably tied to this unknown dead woman.

Alice is certain that Ruby is the key to solving the mystery of her short life and tragic death. Ruby only wants to forget what she saw, however cannot seem to quit thinking about this young woman that she discovered. If she continues looking can she give this unidentified Jane Doe the closure and ending that she truly deserves?

“Before You Knew My Name” won the Crime Debut and Readers’ Choice Awards, Sisters in Crime. It was also the Editors’ Choice/Staff Pick by The New York Times Book Review.

This is a beautiful, heartbreaking, and hugely important novel that does not just wonder about whodunnit, but also asks who was she and what did she leave behind?

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jacqueline Bublitz

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