Chevy Stevens delves into the issue of domestic abuse in her latest thriller – Never Let You Go.
The story revolves around Lindsey Nash and her daughter Sophie. Nash leaves her abusive husband, Andrew. Andrew is later incarcerated but after his release from prison, Nash feels like she is being watched and is convinced it’s her ex-husband.
“Even though it centres around domestic abuse, it really is about the love between this mother and daughter, because it is narrated between both characters,” said Stevens.
She said the book presented challenges, because she didn’t want excessive violence toward women, but still wanted to create “suspense and the sensation of constant danger.”
“I wanted the husband, Andrew, who is the abuser in the marriage, not to be what you would call cliché,” said Stevens. “He needed to show many facets … [he’s] really a controlling man desperately afraid of losing his wife.”
Stevens showed that desperation through his actions of threats and manipulation.
To make the relationship believable and explain why her main character had stayed with her husband, Stevens had to show that Andrew was a good father.
“I had to make it so he didn’t hurt the child, because even though it usually trickles down … I had to show that he was a really good dad … because I honestly don’t think my readers would continue if he was hurting a child.”
Stevens said she wanted to mitigate some of the judgment toward her character, because it isn’t as easy as it seems to leave an abusive relationship.
“You are dismantling an entire life, which is not easy,” said Stevens. “I had to think of what could we do that is very frightening. What would be the ultimate fear and I thought of someone taking your child away.”
Originally Stevens penned a different novel. She worked on the book for nine months before deciding it wasn’t working and scrapped the project.
“It was the first time I had ever thrown out a book, so that was new,” said Stevens. “It wasn’t coming together. It was multiple perspectives. It just wasn’t happening. I didn’t feel an emotional connection.”
After a discussion with her editor, Stevens began writing Never Let You Go.
“I think I stretched my writing muscles. I tried to step out of the box and find new ways of creating suspense when writing. I wasn’t sure it was working or not, but the enthusiasm and fan support has been huge,” said Stevens. “I think of all my books it’s the most relatable.”
Stevens’ first book Still Missing became a New York Times bestseller and won the International Thrillers Writers Award for Best First Novel.
Still Missing recounted the abduction of the character Annie O’Sullivan, a 32-year-old real estate agent who was abducted during an open house.
For more information about Stevens and or her novels, please visit https://chevystevens.com.