With the possible exception of Amelia, I can't think of a character who didn't give me trouble (and that's probably just because she was already dead when the story began and it's hard for a corpse to misbehave). It was bound to happen -- I knew I was going to write a story about decent people doing terrible things, that's one of the central themes in the novel— but it was really difficult to actually bring the characters to a crossroads and then watch them make the worst decision available. I had to struggle against the urge to have them redeem themselves.Has the title changed or stayed relatively the same as your novel journeyed towards publication?
It hasn't changed at all, which is especially weird because I'd procrastinated on choosing a title for ages, and I didn't feel strongly about this one at all. I just picked it as a placeholder until it came time to choose the "real" title. (I actually thought I was being smart by not getting too attached to it, since the author often doesn't get final say on this stuff.) The fact that it stuck all the way through to publication was totally unexpected.What book or author has most influenced you as a writer or in general?
Haha, you might as well ask me to name the one thing I've ever eaten that's most influenced me as a writer. Different tastes fill different needs; different books hit different notes. There are authors whose language I adore, authors whose plotlines I envy, even authors I can't stand and use as an example of what I don't want to do — but there's not really one I can point to and say, "That guy! He's EVERYTHING."What jobs did you have on your way to becoming a writer/published author? Is there a certain work experience that has shaped your writing?
I've had many, many jobs — waitress, receptionist, artist's model, substitute teacher, janitor, nanny, publicist, copywriter... I even once worked as the dessert girl at a high-end Chinese restaurant. (In related news, my work history makes me look like an actual crazy person.) Having done so many different things has definitely helped with the "write what you know" bit, and certain settings or characters or experiences have found their way into my work for sure. The restaurant setting where Becca (the protagonist) works, for instance, is based on a real place in my hometown where I waited tables during the summer.If you had to pick a favorite word, what would it be and why?
LUGUBRIOUS. It's such a nice, chewy word... even if I know, intellectually, that it doesn't actually have anything to do with goo.My blog is dedicated to my personal hiding spot, books. Who, what, or where can be credited as your personal escape from reality?
Ordinarily I'd have said "books", but since that's your hiding spot, I guess I'll have to go with my backup escape: binge-watching Downton Abbey on Netflix Instant.
Becca has always longed to break free from her small, backwater hometown. But the discovery of an unidentified dead girl on the side of a dirt road sends the town--and Becca--into a tailspin. Unable to make sense of the violence of the outside world creeping into her backyard, Becca finds herself retreating inward, paralyzed from moving forward for the first time in her life. Short chapters detailing the last days of Amelia Anne Richardson's life are intercut with Becca's own summer as the parallel stories of two young women struggling with self-identity and relationships on the edge twist the reader closer and closer to the truth about Amelia's death.Check out my review here.
*Please note that the giveaway on the review is now closed. The giveaway below is new and for a finished copy! :)
Win a copy!