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PostHeaderIcon Author Interview: Eleanor Moran

Eleanor Moran, photographed by Charlie Hopkinson.Happy Wednesday! I hope you are having a great week. It’s a great week here on the blog. Yesterday, I reviewed The Last Time I Saw You by Eleanor Moran. And today, I have the honor of having her here for some Q&A time. 

What was your inspiration for The Last Time I Saw You?  How did you first get the idea for the story?
EM: 
The Last Time I Saw You came out of two experiences – a hypnotic, seductive friendship I had at university which exploded in my mid twenties. Amy and I lived together both at college and afterwards, our friendship enduring longer than our university romantic relationships. But she suffered from the same titanic highs and lows as Sally, and when I eventually tried to free myself from her pulling the strings, she very much cast me out, turning our wider friendship against me. When my father died unexpectedly a year later, she didn’t so much as text, and turned away from me at a party a couple of weeks after the funeral. It took me a long time to process the viciousness of the ‘break up’ and I wanted to write about the ambiguity and treachery of female friendship gone wrong. With relationships, there are prescribed rules we follow when we separate. With friendship, the gloves are off.

I also wanted to write about the ‘haunting’ that can take place in relationships we have in our thirties and forties. I separated from my ex-fiance when I was 33, and within a matter of months, someone else was pregnant with his child. She and I were haunted by each other. He wasn’t over me, and constantly made reference to me/called me. And I, in turn, was obsessed by this shadowy stranger who had, to some extent, stolen my life. I also tragically lost a friend to cancer, and was struck by how fast her partner moved on, and yet how much he still grieved. How must it have been for that new woman, who went on to have his child? Livvy’s sister tells her “men move on, they can’t stand the silence” and I think it’s true. I wanted to write about that.

I’ve always loved Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca – I think it taps into an archetype we all understand – so that was an influence for me. interestingly, my grandmother was godmother to one of her children, and knew the family.

Do you have a favorite character from the book?  One who was a pleasure to right?  Difficult?
EM: 
I love all my characters! I fell in love with William, despite him being such a stuffed shirt. I sort of have to when I write a love interest, and I suppose book by book I explore different ‘fantasy partners’. Oddly I started a relationship with a man of the same name later in the year of publication, a single father with a daughter and an ex wife with tempestuous relationships. I’m a big believer in creative visualisation/law of attraction stuff so that was fascinating to me. We’ve sadly recently ended the relationship, but we were both pretty taken aback by the similarities!
I loved the complexity of Sally, and I loved her, despite her selfishness and how bad she was for Livvy. She is mercurial, a trickster, and in drama those characters are vital (e.g. Kalinda in The Good Wife). She can do unexpected, wild things.
Livvy has a lot of me in her, as all my heroines do, and I wanted the best for her. But I also wanted her to learn to be less of a doormat! And James, I’ve known men like that, and I’ve also had friends I was secretly in love with and vice versa. Male/female friendship is fascinating to me.
If you could give just one piece of advice to fellow writers what would it be?
EM: 
Gosh, I wouldn’t presume to advise other writers at my stage, but to newbies I would say…Do you know, I don’t know! Understand the market, but don’t be handcuffed by it, as you need to find your own voice. There are wonderful books about writing, I’m a huge fan of Alexandra Sokoloff, who draws brilliantly on film structure. I also love Christopher Vogler’s work, which again crosses between film and books. I work between TV drama and my novel writing, and I find the storytelling techniques, particularly in terms of creating vivid characters, really cross fertilises. Why do you love the characters you love? What is it that you want to express? Some people say that writers are always playing with one concern, dramatising it in different ways. I suppose for me I write a lot about how our early life – childhood and youth – influences our adulthood, and how we unknot the ties that bind us to our past.Who are your favorite authors?  Who has inspired your writing?
 EM:  As I said above, I adore Rebecca. Daphne Du Maurier found something universal, and then wrote a deeply specific story. I grew up with a very distant father who I adored (this is what my new book is about), and when I read it, as a 13 year old, I fell madly in love with Maxim De Winter! When I reread it for a talk I gave at the Shoreditch House literary salon, I realized how deeply camp he is, quite apart from being a cold blooded murderer. The only thing that man loves is his house.

I love Melissa Bank’s two novels, The Wonder Spot and Girls Guide. She writes so exquisitely about the small things in life, with enormous warmth, humour and perceptiveness. I’m not surprised they were such hits. She’s an inspiration for me. She makes the ordinary extraordinary.
I recently loved The Husband’s Secret. Very well observed.
I love Elizabeth Gilbert. I’m currently reading her new novel, which is wonderful, but I thought her second memoir, Committed, was a wonderful exploration of love, and how it hopefully matures and deepens as we get older. How infatuation starts to feel like a curse rather than something desirable!
She’s not a novelist, but I love Brene Brown’s incredible work on shame and vulnerability (her TED talk got about a zillion hits!) She writes brilliantly on how women undermine each other, particularly in the ‘mommy wars’ both between mothers and between mothers and non-mothers.
Beautiful Ruins. Loved that. The Fault In Our Stars. The Help. Heartburn. The Time Traveller’s Wife. For me it’s the books about rounded, flawed characters doing their very best in believable ways. Plot that comes from character. If you look at my website – eleanormoran.co.uk – i wrote about my 10 favourite love stories. And romantic films.What’s next?  Are you working on your next book?
EM: 
 I am hard at work on book 5. I deliver at the end of Feb. It’s about a young female psychotherapist, who has buried her painful relationship with her charismatic, destructive father. When a teenage girl comes in – whose own father is a lynchpin in a criminal trial and has gone on the run – it forces her to confront her past, and cross the line professionally in order to protect her young charge from making the same mistakes.

PostHeaderIcon AnnAlysis: The Last Time I Saw You

the last time i saw you 2From Goodreads:
When Olivia Berrington gets the call to tell her that her best friend from university has been killed in a car crash in New York, her life is turned upside down. Her relationship with Sally was an exhilarating roller coaster, until a shocking betrayal drove them apart. But if Sally had really turned her back, why is her little girl named Olivia?

As questions mount about the fatal accident, Olivia is forced to go back and unravel her untangled history. But as Sally’s secrets start to spill out, Olivia’s left asking herself if the past is best kept buried.

My Thoughts:
Let me put this plain and simple: If you are a woman, you can relate to this book.

Need I say more? Well of course you know I’m going to! We’ve all had those friends, the ones who who are so inseparable from and that, at the time, you could never imagine it being any different. But it doesn’t always work that way. People change, things happen, even in a split second. Us girls are like that. How many best friends have you had in your lifetime? Unfortunately for Olivia, she had one. And once they fell apart, and they fell hard, that was it. Granted, she had her friend James, but it’s just not the same as your best girl friend.

Now… when it comes to Sally’s death and what happens after that? Well that’s an interesting topic of itself. If anything would happen to me, I would want my husband to move on. I’d want him to be happy. But do you ever think about if it would be with your best friend? And this situation is even more strange, because these two BFF were estranged and Olivia didn’t know Sally’s husband before she passed away.

This is definitely a book that makes you sit back and think about your friends, how deep your relationships are, what happens when you are gone, and who will be there for your loved ones.

Moran did a great job in this book telling the story from two different times. Part of the book is told from the present, how everyone moves forward without Sally. But a lot of the heart of this book is told from the past. Now that Sally is gone, we rely on memories to hear her story.

I give The Last Time I Saw You 4.5 out of 5 bookmarks.

Make sure to come back tomorrow for a Q&A with Eleanor about the book.

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Released: April 22, 2014
Author Website

PostHeaderIcon AnnAlysis: Dancing with the Devil

dancing with the devilFrom Goodreads:
To move on from her past, an extraordinary girl must tear down the walls she has built to protect herself.
Mackenzie Douglas seems to have it all: good looks, a great boyfriend, a passion for biking, and a little sister who worships her. But under the veneer of perfection lie the emotional scars of her childhood, inflicted by her father. Though her memories have faded with time, the wounds on Mac’s subconscious remain.

Having vowed to never be a victim again, Mac focuses on a journey she’s always wanted to take: a summer bike trip on her amazing new RoadCap bike. But as the excursion finally gets underway, memories Mac long ago buried start to claw their way back to the surface, forcing her to confront a past she has done everything she can to forget.

My Thoughts:
Wow! What a strong book! And it’s so dark! Yes, there are parts of this book that show the fun, young side of being a teen, and having no worries, but on the other side, there is such deep, dark pain. I think everyone can relate to this story, even if they haven’t been through what Mac has. Everyone has skeletons in their closet. They have something they aren’t happy they did, or they have a secret at home they don’t want others to know about. There is always something behind closed doors. Always.

With Mac, some people realize she is a little different, but no one knows why, and no one really seems to think it’s serious enough to dig around to find out what it is.

But Mac is a strong girl. She is able to hide this pain, put it so deep down in a place that not even she remembers the details. She gets into bike riding and lets that be what carries her away. Who hasn’t done that? But, it all starts bubbling up to the surface on a long ride and once it reaches the surface, there is no stopping it. I can absolutely relate to what happens with Mac here, again not with what she went through, but that gut wrenching feeling when something crosses your mind. It’s like a panic attack, taking control. It makes you sick, you can’t function. I’ve been there.

What I love most about Mac is her strength. Man, what a heroic young girl. She’s fulfilling a life-long dream, but keeps her sister top of mind and gives up everything to do something that may tear her family apart. What an awesome person. I cannot imagine how hard it was. And yes, I cried while reading the last 20 pages of this book, which was embarrassing because I was in the lunchroom at work, trying to blink away the tears.

At first, I wasn’t sure where this book was going, or if I was going to be able to get into it, but as you can tell by my review, that completely changed for me. I highly recommend this book for older teens, and even adults who have children, or just want a good read. It shows the startling truth of what could be happening under your own roof that you may be too naive to see yourself.

I give Dancing with the Devil 4.5 out of 5 bookmarks.

Amazon Diversion Goodreads
Released: April 2014
Author Website

PostHeaderIcon Release Blitz: Dancing with the Devil

dancing with the devil

About the Book:

To move on from her past, an extraordinary girl must tear down the walls she has built to protect herself.

Mackenzie Douglas seems to have it all: good looks, a great boyfriend, a passion for biking, and a little sister who worships her. But under the veneer of perfection lie the emotional scars of her childhood, inflicted by her father. Though her memories have faded with time, the wounds on Mac’s subconscious remain.

Having vowed to never be a victim again, Mac focuses on a journey she’s always wanted to take: a summer bike trip on her amazing new RoadCap bike. But as the excursion finally gets underway, memories Mac long ago buried start to claw their way back to the surface, forcing her to confront a past she has done everything she can to forget.

To prevent her sister from enduring the same trauma, Mac must let go of everything in which she’s found refuge. To break a cycle that needs to be broken, Mackenzie summons her strength and risks shattering the world she has so carefully built, exposing hidden secrets, long-told lies, and a horrific crime.

 

 

 

katie davis

About the Author:

Katie Davis has written and/or illustrated 10 books for children, and two marketing guides for writers.

Katie’s a “writerpreneur,” a writer in business helping other writers. She does this through her newsletter, products, and #1 podcast, Brain Burps About Books.

After winning the School Library Journal Trailee Award, Katie launched Video Idiot Boot Camp: For People Who Think Videos Are Hard To Create. She’s passionate about the power of video to connect writers to their communities.

Katie has been honored to speak everywhere from a maximum security prison, to schools around the world, to keynotes at conferences and fundraising galas.

Website
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Diversion Books

I am currently finishing up reading this book and will have a review here in the next couple of days on Dancing with the Devil. Make sure to stop back by!

PostHeaderIcon Cover Reveal: Charming by Krystal Wade

Popular YA author Krystal Wade has a thrilling new young adult novel coming out in October, 2014! The spine-tingling suspense in CHARMING will get your heart rate up. We promise you.

We have a fun jigsaw puzzle of the cover for you guys! Go on, give it a try! …but if you can’t wait, just scroll down and take a peek at final cover of CHARMING!

 

 

 

About Charming:
They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and that’s great . . . as long as you don’t die.

Sixteen-year-old Haley Tremaine had it all: top-notch school, fantastic family, and a bright future, but all of that changed when an accident tore her family apart. Now, an alcoholic father, a bitter younger sister, and a cold headstone bearing her mother’s name are all she has left. 

Chris Charming has it all: a powerful CEO for a father, a prestigious school, and a fortune at his fingertips, but none of that matters when he lands a reputation as a troublemaker. Struggling to follow in his father’s footsteps, he reaches out to the one person he believes truly sees him, the one person he wants: Haley.  

Little do they know someone’s determined to bring the two together, even if it means murder.

Charming K Wade

About Krystal:

KyrstalWade (1)

 

 

Krystal Wade can be found in the sluglines outside Washington D.C. every morning, Monday through Friday. With coffee in hand, iPod plugged in, and strangers – who sometimes snore, smell, or have incredibly bad gas – sitting next to her, she zones out and thinks of fantastical worlds for you and me to read. How else can she cope with a fifty mile commute? Good thing she has her husband and three kids to go home to. They keep her sane.

Krystal’s Website
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