Thursday, January 11, 2018

THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, by BARBARA CLAYPOLE WHITE

(If you share this post on social media, from my post or Barbara's, your name will be entered for a chance to win a signed copy of her new book!)

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. 

Nine years ago she ran away from her family, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibilities of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

"A challenging and important story about the difficulties of living with mental illness.”—Kirkus Review.

“If you leave your newborn child because you have unstoppable thoughts of harming her, are you a good mother or a terrible one? This dilemma is at the heart of Barbara Claypole White’s novel, a wrenching story of how one woman’s OCD has a ripple effect on those around her, including the people she tried hardest to protect. This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.” - Jodi Picoult, NYT bestselling author of SMALL GREAT THINGS

"Barbara Claypole White does not merely write about people with mental illness—she inhabits them. This brilliant novel about obsessive-compulsive disorder is compulsively readable.” –Lee Smith, NYT bestselling author of The Last Girls

"THE PROMISE BETWEEN US has something for everyone: suspense, romance, and even a hint of mystery. A fast-paced read that captivates from the first word until the last." Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon Kindle Bestselling Author of EVERYTHING WE KEEP.

“THE PROMISE BETWEEN US redefines motherhood and sacrifice, delivering a heartfelt story with a powerful message.” –Laura Spinella, bestselling author of UNSTRUNG.

Some Q & A with Barbara ~ 

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?
Nope. I hang out with my imaginary friends seven days a week, and despite the chaos it brings to the family, my menfolk support me 100%. However, family always comes first, which is the reason I’ve had several pub. date extensions. J

Where do you get your ideas?
Life. Anything around me is fair game. I was flying home from a conference when some poor guy collapsed three rows in front of me, and I was the terrible person taking notes. (My heroine in THE PERFECT SON has a heart attack on a plane.)

When my BFF had squirrels in her linen closet, they also went in THE PERFECT SON. When my mother broke her ankle, chasing after her mad springer spaniel, that went in THE UNFINISHED GARDEN. I fell in love with a piece of metal art at the hairdressers, and Katie Mack, the heroine of THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, became a girlie welder. On it goes…

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?
When I was five I wanted to be Beatrix Potter. At twelve, I wanted to be Charlotte Bronte, but it wasn’t until I read Denyse Devlin’s THE CATALPA TREE in my early thirties that I thought, “This is how I want to write.”

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?
How long do you have? I spent ten years on that puppy, and it went through many transformations before James Nealy strolled into my head and insisted on becoming my hero. James grew out of my darkest fear as a mother: What if, when my young son grew up, no one could see beyond his OCD to love him for the incredible person he is? James set me on the path to writing stories that find hope in the darkness of mental illness, but that subject matter is not an easy sell. Oh, no.

After working with a freelance editor for a year, I started querying and got nothing but rejections. I queried slowly—49 queries over three years—and randomly stopped to rewrite the manuscript. Finally, I submitted the opening pages to a handful of contests, and became a finalist. I had a breakthrough when the story placed second in the Carrie McCray Memorial Literary Awards, and several weeks later, I received a devastating rejection. An A-list agent informed me that the book would never get published because James was too dark to be a romantic hero. This contradiction—between the competition win and the rejection—was a precursor for the way readers respond to my work. They become diehard fans or clearly think I’m off my rocker. 

After one more rewrite—in which I went darker with James, since I figured I had nothing to lose—I received requests for partials and quickly landed my agent: Nalini Akolekar. Nalini understands how I write, why I write, and what I write. She’s the best. When the book went on submission there were several editors who didn’t ‘get’ James and one freaked out over a snake in the opening scene, but three months later Nalini landed me a two-book deal with MIRA Books. Yay!

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?
For my new release, THE PROMISE BETWEEN US? Not one thing. I adore my editorial team at Lake Union, and I’m super proud of my characters and the portrayal of OCD. I have no idea how the book will perform in the big wide world (January 16th, y’all!) but the advance reviews have touched my heart. If my imaginary friends help chip away at the stereotypes, stigma, and myths surrounding OCD, then I’ll have contributed something huge to the Universe.

Is anything in your new book based on real-life experiences?
Hell, yeah. Since THE UNFINISHED GARDEN, I’ve wanted to tunnel deeper into the impact of OCD on relationships. Obsessive-compulsive disorder frames my life as a wife and a mother, and every day I battle misconceptions about this chronic illness.

Most people assume OCD equals compulsive behaviors like hand washing, but for many sufferers, it’s purely mental. Irrespective of how it manifests, OCD is an allergy to life—an anxiety disorder that creates irrational fear in the absence of true threat. It’s like having a broken smoke detector in your brain, one that floods your mind with intrusive, unwanted, repetitive thoughts of danger. It digs deeper and deeper, asking, “What if, what if?” until it finds your worst fear. Then it goes for the jugular.

For new parents or grandparents, an intrusive thought would be something bad happening to the baby, right? But OCD doesn’t let you off the ride with that fear. It keeps going until it says, “Aha! What if the threat to the baby is you?” And then your brain plays a private horror movie over and over with you in the starring role—you hurting your baby. This is the living breathing hell of postpartum OCD, and it’s slowly killing Katie in the prologue of the book.

Here’s the true story behind Katie’s fictitious one: a teacher posted in one of our private online support groups about her battles with intrusive, unwanted thoughts and images of harming kids. Her comments were leaked to her employer, and she was fired. Shortly afterward, someone sent me a joke with a punchline, “I wish I had OCD so I could better organize my closets.” I would never wish OCD on anyone.

My son is incredibly brave and incredibly successful at life, but OCD rarely leaves him—or me—alone. In the month before the manuscript was due, we were back in exposure therapy, which means I had to torture him with his fears (to take away their power). Trust me, that is counterintuitive to every mothering instinct, but it does work. Eventually. Exposure therapy is hard and emotionally painful, as Katie will show you in THE PROMISE BETWEEN US.

Do you have a favorite scene?
I have several, but they’re full of plot spoilers. I do love a certain scene that unfolds at the UNC botanical gardens, and there’s a scene with drunken dancing that leads to… Yeah, I’ll stop there.

How do you market your work?
I treat myself as a marketing tool. That sounds egomaniacal, but to me it’s authentic. I want to participate in discussions about mental illness—how we treat it, how we provide collective support, how we educate ourselves and others. Engaging with readers is my way of becoming part of a public conversation. Information is power, and too many people suffer in isolation. To quote Jake, one my characters in THE PROMISE BETWEEN US, I want to break down walls.

As an author, I also believe in the power of networking, and I try hard to support booksellers and other authors by going to events, buying books at those events, posting pics to social media, etc. All of that is within my comfort zone. Bashing people to death with ‘buy my books’ isn’t. J

What are you working on now?
The story of Maggie King—clean and sober for ten years—who’s on an impossible mission to earn her mother’s forgiveness…until she discovers that her spectacular history of failure has the power to save lives. Including her own. It touches on addiction—obviously—cyberbullying, dementia, mental abuse, the role of celebrity in our lives, and how our greatest successes can rise from our failures. The story seed grew out of events surrounding Chester Bennington’s suicide, which had a huge impact on my son—and me. The working title, inspired by a Linkin Park song, is THE SHADOW OF THE DAY. Oh, and it has a toxic mother/daughter relationship, which is so much fun to write!

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Keep writing—every day if you can. Publishing is a brutal industry. It doesn’t always treat authors or books well, and the rejection never ends. The only way to survive is to let writing be the cure. Escape into your stories, follow your passion, believe in your characters, and keep working on your craft. Write, write, write.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?
Your support, encouragement, and enthusiasm remind me why I do this. Thank you. <3

To connect with Barbara ~


Website: http://www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com





Tuesday, December 12, 2017

MRS. SAINT AND THE DEFECTIVES, by author JULIE LAWSON TIMMER

Critically acclaimed author Julie Lawson Timmer returns with a tale of how a community can heal the brokenness in all of us.
Markie, a forty-something divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private.

But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of “defectives,” to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.

What Markie doesn’t realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée’s broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them.

But when Mrs. Saint’s own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it’s up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the “defectives”—one full of second chances and happiness.


“Another winner from the very talented Julie Lawson Timmer. Fans of Matthew Quick's The Silver Linings Playbook will devour this sweet, surprising story.” —Sarah Pekkanen, internationally bestselling author of The Perfect Neighbors

"Warm, witty, and with the most satisfying ending I’ve read in years, Mrs. Saint and the Defectives is absolutely delightful. This novel won’t just keep you turning the pages; it will inspire you to be a better person.” Camille Pagán, bestselling author of Life and Other Near-Death Experiences

“I savored every page of this delicious novel. Charming and poignant, funny and wise, Mrs. Saint and the Defectives is perfect for fans of Fredrik Backman and Anne Tyler.” —Lori Nelson Spielman, author of The Life List and Sweet Forgiveness
“An uplifting journey…” Kirkus Reviews

Some Q & A with Julie ~

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.

I always wanted to write, but I told myself I was too busy with work and family. To find time to write a novel, I’d have to give up sleep, and who wants to do that? The idea nagged at me though, some years more than others. For some reason, the year I was turning 45, I had a very strong sense that if I reached the end of my life and had never given writing a novel a shot, I would regret it. That idea took hold and would not go away. So, I told myself I would have a draft of a novel by my 45th birthday. To make that work, I starting getting up at 3:45am and writing from 4-6am, before heading to the office. I met the goal--I had a (very bad) draft by my birthday, and then I set other goals for revisions, querying, etc. It took 2 years to land an agent and a book deal--2 years of 4am drafting and revising sessions--but it was totally worth it.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?
           
I love to read, and don’t seem to be able to do this while I’m writing, so I always grant myself lots of time off between writing books so I can read all the ones I’ve been collecting over the months. I also enjoy working out--spinning, weights, hot yoga, Pilates, mountain biking. My husband and I recently bought a house that backs up onto “The Arb,” a 100+ acre area of forest and trails in the middle of Ann Arbor, and I love to go for long walks with him and the dogs in the Arb.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

Yes, I’m a lawyer. It’s great training for writing, I think because you learn to write under time pressure. On the flip side, it’s a mentally draining job, so it’s often very tough to write after a day at the office. I have learned to write before work when my brain is fresh.

Where do you get your ideas?

I get them from life, newspaper articles, NPR stories, and my imagination. I have often told my family, “Well, this may be the last book I write,” because unlike so many authors I know, I do *not* have one hundred book ideas floating around in my head at one time. At any given moment, I have a single idea--for the book I am writing then. I always wonder if another idea will come to me, or if my work in progress really will be my last novel.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?

No. I have no regrets at all, and wouldn’t change a thing. I have had a wonderful experience with publishing, and am very grateful for every moment of it. There have been great moments, and not-so-great ones, but they’re all part of the writing life, I think.

How do you market your work?

Haha--not very well! I don’t like to push my own books, and my answer to, “Tell me about your latest book” is often, “Let me tell you instead about my friend’s latest book.” It drives my marketing/sales husband batty, but he’s learned now to expect it from me and has given up on my ever pushing my own books.

What are you working on now?
I’m revising a book due to my publisher in January, and scheduled to come out in October 2018. It’s about a single mom, a little boy, an elderly woman, and her goddaughter, all of whom are in Flint, Michigan, during the water crisis, and all of whom are each struggling to overcome something beyond the contaminated water.  

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

Each of my books have some real-life element to them--some issue I have grappled with, a character who represents someone I have lost, some question about life I want to answer through writing. For me, the way to keep up the motivation it takes to write a novel is to have a deep personal connection to it.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Never quit! Plan on tons of rejection. Plan on plenty of moments when you feel your book is terrible and no one will ever read it. Plan on such intense self-doubt you wonder why you ever thought you could write a sentence, let alone an entire novel. We all experience these things--you are not alone. So, plan on them, acknowledge that they are happening when they do, tell yourself, “This is normal,” and keep writing.
  
Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you! 

To connect with Julie:

Twitter: @JulieLTimmer



Thursday, November 2, 2017

BEST DAY EVER, by author, KAIRA ROUDA

In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life. 

“I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and more…” 

Paul Strom has the perfect life: a glittering career as an advertising executive, a beautiful wife, two healthy boys and a big house in a wealthy suburb. And he’s the perfect husband: breadwinner, protector, provider. That’s why he’s planned a romantic weekend for his wife, Mia, at their lake house, just the two of them. And he's promised today will be the best day ever. 

But as Paul and Mia drive out of the city and toward the countryside, a spike of tension begins to wedge itself between them and doubts start to arise. How much do they trust each other? And how perfect is their marriage, or any marriage, really? 

Forcing us to ask ourselves just how well we know those who are closest to us, Best Day Ever crackles with dark energy, spinning ever tighter toward its shocking conclusion. 


Praise for Best Day Ever
 ~


"A tensely written, shocking book that will hold readers on the edge of their seats to the very last page." –Publishers Weekly

“An unreliable and chillingly unrepentant narrator.” — Kimberly McCreight, New YorkTimes bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and The Outliers 

“Highly entertaining and truly surprising!” — Kate Moretti, New York Times bestselling author of The Vanishing Year



Some Q & A with Kaira:

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.

I’ve been writing all my life. My career included stints as a newspaper reporter, magazine editor, advertising copywriter, and brand creator. But, my dream always was this: to write a novel. After writing a book for women entrepreneurs, REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs, I traveled the country giving speeches encouraging people to put their passion into action, Finally, in 2011, I did and my first novel came out.

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

My family, reading, walks on the beach, playing with my dogs.

Do you have a 'day job'?

Nope. This is it and it’s fabulous.

Where do you get your ideas?

I really have no idea – fortunately, so far, they’ve just popped into my head.

Is there a particular author or book that influenced or inspired your writing or decision to write?

My third-grade teacher had us write to the person you wanted to be when you grew up. I sent a note to Robert McCloskey, author of Make Room for Ducklings. I love his stories. Later in middle school, it was Emily Dickeson, Nancy Drew, all kinds of books, all types of writing.

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

My first novel, Here, Home, Hope, had representation by a wonderful agent and made it to the editorial decision room before a publisher passed. Repeat that sentence for four more novels. Instead of waiting, I published Here, Home, Hope with Greenleaf Book Group. All the Difference and In the Mirror are self-published. My romance series is published by Tule Publishing. I’m truly a hybrid author and I love that. When BEST DAY EVER was sold to HarperCollins/Harlequin for their new imprint I was so excited. It’s a new path, and it’s great to have a really big team behind me.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?

Nope. Best Day Ever’s path has been perfect.

How do you market your work?

Like this ;-) Seriously though it’s social media, partnering with bloggers and the like. My publisher has been doing some advertising for Best Day Ever – including an ad in Entertainment Weekly! – so I can’t complain. It’s been a dream come true.

What are you working on now?

Another psychological suspense novel.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

Just the setting. We used to live in a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, very much like Grandville – and we had a cottage in Lakeside, the lovely community nestled on the shores of Lake Erie.

Do you have a favorite chapter or scene?

I like the dinner scene and the lunch scene. I like restaurant scenes, reading them and writing them.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Don’t give up.

What are the downfalls of your writing career? The best parts?

It’s truly all good. It’s my dream.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Thanks for reading my books – and please, let’s connect online:

Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest: @KairaRouda
Facebook: KairaRoudaBooks
My website: www.kairarouda.com

Thursday, October 19, 2017

THE TRUTH ABOUT THEA, by author, AMY IMPELLIZZERI

Will Cann, a recovering heroin addict-turned-counselor for whom truth is a championed element to recovery, has a dark secret — shared with no one outside of his anonymous AA meetings. Over twenty years ago, after an ultimatum from his pregnant ex-wife, Will was forced to assume a new identity and to fake his own death to get out from under his dealer and user-friends once and for all.

Now, Will is counseling Thea Brown, a young woman who has been diagnosed with a pathological addiction to creating fake social media identities, and who founded a start-up company (“Alibis”) that created false internet identities for clients, many with suspect pasts. Thea’s addiction has landed her in rehab as a condition of her parole — after a plea bargain cut short a court case that would have put both Thea and Alibis on trial for a very high-profile crime.

As Will counsels Thea, the past is on a collision course with the present. Both Will’s, and his young client’s, fast-held secrets start to unravel... and reveal, at long last, the truth about Thea.
"Impellizzeri unleashes a tangled skein of half-truths and lies that unravels with each chapter.  Perspectives alternate between that of almost sociopathic Thea and others who are trying to discover Thea’s truth.  This satisfying story will keep readers guessing until the end."
-Booklist


"Clever, mind-bending and darkly original, THE TRUTH ABOUT THEA had me hooked from page one. In Thea Brown, Amy Impellizzeri has created a brilliant, complicated, flawed character that gets under your skin and stays there. Fast-paced and twisty, the unexpected ending will have you gasping for air. "
​-Heather Gudenkauf, NYT best selling author of THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and NOT A SOUND

"A man’s past and a woman’s present collide in Amy Impellizzeri’s latest up-all-night thriller where nothing is as it seems. Filled with questionable characters, long-held secrets, and a tangled web of twists and turns, THE TRUTH ABOUT THEA will keep readers guessing who — if anyone — can be trusted. A perfectly compelling read all the way to the shocking end."
-Kimberly Belle, USA TODAY and WSJ best selling author of THE MARRIAGE LIE

"Thrilling and well-plotted story. You’ve made me a fan of psychological suspense!"
Julie Cantrell, NYT and USA TODAY best selling author

"Filled with tension and twists you don't see coming, Amy Impellizzeri's dialogue crackles and her characters scheme and surprise. I was invested and thrilled -- what a ride!"
-Kelly Simmons, international selling author of ONE MORE DAY and THE FIFTH OF JULY

"Just try to keep your eye on the ball in this intricate thriller. No matter how carefully you follow all the moving pieces, nothing will prepare you for where Impellizzeri takes you. A twisting story where everyone has secrets, and no one can be trusted."
-Rena OlsenAuthor,
​THE GIRL BEFORE
Some Q & A with Amy

Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.

I have always been a writer. But in college, I put away all my creative writing journals to get ready for law school. I was convinced I could not pursue BOTH creative writing AND get ready for law school. I’m not sure that was exactly correct. But, hindsight is 20/20. I packed all my journals away, and only re-discovered my creative writing voice when I took a sabbatical from my 13-year corporate law career in 2009. I took a one-year sabbatical that year – and I’m still on it!

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

I can never really sit still too long. I love to travel. And I incorporate my adventures into my novels. From New York City to Central America and the Caribbean, the settings of my novels are often based on places I’ve already fallen in love with.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

So even though I left the law in 2009, I’ve pretty much always had a “day job” alongside writing. (See above. I can NEVER really sit still too long!) For several years, I was on the executive team of a start-up company working to raise up and market women entrepreneurs. I’ve also worked as a speaker on career transition and as a teacher of writing workshops nationally, and more recently, I’ve been working in development and marketing for a local private school. Also, I have three children 13 and younger. And a dog. So there’s them. But writing isn’t something I “fit in” alongside my day jobs. It’s woven into the fabric of every day. It sustains me, frankly.

Where do you get your ideas?

Everywhere. The news, the coffee shop. My friends. (Just kidding! I never use my friends in my novels. But if I did, I would totally change their names. Wink.)

Can you tell us about your challenges in getting your first book published?

I used to think I had an unusual journey to publication. But I’m learning that every story is completely unique, so maybe not. I submitted my first novel without an agent to Nancy Cleary of Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing after a former magazine editor friend of mine introduced us. I think I even kind of hounded Nancy to read it after she read the synopsis and declared it intriguing. It was one of those things that could have backfired if the planets were slightly misaligned. But it didn’t. She read it, she loved it, and after I landed my fabulous agent, Bob Diforio, I stayed with Wyatt-MacKenzie for my next two novels. 

What are you working on now?

I am working on a new novel about a powerful political couple from Washington DC – the place where I started my legal career. When tragedy strikes, everything they thought they knew about each other – and wanted for each other – will change. For those familiar with my novels, you won’t be surprised to hear there’s a lot of unraveling of secrets. The working title is “Why We Lie.”

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Yes. You have time.

What I hear most from aspiring writers is that they want to write a story, but they can’t find the time. And in my writing workshops, I work hard to help students find it. I’m not interested in covering up the truth that writing DOES take a lot of time. And sometimes carving out the time feels a little selfish at first, but I work with writers to help them get over the guilt and carve out the time anyway.

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

Thank you! It’s been an amazing and humbling journey putting three novels out into the world and watching readers and Book Clubs embrace them. I’ll never stop being grateful. 

To connect with Amy:

Faceook: https://www.facebook.com/ImpellizzeriAmy
website: www.amyimpellizzeri.com
Amazon Buy Link: bit.ly/ownyourtruth





Tuesday, October 3, 2017

THE BLACKBIRD SEASON, by author, KATE MORETTI

New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.


Told from the alternating points of view of Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature.


Some Q & A with Kate ~


Tell us a little bit about yourself, and how you started writing.

I started writing when my youngest was an infant and slept 22 out of 24 hours a day. I KNOW! Don’t kill me, my oldest had colic. I earned it! I’ve always written and always wanted to write a novel, but just never knew how. I thought the words would just flow out of me, all 85K of them (*dies laughing*). Now I know it’s a daily push and dedication!

What are some things you enjoy when not writing?

Family time. My kids are into sports and activities and elementary school age is filled with a zillion To-Do lists. I’m not 100% sure I enjoy every single minute of it, but between that and the day job and the writing, I don’t have time for another hobby! I’ve started going to the gym again a few months ago. I’m trying to enjoy exercise! Last winter, I took my daughter skiing and remembered that I loved it (my knees do not). I’m finding my way back to the kitchen, now that I’m part-time at the day job. I love decorating and after I finished my last book, I shut down my computer for a week and redecorated my living room on a shoestring budget at a barn sale.

Do you have a ‘day job’ as well?

I work part-time for Johnson & Johnson. I’m a technical writer for them, sometimes from home. I spent 20 years in the lab and at some point, you get tired of the demands of lab work, especially working with cells and biologics. They wait for no one! I love the flexibility of my current job. It allows me to spend more time with family, while still keeping my toe in an industry I love.

Where do you get your ideas?

I have no idea. They come to me when I see something in real life and think “wow, that’s kind of interesting” and wonder how I could turn it around or spin it into a story. I don’t feel like I have control over what sends my brain into overdrive. A friend Kimberly Brock once called it “catching lightning” and I’ve never forgotten that. I feel like I do that constantly. Sometimes, I’ll feel that buzz of this would be a good story but then get distracted and poof, it’s gone. So it really does feel that transient.

If you had to go back and do it all over, is there any aspect of your novel or getting it published that you’d change?

You know, I don’t think so. Yes, I’ve made mistakes and yes, I wish I would have dug deeper here or knew then what I know now, craft-wise, but honestly, the journey has been so incredibly rewarding, I’m not sure I’d go back if I could.

How do you market your work?

A little bit every day! I make connections with other writers as much as possible. I try to give back as much as possible. I try to be as generous as I can and talk about other writers more than myself. I try to respond to readers (I don’t always succeed, and it’s never a result of anything other than slipping through the cracks!). It’s been a long, slow process of getting my name out there, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s been five years now!

What are you working on now?

I’m between projects! It feels so relaxing. I have ideas brewing and a proposal I’m working on, but it’s been nice to focus on articles and blogs and let the next project marinate.

Is anything in your book based on real-life experiences?

Only in little unrecognizable pieces :). Parts of friend’s personalities, conflicts I’ve seen or observed, nothing directly translated.
  
Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Nothing that hasn’t been said a million times: keep going. The writing is the thing. Don’t get too distracted by all the “other”. The person you’re admiring and think has everything feels exactly like you do about someone else, no matter who they are. The feeling of insecurity you have right now? Get used to it. It never goes away, no matter how much success you have. In fact, I’d say the more successful you are, the more uncomfortable you feel. There’s more to lose! This career is made for people who can ignore the discomfort and enjoy the writing. Everything else is just noise. (I hope one day to be able to take this advice!)

Is there anything you’d like to say to your readers and fans?

THANK YOU!!!! Truly. 

   Kate Moretti is the New York Times Bestselling author of four novels and a novella, including Thought I Knew YouWhile You Were GoneBinds That TieThe Vanishing Year, and Blackbird SeasonHer first novel THOUGHT I KNEW YOU, was a New York Times bestseller. THE VANISHING YEAR was a nominee in the Goodreads Choice Awards Mystery/Thriller category for 2016 and was called "chillingly satisfying." (Publisher's Weekly) with "superb" closing twists (New York Times Book Review).   
    Kate has worked in the pharmaceutical industry for twenty years as a scientist and enjoys traveling and cooking. She lives in Pennsylvania in an old farmhouse with her husband, two children, and no known ghosts. Her lifelong dream is to find a secret passageway.

To connect with Kate:
Email: katemorettiauthor@gmail.com