Hi,Christy, so glad to have you here today. Tell us a little about Say Nothing of What You See. What inspired this story?
I’ve long been interested in cults, communes, and other fringe groups. The follower mentality perplexes me. Why will some people do whatever they’re told, even to the point of mistreating others? The fascinating thing about humans is that we can rationalize anything.
Say Nothing began as an exploration into power, control, and jealousy—but also love, which is stronger than the other three. Stronger than anything, really.
When her aunt steps off a grain elevator into the emptiness of a prairie evening, Mira Piper loses her one protector. Chloe, her flighty mother, impulsively drags her daughter to Bramblewood, an isolated spiritualist retreat in northern Michigan, run by the enigmatic Dr. Virgil Simon.
Chloe plans to train as a medium but it’s Mira who discovers she can communicate with the dead. When her mother abandons her, Mira discovers a darker aspect to Bramblewood: the seemingly kind doctor has a sinister side and a strange control over his students.
Then one winter’s day Troy Farrington arrives, to fulfill his mother’s dying wish and deliver her letter to the doctor. But calamity strikes and he finds himself a captive, tended by a sympathetic Mira. Haunted by her dead aunt and desperate to escape Bramblewood, Mira makes a devil’s deal with Dr. Simon. But fulfillment comes with a steep cost…betrayal.
Can you share with us “the call” story?
It’s not glamorous, but it’s one of those moments I will never forget. I had gone to Lowe’s to get a shower curtain rod and just happened to check my phone in the parking lot before running inside. There was an e-mail from an editor at The Wild Rose Press with a publication offer. I read that e-mail about five times, mostly in disbelief. Then I went in and bought the shower curtain rod.
What do you enjoy most about writing?
I love the duality of writing. It’s a process of creation, yes, but it’s also a process of discovery. I used to think that writing was about control, but now I understand that it’s about letting go. You have to let your characters be authentic to who they truly are.
Do you have a favorite time of day for writing?
I wrote Say Nothing a few years ago, while my husband was in graduate school. We both worked fulltime during the day, and then at night I would write while he went to class or did homework. Now that I’m home with my baby daughter, I try to write in short bursts whenever possible. Morning is my favorite time to work.
What is your favorite food to cook or eat?
Anything Italian. Pasta is my comfort food.
What do you like to read?
I think of myself as an equal opportunity reader. I love all kinds of books, from literary classics to commercial fiction. I also enjoy reading narrative nonfiction and poetry.
Do you listen to music while you write? What are you listening to now?
Back when I wrote Say Nothing, I often listened to music while I worked. These days I cherish the quiet moments when my baby is asleep and I can write in peace. Funny how things change! But music is still a big part of my life, and it definitely inspires my writing. I listen to a lot of chill-out electronic music like The xx, Moby, and Little People.
These are few of my favorite things:
1. Pre-Raphaelite art (check out my Pre-Raphaelite board on Pinterest!)
3. Red wine
Now Christy has a question for you: What makes you want to read a book? (Author, blurb, book cover, Amazon ratings, friend’s recommendation, Goodreads review, etc.)
Don’t forget to stop by Christy’s Rafflecopter giveaway HERE.
“You are absolutely stunning, Mira.”
I stole another glance in the mirror. The material was a rich, shimmery gold that fell from my shoulders in folds of liquid light. It looked like something a Greek goddess might wear. Oh, how I wished the girls from Amberville High School could see me in this dress!
“When you came here,” said Dr. Simon, “I had a vision of you like this. I looked at the girl before me, but I saw the woman you are now.”
“Thank you,” I murmured, gesturing toward the piles of clothes on my bed. “You’ve been so generous. I know you’ve spent a good deal of money on me—”
“Money means nothing,” he interrupted abruptly. “I have more than I could ever spend, more than I know what to do with. Don’t consider the cost.”
His tone was brusque, and I wondered if I had offended him.
But the next moment Dr. Simon smiled. “I think of you as my charity case. You were like a doll thrown out in the garbage. I simply rescued you from the trash, cleaned you up, and dressed you in something decent. But the beauty was present all along.” He touched my cheek. “Here.” Then he touched my forehead. “Here.” Then he touched my chest. “And here.”
I knew he was referring to my heart, but even so, his hand on my chest made my face warm with discomfort.
“You blush so easily,” he laughed. “You’ll never be able hide anything, Mira, with such a transparent face.”
“That’s all right,” I said, taking a small step back. “I don’t have anything to hide.”
Say Nothing of What You See will be available to purchase August 29, 2014:
Bio: Christy Effinger’s poetry, fiction, and essays have appeared in various print and online publications. She lives near Indianapolis.
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