Mar 4, 2013

Interview: Carly Anne West

Hi! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Carly Anne West's The Murmurings, which Kirkus says is "fun with mirrors and heart-thumping encounters." This is bound to be a dark, thrilling book you'll want to plant your nose in. So sit back, relax, and try not to get too spooked as I interview Carly and tell you everything you need to know about The Murmurings!

The Book
Out March 5, 2013 from Simon Pulse!

Everyone thinks Sophie’s sister, Nell, went crazy. After all, she heard strange voices that drove her to commit suicide. But Sophie doesn’t believe that Nell would take her own life, and she’s convinced that Nell’s doctor knows more than he’s letting on.

As Sophie starts to piece together Nell’s last days, every lead ends in a web of lies. And the deeper Sophie digs, the more danger she’s in—because now she’s hearing the same haunting whispers. Sophie’s starting to think she’s going crazy too. Or worse, that maybe she’s not….

The Interview

In the form of a tweet, please describe The Murmurings.
It's a dark, psychological thriller with some horror and contemporary elements. Sophie is driven to solve the mystery of her sister's death or else succumb to the same fate.

The synopsis mentions suicide, strange whispers, and all kinds of crazy. Where did you get the idea for The Murmurings?
I'd been toying with a lot of these elements in my writing before I dug into the premise for The Murmurings. I've always been intrigued by that blurry line (if there even is one) between perception and reality. And then I had a totally bizarre experience in the apartment I was living in at the time, and I heard my own version of the murmuring in my ear (seriously, it's a true story). We got confirmation later that previous tenants had experienced something similar. Wacky. But I guess if you're going to live anywhere while writing a dark novel, that's the sort of place that's best to live.

What are five facts about The Murmurings that readers may not know and want to know?
(1) The story deals with a variety of themes including grief, fear, isolation and abandonment, but also discovery and redemption. (2) There's a certain picnic scene whose contents were inspired by a real-life picnic from my teen years. (3) Jerome is actually a really cool city, and I highly recommend visiting it. (4) I had to do some research on trees. Seriously. Luckily for me, my sister-in-law is a botanist. (5) That thing you just heard? Maybe it's not what you think it was!

Using the letters of MURMURINGS, please describe yourself.
Music Admirer
Underwhelming cook
Roller of pastry dough (which makes up for the underwhelming cooking)
Unwilling to give up
Right-handed thrower, left-handed writer
Introverted in some ways, I guess
Good at comma usage, but bad at spelling
Sweet, as long as you are

If you could collaborate with any writer to ever exist, who would it be and why?
Ooooh, awesome question. And impossible. How do I narrow this down to just one?? Poe for his fearlessness. Maybe Charlotte Bronte for the same reason. Bernard Malamud for his unblinking eye on human emotion. And far too many contemporary writers to name. I'm going to consider adding names to this list for the next 5 hours. Impossible question to answer.

Congratulations! You're a tribute in the Reader Games! Which three fictional characters are your allies and which three are your enemies?
Crap. And here I am with no useful wilderness skills. Okay, allies are: Mary Karr (as herself ... her trilogy of memoir is astounding, and she's tough in all the right ways), Danny from The Shining (he's clever, and bonus, he can fit through tight spaces), and Kit Cordelle from Dia Reeves's Slice of Cherry (you know you'd want her on your side, too). Enemies (disclaimer: I actually love these characters, so choosing them as enemies is actually a compliment to how villainous-ly they're written): Alex from Amy Reed's Beautiful, Bellatrix Lestrange from Harry Potter (she always scared me more than the rest), and the duck from Sandra Boynton's Happy Hippo, Angry Duck (such a grump, that duck).

With the release of The Murmurings right around the corner, what's next for you?
I'm working on another dark novel, this one inspired by the woods. The Pacific Northwest has some awesome, vast expanses of wooded terrain. I am endlessly intrigued by what secrets those woods could hold. The answer, by the way, is a hell of a lot of secrets.

Broccoli or brussel sprouts?

N'Sync or Backstreet Boys?
Aw, now come on. It's cruel to make me choose.

Swallow giant pills or chew disgusting ones? 
Um, you officially win for most hilarious interview questions ever. Swallow giant pills. Just get it over with. 

Thanks for the interview, Rachel!

The Author
Carly Anne West is a freelance writer with an MFA in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. She lives with her husband and son in Seattle, Washington. Visit her at website and Twitter. 

The Giveaway

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  1. Loved this book! OMG, her real life murmuring story! EEK! And the new one she's working on sounds great. Thanks for sharing! :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  2. Good interview. Thanks for participating!

  3. Awesome intervew. Definetely want to read this book.


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