1) To start us off, can you describe Clusters in five words?
Haunting, disturbing, unique, mysterious, and sad.
2) What gave you the inspiration to write about people disappearing?
A friend of mine lost her son when he wandered off. They found his body a few days later and it really struck me. I never really got over it and when I heard David Paulides discussing missing people I became interested.
3) Clusters is in part, based on the true events of children who mysteriously disappeared. Was it hard writing about real events, given it is a sensitive subject matter, and how did you go about adapting certain elements of real cases for the story?
So very hard! First, let me thank you for actually reading my book. So many bloggers don’t and I’m sure your readers really appreciate that, I know I do!
As for the difficulty… that’s partly why it took so long to write (A year – much longer than my average) I continuously needed to take breaks. Especially when I was writing at night, there were many times I would go into my sons room and watch him sleep, so grateful to have him there.
4) Clusters is a very dark and intense story, that could easily be a dark television show or movie. Who do you think would make a great Ethan Franco, and why?
Hmm, you’re not the first person to ask me this. I definitely have a picture in my head when I think of Franco but I think the closest actor I could think of would be someone like Jeff Bridges.
5) You’ve written in science fiction and horror genres with Undead Winter and Bohemian Grove, was the transition to writing realist fiction difficult? What kind of differences did you notice about writing in different genres?
I loved writing realist fiction so much! When I wrote my other books it’s because the story and characters were calling to me, needing their story told. When I wrote Clusters, it was the other way around. It was a story that I wanted told. I can’t put into words how much this felt like an extension of me. This really felt like what I was meant to do.
I do, however, love exploring different genres. It really flexes the writing muscles.
6) One of the things I most enjoyed about Clusters was that it kept me guessing right up to the end, how did you work the plot to keep your readers from guessing straight away?
I’m so glad you felt that way! That was one of my main objectives in writing this. It’s a mystery and I always hear my friends and readers saying how they guessed who the culprit was in the mystery novel they were reading. I didn’t want that to be the case with my books. As a reader, I despise predictability. I wanted to deliver to my readers what I expect when I pick up a book to read myself.
7) What is the one thing you want readers to take away from reading Clusters?
I want them to realize that these are real cases represented in my book and that there’s a very real sorrow with the people involved. There are loved ones who will never know what happened to the ones they lost and they go to their grave never knowing. I can’t imagine anything worse. Even though I’ve come to my own type of conclusion, it’s still very much a mystery and I encourage my readers to leave that chapter open – so-to-speak.
8) Clusters was released last month, are you working on anything currently?
I usually have my hand in several pots at once! My brain is wired weird. I’m rewriting Bohemian Grove which is only a few weeks away from its re-release. I’m also working on finishing up Children at the Window, a psychological thriller and writing another mystery after that called Heartbeat in a Box.
I’m also super excited about an anthology I’m a part of that will be coming out in the fall – but your readers can check that out on my blog in the near future. I don’t have too much info on it yet.
9) You are stranded on a desert island and can only take three books with you, what are they?
Memoirs of a Geisha, so I can always have hope and love with me… The Divine Comedy, because it’s my favorite collectors piece and such an amazing story and The Stand, because it’s my favorite King book and is so long it’ll keep me quite busy. It’s also a book that has been a huge influence on my writing.
10) Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview. Is there anything you’d like to tell readers to finish us off, any events or promotions?
Just want to thank them for giving me a chance and to swing by my Facebook or Twitter. I love interacting with my readers!