Friday, December 8, 2017

Blog Tour - Author Interview with Giveaway: The Hanging Tree by Eileen Cook


Book info:
TitleThe Hanging Girl
Author:  Eileen Cook
Genre:  YA Thriller
Release Date:  October 3rd, 2017
Publisher:  HMH Books for Young Readers

Synopsis:
Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions are helping the police find the town’s missing golden girl. It’s no challenge—her readings have always been faked, but this time she has some insider knowledge. The kidnapping was supposed to be easy—no one would get hurt and she’d get the money she needs to start a new life. But a seemingly harmless prank has turned dark, and Skye realizes the people she’s involved with are willing to kill to get what they want and she must discover their true identity before it’s too late. 

Praise for THE HANGING GIRL

"...[The Hanging Girl] is fast-paced; features a very relatable, down-on-herluck protagonist; and boasts a surprise twist that will leave readers arguing long after the book is over. Perfect for fans of psychological thrillers." ―Booklist

"A surprisingly dark thriller that will find a home in libraries where there is a need for strong female protagonists and engrossing mysteries." ―SLJ
"...The multiple twists in the ending pack several hefty wallops of surprise and reward the reader with a more than satisfactory payout." ―Bulletin


Author Interview:

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1.  What does your writing process look like? Do you know the whole story when you start?  Or do you just start writing and go with it (seat of the pants writing)?  If you plan it out, how do you do that?  Outline, notecards, post-it-notes, etc.?



When I started writing it took me a long time to realize that what works for one writer might not work for another. I always encourage people to try different processes and see what fits their style.



I spend time plotting and planning before starting to write. Sometimes this includes writing diary entries from different character’s point of view, making timelines, and endless lists.  I used to jump in as soon as I had an idea, but I’ve learned it’s better to let an idea ferment for a while.  Like wine, it gets more complex and interesting if it sits for some time.



I usually get up early and walk the dogs or go to the gym before settling in with a cup of tea and getting to work.  I’m not creative before 8am or after 10pm. I usually have three or four hours of writing/creative time before my brain gives up.  I spend the rest of my day doing more business things, marketing, teaching, research etc.  Of course, there’s also plenty of looking at random things on the Internet, yelling at my dogs to stop digging in the yard, or plotting to buy more shoes.



2.  How do you come up with your ideas for your stories?



I have no idea.  They pop into my head, a snippet of overheard conversation, something in the news, a discussion with a friend, an old photograph- you name it- they show up and slowly begin to morph into their own thing. I believe there are millions of ideas out there all the time. The trick is to pause long enough to hear them.  Then, when you do get one, spend some time trying to figure out if it is a good idea. Is it worth months (or years) of your time, hundreds of pages, and a reader’s attention?



It took me a long time to become more patient with ideas. I used to get them and then run to my computer to start writing as if I was afraid it was going to get away from me.  Now I slow down, turn the idea over in my head, ask a lot of “what if” questions. What would make this situation worse? What if this character didn’t know X or Y? What if this new thing suddenly happened? If I give ideas a bit of a chance to grow they evolve into much more interesting concepts.



3.  How long have you been writing?



I always loved books and stories. My parents have a homework assignment I did in second grade where we were supposed to practice writing sentences and instead I strung mine together to make a story. 



The first time I can remember thinking that writing books was something I wanted to do was when I was eleven or twelve.  I’d gone to the library and picked up a book by Stephen King, Salem’s Lot.  The librarian tried to discourage me from reading it- declaring it too scary.  I remember being offended because I was a very mature kid and I understood the difference between make believe and real. I figured how scary could it be?  Turns out- really scary!  I slept with the light on for weeks. I thought it was amazing that this writer had made something up, something I knew was fiction, and yet it felt so real that I had a real emotional reaction.  That’s when I knew that is what I wanted to do.



4.  What tips do you have for aspiring writers?



Read and write a lot. Books, both those you love and even those you dislike, are great teachers. Give yourself permission to read as many as you can! As you start to read as a writer you realize all the choices the author makes- whose point of view, when the story starts, what backstory you know etc. If you like a character try and figure out why. If you find yourself flipping pages like crazy or becoming bored, try and dissect what’s happening that is causing you to feel that way.



The second half of my advice is to write a lot- writing is a craft.  You get better the more you do it. It can be discouraging at first because the idea in your head is perfect and shiny and wonderful and your first draft is not. The secret is to push through that process. 
About the Author:
Eileen Cook grew up in a small town in Michigan, but would go on to live in Boston and Belgium before settling in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two very naughty dogs.

In second grade Eileen’s teacher wrote on a homework assignment “I am sure someday you will be an author” which is a tribute to the psychic abilities of elementary school teachers, as well as Eileen penchant for making things up. While she would go on to fill endless notebooks with really bad poetry, short stories, and the occasional start to a novel, she would first go on to pursue a career as a counsellor working with individuals with catastrophic injuries and illness.

Eileen quickly discovered that the challenge of working with real people is that they have real problems and she returned to writing where she could make her characters do what she wanted. Her first novel was published in 2008. Entertainment Weekly called her novel WITH MALICE a “seriously creepy thriller” which pretty much made her entire year.

When not planning murder and mayhem on the computer, Eileen enjoys reading, knitting, yelling at her dogs to stop digging holes and watching hockey (which she is required to do as a new Canadian.)

Eileen is a popular speaker at conferences both in the US and in Canada, provides writing/editorial coaching, and is a mentor/instructor for the Simon Fraser University The Writer’s Studio.

Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Photo Content from Eileen Cook


Giveaway:
--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of THE HANGING GIRL by Eileen Cook.  

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

Check out the rest of the tour schedule HERE

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