I’m so excited to be a part of the tour for The Hanging Girl by Eileen Cook. See below for information about the book, and for Eileen’s guest post!
About the Book:
Title: THE HANGING GIRL
Author: Eileen Cook
Pub. Date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Skye Thorn has given tarot card readings for years, and now her psychic visions arehelping 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.
Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. Her books have been optioned for film and TV. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer. Her newest book, WITH MALICE, will be out in June 2016. She’s an instructor/mentor with the Simon Fraser University Writer’s Studio Program.
You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny atwww.eileencook.com. Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two very naughty dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE HANGING GIRL, US Only.
And now, here’s the guest post from Eileen Cook!
I often have no idea where ideas come from. 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.
The initial inspiration for The Hanging Girl came after I went to a conference put on by The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. They’re a group of people who use science to investigate various topics- including psychics. The session I went to covered how easy it is to fool someone into believing you have psychic ability. I found that fascinating and filed away the information knowing it would be useful for a character. I tend to be a believer in things (I want magic to exist!) so it was good to see how easy it was to be vulnerable to someone’s tricks.
The second bit of inspiration came after talking to a good friend about lies. I started to think about a character who tells a lie (for a good reason) and how that leads to more lies, until she is in so deep that she has no idea how to get free. I think many people have told a lie to try and make a situation better, that ended up leading to more trouble. (Hopefully not as much trouble as it got the main character, Skye, into!)
In the process of writing the book I learned about the Tarot. It’s not just the individual cards, but how they interact with each other- not to mention how they’re interpreted-that make them so interesting. There’s a card called The Hanging Man, and it’s read different ways. He’s hanging upside down, which was a common punishment for traitors, but given his expression, many people think it means he’s there of his own accord. They say the card means self-sacrifice. Others note that the Norse God Odin suspended himself upside down in a tree to gain knowledge so it can be read with that in mind too.
The main character in the book, Skye, talks about the card as a need to see things in a new way. She feels she needs to change her perspective, plus there’s a sense of traitors/treason in her life, and the idea that self-sacrifice may be required to fix the situation. When it came time to find a title for the book, calling it The Hanging Girl seemed a perfect fit and it was the last piece of the puzzle to fall into place for the book. I hope you enjoy it!
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