Isobel’s life is falling apart. Her mom just married some guy she met on the internet only three months before, and is moving them to his sprawling, gothic mansion off the coast of nowhere. Goodbye, best friend. Goodbye, social life. Hello, icky new stepfather, crunchy granola town, and unbelievably good-looking, officially off-limits stepbrother.
But on her first night in her new home, Isobel starts to fear that it isn’t only her life that’s unraveling—her sanity might be giving way too. Because either Isobel is losing her mind, just like her artist father did before her, or she’s seeing ghosts. Either way, Isobel’s fast on her way to being the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons.
Read my review HERE.
1. Where did you get the idea of Unraveling Isobel?
I've always loved gothic books with creepy houses, family secrets and the possibility of ghosts. One of my favorite books is Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. The character of Isobel popped into my mind and I loved the idea of her not knowing if she was seeing a ghost, if she was going crazy, or if her step-dad was trying to make everyone around her think she's crazy. Once I had Isobel, I was ready to dive into the story.
2. How long did it take you to write? Were there any obstacles?
It took me around eight months to write the book. There are obstacles for every book! Every time I write a novel I get about three quarters of the way done and realize the ending I had planned stinks, I have no idea how to fix the book, and I'm convinced the story isn't working at all and I should quit. Now when that happens I remind myself that there will be a way to fix the story- I just need to figure it out. Although it is different for different writers, everyone I know struggles at some point in the book. The secret is to keep working at it.
3. The characters are all so different. Each of them gave me different emotions throughout this book. How did you develop them?
Coming up with characters is my favorite part of the writing process! I went to college for counselling because I've always been interested in people. I want to understand how and why people act the way they do. Every character in a story has a goal (something they want in the story), motivation (the reason they want the goal) and conflict (what gets in the way of getting their goal). I sit down and try and figure those three things out for everyone before I start the book.
4. Which character can you relate to the most and why?
I think identify the most with Isobel. I like that she's strong and sassy. Although I've never worried about having schizophrenia, I do understand the feeling of second guessing yourself and questioning if you can trust your gut or not. Despite the fact I kept making things more complicated for her, I really wanted her to get a happy ending.
5. Do you believe in ghosts? What makes you believe or not believe?
I've never seen anything that made me believe in ghosts. I tend to be more skeptical. I think a lot of ghost stories are people trying to make money off of others or coincidence. However, I LOVE the idea of their being ghosts! I'll keep reading ghost stories and you never know what might be discovered.....
6. I read on your website that you present different workshops. What got you started with that?
I worked for a long time as a counsellor and started teaching psychology/counselling classes at the local university. I discovered I loved teaching. When I started publishing I applied to teach some writing classes and started offering writing workshops to conferences or for libraries. I love the process of writing. There is no right way to write a book- just the way that works for you. I like the chance to share different writing approaches with other writers. Readers and writers are my favorite people to hang around with, I could talk books all day.
7. What's next for you?
I am in the process of wrapping up a book that will be out next December. Right now it's called Shady Sadie, but the title will likely change. The book is about Sadie, who is a teenage con artist. When she discovers that she looks like the age enhanced photo of a missing kid, she decides to pull the ultimate con. Until she begins to suspect she might actually be the missing child...