Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for STATION FOSAAN by Dee Garreston! I have an interview with Dee to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway below!
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Cassie and Laney fancy themselves amateur ghost hunters. When a carnival comes to town, Cassie embraces the chance to try something new.
Carnival workers watch the girls with a collective gaze that ignites in Laney a dark and dangerous fascination, leaving Cassie unnerved.
It's not just their age or the unsettling way they stare. There is something in the shifting of their skin and the way their features seem to change in the shadows.
Cassie can's shake this sickening feeling that there's more to the carnival than meets the eye.
When townspeople suddenly start dying and bloody warnings appear around town, Cassie is lured into a nightmare where trees whisper and strange, shape-shifting men haunt the backwoods she once hunted for ghosts with her best friend.
Then Laney goes missing, and only Cassie can get her back. But the creatures of the trees aren't simply going to hand Laney over to Cassie without getting something in return.
Now on to the interview!
Hey Erin!! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books I’m glad you could stop by for a chat! OF THE TREES was freaking AWESOME and I can’t wait for everyone to read it!
For the readers: can you tell us a little info about OF THE TREES and the characters?
Of The Trees is the story of two best friends. Cassie Harris does not believe in ghosts, but her best friend Laney is constantly dragging her along on ghost hunts anyway. They do find something, something Cassie didn’t believe was possible. It’s not a ghost, it’s something worse, something made of flesh and blood and dark, dark magic. They find the creatures of the trees, and those creatures want to steal the girls away forever.
Is this a series or a standalone? And if it’s a series do you have a title for book 2? And if it’s a standalone what are you working on now?
This was originally conceived as a three book series. The sequel is written and hanging out in my computer currently. It’s entitled Darkness Cannot Hide Her, and it picks up just a few months after the end of Of The Trees. I left Cassie’s story for a bit of a break after I wrote the sequel, and I finished a standalone novel that I’m quite proud of, entitled The Monsters It Hides. I’m currently writing another YA novel that centers around a ghost story. Oh, and I have a two short stories being featured in two separate anthologies this year. A boogeyman short entitled The Creep will appear in the Lurking in the Mind anthology from CHBB publishing, and later in the year my short story entitled The Shadows Between will be featured in the Fragments of Darkness anthology.
Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?
Yes, several of them. But I’m not saying which ones!
Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?
Laney was my favorite to write in this novel. She is direct, snarky, selfish. Maybe it’s because of all those things, but Laney is bluntly honest. Her viewpoint was a fun and easy way for me to navigate through my created world. My most challenging character was probably Ryan. He’s a toughie because I didn’t want him to be a cookie-cutter boyfriend type, but at the same time we don’t get to be inside his head in the way we’re allowed into Cassie and Laney’s. I wanted him to be authentic, a character with a heartbeat, and so my struggle was showing this through Cassie. This was especially difficult because, for a large part of this book, poor Cassie doesn’t quite understand what Ryan’s thinking.
What is your favorite passage/scene in OF THE TREES?
Laney’s transformation scene is my overall favorite scene. It’s hard to explain without going into detail here, but this particular scene – I just couldn’t wait to write it! In fact, it’s one of the first scenes I wrote when drafting this novel. This scene doesn’t happen until the last half of the book, so I had written my first couple chapters and then just knew I wanted to add this element in. I jumped way ahead, wrote it out in one sitting, and barely touched it in the edits because I loved it so much.
What kind of research did you have to do for the story?
Tons of research! I started with Irish fairytales and folklore, which led me to W.B. Yeats and a collection of his stories and poems. One poem in particular stuck out to me, The Stolen Child, and that helped to influence and shape Of The Trees. And while old tales of the Fae are the dark undercurrents that run throughout this novel, the story begins with a ghost story. So there was a lot of research put into one of the old, local legends that skulks around a cemetery quite close to where I live. It was a ghost story I remembered from my own time in high school, and I went searching through archives for the details. I also looked into everything from tree varieties, to high school floorplans, to… oh! This was a big one: The Appalachian Trail. So much research went into the conditions on the trail, what you’d have to pack for a thru-hike, how long something like that would take, what the particular sections of the trail looked like. On and on! I just adore researching, which comes in handy because every novel I write requires often very bizarre research.
Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?
Jamie Fraser. Oh, I’m sorry, James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser.
What inspired you to write YA?
So back before I was even writing, I was reading. But being a young mother, who had just gotten out of college having completed a nursing and a psychology degree, I had no time to keep up with what books were out there. I hadn’t really read for pleasure in years, and I had no idea where to start. I looked online and found this website where you could put in the books you read and loved, and they would recommend titles. That seemed so wonderful to me, like Netflix but for books! So I jotted down a few titles that looked promising, walked to my local library, and looked them up. Every title, every single one, had me going to the children’s section! I was surprised, and a little embarrassed. I didn’t even know YA was a thing, couldn’t have told you that that was where my tastes lay; but I went to the kid’s section, quickly pulled the books I wanted off the shelf, and scurried out of there. The first title I grabbed was A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray. I loved it! So I kept marching back to the children’s section, kept pulling titles. When I finally decided to take my writing seriously, it felt completely natural to gravitate towards YA literature. I write what I love, YA books that usually feature a dystopian/horror/supernatural element.
So I fell into writing YA, but I make the choice to stay here. I love working with teens, and I love writing teenage protagonists. There’s just something about those years in which people are this amazing combination of intelligent and naïve, resourceful and vulnerable. Teens can see the world in a whole new way, and also exhibit flashes of ancient wisdom, grace, and sensitivity. I love the struggles of identity formation, finding who you are. These make for great literary devices, and are such wonderful things to explore in the characters you create. There’s also a massive amount of growth – intellectual, emotional, physical – when you’re a teenager, and that’s another element of great fiction, character growth. Whatever drew me to YA fiction, I’m forever grateful that I’m here.
Lightening Round Questions
What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?
I’m currently reading Quantum Enigma: Physics Encounters Consciousness by Bruce Rosenblum and Fred Kuttner. (Yes, I realize how dry it sounds; but it’s fascinating! One of my short stories coming out in 2017 was inspired by the Schrödinger's cat thought experiment.)
I’m dying to read the next book in the Outlander series! But it’s not out yet! Darn it.
What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?
Gryffindor, so says Pottermore (and yes, I’m aware that that rhymes).
Twitter or Facebook?
Superman! My dad and I watch every Superman movie together.
Favorite TV show?
Currently? I’d say The Walking Dead.
Sweet or Salty?
Always both together.
No, not really. I could do without bugs though.
Song you can’t get enough of right now?
Lost Boy by Ruth B.
2017 Movie you’re most looking forward to?
A Monster Calls.
Thanks so much Erin for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read OF THE TREES!
E.M. Fitch is an author who loves scary stories, chocolate, and tall trees. When not dreaming up new ways to torture characters, she is usually corralling her four children or thinking of ways to tire them out so she can get an hour of peace at night. She lives in Connecticut, surrounded by chaos, which she manages (somewhat successfully) with her husband, Marc.
1 winner will receive a $25 Fandango Gift Card, US Only.
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