Monday, January 09, 2012

Still Waters Tour Stop

As part of the Still Waters Tour, I have Emma Carlson Berne stopping by the blog today to answer some fun questions regarding her book, Still Waters. And because you all were nice enough to come take a look, you may have a chance to win!

What is Still Waters about?

Still Waters 
Emma Carlson Berne
Release date: December 20th, 2011
by Simon Pulse

Goodreads / Purchase
Hannah can't wait to sneak off for a romantic weekend with her boyfriend, Colin. He’s leaving for college soon, and Hannah wants their trip to the lake house to be one they’ll never forget.
But once Hannah and Colin get there, things start to seem a They can't find the town on any map. The house they are staying in looks as if someone's been living there, even though it's been deserted for years. And Colin doesn’t seem quite himself. As he grows more unstable, Hannah worries about Colin’s dark side, and her own safety.
Nothing is as perfect as it seems, and what lies beneath may haunt her forever.

Interview with Emma Carlson Berne

Q. Let's start with telling us a bit about how you got the idea for Still Waters.
When I had the idea to write a scary story, which was different than what I’d written before, I had an image in my mind of a flat, misty lake with a rowboat floating in the middle and a piece of torn off rope trailing from the bow into the water. This image just sprang into my head and I started wondering about it. How did the boat get there? Where were the people? It seemed singularly creepy to me and the story started to flow up around it.

Q. Do you work with an outline, or just write and go with the flow?
I am pretty organized when I write, which comes from doing years of ghostwriting and educational writing, in which I would often work from an outline given to me by the publisher. I make a huge amount of free-form notes, then work those into an outline which is organized by chapters. I write basically a mini-summary of what’s going to happen in each chapter, right down until the very end. I write background for each character, I write little essays about the setting, and I draw diagrams and maps that I refer to throughout the drafting.

Q. Which came first – the story or the characters? 
In this case, it was the story. But in my next book, NEVER LET YOU GO, which will be out in Fall 2012, it was all about the characters first and the story second.

Q. The title Still Waters is very catchy - it's what drew me to read the blurb. How did you come up with it?
Ah, the title. I wish I could take any credit for it at all, but I can’t. I’m spectacularly bad at titling. My agent and I went back and forth about different titles for this and he was the one who came up with STILL WATERS. Thanks, Michael!

Q. What was the hardest part of writing this book?
I really hate drafting. That is always the most agonizing part. All of the fun of selling the book is over (this book was bought when it was still in proposal form) and there’s just a long, dry desert of hard work staring me in the face, day after day, for months.

Q. Did you put a little bit of yourself in Hannah's character?
Absolutely—more than a little. As an awkward, nerdy girl in high school, my dream was always that a hot yet sensitive artistic type would take notice of me, just like Colin does with Hannah. That’s the best part of writing—you can write all of those fantasies into reality.

Q. What is your favorite horror movie? 
Hands down, The Blair Witch Project. I saw it in Israel when it first came out and even with everyone talking and smoking around me, it still freaked me out. Then I watched it a couple years later with my husband, and was even more scared, even though I’d already seen it! The absolute best part is that you never see the Blair Witch—what you can imagine on your own is far freakier than anything a filmmaker can think up.

Q.  Do you have a favorite coffee shop? 
I always write at home, but I love walking to the Half-Day CafĂ© about two blocks from my house. It’s a great way to procrastinate. I’ll get all ready to write and then put on my sweater, amble down to get my skim latte with peppermint, and make it back to the house fifteen minutes later.

Thanks so much, Emma, for dropping by and for having me on the tour!

As a teenager, Emma Carlson Berne spent most her time reading Edith Wharton and Somerset Maugham. Occasionally, she would take a break for some Thomas Hardy. She was not voted prom queen.
Emma grew up in Ohio in a house with a creepy little closet in the attic. She went to a small high school, made a lot of unfortunate fashion choices, and escaped to the University of Wisconsin as soon as possible. She now lives in Cincinnati, where she drinks quite a bit of coffee and sometimes writes.

Did you miss any of the tour stops?

Simon & Schuster has generously offered a SIGNED copy of Still Waters to one of my readers.

Open to US residents only.
Ends on January 19th, 2012
Use the form below to enter

*Winner will be contacted by email and will have 48 hours to reply before a new winner is chosen.
WINNER IS: Savanna Ucinski