Behind the Story: 10 Questions About My Novel

Where would writers be without supportive writer friends? I don’t even want to think about that. I’d rather think about Donna Galanti, the fabulous author who invited me to The Next Big Thing Blog Hop, a series designed to introduce readers to new authors and books.

Donna is the author of the paranormal suspense novel, A Human Element, which New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry calls “an elegant and haunting first novel. Unrelenting, devious but full of heart.” To learn more, visit her website:

To purchase A Human Element, visit:

10 Questions

The following questions and answers pertain to my first novel, which will pre-release this month and officially release in January. (Holy be-jeezus! *breathes into paper bag*)

August writing

Work in progress…

1: What is the title of your book? IN HER SHADOW

2: Where did the idea come from for the book? When I was 18 and working as an international model based in Paris, I nearly died of anorexia. IN HER SHADOW is loosely based on that experience.

3: What genre does your book come under? Psychological thriller

4: Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

Unknown actors, probably, although I could see Claire Danes playing the lead character, Claire Fiksen, and Ted Danson playing her nemesis.

5: What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? Stop with the synopsis insanity! Do you have any idea how many of various lengths I’ve had to conjure lately? Um, I mean… Wow. I’m SO GLAD you asked. 😉

Here’s the back blurb:

One woman locked in a basement, nearing death and longing for escape. Another baffled by the inexplicable symptoms wreaking havoc on her life. Both are lost and alone, yet somehow connected. And time is running out…

Near the tenth anniversary of her parents’ unexpected death, Claire Fiksen, a lovely young Harvard-grad and gifted psychologist in Minnesota, develops bizarre symptoms of an eating disorder that threaten her fledgling career, her relationship with a handsome young medical student, her grasp on reality and, soon, her life.

When her beloved grandfather reveals that there may be more to her parents’ death than she’s realized, Claire’s pursuit of healing becomes a desperate search for answers as she delves into her family’s sordid past. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, plotting to draw her into his own twisted web of misery. Claire has something he needs, and he’ll stop at nothing to obtain it.

Every step Claire takes brings her closer to the truth and danger. And her life, she discovers, isn’t the only one at stake.

6: Is your book self-published, published by an independent publisher, or represented by an agency? It will be self-published in collaboration with my agency, Dystel & Goderich.

7: How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Roughly one year and 300 workouts. (I do some of my best writing and editing at the gym.)

8: What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

That’s a toughie… I suppose if you blended Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, The Sixth Sense, Requiem for a Dream and Mary Higgins Clark’s work together, you might end up with an In Her Shadow-like smoothie.

9: Who or what inspired you to write this book? Life. 🙂

10: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? I like to think of IHS as a dark, suspenseful story that has the potential to inspire and provoke thought. It takes on some heady issues, including eating disorders and sexual violence, but it’s really a story about family, hope and survival—the lengths we will go for those we love. It also features some romance and an incredibly sweet dog.

In Her Shadow - Finalx2

Below you will find authors who will be joining me by blog next Wednesday, answering questions about their own novels. I ADORE these writers, and hope you’ll check out and bookmark their links. Happy reading!

1. Shannon Esposito

2. Steena Holmes

3. M.G. Miller

4. Ellie Ann Soderstrom

5. Alexandra Sokoloff

6. Bob Yehling

I’d also like to thank Gina Fava and Tameri Etherton for tagging me in TNBT Blog Hop earlier on, before I was ready to share. You both rock!

What project or work pursuit are you working on? Any additional questions for me, regarding my novel or anything else? I may not have all the answers, but I promise to try my darndest. 😉


Leave a comment


  1. Running from Hell with El

     /  December 5, 2012

    This looks and sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to read it! I chuckled about the 300 workouts because I find the same is true for me. And life is always the best source of inspiration for our writing, you know? Good on you!

  2. Sounds like it will be a great read!

  3. How does one write at the gym? I honestly can’t think of anything I can do at the gym that would allow me to do that. Or edit. Or do anything but vaguely kind of watch TV.

    So excited to read this. So glad it’s only “loosely” based on the Q2 stuff so that, you know, I think I can probably handle it. 😛

    • I’m tempted to devote an entire post to your question, Bill. In short, one does it carefully, and not usually on the treadmill. 😉 It’s actually not difficult once you get the hang of it…

      Thanks for the support!

  4. Congratulations August! It is great that you are transforming a traumatic event into something positive and hopefully a best selling novel. Go girl!

  5. Loving the sound of this August! Look forward to reading… 🙂

  6. August, looks like a thrilling read! And how awful your true experience that led to this book. I adore Claire Danes…and can see Ted Danson as a bad dude. “Story about family, hope and survival—the lengths we will go for those we love” – OK – you had me at hello! What a twist to have a psychologist develop a disorder she must battle along with investigating a mystery that may save her life. Ooh! Congrats on it coming out and looking forward to reading. Keep us posted!

  7. P.S. Thanks for being part of The Next Big Thing with me!

  8. mgmillerbooks

     /  December 5, 2012

    Ted Danson. Oh yeah. I want a t-shirt that says ‘Stop Synopsis Insanity!’ Excitement level on the rise; i.e., metaphorical boner going on here 🙂

  9. Sounds like a page-turner indeed! Can’t wait for it to release August. Congratulations!

  10. Hi,
    Your book sounds very interesting. I wish you all the best and an excellent novel debut.

  11. EllieAnn

     /  December 5, 2012

    Your books sounds so good! I can’t wait to get my hands on it.
    And where would I be without good writer friends? I’d still be locked away in my room, babbling to myself about how brilliant my writing is and never letting a soul see it. Now I know better. 🙂
    And I haven’t met any of the Next Big Thing Writers you’ve mentioned. I can’t wait to follow them and check out their work! I DON’T want to miss out on the next big thing.
    And THANK YOU for including me. I’m honored.

  12. I wish you all the best with the release! It sounds amazing!

  13. Sounds completely twisted, just my thing! Can’t wait to read, and thanks for the tag!

  14. As I well know, your novel will achieve the success it deserves!

  15. Fun idea and very excited for your release! Gorgeous photo of you and all your papers too.

    P.S. I’m already creeped out since you said your book’s antagonist is like Ted Danson. I’m picturing Damages and shuddering!

  16. Congrats 🙂 I do love a good suspense novel, and this one sounds like it’s going to be good 🙂

  17. Sounds like a great read August!!

  18. August, the blurb sounds really intriguing.

  19. Really great premise. I look forward to reading it!

  20. Coleen Patrick

     /  December 5, 2012

    Congrats August! Sounds awesome. Can’t wait. 🙂

  21. Congratulations, August! I’m excited about your book being published. It sounds like the collaboration with your agent has been a good one for you. I love your cover art and if the inside is as good the outside, we’re all in for a treat. Mazel tov.

  22. Very cool to finally get all the details on your book, August! It sounds completely intriguing.

  23. Sounds like a great psychological thriller August. I’m choosy when it comes to crime, but this is right down my alley: – A page turner that will have me reading into the small wee hours!
    Best of luck with the launch,
    Mary E. Coen xx

  24. Wow, the book sounds really good! Love psychological thrillers, so I’ll be sure to pick this one up.

  25. lynnkelleyauthor

     /  December 5, 2012

    Wow, congrats, August! I’m so excited for you. I think it’s wonderful that your novel is coming out soon and you don’t have to wait anymore. It sounds intriguing, heavy duty plot, and that cover is to die for! Whoever designed it is very gifted. Looking forward to reading your book.

  26. amyshojai

     /  December 5, 2012

    I love psychological thrillers! The sweet doggie is icing on the cake. Can’t wait to read this, August!

    • Thanks, Amy! I couldn’t have written it without a sweet dog. This one, Zola, is a combo of my childhood dog, Nikki, and my current, Zoe. 🙂

  27. Loved your synopsis. Those are stinkers to write…so good job (and your truthful words before it made me laugh). Your book cover’s great!

    • Stinkers extreme, right? Worth it, but good golly. 😉 So glad you like the synopsis and artwork, Char. Steena Holmes is the genius who took my ‘lil cover idea and made it shine.

  28. This sounds intriguing, though I’m sorry about your real life experience. It’s wonderful that you could take that and put part of it into words. I get a lot of thinking done while exercising, but no actual writing/editing, other than what’s in my brain.

    Shannon at Writing From the Peak

  29. Very exciting. Thrills and chills. You’ve got some great stuff in the works there. Isn’t it wonderful to see the end so near?

  30. Raani York

     /  December 7, 2012

    I just can’t wait to read this book August!! Let me know when it will be published… I’ll go and buy it right away!

  31. This sounds interesting. I’ll look forward to trying it out. When you said you wrote thrillers, my imagination supplied government agencies, terrorist cells, and war. I am so glad I was wrong! 😉

  32. Wow, intriguing blurb, August, and I love the cover. Can’t wait for the release in January!

  33. It sounds gripping, August! Honestly, the story is intriguiging and all your hard work is going to pay off. With all you have going for you, you’re sure to find your place in the market. Good luck, nonetheless!
    I’m not going to discuss my own career aspirations; this is supposed to be a happy post….

  34. Kourtney Heintz

     /  December 10, 2012

    Very intriguing! Love the 10 questions asked and brilliantly answered. 🙂

  35. Sounds intriguing. Congrats! I’ll be waiting with bated breath!

  1. The Next Big Thing « Ellie Ann

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