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Wednesday 9 September 2020

ℚ♫ Little Falls - Elizabeth Lewes

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author Elizabeth Lewes to talk about Little Falls (11 August 2020, Crooked Lane Books, 293 pages), a Rural Mystery Noir.

"The tight, well-constructed plot complements the searing portrait of Camille as she deals with the guilt she feels over her daughter and her general rage at the world. Lewes is off to a strong start." --Publishers Weekly, starred review 

"Little Falls snaps with suspense from beginning to end. With skilled execution of setting and plot, Elizabeth Lewes shuttles the reader between continents on a thrilling journey that reveals haunting secrets. I couldn't put this book down!"
--Margaret Mizushima, author of the award-winning Timber Creek K-9 Mysteries, including Hanging Falls

|| Synopsis || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Elizabeth Lewes; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

Here at BooksChatter we love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Little Falls , or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?
"Love the idea of a playlist!  I listened to Diana Jones and Gillian Welch on repeat while writing Little Falls.  The songs that stand out most are:

Gillian Welch: “One Monkey” (this is almost Camille’s anthem), “Scarlet Town”, and “Look at Miss Ohio

Diana Jones: “Pretty Girl” and “Cracked and Broken

Also, the 2Cellos version of “Bang, Bang” featuring Sky Ferreira."
What was the inspiration for Little Falls?
"The seed of the idea behind Little Falls came to me while I was diligencing a deal for work.  (I’m a tax lawyer by day.)  The deal concerned some assets in Little Falls, New York, so I was reviewing property tax returns to check for compliance.  In the process, I learned that, up there, property tax collectors/inspectors are community members and, in many cases, taxpayers drop off their payments at the collector’s home.  

That’s when it occurred to me that property tax inspectors must see all sorts of interesting things when they inspect properties, particularly out in the county!  A few days later, I had this image of a female veteran who finds a body in a barn that plunges her back into her memories as a medic in Iraq.  And that’s how Camille Waresch was born."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Camille has a lot of me in her, but she’s also very different.  

Like me, she is a veteran, but she was in the Army and saw a lot of combat.  She also has experienced personal trauma to a much greater degree than I.  But her impulse to draw herself in and seek vengeance, particularly where her daughter is concerned, is definitely something I share!  She is much more gutsy and impulsive than I am, though."
Can you tell us something quirky about Little Falls, its story and characters?
"When I’m stuck on an idea or just need the words to flow, I often go for long walks.  When I first came up with the idea for Little Falls, I couldn’t figure out the main character’s name, so I hit the streets of downtown Seattle one afternoon when work was slow.  While walking, I saw a lost nametag in the gutter and had this epiphany that MC’s name should be Camille.

The title of the book, Little Falls, is not just the name of the town where she lives.  (Readers will notice that the story takes place all over Okanogan County, as well as in Chelan.)  It’s also a comment on Camille’s life.  Over her 34 years, she has experienced a lot of little falls: her disastrous relationship with Sophie’s father, getting shot in Iraq, being gaslighted by her command, her mother’s mysterious death, and lots of other things that come together to result in her fragile state of mind."
Who would you recommend Little Falls to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"Little Falls would be a good read for anyone who appreciates realistic badasses, e.g., someone who doesn’t just reach for a gun, but really thinks through her options and limitations, then goes for it.  Readers who appreciate a literary description of place and complex emotions will also be very happy!

That said, Camille is very typical of a lot of veterans: she tends to be blunt and rather literal.  Those traits can be difficult for civilians to cope with, particularly when the veteran is female because our society typically expects women to fit either the madonna or the whore stereotype, with little room for anything in between. Camille also has a lot of baggage and rage.  As my fellow author and female veteran, Ryan Leigh Dostie, put it, Camille has never learned to move past the “fight” stage of PTSD, even though she wants to.  And, while she has a lot of confidence in her abilities, she has a lot of doubts about her mental fitness."
If you could / wished to turn Little Falls into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"Ever since I saw Emily Blunt in Live. Die. Repeat. [Edge of Tomorrow] I have wanted her to play Camille!  She did a great job with her action hero role in that movie, but she also has terrific range.  She would be perfect to portray Camille’s toughness and complicated emotional state.

I would also love to see Sky Ferreira or a younger actress with American Indian heritage play Sophie.  Lee Pace would be amazing as Darren Moses, the sheriff working the case that obsesses Camille.  (Darren is also Camille’s childhood friend and a love interest in Little Falls.)  However, I think that role should also go to an American Indian actor because Darren is half Colville."
Emily Blunt as Camille Sky Ferreira as her daughter, Sophie Lee Pace as sheriff Darren Moses
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I grew up compulsively reading and watching mystery and thriller.  I also read some light fantasy/sci fi, particularly Terry Pratchett’s City Watch series in Discworld.  Most of my reading and viewing now is focused on book research, archeology, and learning more about the craft of writing!"
What is your writing process?
"All of my stories start with the kernel of an idea, often how a body is found!  I’ll often tinker with an idea for weeks or months, then once I can see the general shape of it, I start outlining by jotting down notes about each scene and identifying the plot points.

I tend to start writing scenes as soon as I can see/hear/smell them though!  When most of the book is written, I inevitably rearrange the scenes and plot out more that I need to tie everything together.  Then the long slog of editing begins!"
What is in store next?
"I’m currently drafting the next book about Camille and Sophie.  In PERSECUTION, a woman who claimed to be searching for money Camille’s ex stole years before ends up in Camille’s protection before being brutally murdered.  What Camille learns about the dead woman’s past in the Okanogan and elsewhere forces Camille to confront her own choices and pain, but will she do it fast enough to avoid the same fate?"
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"Be careful, or I’ll put you in my next novel" Mug
"I have two daughters whom I love like crazy and who drive me equally crazy.  (My husband is pretty great, also.)  But the quirky thing I’d like to share is a mug that my step-dad, a VA physician who specialized in PTSD, gave me a few years back.  It’s black (as my soul, as my sister would say) and states in stark, white writing: “Be careful, or I’ll put you in my next novel.”  We’re moving right now, so I have no idea where the mug is, but I’ll send a copy as soon as I find the right box!"
Thank you for sharing, and we hope you are having a great tour!

She tried to forget the horrors of war–but her quiet hometown conceals a litany of new evils.

Little Falls
Available NOW!

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1 comment:

CMash said...

After reading this interview, I now want to read this book.