About the Book
But, unlike his fellow inmates, Smoke is not in constant imprisonment. After a near death experience leaves him with the ability to shed his physical body at will, Smoke is able to travel freely outside the concrete walls of the Y, gathering information for himself and his fellow inmates while they're asleep in their beds. Convinced his future is only as bright as the fluorescent lights in his cell, Smoke doesn't care that the "threads" that bind his soul to his body are wearing thin-that one day he may not make it back in time. That is, until he meets Pink, a tough, resourceful girl who is sees him for who he truly is and wants to help him clear his name.
Now Smoke is on a journey to redemption he never thought possible. With Pink's help, Smoke may be able to reveal the true killer, but the closer they get to the truth, the more deadly their search becomes. The web of lies, deceit, and corruption that put Smoke behind bars is more tangled than they could have ever imagined. With both of their lives on the line, Smoke will have to decide how much he's willing to risk, and if he can envision a future worth fighting for.
Top Ten Places to Lose Yourself
People are always asking, “Where do you get your inspiration?” Sometimes, it’s an overheard conversation or observation… some random snapshot of a moment that struck a chord inside me. And sometimes, it’s a place. Here are a few places where I’ve lost myself in a story.
1. Haunting Places. The right setting can take on a life of its own and become its own character. I passed this old cemetery (and this mysterious tree) while driving down a windy country road on the way home from a school field trip. It moved me. Stuck with me. So I went back the next day to snap some pics. It became the inspiration for my next novel, THE SUFFERING TREE (2017).
2. Beautiful Places. I’m lucky to live on one of the most beautiful stretches of beach in the Riviera Maya. I spend a lot of time here, plotting and thinking, getting lost in my stories.
3. In Music. Some songs can carry my imagination in directions I never would have dreamed up on my own. (For a HOLDING SMOKE playlist, check out my stop at Such a Novel Idea Blog.)
4. The Shower. Sorry, folks. No pics of this one. But I have two kids and sometimes, the only quiet place to think is alone in the shower. It’s kind of like my second office.
5. The Car. The earliest memories I have of my debut novel – those glimmers of scenes that shot through my mind – came to me during my long commutes to and from work, the same songs running in the background like a soundtrack to the story. Long car rides can clear my head, or fill it with crazy new ideas. We’ll call this office #3.
6. In Art. The spark that ignited my current WIP came from a photograph -- a GIF actually -- of a girl with pink hair and butterflies on her face. It was only a few seconds. A fraction of a moment. But the scene it painted inside me grew into a story of its own.
7. In Books. I love to lose myself in other peoples’ stories. It’s what I look most forward to after turning in a revision, and I reward myself by being swept away into worlds other people have written.
8. In History. I am fascinated by the way history repeats itself. That there are deep universal themes that we witness over and over again in different cultures, and places, and times. I love visiting places that relive history in dynamic ways. Williamsburg, Chichen Itza, Lincoln, New Mexico… they’ve all inspired a story inside me.
9. In Real Life Mysteries. I love reading about strange places and sightings and unexplainable occurrences. Haunted places, 17th century witch bottles, UFOs, and bizarre archaeological remains… It all fascinates me and poses so many questions. And each of those questions becomes a story prompt of its own.
10. With My Family. I try to remember to recharge my well and spend time with the people who matter most to me. I try not to miss the important day-to-day stories as they happen here at home. Even in the mundane moments, I find inspiration with them. Fans of the Nearly Gone books might recognize how moments like this – watching my husband teach my kids how to solve a Rubik’s Cube – seeded my own characters.
About the Author
Author of NEARLY GONE, NEARLY FOUND, HOLDING SMOKE, and THE SUFFERING TREE (Disney*Hyperion, 2017). Represented by Sarah Davies of The Greenhouse Literary Agency.
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