Hi! Today we’re celebrating the release of Cat Winters’ IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS!
They say: In 1918, the world seems on the verge of apocalypse. Americans roam the streets in gauze masks to ward off the deadly Spanish influenza, and the government ships young men to the front lines of a brutal war, creating an atmosphere of fear and confusion. Sixteen-year-old Mary Shelley Black watches as desperate mourners flock to séances and spirit photographers for comfort, but she herself has never believed in ghosts. During her bleakest moment, however, she’s forced to rethink her entire way of looking at life and death, for her first love—a boy who died in battle—returns in spirit form. But what does he want from her?
Featuring haunting archival early-twentieth-century photographs, this is a tense, romantic story set in a past that is eerily like our own time.
“Winters strikes just the right balance between history and ghost story, neatly capturing the tenor of the times, as growing scientific inquiry collided with heightened spiritualist curiosity.”
I say: IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS is one of the most grippingly atmospheric books I’ve ever read. The San Diego of 1918, affected by both Spanish flu and WWI alike, is terribly haunting. And Mary Shelley Black is a wonderful character – a strong, curious, clever girl, loyal to her pacifist father and her childhood friend even when it causes any number of complications for her.
Now for my interview with Cat:
1. Describe your main character in 3 adjectives + a noun.
Mary Shelley Black is a curious, stubborn, compassionate intellect. (JS: Perfect!)
2. Describe your book in 3 adjectives + a noun.
IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS is a dark, romantic, ghostly mystery.
3. Describe yourself in 3 adjectives + a noun.
I’m an organized, creative, literary nerd. (JS: Me too!)
4. If you could travel to any 3 countries, what would they be?
England, France, and Germany
5. If you could take any 3 non-writing-related classes, what would they be?
Graphic design, filmmaking, cooking (desserts)
6. If you could have any 3 alternate careers, what would they be?
Graphic designer, historian, movie director
7. What are your 3 favorite flowers?
Roses, purple hyacinths, baby’s breath
8. What are your 3 favorite foods?
Club sandwiches, crab legs, and chocolate chip cookies
9. What are your 3 favorite books?
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee, THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusak, and ALIAS GRACE by Margaret Atwood
Excellent! Thanks so much for stopping by, Cat! I hope you have a wonderful pub day!
Cat has generously volunteered to give away a signed copy of IN THE SHADOW OF BLACKBIRDS – available in the US or Canada only! To enter, comment and tell us what YOUR favorite Gothic novel is! Contest open through Saturday at noon.
You can find out more about Cat by checking out her website or following her on Twitter or Facebook or Goodreads! And you should check out the twitter chat between her and Lauren DeStefano today at 4pm EST – hashtag #blackbirdsnovel!