Friday, December 7, 2012

DARK LIE and the writing life of Nancy Springer

Just released last month, DARK LIE by Nancy Springer is a riveting psychological thriller that centers upon Dorrie White, a woman scarred by lupus who is hiding a secret. Seventeen years ago, Dorrie gave up a baby girl for adoption. She has just discovered that her now-teenage daughter is living nearby. When Dorrie witnesses her daughter being kidnapped, she does the only thing she can think to do. She follows the kidnapper.

Springer is a two-time Edgar Award winner who has written numerous novels. DARK LIE is her fifty-fifth. Since the book's release, she has been traversing the blogosphere via guest posts and interviews. We bring you some snapshots below:

Springer's connection to nature cultivated her imagination as she grew up. At Barnes and Noble's Mystery Book Club Blog, Springer lyrically describes her childhood in rural Livingston, NJ, spent “explor[ing] every inch of the fascinating brook that meandered crystalline amid wildflowers and willows to the swamp along the Passaic River.” When she wasn't running around outside, though, she “was still running wild—in the world of words,” reading from her parents' extensive library. Read more about her rich childhood here.

When Springer began writing and publishing, she didn't think of herself as an author at first. As she explains at Long and Short Reviews, it wasn't “until the morning I told my husband that, starting that day, I would put my writing first and housework second” that she thought of herself as official. Even though Springer has published fifty-five books, she's written almost as many unpublished works. “I mention them now,” she writes, “lest anyone think once you're published, you're 'in.' It's not so. Every new novel is as risky as the first.” Read more about Springer's evolution as a writer here.

Springer notes at Sharon's Garden of Book Reviews, “I like to try my wings. I'm willing to attempt almost anything. Starting with mythic fantasy, I segued into magical realism, women's fiction, contemporary literature for middle graders, then horror and fantasy and mystery for young adults.” Next was suspense for young adults, and so suspense for adults “seemed a natural next step.” Read the full post here, in which Springer details what it was like to transition from young adult to adult writing.

The hardest part about being a writer, according to Springer, is the unavoidable side-effect of working at one's writing alone. At Literary Escapism, she describes how difficult that side-effect was in the writing of DARK LIE. Some of the hardest aspects of writing DARK LIE alone included deciding how best to write sympathetic characters, determining how to reveal that Dorrie gave away her child without making her seem like a wimp, and judging how far was too far. Read more about those hard parts here.

Finally, Springer gets to the heart of what it takes to be a novelist in an earlier post over at Long and Short Reviews, where she lists “the Three Inane Question most frequently asked of novelists”: 1. “How long does it take you to write a novel?” 2. “How do you find the time?” 3. “Where do you get your ideas?” In response to the first, Springer answers, “How can I explain how long it takes to write a novel? Your whole life, that's how long. Your childhood, your dreams, your waking time and sleeping time and loving and hurting time all go in.” Read more of her insights here.

DARK LIE has already received several excellent reviews, which we've included below:

“As the author alternates among the points of view of Dorrie and other characters...she makes the far-fetched feel plausible, building the stoic Dorrie into a protagonist of epic proportions...A fine finale...A compulsive page turner that will have readers cheering on the decidedly unglamorous heroine, this thriller gets points for making the suburban mom-type the one who saves the day.” --Kirkus

“[Springer] captures the fear of the women and the sickness of their captor with precision and the resolution of the kidnapping with unforeseen irony.” --RT Book Reviews, 4 1/2 stars, Top Pick

A gripping story that draws the reader in and doesn't let go until the final page.” --Stuff and Nonsense Blog

“A most unusual psychological thriller...If you're looking for something very different and gripping in a noir thriller, you won't go wrong with DARK LIE.”

A fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller that will have you reading late into the night and cheering for the novel's unlikely but steadfast heroine.” --Heather Gudenkauf, author of the New York Times bestselling novels THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and THESE THINGS HIDDEN

“A darkly riveting read...The pages swiftly fall away, along with layers of secrets and lies, to reveal the pulsing heart of this compelling thriller: the primal bonds between parent and child, between man and woman—and the fine line between love and hate.” --Wendy Corsi Staub, author of HELL TO PAY

"A page-turner of a thriller with a truly unique and fascinating heroine." --Alison Gaylin, national bestselling author of AND SHE WAS

NAL, November 2012

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