You excited for today’s #BeyondTheBio? If not, here are three reasons why you most definitely should be:
Today’s guest is the incredible Emily Bain Murphy, whose debut novel The Disappearances comes out on Tuesday. It’s one of those books that’s impossible to put down. You don’t want to miss it!
Hosting today’s interview is Jatziry Gonzalez, a high school junior who loves La La Land, The Office, and anything Disney. She hopes to one day write a book of her own.
We’ve got a giveaway! You can win a free copy of The Disappearances at the bottom of this page. We’ll be announcing the winner on Emily’s book birthday-- this Tuesday, July 4th.
Let’s get to it!
Jatziry: Hey Emily! I just finished reading The Disappearances, and I loved every second of it! Can you explain to our readers what your book is about?
Emily: Thank you so much! I'm so happy that you enjoyed it! The Disappearances is a historical, fantastical mystery about a sixteen-year-old girl named Aila Quinn who moves to a town called Sterling after the death of her mother. Her mother never spoke of growing up in Sterling--and Aila soon realizes why. Every seven years, something disappears there: the scent of flowers, the ability to dream, the stars in the sky. When Aila finds some possible clues scribbled in the pages of her mother's old Shakespeare book, she decides to follow the breadcrumb trail and attempt to solve the mystery herself--even if it means the things she thought she knew about her mother will change forever.
Jatziry: I noticed from your website that you have lived in many different places throughout your life. In your book, Aila had to leave her hometown and it was pretty difficult for her. Did you go through the same struggles as Aila when you first had to move place to place?
Emily: That's such a good question! I am definitely intimately familiar with the feelings that come from starting over in a new place--the nervousness of entering a new school, those tentative first few days of beginning new friendships, and trying to hold on to the friendships you left behind. And I think, most of all, I relate to Aila trying to find new things to fall in love with about the place she finds herself in now. Sterling has its own charms, even despite everything.
Jatziry: The idea of senses/things disappearing entirely every seven years really gets the reader to appreciate even the most common things in life. How did you come up with the concept of these Disappearances?
Emily: I love magical stories, and I wanted to write something that highlighted some of the everyday "magic" that already exists in our own world. When I first started working on this story, I was also writing a blog that aimed to teach myself and others about trafficking and exploitation, and at times it was so dark I was just looking around for anything in the world that felt beautiful or hopeful. And then I started to think about what might happen if those things started to disappear, one by one. It's definitely made me more attuned to the things that are around me--and being grateful for the simple things can really help me get through the day, even if the news or the normal ebbs and flows of life can feel dark or scary sometimes.
Jatziry: Aila had a habit of hiding her ears with her hair since she felt insecure about a bump she had on one ear. Can you tell us about a habit you have that's always stuck with you?
Emily: Oh, I am a terrible nail biter. It's the worst habit! I painted some pink sparkles on my nails a few days ago, so right now they look nicer and unbitten. Hopefully I will kick that habit forever!
Jatziry: The people of Sterling didn't have a choice as to what they would rather have disappeared from their lives, but I'm giving you the choice with this question! Would you rather lose the ability to see stars in the night sky or lose the ability to have dreams?
Emily: I would choose to lose dreams. I just love the stars. Seeing a gorgeous night sky of stars just brings me so much joy. Dreams are sort of a mixed bag--you could have nightmares, or dream of something you really want to happen, and then there's that sense of disappointment when you wake up to reality. But stars remind me of how small I am, and how vast and intricate the universe is, and I love how they shine and make even the pitch darkness into something beautiful.
That’s it for today’s interview with Emily, but that doesn’t mean you need to leave. In fact, you can win a free copy of The Disappearances by entering the giveaway below. Just click on the image below and you'll be directed to the Rafflecopter entry page. Winner must live in the United States. See you back here next week when we’ll be interviewing Maurene Goo about her new book I Believe In A Thing Called Love! If you like K-dramas and a-dork-able protagonists, you won’t want to miss it!