Mermaid & Friends: E.E. Cooper

Friends,
I am absolutely thrilled to welcome E.E. Cooper to the pond today. Her YA, VANISHED, released earlier this week, and it sounds 100% up my alley. In fact, I’ve decided to reward myself with this book as soon as I finish my revisions. Read on to find out more about this intriguing book!

1) Where did the idea for this story come from?

I’ve always been fascinated with friendships and how some are the best relationships in your life and others can be toxic. I wanted to write about a group of friends who are keeping secrets from each other and themselves. Once I knew the main secret the story Vanished coverstarted to spiral out from there. It was much more complicated than stories I’d written in the past so I was both excited to write it and also intimidated.

2) VANISHED is a very twisty mystery. Can you talk about the plotting of it a bit?

There were a few moments where I was pretty sure this story was going to drive me insane. Those who know me may argue that it didn’t have far to drive. I knew aspects of the story when I started and I spent a fair bit of time outlining it. I thought I had it all figured out. (feel free to laugh here) Then I started writing. This book went through several revisions and I was lucky enough to work with a great editor who kept pushing me to make it more complex and not go for an easy answer. My office started to look like a scene from A Beautiful Mind. There were index cards taped to the wall, various things highlighted, Post-it notes sprinkled around and I would pace back and forth waiting for “a-ha” moments.

 

3) Do you have a favorite character?

How does anyone pick a favorite? I love them all, but I will admit a soft spot for the main character Kalah. She’s fallen into a very difficult situation and has to push herself well beyond her comfort level to get out. Kalah is a complicated character. She has a mixed heritage, half Indian and half French. She is part of a clique- but with two very different best friends that she’s always trying to glue together. She has a boyfriend who she really cares for- but can’t hide from the fact that she has romantic feelings for a girl. She has a history of anxiety and is always struggling to figure out if she’s right to be upset- or if her anxiety is making the situation only seem out of control. I admired her all the more for all her flaws and complexities.

4) You’ve had some great reviews for this story. Care to share a favourite?

Thank you so much! Reviews are nerve wracking. I tell myself that I don’t care- but that’s a fat lie. The one that made me run around the house in circles (with my dog running after me wondering what the heck was going on) was the one by School Library Journal. They said: This novel tackles themes of friendship, deception, obsession, and love….With early hints of John Green’s Paper Towns that slowly morph into Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl​.” Any comparison to John Green and Gillian Flynn was enough to make me lose my mind.

5) So, what are YOU reading right now? Do you have a favourite genre to read?

I suspect it’s not a shock to discover that I am a huge reader. I love a bit of everything: Non-Fiction, YA, Contemporaries, Mysteries, you name I’ll try it – but psychological thrillers are a favorite. I find people fascinating and how they respond when situations turn dark is always something that will keep me reading just one more chapter. I recently finished Complicit by Stephanie Kuehn which has a great twist. In a totally different vein I plan to crack open Making Pretty by Corey Ann Haydu which just came out. I love her books- so am excited for this one.

6) What is up next for you?

I am working on the second book in the VANISHED series. I’ve got a draft done and am in the stage where I try and make things make sense on the page and not just in my head. It’s also a beautiful summer in Vancouver so there is a lot of walking the dog on the beach planned. The fresh air helps me get story ideas and my dog enjoys the chance to roll around in dead things he finds.

Thanks for having me!

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Thanks so much for joining us, E.E.! And wow! John Green and Gillian Flynn! I’d better finish these revisions quickly, ’cause I kinda want to read this book right now!

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Bio:
E. E. Cooper lives in Vancouver Canada with her husband and one very spoiled dog. You can reach her on Twitter (@eecooperbooks) where she spends entirely too much time. You can also visit her website at www.eecooper.com