Hi everyone! I’m here today with an interview with the author of The Disappearances, Emily Bain Murphy. This book sounds soooooooooo interesting and I can’t wait to read it! Keep reading to learn a little more about Emily and what she has in store for us with her debut novel!The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on July 4th 2017
What if the ordinary things in life suddenly…disappeared?
Aila Quinn’s mother, Juliet, has always been a mystery: vibrant yet guarded, she keeps her secrets beyond Aila’s reach. When Juliet dies, Aila and her younger brother Miles are sent to live in Sterling, a rural town far from home--and the place where Juliet grew up.
Sterling is a place with mysteries of its own. A place where the experiences that weave life together--scents of flowers and food, reflections from mirrors and lakes, even the ability to dream--vanish every seven years.
No one knows what caused these “Disappearances,” or what will slip away next. But Sterling always suspected that Juliet Quinn was somehow responsible--and Aila must bear the brunt of their blame while she follows the chain of literary clues her mother left behind.
As the next Disappearance nears, Aila begins to unravel the dual mystery of why the Disappearances happen and who her mother truly was. One thing is clear: Sterling isn’t going to hold on to anyone's secrets for long before it starts giving them up.
Hi Emily! Thanks so much for being here! Congratulations on having your first novel published! I’m curious…was The Disappearances one of the first manuscripts you wrote? How long have you been writing and how much did you write before The Disappearances?
Thank you so much for having me! Yes, The Disappearances was the first full fiction manuscript that I wrote—but it looks very different now than it did at the beginning and has been through so many different drafts and iterations over the years. I’ve always written stories, ever since I was a little girl, and my favorite classes in high school and college were always creative writing. I took internships in college and jobs after college that would allow me to write—everything from press releases to e-courses. Writing has always been the thing that brings a lot of joy and sense of purpose.
I see that you have lived in various places all over the world…so jealous! How did your travels and time in different countries affect your writing? Have any of those places intrigued you enough to write about?
I absolutely loved my time living in different countries, and I think from a young age I started looking for a sense of home in books. I loved how even when things around me changed, my books stayed the same and I could always come back to my favorite fictional houses and families and adventures. It’s also so interesting to see the ways that people and cultures differ around the world and the ways that human nature is fundamentally the same. I would love to someday write about my time in Tokyo, because I lived there in middle and high school during such a foundational part in my life, and that city will always, always hold a huge piece of my heart.
Speaking of places you have lived, would you want to live in Sterling, where The Disappearances takes place? Would you want to have to deal with the Disappearances happening every seven years?
I love Sterling the town—it sort of reminds me of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls or Bedford Falls from It’s a Wonderful Life, so there is definitely a sweet, small-town charm to it that would make me want to live there. But—no, I will politely pass on experiencing the disappearances every seven years, thank you very much!
Did you have to do any research for The Disappearances? If so, what was one of the strangest things you discovered during your research?
Yes! I did so much research. One of the strangest things I discovered is that certain birds do weird, weird things. For instance: the great gray shrike actually takes its prey and impales it on a spike. :-X
This is a question that I always love to ask authors: What does your writing space look like? Are you someone that prefers to work in order or in chaos?
I love to write in coffee shops or in my bed after my kids go to sleep. For the last year I was living in a tiny apartment in San Francisco and I didn’t really have a desk, but I loved to walk down the street to this cute little coffee shop or this Taiwanese bakery to get bubble tea. I’m hoping to have a bit of my own writing space this year now that we’ve moved to the Midwest. In general, my areas are a little chaotic and less organized than I wish they were—especially when I’m more tempted to sit down and write than to fold my laundry!!
Do you have any guilty pleasure reads? What are you reading right now?
I don’t think I have any guilty pleasure reads!! I love what I’m reading—I have ARCs of Leigh Bardugo’s Wonder Woman: Warbringer and Jessica Taylor’s A Map for Wrecked Girls, and I’m so excited to read both of them.
Can you tell us what is coming in your next novel? Will it be another YA fantasy?
It will be! I can’t say too much about it yet, but I am super in love with this story. It’s another young adult magical fantasy with the same sort of melancholic, whimsical tone as The Disappearances, but in an entirely new setting—and with a brand new mystery to solve.
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Meet the Author:
Emily Bain Murphy grew up in Indiana, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, and has also called California, Connecticut, and Massachusetts home.
She loves books, Japanese karaoke, exploring new cities, and anything with Nutella. Her debut YA fantasy, THE DISAPPEARANCES, will be published by HMH Books for Young Readers and Pushkin Press in July 2017.
Murphy is represented by Peter Knapp at Park Literary & Media.
She currently lives in St. Louis with her family and is at work on her second novel.
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