Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today is my stop on the TBR and Beyond blog tour for Dark and Shallow Lies. You can find the tour schedule here, containing everything from journal spreads to reviews! This is one of my most anticipated reads of the year, so I was super excited to be offered a spot to interview author Ginny Myers Sain.
Here’s our chat! My thanks to Ginny for her time and thoughtful answers.
Hi Ginny! Thanks for taking the time to talk to me about your upcoming release, Dark and Shallow Lies. How are you feeling about everything release related?
Of course! I’m thrilled to have the chance to share a little bit with your readers, so thank you for taking the time to talk to me! Honestly, I’m not sure any of this really feels real yet. The last year has been such a whirlwind, and most of the time it still just feels kind of like a dream. But it’s a very exciting dream, and one that I hope I don’t wake up from!
Where did your idea for a town full of psychics come from?
La Cachette itself is not a real place, of course, but the town was very loosely inspired by two actual places. The first is the tiny town of Cassadaga, Florida, which I was lucky enough to stumble upon during a road trip across the sunshine state. Cassadaga really does bill itself as the “Psychic Capital of the World” and its tiny town square is lined with astrologists and tarot card readers and fortune tellers. I was standing on the steps of the bookstore there when a question popped into my mind: How do you keep a secret in a town full of psychics? And that question became the seed for the story.
However, Cassadaga was a bit too accessible for what I had in mind. I needed a place that was more cut-off from the world. Somewhere a little harder to get to…and to escape from. I had spent a lot of time in Louisiana over the years and had fallen so deeply in love with the swampy landscapes, the culture, and the people, and my mind went back to a little place called Pilottstown, which served for years as a home to riverboat pilots on the Mississippi River. It was accessible only from the water. No roads lead there. So that became the inspiration for the geographical location.
How did you find the fine line between reality and the supernatural in your writing?
The key for me was to keep as much as I could about the story grounded in reality, whether that was the reality of the setting or the reality of Grey’s grief. Those are very tangible elements…heat and mud and heartbreak. Those are so real. They just gave the story that sense of truth. And then when I combined that with the psychic abilities of the townspeople, the magic of that was just there. And I wanted that magic to feel just as real for the audience as the bayou did.
What books, films or music inspired you while you worked on your novel?
I don’t have a playlist or anything. I’m one of those weirdos that needs quiet to write, so I don’t listen to music while I’m actually working. But I do have a couple of songs that I used to help me find the right mood when I needed it. The first is a song called “Hurricane” by The Band of Heathens. I don’t really know any of their other work, but I stumbled across that song and it wa so cool. The second is “Franklin” by Paramore. That one is all about the weirdness of going home to your old hometown after the whole world has changed, and I’ve always loved Paramore, so that song just sort of spoke to a lot of things going in the book.
As for books, there are two that I thought about a lot. The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle and Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma. They don’t have anything in common with DARK AND SHALLOW LIES as far as the plot or characters or settings go, but the way those books blended the real and the imaginary really fascinated me.
What genres of books do you tend to read yourself?
I mostly read YA, and I tend to gravitate to darker books with some kind of mystery or thriller aspect. I mean, they say write what you love, right? But I also really love books that play with language and structure in unusual ways.
How do you think a small-town setting influences a mystery?
Well, having grown up in a very small town, I can tell you that everyone knows everyone else’s business. It’s very hard to keep a secret when everybody knows everybody. And, of course, there’s that sense of isolation, particularly in really remote settings. But one of the biggest things, I think is the horror of realizing that maybe someone you know, someone you trust, isn’t the person you thought they were. It’s that question of….Could one of our own have done this? In a city, it’s easier to think, maybe this was a stranger. Someone far removed from me. But if you think maybe the murder is someone you have coffe with at the local bakery every morning…that’s a whole other level of scary.
What’s your perfect set up for writing? Do you have a favourite pen or essential drink?
I don’t have a perfect set up for writing, at least not yet! I have a small house and I share it with my mother, my teenage son, and very big dog. So there isn’t a lot of room! I write at a tiny desk sort of tucked into a corner of the living room, and the dog or my son is always sort of wandering in and out. And that’s actually okay. I kind of like that. But I’d also love to have a dedicated writing room someday. I don’t have a favorite pen because I cannot write longhand at all. I change every word like a million times, so writing with a pen would be painful. As for an essential drink, I require a Coke in the middle of the afternoon to keep me awake. That’s the hardest part of the day for me! And I also need a little chocolate to reward myself every so often.
Finally, how would you sum up Dark and Shallow Lies in three words?
Hmmmmm. Dark. Atmospheric. Twisty.
A teen girl disappears from her small town deep in the bayou, where magic festers beneath the surface of the swamp like water rot, in this chilling debut supernatural thriller for fans of Natasha Preston, Karen McManus, and Rory Power.
La Cachette, Louisiana, is the worst place to be if you have something to hide.
This tiny town, where seventeen-year-old Grey spends her summers, is the self-proclaimed Psychic Capital of the World–and the place where Elora Pellerin, Grey’s best friend, disappeared six months earlier.
Grey can’t believe that Elora vanished into thin air any more than she can believe that nobody in a town full of psychics knows what happened. But as she digs into the night that Elora went missing, she begins to realize that everybody in town is hiding something – her grandmother Honey; her childhood crush Hart; and even her late mother, whose secrets continue to call to Grey from beyond the grave.
When a mysterious stranger emerges from the bayou – a stormy-eyed boy with links to Elora and the town’s bloody history – Grey realizes that La Cachette’s past is far more present and dangerous than she’d ever understood. Suddenly, she doesn’t know who she can trust. In a town where secrets lurk just below the surface, and where a murderer is on the loose, nobody can be presumed innocent–and La Cachette’s dark and shallow lies may just rip the town apart.
About the Author
Ginny Myers Sain is the author of DARK AND SHALLOW LIES, her debut YA novel available 8-31-21 from Razorbill/Penguin. Although she comes from a long line of writers, her first love has always been the theatre. She has a degree in theatre and has spent most of her career teaching acting and directing plays and musicals. Ginny currently live in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her teenage son and a very cowardly doberman named Shipley. When she is not working in the theatre or writing, you’re likely to find her listening to true crime podcasts, taking pictures of alligators, eating tacos, or planning a trip to Walt Disney World.
Thank you for stopping by for this exciting tour post. I really enjoy author interviews, and this one was no different! If you enjoy thrillers or supernatural reads, you will absolutely love Dark and Shallow Lies.