Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Silent Girls by Eric Rickstad Interview, Excerpt & Giveaway

The Silent Girls

by Eric Rickstad

on Tour at Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours from October 27 - November 28, 2014

Book Details:

Genre: Horror Published by: Witness Impulse Publication Date: 10/28/2014 Number of Pages: 365 ISBN: 9780062351517 Purchase Links:


With the dead of a bitter Vermont winter closing in, evil is alive and well …

Frank Rath thought he was done with murder when he turned in his detective's badge to become a private investigator and raise a daughter alone. Then the police in his remote rural community of Canaan find an '89 Monte Carlo abandoned by the side of the road, and the beautiful teenage girl who owned the car seems to have disappeared without a trace.

Soon Rath's investigation brings him face-to-face with the darkest abominations of the human soul.

With the consequences of his violent and painful past plaguing him, and young women with secrets vanishing one by one, he discovers once again that even in the smallest towns on the map, evil lurks everywhere—and no one is safe.

Morally complex, seething with wickedness and mystery, and rich in gritty atmosphere and electrifying plot turns, The Silent Girls marks the return of critically acclaimed author Eric Rickstad. Readers of Ian Rankin, Jo Nesbø, and Greg Iles will love this book and find themselves breathless at the incendiary, ambitious, and unforgettable story.

Read an excerpt:
The child stepped into the house and shut the door with a soft click. Its face hovered above the woman's. The woman reached up, clutched the mask's rubbery skin. Pulled. The mask would not come off. She dug her fingers in. Clawed. The mask stretched. The knife sliced. She tore at the mask, gasping. The child had been right. Monsters did exist.

Author Bio:

Eric Rickstad’s taut, chilling literary crime novels strip back the bucolic veneer of rural America and root around in its tragic underbelly. His first novel Reap was a New York Times Noteworthy Book first published by Viking Penguin. His novel THE SILENT GIRLS, from HarperCollins, was published October 28, 2014. His short stories and articles have appeared in many magazines and been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. He holds an MFA from the University of Virginia where he was a Hoyns Fellow and a Corse Fellow. He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter, and is represented by Philip Spitzer of the Philip G. Spitzer Literary Agency.


What do you love most about writing?
I love the act of discovery and the fulfillment of a vision through re-writing. I start novels with a general sense of the story and often with a certain image that propels me for a while. With my new novel, THE SILENT GIRLS, I had an image of the terrifying first scene in my head, and a couple of other images, including the first appearance with the protagonist Frank Rath. That was it. But each day of writing brings new discoveries, characters that previously did not exist, plots twists, turns of phrases, insights. Each day of writing also brings new challenges, until a vision starts to take shape. The story itself and all the nuances that make it a better novel begin to materialize. During the re-write, I get the chance to hone and shape those discoveries until they feel just right: They not only reflect my vision of the story, but allow the story itself to come to life in a way that dictates to me and guides me, so I am less the creator and more the reporter, capturing a story that exists out there somewhere, and, if I grant it the time and energy it requires, it will come to life through me.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned through writing?
Perseverance and patience. Keep at it. Whether it is writing or any other challenging endeavor you enjoy, keep at it. Even when it is hard. Especially when it is hard. And when writing a first draft, trust your instincts and write whatever comes to mind. It may seem a mess at first. You may throw much of it out, but you may also not arrive at important parts of the story if you don’t just write and get it all down while it’s coming.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I always read a lot as a child. Roald Dahl, Poe, Stephen King and others.  Springsteen’s early music and lyrics, the storytelling in them, especially on the albums “Nebraska” and “Born to Run,” influenced me, too. When I read a story or novel or heard a lyric I really liked, I did not just want to read or listen more, I wanted to stop reading or listening and start to create. I wanted to do what those artists were doing: writing well enough to grab a reader, lure them into a world I created, tell them a story that gripped them and maybe changed them, scared them or made them laugh, or feel a range of emotions deeply. It seemed like a magic trick. The most important trick of the writer is not to keep the illusion alive at all times, but to keep it seamless. Now, the books that strike me the most give me that very sensation. I want to keep reading them, but at the same time, I want to put them down and just start writing.

Do you ever write about your fears in your books?
I do. I write about personal and societal fears, as well as issues which anger me. In THE SILENT GIRLS, I write about failings in the justice system, how certain violent criminals are released early or don’t seem to serve enough time for terrible crimes. Time and again when I watch the news or read about a crime, often against women or children, I learn the perpetrator has a criminal history, and had in one way or another (often through plea bargaining) been freed from jail to victimize again. In THE SILENT GIRLS, I also write about radical groups and the kind of obsessive, radical thinking they promote that often makes their members feel superior to others, and which they use to justify the victimization of others. These things frighten me.

What are your current projects?

I recently finished a novel titled LIE IN WAIT. In it, a girl is murdered in the home of a prominent lawyer who represents a couple in a gay marriage legal battle. The murder unleashes the deepest prejudices and fears of people in the town, and leads to a hasty arrest that many, including the lead female detective, fear has left the murderer on the loose. I hope my publisher likes it! At the very moment, I am writing a new novel. In short: a town receives a manuscript from a man who grew up there 30 years ago and claims to know who was really behind the murders and suicide on an infamous night of "misery and madness"; a night the narrator himself was supposed to have died as a boy. 

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