Monday, July 26, 2010

Welcome back Chevy Stevens!

This week, we're so happy that Chevy Stevens is here to visit. In case you haven't been in a bookstore lately, she's the author of STILL MISSING, which debuted on the New York Times Bestseller list at #19! Very exciting (for anyone) but especially for a first book.

I had the privilege of reading an Advance Readers' Copy of this book and let me tell you, it's awesome. I don't usually go for thrillers, but this one is a very different kind of thriller.

German Cover
The book has been sold into markets around the world. I particularly like the German cover. So fitting for the book. Chevy shared some of the "draft" covers with me as her publisher, St. Martins was trying to capture this book in an image. All of the possible covers were amazing and it was very cool to have a birds eye view of the  process.

But enough babbling. Chevy agreed to answer a few burning questions.

Welcome, Chevy!





What’s your favorite drink?

I drink gallons of tea every day. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but I do go through a few cups, with lots of milk and sugar. I love the smell of coffee, but one cup and you have to peel me off the ceiling. I’m generally running at high speed, or at least my mouth is, so I don’t need the boost. Alcoholic beverages have never been a big thing for me (are you going to kick me out?), but when I do, I enjoy pretty much anything mixed with vodka. Must be my Russian roots! Lately I’ve developed taste for strawberry margaritas, a perfect summer drink, and I have to admit there’s been some champagne poured recently. But usually two glasses is my limit, then it’s lights out for this cow girl.

Tea? (Eileen says I mock people's choices, so there it was. ;) I for one couldn't survive without coffee. ) What are you reading right now?

I just started THE PASSAGE. I’ve heard great things! The next ones on my list are Karin Slaughter’s BROKEN, Lisa Gardner’s LIVE TO TELL, and I really want to read Linda Castillo’s PRAY FOR SILENCE because I loved her first one. This is going to be an expensive month!

I've been meaning to tackle THE PASSAGE. Let me know what you think. Tell us a bit about STILL MISSING.

STILL MISSING is about a thirty-two-year-old Realtor, Annie O’Sullivan, who is abducted from an open house. Interwoven with the story of the year Annie spent captive in a remote mountain cabin—which unfolds through sessions with her psychiatrist—is a second narrative recounting the nightmare that follows her escape: her struggle to piece her shattered life back together, the ongoing police investigation into the identity of her captor, and the disturbing sense that things are far from over.

Did you always want to be a writer? If not, what made you want to try?

When I was growing up I daydreamed about being a writer, but I actually planned on going to university for a degree in Fine Arts. I ended up leaving after a couple of months to work full time and spent the majority of my adult life in sales. Sometimes I would fantasize about writing a book and placing it next to my grandfather’s memoir, which is about his escape from Russia, but I never had anything I wanted to write about until the premise of STILL MISSING came to me at an open house. Then I become consumed with the story and sold my house six months later so I could write full time.

So far, what’s the best thing about being a published author? The worst?

The best thing is hearing from readers. I love when they take the time to write and tell me what they thought about the book. I’ve also been feeling very grateful and blessed for all my friends and family who have supported me on this long, long road. Most of them came out to my signings and it was wonderful to see them all there.

*Maureen interrupts* 
To hear what some readers and booksellers have said, (the book was #7 on the IndieBound IndieNext list!), check this out! 



**Interruption over**


The worst part? I don’t know if I’d describe it as the “worst,” because it’s a good problem to have, but I find it challenging to balance the marketing of my first book while I’m trying to write the second. I’m also still getting used to reading about myself in newspapers. I’ve never had this much public exposure before!

Ah, the scary side of the double edged sword of success. I totally get that. But, what I really want to know is: who’s going to win SYTYCD this summer?

At first I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this season because they were pairing new dancers with all stars and I thought it was distracting. But it’s found its groove and I’ve been enjoying the show. I was betting on Alex, but then he injured himself, which sucked big time. I don’t know if he’s going to win, but I really like Kent, so I’m rooting for him!

I felt the same way about the format, too... but came around to it. I just wish that all the girls hadn't been kicked off so quickly so that we could see some of my favorite dancers (Mark, Neil, Dominic) dance more often. :( I have a feeling you're right that Kent might win. What’s next for you?

I’ll be starting my third book soon and I’m looking forward to finding out more about Nadine, the therapist who is in my first two books. I’ve also been asked to do a couple of speaking engagements so that’s a new challenge. This fall I’ll be at three author festivals in Canada and I’m excited about meeting other writers and getting a chance to talk to more readers.

Fabulous. I for one, can't wait to read books 2 and 3 in this series and love that you're tying them together through the therapist. Such a smart choice.


Thanks so much for stopping by!

UPDATE:

St. Martin's Press is giving away one copy of STILL MISSING to a random commenter this week!


You have until midnight on Friday to post a comment to win! Make sure to check back to find out if you won. I'll try to post the winner's name on the weekend, but I'm going to be at a conference, so if I forget, check on Monday. The winner should e-mail me at info at maureenmcgowan.com  :)

19 comments:

Eileen said...

It's so great to have you here! I have so much to say about your book. It terrified me. I was on page 45 or so and realized that I was feeling so panicky reading about Annie's ordeal and its aftermath that I was close to hyperventilating. I wanted to put the book down, but I simply couldn't. I had to read it. I'm so glad I did. I cried like crazy at the end. I've now passed it on to a psychologist friend because I know she'll be completely engrossed by it.

So great to have you here even though you drink . . . tea. :-)

P.S. I went to hear Lisa Gardner speak in Sacramento last week. Someone in the audience asked if she'd read anything interesting lately. Your book was the very first thing she mentioned.

Sinead M said...

Chevy, welcome back. Your book hijacked two days of my life, because I could not put it down. I loved it.
And now that we're talking SYTYCD, can I put in my two cents and say, this season, I'm mostly loving Twitch.

msullivan said...

Chevy, your book sounds amazing! I am definitely going to have to read it! Congratulations on being #19 on the NYT bestseller list.
Mary

Ken Woychesko said...

Wow--after reading this interview and the comments I *have* to read this book! Though, I gotta ask: it's not chick-lit-thriller, right? It's just, the SYTYCD part had me worried... ;-)

Seriously, congratulations on what sounds like a great book, and a great spine for more (i.e., the psychiatrist.) I'm happy for you that your recent celebrations have been calling for champagne!

On another note: I'm going to start using words from CAPTCHA in my own writing... the "Word Verification" to post this comment was "grick". I like that... "grick"... I can't wait until I decide what it means.

Maureen McGowan said...

No dance shows in the book, Ken. I promise. LOL.

Grick to you later. (Just made up meaning for the CAPTCHA word.

Charlene A. said...

I've been a fan of thrillers for years and am always happy to discover new writers. I've read so many great reviews and interviews regarding this title. I look forward to reading it soon. Congratulations on all of your success!

AJ said...

STILL MISSING sounds fantastic. If I can order it online, I will do so right after I leave this comment. I write romance, but adore a great thriller. Thanks for sharing a bit about yourself with the world! :-)

Chevy Stevens said...

Sorry for the delayed response! I've been editing all day. Thanks for the support everyone. And thanks for letting me hang out with you. I love this blog. You're fun but also informative!

Eileen, I'd love to hear what your psychologist friend thinks!

Sinead, Twitch is amazing!

Thanks, MSullivan :)

Hi Ken! Yes, Maureen is right. There are no dance shows in the book:) Maybe someone should start grick-lit!

Thanks, Charlene!

You can order it online, AJ! Hope you like it.

Molly O'Keefe said...

Chevy! Welcome back and congratulations on all the success. So well deserved, you've worked hard on both the writing and the promotion - amazing!! Your covers are stunning - the German one - wow. I have been recommending your book to all my friends heading off to cottage weekends and you're getting much much love. And fear. And lake side discussions!!

I've been using your "kitchen color" analogy from your last visit here regarding critiquing and editing and knowing who you are as a writer - it really resonates! So thank you for that!

SYTYCD - It's all about Twitch and Allison.

Chevy Stevens said...

Hi Molly!

Thanks for the word of mouth!I really appreciate the support! Glad you liked my kitchen color analogy. I'm all about analogies. I could probably even come up with an analogy for how much I like analogies.Hmm....

I'm going to be at IFOA in October. Maybe some of the crew can come meet me? I'd love to have a tea, I mean a drink, with you all :)

Eileen said...

The inclusion of a dance show in Still Missing would have made it even creepier. Maybe The Freak could have made Annie reenact people's dances. I'm getting a little nauseous just thinking about it.

Chevy Stevens said...

That's for sure, Eileen! Although, I seem to remember that Annie uses a dancing analogy....

M. said...

"...haunting sense that there's more to come..."

I just finished watching 'Changeling', and it was exactly that sense that hovered after the trial scene when judgement has been rendered and things should be finished. Super creepy.

and Sinead: yes on Twitch! I LURVE him! Best dance all season was him and Alex (sob). Is it just me or did his eyes not used to be blue?

Jenny said...

This one sounds fascinating! I'll be sure to pick it up :)

Eileen said...

Just in case you're still following this thread, Chevy . . . my psychologist buddy LOVED your book. She particularly loved the format with Annie talking to her therapist and thought the way you made the therapist come alive through Annie's perceptions without ever letting the therapist speak on the page was very very clever. I agree completely, too!

Chevy Stevens said...

Hi, Eileen. Maureen steered me back over here. I'm so glad your friend liked the book! Thanks for letting me know :)

Ken Woychesko said...

Hey my copy of STILL MISSING arrived! And I had to come here to say, I've read the first 3 pages and I've literally LOL'd twice, got shivers once, and thought "clever girl" a bunch of times. This book is going to be a fun ride!

P.S. Another cool CAPTCHA for this comment: "redahj". I think it's slang... like "peeps" is to "friends".

Redahj (re-DAEG) noun, pl., slang. Origin: Compton. Fellow readers; members of a group.
"I'ma give you back the mike, but first a shout out to all my redahj that bought my book! Peace out!"

Ken Woychesko said...

Hiy'all! I had to come back to say thanks again for the book, and also to apologize to Chevy: something that you worked so hard on should have taken me longer to read--but it was SO GOOD! I really could not stop reading it, not in a ha-ha-sucker-I-voodoo-cursed-this-book kind of way, but the lead character was so deep, hurt, and interesting, and her relationships were in such chaos, and then obviously the riveting plot! Creepy! But you caused me to pause and actually think so often, too, which is something a lot of books don't manage to spur in me ("Where's Waldo" goes without saying, but that's different). I loved the narrative voice: so clean and direct, which made it all the more chilling at times. And how you managed to give a personality and actual character to the therapist is truly inspired.

Very well done! A very smartly-weaved story. You are definitely on my must-read list of authors.

Ken

P.S. An not a SYTYCD moment in it!!!

Chevy Stevens said...

Wow! Thanks so much for your kinds words, Ken. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book!

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