Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Top 10 Behind-the-Scenes Peeks at Quietus by Vivian Schilling + Giveaway (US only)

Quietus
Vivian Schilling
from Hannover House

On a stormy winter night a small plane bound for Boston goes down in the treacherous White Mountains of New Hampshire. Noted interior designer Kylie O’Rourke and her husband, Jack, are among the survivors. But it is just the beginning of the nightmare for Kylie. Through a haze of morphine, she awakens in the hospital to confused and harrowing memories of the crash. Though trapped within the wreckage, she recalls wandering the icy mountainside and speaking to one of the other passengers, only to find that he had died on impact. As the bizarre aftermath becomes sharper in her mind, it appears more ominous, along with the unshakeable feeling that she and the other survivors had somehow cheated death.

Reassured by her doctor that her disturbing memories had been induced by her sedation, Kylie returns to her life in Boston, but the aftermath of the tragedy proves unbearable. As her husband slips away from her into his own world of survivor‘s guilt and deceit, Kylie is seized by a growing paranoia that someone is stalking her every move. In her nightmares, the predator is a specter crossing over from the mountaintop to reclaim her. An old man eyes her in the subway, while a dark figure stalks her through Beacon Hill. Then a sudden and freakish tragedy sends Kylie's world toppling. While those around her fear she is losing her mind, she finds herself caught up in a chain of events she cannot escape.

In this deeply thought-provoking and chilling novel, Schilling questions the very nature of survival and death. She paints bold and unforgettable characters, while resurrecting disturbing and powerful apocrypha that has been all but buried under contemporary religious doctrine. With spellbinding intrigue, Quietus takes the reader to the brink of reason, to the edge where spiritual and physical meet, building with frenetic momentum to its shocking and haunting climax.

Behind-the-Scenes Looks at Quietus

  1. The concept for Quietus was borne out of the haunting moments following a near-fatal car crash when I was eighteen. Having narrowly escaped death, I had my first real brush with mortality. It is a story near to my heart—a fellow friend who has led me on a fantastical journey of exploration into the beliefs, culture and ancient customs surrounding life’s greatest mystery: what follows our last breath.
  2. When I was having a particularly difficult time understanding the dynamics of flight and how to get the Merlin IV in the novel’s opening to crash, a pilot standing next to me in the Aeronautics section at Barnes & Noble saw my exasperation and asked me what I needed to know. When I told him I wanted to crash a plane, I was delighted when he didn’t flinch.
  3. I was 129 pages into the manuscript when I realized I had the wrong beginning. So I cried a few tears and started over. The second time around, those same 129 pages flew past.
  4. Quietus is set in the late nineties, when the Internet was young and Google had yet to be born. My characters do not have cell phones, and they still meet their loved ones at a plane’s arrival gate without getting hauled off by TSA.
  5. While scouting for a location in Boston, I was mistakenly given directions to the abandoned Charles Street Jail in Charlestown, instead of the Charlestown Prison across the river. What I found when I arrived was a foreboding behemoth with its rotting entrances boarded up. The Charles Street Jail became a prison in my novel and my main character’s exploration inside of it is nearly identical to my own that day. Last year, I got a call from a friend who was visiting Boston. When checking into her hotel she found herself inside a ninety-foot high birdcage-like atrium and realized she was standing in the heart of the prison from Quietus. The Old Charles Street Jail had been transformed into a luxury hotel, yet she had the same visceral reaction to the setting I had over a decade earlier.
  6. I had originally planned to set the Savannah portion of the novel in Charleston. It wasn’t until after my research in Charleston that I stopped off the highway in Savannah for lunch. The moment I walked into the small diner with its red and white checked table clothes, I knew I had the childhood home of Kylie O’Rourke and Amelia Blackwell.
  7. Sean McCallum is named for a dear friend of mine who provided me with endless film scores by which to write Quietus. To this day when I hear Vangelis, Julius Vanderpoel materializes before me.
  8. While writing Quietus, I spent 13 months alone in the mountains outside Los Angeles. One morning I was disturbed to find footprints in the virgin snow leading up to my back door and over to the kitchen window, then back to the nearby road. In the novel, there is an unsettling phone call late one night that was inspired by the moment I realized that anyone could stand down on the dark road outside my cabin and see right into the loft where I worked late into the night.
  9. Not long after I completed Quietus I was on a terrifying flight over the Pacific Ocean and for a few harrowing minutes felt as if I had been thrust into my own novel. Objects were flying and passengers screaming, and like my own characters, just when I thought all was lost, the plane righted itself. Only, unlike my characters who were lulled back into a false sense of safety, I felt certain the next sub-chapter of terror was about to begin.
  10. One of my favorite locations in Quietus is Sean McCallum’s fishing village on Nahant Bay. On a recent trip to Boston I was saddened to find that the fishermen’s cottages had been cleared away and a pristine coastline of new homes had taken their place. I am grateful to have known such a community through my research, to have chatted with the locals living so close to the earth and sea, and to have the life of a lobsterman like Sean McCallum live on in the pages of my novel.

About the Author


Vivian Schilling attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute and also studied under the legendary Stella Adler before embarking upon a multifaceted career in both literature and film.

Schilling has penned two novels to date, both released to critical acclaim. "Highly respectable writing," touted the Chicago Sun-Times of Schilling's first effort, Sacred Prey (St. Martin's Press). "Schilling shows deft storytelling ability," said Publisher's Weekly.

Schilling is currently at work on her third novel. She divides her time between Los Angeles and the Ozark Mountains.



Giveaway!


Books à la Mode is giving away one print copy of Quietus—yay!!

To enter, all you have to do is tell me in the comments below:
What is your ideal weather?
Please make your comment MEANINGFUL. Comments solely consisting of stock responses or irrelevant fluff like "Thanks for the giveaway!" will not be considered for entry. Vivian and I really want to hear from you guys! :)

I love mild weather. Breezy and sunny, but not scorching hot, is my favorite.

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the publicist—a huge thank you to the lovely folks at FSB Associates!
Giveaway ends March 13th at 11.59 PM (your time).
Open to US residents only. Sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their winnings will be forfeited.
Although I do randomly select winners, I am in no way responsible for prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
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Good luck!