Today we're excited to spotlight Providence by Caroline Kepnes! Read on for more about Caroline and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Caroline Kepnes!
Caroline Kepnes is the author of You and Hidden Bodies. She has worked as a pop-culture journalist for Entertainment Weekly and as a TV writer on 7th Heaven and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Originally from Cape Cod, Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles.
Best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe share a bond so intense that it borders on the mystical. But before Jon can declare his love for his soul mate, he is kidnapped, his plans for a normal life permanently dashed.
, Chloe has finally given up hope of ever seeing Jon again. Then, a few months before graduation, Jon reappears. But he is different now: bigger, stronger, and with no memory of the time he was gone. Jon wants to pick up where he and Chloe left off . . . until the horrifying instant he realizes that he possesses strange powers that pose a grave threat to everyone he cares for. Afraid of hurting Chloe, Jon runs away, embarking on a journey for answers.
Meanwhile, in Providence, Rhode Island, healthy college students and townies with no connection to one another are suddenly, inexplicably dropping dead. A troubled detective prone to unexplainable hunches, Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus suspects there’s a serial killer at work. But when he starts asking questions, Eggs is plunged into a whodunit worthy of his most outlandish obsessions.
In this dazzling new novel—and with an intense, mesmerizing voice—Caroline Kepnes makes keen and powerful observations about human connection and how love and identity can dangerously blur together.
Interview With Caroline Kepnes
1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Are these phones and all this technology turning us into monsters? That question was in my head after a near miss with another driver in a parking lot. Neither of us were distracted by our phones, but it was the first thing I searched for. Was she on her phone? Was I on my phone? It was like, oh that's right car accidents predate cell phones. I wrote this modern love story to see what it would be like to be incapable of communicating with the ones you love at this particular moment, in this age of constant connection. The characters in Providence are struggling with connection in one way or another. Jon watches Chloe's social media for clues. Chloe posts updates, wonders if Jon is out there, if he sees. And Eggs is a detective, but he gets himself into trouble by playing detective. I was inspired by the way we're all playing detective, observing one another from afar and managing our relationship to these devices that are relatively new.
2. Who is your favorite character in the book?
It's so hard to pick, but I have a soft spot for Chloe. Her best friend is her rock, the person who sort of connects her to what she feels might be the best part of herself, her potential as an individual, the person she might become, in part because she;s fortified by this friendship. And it's excruciating for her to lose her rock. I admire the ways in which she copes with that loss.
3. Which came first, the title or the novel?
The novel came first. Jon's voice was in my head on the way home from that near miss in the parking lot. Someone having no clue that his life was about to...change.
4. What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There's a showdown between Eggs and Lo that was really gratifying to write. They have issues in their marriage, and they tear into each other outside of a party, as if the marriage couldn't handle the social anxiety of that day. It's my favorite kind of conflict, when people who love each other very much temporarily lose empathy for one another. I can't think of anything scarier.
5. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
Being in flow is the dream. But you can't lead with flow every day. We all have our schedules and our quirks, but for me, it was understanding that sometimes you write because you are inspired, but if you want to write books, you have to learn to write because you want to feel inspired.
6. What do you like most about the cover of the book?
The motion is exciting to me. The neon is a dream, of course. I like that these two people are running and you can't tell if they're fleeing, if they're racing one another. It's like life, sometimes you're trying to escape, sometimes you're motivated by what's ahead. And did I mention the pink neon? :)
7. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
Paul Tremblay's The Cabin at the End of the World is a deeply profound book that affected me on so many levels. It's a horror story, a love story, a parenting story, a technology story. I can't wait for people to experience this one.
8. What was your favorite book in 2017?
Jessmyn Ward's Sing, Uburied, Sing and Cate Dolan-Leich's are two of my favorites.
9. What’s up next for you?
I finished a draft of a new book, so now I'm stepping away from it to let it sit for a little bit. And my first book You was adapted for television. I wrote an episode and I'm excited for readers to watch the series.
10. Is there anything that you would like to add?
It thrills me to hear readers say that Providence had them thinking and feeling. That's what it was like for me to write it, and it's heartening when the reading experience is reflective of my writing experience.
11. Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
(Spoiler alert) The big scene at the end where two people are reunited in this way that's symbolic of their relationship, painful, dangerous, wonderful, horrible. It was oxymoron emotional city and it took time to track their experiences.
12. Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
Writing for me is virtual reality where I step inside of a character. There was something so endearing yet frustrating to me about Jon, which meant that sometimes I got swept up in his inner monologue and stayed there knowing this part of the transcript of his experience didn't really have a place in the story.
13. Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Revising, which is why I start when I'm drafting. I write a couple chapters in the morning, take a break, feel the notes adding up in your mind, print the pages, mark them up, return to the computer and begin again. It's so gratifying to be in revision when I'm drafting.
14. What would you say is your superpower?
Hopefully it's mind reading of fictional characters, because that's what I do when I'm writing!
15. Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I'm grateful for the ACLU and support them often. Go Fund Me is a brilliant place. You learn about an individual or a family struggling with cancer or some trauma, the financial demands, the care for their children and you can contribute to make things easier for these people being hit on all fronts. My friend last night said that kindness is the goal in life, and I think that's so true.
By: Caroline Kepnes
Release Date: June 19, 2018
Five winners will receive a copy of Providence (US only).