Today we're excited to hear from S.M. Parker, author of The Rattled Bones.
Read on for more about S.M. and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet S.M. Parker!
S.M. Parker lives on the coast of Maine with her husband and sons. She works as a literacy advocate and holds degrees from three New England universities. She can usually be found rescuing dogs, chickens, old houses, and wooden boats. She has a weakness for chocolate chip cookies and ridiculous laughter—ideally at the same time. The Girl Who Fell was her first novel.
Meet The Rattled Bones!
Unearthing years of buried secrets, Rilla Brae is haunted by ghostly visions tied to the tainted history of a mysterious island in this haunting novel from the author of The Girl Who Fell.
Maine-bred, independent Rilla Brae is no stranger to the deep. She knows the rhythms of hard work and harder seas. But when she experiences the sudden death of her father, the veil between the living and the dead blurs and she begins to be haunted by a girl on a nearby, uninhabited island. The girl floats a song over the waves, and it is as beautiful as it is terrifying. Familiar and distant.
Then Rilla meets Sam, a University of Southern Maine archeology student tasked with excavating the very island where the ghostly girl has appeared. Sam sifts the earth looking for the cultural remains of an island people who were forcibly evicted by the state nearly a hundred years ago. Sam tells Rilla the island has a history no locals talk about--if they know about it at all--due to the shame the events brought to the working waterfront community. All Rilla knows for sure is that the island has always been there--an eerie presence anchored in the stormy sea. Now Sam's work and the ghostly girl's song lure Rilla to the island's shores.
As Rilla helps Sam to unearth the island's many secrets, Rilla's visions grow--until the two discover a tragedy kept silent for years. And it's a tragedy that has everything to do with Rilla's past.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
Kickass girls doing kickass work. Every. Day.
The eerie fog of the Maine coast.
Kids finding family in non-traditional ways.
Love enduring despite the odds.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
Can I say the setting? Because The Rattled Bones is set on the salt-licked coast of Maine and the story is steeped in the pull of the tides, the secrets of the deep. Mystery shrouds the setting, and everything our badass protagonist, Rilla, has to discover!
YABC: What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?
There are some creepy scenes in this novel, the scare-you-out-of-your-skin kind of scenes and I definitely wrestled with a lot of self-doubt while writing them. I thought: who am I to be writing this type of narrative when so many authors before me have done this so well? So, yeah. Self-doubt. I wanted (and needed) the haunting to come alive on the page in ways that were believable and would make gooseflesh rise on a reader’s skin as the story unfolded. The hauntings were the hardest and most satisfying scenes to write. And honestly? I got scared a few times while proofing the book before final publication and I’d written it!!
YABC: What do you like most about the cover of the book?
I love EVERYTHING about the cover. It has a sense of otherworldliness that speaks to the theme of the “in-between”, which is very prominent in the novel. The final cover was the third cover we considered for this book and I don’t think we could have crafted a more perfect match for the story!
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2017?
The Memory Trees by Kali Wallace. This is Wallace’s sophomore novel and it is beyond stunning.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
I’m a contributing author to Welcome Home, a YA anthology on love and adoption, coming in September from Flux. As for personal works, I’m pretty superstitious about talking about projects so I’ll leave it at that. ☺
YABC: Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?
The Rattled Bones is part historical fiction and examines the cultural erasure of a small Maine community whose island residents were evicted in 1912 for being poor and bi-racial. Several residents were institutionalized because they could not identify objects they would not have been familiar with in their island life (like a phone, for example). These events happened during a time when eugenics was driving scientific research and practices, and the hate campaign against these islanders appeared in newspapers as far away as Boston and New York. The residents were falsely labeled feeble-minded, and generations of their descendants still live with the shame about what happened on that island over a hundred years ago. Telling the story of this strong, vibrant fishing community was important for many personal reasons, and while the island is now protected and many researchers are working to unearth the “real” story of Malaga and its people, writing about them felt like an honor, and I needed to honor their legacy.
YABC: Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?
My ghost. She scared me.
YABC: What would you say is your superpower?
I’m a laundry ninja.
YABC: Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?
I’ve been a lifelong supporter of literacy, particularly for marginalized individuals. I’ve spent the last twenty years protecting (and growing) programs that help adults learn to read in order to more fully participate in their education, vocation and citizenry. Through this work, I’ve also spear-headed a number of family literacy programs that help break the cycle of intergenerational illiteracy and, consequently, poverty and disenfranchisement. The Rattled Bones was selected to be in the August book subscription box for PageHabit, and a portion of their proceeds support early literacy programs—so I was both honored and grateful to see my book “give back” in this way!
Thank you so much for featuring The Rattled Bones on YA Books Central, and for hosting a giveaway!! YA books for the win!!
The Rattled Bones
By: S.M. Parker
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: August 22nd, 2017
Two winners will receive a signed hardcopy of The Rattled Bones and bookmark. ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*