Rockstar Tours: A MISFORTUNE OF LAKE MONSTERS (Nicole M. Wolverton), Interview & Giveaway! ~ US ONLY

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the A MISFORTUNE OF LAKE MONSTERS by Nicole M. Wolverton Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: A
MISFORTUNE OF LAKE MONSTERS

Author: Nicole M.
Wolverton

Pub. Date: July
2, 2024

Publisher: CamCat
Books

Formats: Hardcover,
Paperback, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 304

Find it: Goodreadshttps://books2read.com/A-MISFORTUNE-OF-LAKE-MONSTERS 

When legends bite back.

Lemon Ziegler wants to escape rural
Devil’s Elbow, Pennsylvania to attend college―but that’s impossible now that
she’s expected to impersonate the town’s lake monster for the rest of her life.
Her family has been secretly keeping the tradition of Old Lucy, the famed (and
very fake) monster of Lake Lokakoma, alive for generations, all to keep the
tourists coming. Without Lemon, the town dies, and she can’t disappoint her
grandparents . . . or tell her best friends about any of it. That includes Troy
Ramirez, who has been covertly in love with Lemon for years, afraid to ruin
their friendship by confessing his feelings. When a very real, and very hungry
monster is discovered in the lake, secrets must fall by the wayside. Determined
to stop the monster, Lemon and her best friends are the only thing standing
between Devil’s Elbow and the monster out for blood.

For readers who enjoy Harrow
Lake
 by Kat Ellis, House of Hollow by Krystal
Sutherland, Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain,
and The Lake House by Sarah Beth Durst.

 

 

YABC Interview:

 

What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

The origin story for A Misfortune of Lake Monsters is embedded in a chore I loathed as a kid: washing the dishes. I grew up in the rural hinterlands of northeast Pennsylvania, and my childhood home is positioned on the outskirts of town. As a preteen, I’d stand at the sink in the kitchen and do dishes—and daydream about the horrifying things that might live beneath the surface of the water of the lake that was about a mile behind the house.

That might seem like a weird thing to wonder about, but when you live in an area where there’s not a lot to keep you busy…your mind wanders. The possibility of a lake monster was one of the most exciting things I could imagine—something different than the hum drum life that I had at the time, even if jumped out the water and started terrorizing me. I was always one of those kids who loved the Time-Life series on the paranormal and cryptids—and I always had an active imagination, yearning to discover or experience something that was truly outside the norm.

A lot of years passed between then and when I revisited the lake monster concept for a fiction treatment a few years ago. My fascination with cryptids only grew—to the point where I even visited Loch Ness in Scotland to do a bit of personal observation about what a lake that could potentially house a lake monster might look and sound like.

In the end, it’s gratifying that something good came out of having dishpan hands as a 12-year-old girl!

 

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I love Lemon Ziegler—she’s the main character of A Misfortune of Lake Monsters and has such a great journey in the book as she learns to stand up for what she wants in life. That said, Troy Ramirez, the second narrator and a boy who absolutely and secretly adores Lemon, holds a true soft spot in my heart.

Although I didn’t intend for it to happen, Troy is somewhat loosely based on someone I used to be close friends with, someone who passed away not all that long ago. He was someone who struggled with the best way to be a man on his own terms—and generally how to be good person. Having a front row seat to someone figuring it out is interesting. As I was developing Troy as a character, it’s just who he turned out to be. Troy and Darrin’s friendship in the book was a joy to write, and developing Troy’s story arc was like having my friend back. I could hear his voice in my head.

Interestingly, when it came time to listen to auditions for the audiobook version of A Misfortune of Lake Monsters, there was a single actor who perfectly captured that voice. The second I heard Oscar Fabela sarcastically but good-naturedly rib Darrin in his audition, I knew. I almost cried. Luckily, the good folks at CamCat recognized it, too. The audiobook version of A Misfortune of Lake Monster is so special—the actors playing Lemon and Troy just get the characters in every way.

 

Which came first, the title or the novel?

I am notoriously terrible at titling things. I put it off until the last possible moment, and a good friend who is brilliant at titling is often pressed into service to brainstorm with me. There’s something about coming up with a title that just feels so final and concrete and stressful. So obviously, the novel absolutely came first.

It was only during my very last read-through of A Misfortune of Lake Monsters before it went on submission—when I was picking out phrases from the book that could possibly be relevant for titling purposes—that I settled on the title. Darrin is joking, trying to diffuse a tense situation with humor (as usual), when he wonders what you might call a group of lake monsters. Like a murder of ravens, he proposes a misfortune of lake monsters. Title sorted!

 

What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

How and when to open A Misfortune of Lake Monsters is something that tortured me for quite a while. I considered that starting with Lemon while she’s faking an Old Lucy sighting might feel like plunking readers into the middle of the inciting incident, and I didn’t want that to be confusing—faking Old Lucy is Lemon’s normal. Opting to make it Lemon’s first Old Lucy impersonation was my solution, and I’m proud of the way it simultaneously sets up Lemon as villain, victim, and hero while also setting expectations around Devil’s Elbow and the relationship people who live there have with Old Lucy. It sets a nice foundation for what comes next in the story.

 

Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you’ve learned as a writer from then to now?

One of my biggest strengths as a writer, craft-wise, is developing natural-sounding dialogue. There’s an art to it that I think most people do eventually learn through trial and error, but baby writers often don’t have a handle on why their dialogue doesn’t sound realistic or why it reads as stilted and awkward. I was certainly no different when I was starting to get serious about writing for publication. It doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult—I mean, we’ve all been speaking like normal people since we were little kids. You just…write people talking to each other, right?

But that’s not the way it works. Different people have different cadences to their speech. They favor different words and manner of expressing themselves. They often don’t speak in complete sentences, or they get hung up and veer off into tangents. Hardly anyone truly uses perfect formal speech—and then there’s the issue of code switching between different audiences and situations. It’s dialogue, yes, but it also hugely impacts character voice. That’s really important in A Misfortune of Lake Monsters. If you put Lemon, Troy, Darrin, and Ike and Pearl Ziegler in a room and turn off the lights, I would hope you’d be able to tell who they are based entirely on voice and dialogue.

If the general public knew how closely I eavesdrop on conversations, they’d probably be appalled. I’ve probably overheard secrets I wasn’t supposed to, but it wasn’t because I was planning to collect kompromat—it’s simply the best way to develop an ear for the way people speak! That, combined with reading dialogue out loud, helped me improve as a writer. And one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the years is that if your dialogue doesn’t ring true or the voice seems inauthentic, the reader is going to lose the ability to suspend disbelief—and in horror that’s particularly important.

What do you like most about the cover of the book?

The cover of A Misfortune of Lake Monsters gives a point-of-view of under the water and tangled in the weeds, looking up at the surface—firmly rooting us in what is real life (the actual lake monster) versus what we imagine is real life (Old Lucy). Metaphorically speaking, it works to mirror several plot points in the book: the relationship between Lemon and Troy, the relationship between Lemon and her grandparents, the relationship between Troy and his parents, not to mention several surprises that come later in the novel. It’s a fun concept.

 

What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2024?

Horror and thriller debut authors are absolutely killing it in 2024! I’ve had the honor of reading ARCs for a lot of the work coming out this year from new writers—it’s hard to narrow it down, so I’ll stick to young adult horror since that’s also my genre and category. Lockjaw by Matteo Cerilli is a gorgeously written book that very much speaks to current politics (plus it has a small town setting, which appeals to me very much since A Misfortune of Lake Monsters is also set in a small town).

One I haven’t read yet and which isn’t from a debut author is The Ones Who Come Back Hungry by Amelinda Bérubé—which, coincidentally enough, shares a release date with A Misfortune of Lake Monsters! Amelinda is an incredible writer who is excellent at creeping me right out. I often think about how much I’d love to get a peek at her thought process—she’s someone who really understands the psychology of horror.

 

What was your favorite book in 2023?

Hands down, my favorite book of 2023 was Monstrilio by Gerardo Sámano Córdova. It is so unique, and the grief and love pour off the page. Córdova’s use of language and his storytelling is incredibly clever. You know how every once in a while you might get someone on social media asking what book you’d like to read over again for the first time if you could? For me it would be Monstrilio.

I finished the book late at night in a hotel room in Venice, Italy. I was by myself, there in town just for a few days—and that was probably a good thing: my husband might have been alarmed because I cried at the end of the book and I cried for everyone in the book.

 

 

Is there anything that you would like to add?

As the CamCat Books folks were laying out the internal pages of A Misfortune of Lake Monsters, my editor let me know that they couldn’t include a sketch that Troy made of a symbol he finds on a mystery device—and that saddened me greatly. In its place is a description of the cone. I think the passage adequately does its job, but I do miss the sketch every time I leaf through chapter 14. I’m not a great artist, so that sketch represents a lot of angst on my part to get it right!

I have the original sketch framed on the wall of my office, and I occasionally think about getting a tattoo to along with the lemons I had inked onto my forearm—a tattoo for each of my main characters seems right!

 

Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to narrate?

This is in no way a spoiler, but the scene where Lemon confesses to Troy and Darren that she and her family have been impersonating Old Lucy was one of the most difficult for me to write in A Misfortune of Lake Monsters. I wanted to get a piece of the scene from both Troy’s point of view and from Lemon’s point of view, so I split the scene between chapters. It’s an emotionally charged scene for both of them to begin with—Lemon’s afraid her two best friends in the world are going to hate her for lying to them for their entire lives, and Troy’s freaked out because he’s sure something could pop up and try to kill them at any moment and because Lemon’s a giant ball of nerves. Because their voices are very dissimilar, it took a lot of tweaking to make it seem right to me. Lemon doesn’t want to dwell on certain aspects of the situation, and while she’s apprehensive about coming clean, isn’t afraid to show how much the secret and the tension of telling are affecting her—while Troy very much keeps a lid on his outward emotions for the most part.

Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your latest book?

Ike Ziegler—Lemon’s grandfather—has a very, very particular way about him. The way he speaks is modeled somewhat on my maternal grandfather. My grandfather spent most of his life as a dairy farmer in the rural northeast Pennsylvania town in which I grew up. He was a very quiet and private man of strong opinions about the role and behavior of women, among other things. So for Ike, it was important to me that what his dialogue conveys is only very surface level—what he says and what he does or means are often two different things. Getting the accent and cadence of Ike’s speech right—without going overboard—was also something that took extra attention. I admit that it frequently gave me trouble!

The most important thing was to give Ike a bit of a gray morality streak—he’s someone that, in the end, thinks of himself as entirely devoted to the success of Devil’s Elbow. In his head, he’s the hero of the story, even if he is lying and circumventing the law in some cases, pushing his family away, and generally manipulating people to get what he wants. Ike does come off as a villain, and I don’t think of my grandfather that way at all—but pushed to extremes, you never know what people might be capable of! My grandfather died quite a long time ago, so writing Ike and thought-experimenting with his personality for this novel was both a challenge and a pleasure.

 

Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

Drafting. While revising is a necessary part of the process, I’m meticulous about spending a lot of time on the outline before I start writing. I develop my characters and their voices, why they do the things they do. I develop the setting and why it is the way it is. The forward progression of the plot is thought and rethought, revised again and again, until the pacing and tension feel right. I know the story inside and out by the time I write my very first word.

Part of why I’m aggressively organized about outlining is because it wards off writer’s block—if I know exactly where I’m going, there’s no excuse to be stymied (and obviously that’s not foolproof: characters can often surprise you while you’re writing). But a bigger part of why I operate this way is because I like to work out the kinks before I write an entire novel and discover some part of it doesn’t work. I don’t get mad at myself about needing to revise or rearrange action within scenes—but the idea of taking a scalpel to the underlying story structure fills me with alarm. Architecture holds up every part of the story, and I find that messing with the underlying structure after the fact almost always fundamentally weakens the supports. I’d rather do it right the first time and avoid a disaster later.

 

What would you say is your superpower?

Because Devil’s Elbow is loosely based on my hometown, and I have…feelings about sparsely populated and rural spaces, it isn’t difficult to come up with plot ideas for novels based in the town. Maybe being an idea factory is my superpower? Certainly, I’ve got enough ideas within the world of Devil’s Elbow for more novels than I could possibly write in my lifetime.

 

Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

I worked as a nonprofit fundraiser in Philadelphia for years, so there are a lot of local-to-Philly 501c3 organizations that I love and support—Project HOME (they work to provide housing and supportive services to people experiencing homelessness) and the Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania (they work to protect and expand abortion access in Pennsylvania—super important since Roe was overturned and, as a result, maternal mortality rates are rising even more sharply and pregnant people are finding it increasingly difficult in some states to get emergency care).

On a national level, the American Civil Liberties Union is an incredible organization that deserves all the love. They have been particularly critical over the last decade in doing everything in their power to hold back attempts to infringe on civil liberties on many different fronts—including infringing on the civil rights of activists who fight against fracking. Inarguably, fracking is the unsung villain in A Misfortune of Lake Monsters.

 

 

About Nicole M. Wolverton:

 

Nicole M.
Wolverton
 is
the author of the adult psychological thriller The Trajectory of Dreams (2013)
and served as the editor of Bodies Full of Burning (2021), an
anthology of short horror fiction through the lens of menopause. She is a
Pushcart Prize-nominated writer of short stories and writes creative nonfiction
and essays as well. Her work has been published in over forty anthologies,
magazines, and podcasts.

Subscribe to
Nicole’s Newsletter!

Website | Instagram | Threads | TikTok | Goodreads
| Amazon | BookBub

 

 

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of A MISFORTUNE OF LAKE MONSTERS, US Only.

Ends July 23rd, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

6/24/2024

Two Chicks on Books

Deleted Scene/IG Post

6/25/2024

MoonShineArtSpot

Book Playlist/IG Post

6/26/2024

Fire
and Ice Reads

Top 5 Books/IG Post

6/27/2024

YA Books Central

Interview/IG Post

6/28/2024

Ilovebooksandstuffblog

Review/Top 5 Movies Post/IG Post

6/29/2024

Writer of Wrongs

Dream Cast/IG Post

Week Two: 

6/30/2024

Daily
Waffle

Excerpt

7/1/2024

@dana.loves.books

IG Review/TikTok Post

7/2/2024

@stargirls.magical.tale

IG Review

7/3/2024

@evergirl200

IG Review

7/4/2024

@dreaminginpages

IG Review

7/5/2024

Lifestyle of Me

Review 

7/6/2024

@thepagelady

IG Review

Week Three: 

7/7/2024

@enthuse_reader

IG Review/TikTok Post

7/8/2024

Edith’s Little Free Library

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic/TikTok Post

7/9/2024

@amysbookshelf82

IG Review

7/10/2024

Book-Keeping blog

Review/IG Post

7/11/2024

Country Mamas With Kids

Review/IG Post

7/12/2024

jlreadstoperpetuity

IG Review/TikTok Post

7/13/2024

@niks.bookshelf

IG Review

Week Four:

7/14/2024

A Blue Box Full of Books

IG Review/LFL Drop Pic/TikTok Post

7/15/2024

Books and Zebras

IG Review

7/16/2024

Kim’s Book Reviews and Writing Aha’s

Review/IG Post

7/17/2024

Brandi Danielle Davis

IG Review/TikTok Post

7/18/2024

Bookborne Hunter

Review/IG Post

7/18/2024

@jaimes_mystical_library

IG Post

7/19/2024

@heyashleyyreads

IG Review/TikTok Post

7/19/2024

Deal sharing aunt

Review/IG Post

 

1 thought on “Rockstar Tours: A MISFORTUNE OF LAKE MONSTERS (Nicole M. Wolverton), Interview & Giveaway! ~ US ONLY”

  1. SSINGH says:

    Interesting cover and summary!

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