1. Tell us a little bit about The Lost Souls series…
It’s the story of Charlotte O’Brien–a stubborn, sarcastic, intensely loyal, and compassionate girl who loses her parents at the age of twenty, her first love at twenty-two, and her faith in God and herself too many times to count. Without a clue of how to survive, Charlotte withdraws to her rural hometown and embraces humiliation and self-loathing with an unnerving honesty.
She is lost.
She commits to a relationship with her old friend Noble Sinclair, one of the finest people she knows, and stubbornly bucks all romantic myths by allowing the good guy to finish first. At least that’s what she hopes he believes.
But love doesn’t die; apparently it moves home and tortures Charlotte in the form of her first love who knocked up another girl. Charlotte fights to remain faithful as her past threatens to destroy her future. Ultimately she’ll discover “Who will save you if you can’t save yourself?”
The books are both heart-wrenching and hilarious. They portray that dark place, deep down inside all of us that responds to the pain we inflict on each other, and yet grant us permission to laugh as Charlotte hauls herself out of the darkness.
2. In the series, you fearlessly take your heroine, Charlotte to some dark places— how do you think these covers represent the story and Charlotte’s journey?
While Lost Souls is a love story, it’s also rather tragic and daunting. Charlotte grapples with questions that leave some of us staring into the darkness in the middle of the night.
What do we owe the dead?
Is there a divine plan?
How much of ourselves can we give to another before there’s nothing left?
Can we truly forgive what we can’t forget?
These covers are not only visually stunning, but brilliantly hint at the fact there’s a great deal more going on here than just love. Charlotte’s ethereal depiction in the background with her pleas written over her are right on.
She’s also a girl who doesn’t take her surroundings for granted. Charlotte beholds the clouds, the moon, the sunset, the ocean, the strength of the waves, the distance to the horizon, and incorporates those sights into her understanding of the world. The images within each ME are a nod to her connection to the Earth and they could not be more beautiful or appropriate.
Grand Central’s immensely talented Elizabeth Turner blew me away with these covers!
3. A lot of the action in THE LOST SOULS series is set in New Jersey. What’s your connection to the Garden State and why did you chose to set Charlotte’s story there?
I grew up in a rural town in Southern New Jersey which is a stark contrast to the urban setting of Rutgers University where I attended college. I’m odd in that I love the city and the country. The beauty of New Jersey is you can have both. It’s a haven for big personalities and bigger hearts nestled amongst mountains, 130 miles of coastline, rural fields, New York and Philadelphia as our neighbors, and of course lots of highway exits.
I wanted the Lost Souls Series to give a voice to the rich diversity that exists here.
4. What 3 words would you use to describe your heroine, Charlotte?
Unsinkable. Jersey. Girl.