Welcome to Wednesday’s Blue Light Special. Today, August McLaughlin is here to share her Celebrity Author Playlist for her debut novel In Her Shadow.
August is an Interesting Person™. She’s been a model and an actress. She’s a musician and a survivor. She writes these really interesting blogs about sex and life and relationships. She asks these totally engaging questions on Facebook. Though I doubt we have much in common, I feel a connection to her.
When August published her debut novel, a thriller about a woman on a search for answers that puts her in danger, I knew I had to invite her to share her Celebrity Author Playlist.
About the Book
One woman locked in a basement, nearing death and longing for escape. Another baffled by the inexplicable symptoms wreaking havoc on her life. Both are lost and alone, yet somehow connected. And time is running out…
Near the tenth anniversary of her parents’ unexpected death, Claire Fiksen, a lovely young Harvard-grad and gifted psychologist in Minnesota, develops bizarre symptoms of an eating disorder that threaten her fledgling career, her relationship with a handsome young medical student, her grasp on reality and, soon, her life.
When her beloved grandfather reveals that there may be more to her parents’ death than she’s realized, Claire’s pursuit of healing becomes a desperate search for answers as she delves into her family’s sordid past. Meanwhile, someone is watching her every move, plotting to draw her into her own twisted web of misery.
Claire has something he needs, and he’ll stop at nothing to obtain it. Every step Claire takes brings her closer to the truth and danger. And her life, she discovers, isn’t the only one at stake.
Thanks so much for having me, Catie. Music is a huge part of my life, so this was fun for me. Since In Her Shadow is loosely autobiographical, it was easy to come up with related tunes. In fact, if I’d already recorded more of my originals (I’m a semi-closeted singer/songwriter), I could practically tell the whole story through them. But don’t worry, I won’t. 😉 Luckily, many artists have written songs in a similar mood and theme—brilliant ones. I hope your readers enjoy them as much as I have.
If some of my descriptions seem a bit elusive, it’s because my story has a few twists, and a couple of characters’ identities aren’t revealed early on. If you read In Her Shadow and figure out what each of these songs specifically means, I’ll think of a groovy prize. 🙂
From the get-go, Claire’s eating disorder symptoms are uninvited. I love the haunting melody of this tune, and feel it illustrates her torn relationship with desiring and loathing her illness at the same time.
This is one of the most beautiful, heart-wrenching songs I’ve ever heard. It’s about a damaging kind of “love,” that isn’t really love at all. Several characters in my novel experience this.
“I don’t want the world to see me, cuz I don’t think that they’d understand.”
In the depths of my own eating disorder, I listened to this song obsessively. When you’re locked inside a debilitating illness like anorexia, you want desperately to disappear. It’s often less about weight, and more about disappearing. Claire and another In Her Shadow character grapple with this longing, while seeking a way out and freedom at the same time.
“I’m a freak. I’m a weirdo. What the hell am I doing here? I don’t belong here. I don’t care if it hurts. I wanna have control. I want a perfect body. I want a perfect soul. I want you to notice.”
I am CRAZY about Manolakos’ rendition of this song. It’s gorgeous and dark, and suits one of my protagonists perfectly. It’s also dangerously tantalizing, which is how various readers have described my story.
“That boy is bad. He’s a wolf in disguise… That boy is a monster. He ate my heart.”
The antagonist all over the place.
My youngest sister send me this song when I was enduring a difficult breakup. I love the message; even when life seems to be falling apart, there is beauty. Knowing that helps keep the “breakage” in perspective. Claire’s life has to fall apart in order to become whole, and the most broken character of all is chock-full of beauty—though she fails to see it.
“There’s a fire starting in my heart. Reaching a fever pitch and it’s bring me out the dark.”
Oh, Adele. I LOVE YOU! (Just had to say that.) Once the “fire” is set in Claire and another woman’s hearts, they gain hope of leaving the darkness, figuratively and literally.
This song speaks of never giving up hope, even when you feel tiny in a huge and terrifying world. If I could, I’d sing it to numerous women in In Her Shadow, and the real world.
“A name is written on a polished rock. A broken heart that the world forgot.”
Never giving up is a theme throughout In Her Shadow. It’s also the only way anyone can hope to overcome an eating disorder, abuse and other personal atrocities. I’m pretty sure that there’s concrete angel potential in all of us.
In Her Shadow is available in paperback and for Kindle via Amazon.com.
August McLaughlin is a Los Angeles-based health writer and journalist with articles featured regularly by LIVESTRONG.com, EHow Foods, ULMagazine, Healthy Aging Magazine, IAmThatGirl and more. She’s also an internationally recognized certified nutritionist with specializations in eating disorders and sports nutrition. Before completing her first novel, In Her Shadow, she worked in the fashion, film and wellness industries, wearing hats ranging from Parisian runway model to culinary coach. Considering her longstanding passion for thrillers, she wasn’t surprised when her attempt at a memoir turned quickly into a fictional tale of suspense. She is represented by John Rudolph of Dystel & Goderich Literary Management and is in the midst of completing her second thriller and a nutritional guide to preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
August McLaughlin’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/August-McLaughlin/105914826113271
Girl Boner Page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Girl-Boner/370542546385899