Interview with Brooke Skipstone, Author of Some Laneys Died

11 Aug 2020

What can you tell us about your new release, Some Laneys Died?

Laney’s world collapsed when she caught her dad cheating. He begged her not to tell, but she did. Her family fell apart and regret consumes her, especially when she learns every decision she makes spawns a new universe for the opposite choice.

If only she could skip sideways to the Laney who didn’t tell.

But her only escape is through her imagination, until a news story blurs the lines between worlds. Two girls were murdered at the same time and same place as her father’s adulterous act. Strange events lead Laney to believe their bones are connected to her and the sister she always wanted.

Laney now has another decision to make. Some Laneys say yes, while others say no; some live and some die.

And some skip between worlds.

Additional info: I’m very interested in the weirdness of quantum physics, including the fact that a particle (an electron or photon) can be in many positions at the same time, a photon can act as a wave and particle, and the possibility that multiple universes exist. I decided to translate some of this weirdness from the micro level to the macro level. If subatomic particles from different universes can interact, then why can’t versions of ourselves do the same? Like my first novel Someone To Kiss My Scars where I imagined memory existing outside the brain, I imagine a world in Some Laneys Died where consciousness can exist outside the brain. What makes these books exciting is that they are based upon real scientific theories. I have not created a traditional fantasy world, but present a contemporary world as it might really be.

What or who inspired you to become an author?

I have always felt the urge to write—poetry, music/lyrics, plays, and now novels. Living in Alaska where sexual assault rates are the highest in the nation and interacting with many teens who have suffered from sexual abuse and assault drives me to illuminate this problem and the lasting damage these events have on young girls.

What’s on your top 5 list for the best books you’ve ever read?

Where the Crawdads Sing, The Fault in Our Stars, The Great Alone, The Hate U Give, The Magic Strings of Frankie Pesto

All of these books begin with young protagonists, mostly female, who must deal with great emotional challenges. They are all filled with high drama. They grab the reader’s heart and squeeze mercilessly until you beg for release. They are not boring. I hope my books have these same qualities with the additional one of stretching your mind, even making your brain hurt.

Say you’re the host of a literary talk show. Who would be your first guest? What would you want to ask

Kristin Hannah. She grew up in Alaska and writes amazing books. I loved The Great Alone not only because of the family drama but also because of the portrayal of Alaska, its raw power, its unique lifestyle, the primacy of the place in our lives. She gets it and portrays it amazingly well. I would like to ask her about her sense of pace and her use of figurative language.

What’s your favorite thing about writing?

The power and passion of the creative process. The absolute all-consuming rush of imagining a scene and trying desperately to type all the words as fast as I see and hear everything in my head. The discovery of what’s inside my head. Michelangelo approached sculpture with the belief that the finished product exists inside the rock and his job was to find it. I firmly believe the story exists in my head long before I write it. The process of writing is to discover the amazingly complex and thrilling plot that plays hide and seek in my mind until I grab it by the privates and put it on the page.

What is a typical day like for you?

Walking dogs, playing with cats, tending my garden and yard, and thinking, thinking, thinking of the next book I am writing. Writing, sometimes for hours a day. And doing some of the necessary tedious tasks to make a life and living.

What scene from Some Laneys Died was your favorite to write?

The reunion of the twin sisters, which is a spoiler, so I can’t describe it here. However, this book revolves around the bond of sisters who never knew each other existed. When they find each other—the pain and the joy.

Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?

Not a single one. I think it’s important to remember that there’s always someone who suffers more than you. And that no love is more earnest and real than that of dogs.

Brooke Skipstone is the author of the new book Some Laneys Died.

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