When Kim asked me to write about my inspiration for DECEPTION, I sort of panicked. The truth is, I always forget where my ideas come from, but here's what I recall.
When I started plotting DECEPTION, I knew I wanted to write a contemporary gothic novel, which to me meant there had to be ghosts, an old house, and a mystery. The more I started fooling around with the idea, the more I wanted the heroine to have some control over the ghosts and be thrust into this new, secret world of ghostkeeping. Then it was a matter of figuring out the rules of the magic, what ghostkeepers would be able to do and what would make Emma Vaile special.
I chose New England, because I love it's old colonial and Federal period houses. I loosely based the museum she lives in on the Pierce-Nichols house which is part of the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, Mass. I'm descended from the Nichols part of the family, and have always wanted to write about this house. I set it in the fictional town of Echo Point, which is even more loosely based on Marblehead, the town I was born in. I think Marblehead is the most picturesque village in New England, so incredibly charming, and Emma's thoughts as she walks through Echo Point's streets are all part of my adoration. Also, I grew up in California, like she did, but went to college in Massachusetts, so her reactions to her school, people, and the weather are very akin to how I felt.
And then comes the mystery, who is killing ghostkeepers? But I don't want to reveal everything, so you'll have to read the book to find out!
When Emma Vaile's parents leave on mysterious business trip, it gives her the perfect excuse to be a rebellious teen. Throw some parties, get a tattoo (or maybe just a piercing), and enjoy the first few weeks of her junior year. Then her best friend stops talking to her, the cops crash her party, and Emma finds herself in the hands of a new guardian—her college-age "knight in J.Crew armor," Bennett Stern—and on a plane to his museum-like mansion in New England. After enrolling at Thatcher Academy, Emma settles in by making friends with the popular legacy crowd. But she can't shake the strange visions that are haunting her. She has memories of Thatcher she can't explain, as if she's returning home to a place she's never been. Emma doesn't trust anyone anymore—except maybe Bennett. But he's about to reveal a ghostly secret to Emma. One that will explain the visions . . . and make Emma fear for her life.
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