Saturday, June 17, 2017

0 Elle Cosimano, author of THE SUFFERING TREE, on there being a time to be brave and take risks

We're thrilled to have Elle Cosimano here to tell us more about her latest novel, THE SUFFERING TREE.

Elle, what was your inspiration for writing THE SUFFERING TREE?

While chaperoning my son’s school field trip to an apple orchard, the bus rolled by this very old and picturesque cemetery in Westmoreland, VA. In the middle of this beautiful green field was a cluster of graves around an old, dead tree. I couldn't get this tree out of my mind. It was gnarled and broken, the bark bleached white. Beneath it lay a handful of worn, mossy, leaning headstones, so old that I couldn’t make out the dates on them when I returned the next day for a second look. I wondered what had happened to the tree—why it had died and no one had cut it down, why no one had bothered to tend to the cemetery or farm the field around it, who was buried there and forgotten. And after a few days of asking myself "what if", the story of The Suffering Tree was born. You can see more pics of the cemetery that inspired The Suffering Tree by clicking here.

What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?

If you are a fan of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, you may find a lot to enjoy in The Suffering Tree. Time travel, witch hunts, history, romance, and the exploration of family roots will definitely resonate with Outlander fans. Sadly, however, in my book there are no kilts.

How long did you work on THE SUFFERING TREE?

I began The Suffering Tree in 2011. I had about 50 really terrible pages written by the time I signed with my agent for what would later become my debut, Nearly Gone. When she read my draft of The Suffering Tree, she suggested I shelve it, that I didn’t yet have the “chops” to write such an ambitious book. The rotating POV structure was challenging, Nathaniel’s voice was all wrong, and I was clearly trying too hard. On her advice, I put the draft away for a few years, focused on learning and growing, and finally took it up again in 2015, when I felt I was ready to tackle it. Even then, it took many revisions to get it right.

What did this book teach you about writing or about yourself?

This book taught me patience, but it also taught me that there is a time to be brave and take risks. That there is no such thing as the perfect time to write the perfect book, and at some point, we have to trust that we’re ready to try.

What are you working on now?

I’m drafting a super-fun YA urban fantasy based on a flash fiction piece I wrote a few years ago with the gang over at The Hanging Garden on Tumblr—mythological worldbuilding, assassins, some flirty cat-n-mouse, and plenty of kissing.

I’m also drafting what I hope will become my first adult suspense novel. I’m really excited about the way it’s coming together, and I think it will captivate my YA fans as well.


The Suffering Tree
by Elle Cosimano
Released 6/13/2017

Tori Burns and her family left D.C. for claustrophobic Chaptico, Maryland, after suddenly inheriting a house under mysterious circumstances. That inheritance puts her at odds with the entire town, especially Jesse Slaughter and his family—it’s their generations-old land the Burns have “stolen.” But none of that seems to matter after Tori witnesses a young man claw his way out of a grave under the gnarled oak in her new backyard.

Nathaniel Bishop may not understand what brought him back, but it’s clear to Tori that he hates the Slaughters for what they did to him centuries ago. Wary yet drawn to him by a shared sense of loss, she gives him shelter. But in the wake of his arrival comes a string of troubling events—including the disappearance of Jesse Slaughter’s cousin—that seem to point back to Nathaniel.

As Tori digs for the truth—and slowly begins to fall for Nathaniel—she uncovers something much darker in the tangled branches of the Slaughter family tree. In order to break the centuries-old curse that binds Nathaniel there and discover the true nature of her inheritance, Tori must unravel the Slaughter family’s oldest and most guarded secrets. But the Slaughters want to keep them buried… at any cost.

From award-winning author Elle Cosimano comes a haunting, atmospheric thriller perfect to hand to readers of the Mara Dyer trilogy and Bone Gap.

Purchase The Suffering Tree at Amazon
Purchase The Suffering Tree at IndieBound
View The Suffering Tree on Goodreads


EC150417185844_ppcopyElle Cosimano grew up in the Washington, DC, suburbs, the daughter of a maximum security prison warden and an elementary school teacher who rode a Harley. She annually attends the Writers’ Police Academy at Guilford Technical Community College, Department of Public Safety, to conduct hands-on research for her books. Elle is the author of Nearly Gone and it’s upcoming sequel, Nearly Found. She lives with her husband and two sons in Mexico.


Have you had a chance to read THE SUFFERING TREE yet? What's the strangest object you have "what if'ed" into a story? Have you ever felt you didn’t yet have the “chops” to write a particular story? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy reading,

Emily, Jocelyn, Anisaa, Sam, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, Kelly, Laura, and Lori Ann

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