Saturday, January 12, 2019

0 RuthAnne Snow, author of WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS, on trashing a draft

We're delighted to have RuthAnne Snow join us to share more about her debut novel, WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS.

RuthAnne, what was your inspiration for writing WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS?

There were a lot of different elements that inspired me to start writing WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS. A big one was reading THIRTEEN REASONS WHY and wishing it had focused more on mental health. I think that book is good at a lot of different things, but it doesn’t really explore the “one reason” that most people experience suicidal ideation and exhibit suicidal behaviors.

I also really wanted to write a friendship book about girls who support and love each other even when they challenge and frustrate each other. And I decided to throw in a lot of LITTLE WOMEN Easter Eggs while I was at it.

What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?

The scene where Elin is found and saved. I can’t be more specific about that without spoilers, but I love it a lot.

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

My first editor, Rachel Stark, first said that my book was like THIRTEEN REASONS meets PAPER TOWNS, which I think is pretty accurate. I also think it would appeal to people who enjoy voicey, serious-funny friendship books like Jeff Zentner’s THE SERPENT KING, which I absolutely loved. I think the mystery piece of it will appeal to fans of Kit Frick’s SEE ALL THE STARS, which you should definitely read if you haven’t yet.

How long did you work on WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS?

About nine months of drafting followed by 4-5 months of revising.

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

It taught me to let go of my first vision for things when it no longer works. The book has two different timelines – Elin’s senior year before her suicide attempt, and then the night of prom for her three friends. But both timelines basically proceed chronologically.

My original idea for the book was to take both timelines and basically put them in a blender—the story being told forwards and backwards and upside down. I had this really “arty” idea that this would serve to illustrate the complex nature of mental illness, but honestly it was just a disaster and confusing and it got in the way of readers connecting to the characters. So I trashed it and never looked back, which had been something that was hard for me before. I can be a bit of a stubborn writer.

What do you hope readers will take away from WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS?

That it’s ok to ask for help, whatever your problems are.

How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?

Hmm. Are we ever supposed to talk about that? Ha. Well, WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS is the fourth book I wrote and I had to wait a reaaaaally long time before announcing my deal, which was hard. I’d been trying to be published for years and I’d actually had a book deal for the third book I’d written but it ended up falling apart. I’d like to self-publish that one someday, but we will see.

What's your writing ritual like? Do you listen to music? Work at home or at a coffee shop or the library, etc?

I usually write at home, either on the couch with a laptop or in my home office. I like music playlists and tend to listen to the same 10 or so songs over and over again. I like drinking something fizzy (La Croix and Red Bull and Diet Coke are my go-tos) and eating something chewy, usually licorice.

What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?

Just stick with it. Everyone has a unique perspective, unique voice, and your stories are worth telling.

What are you working on now?

A few different things, but honestly, I am kind of a superstitious writer. I feel like when I talk too much about WIPs, they lose a little magic so I keep them to myself until I’m ready to share with CPs and betas.


When the Truth Unravels
by RuthAnne Snow
Sky Pony Press
Released 1/8/2019

Last month, Elin tried to kill herself.

She knows she's lucky that her parents found her in time. Lucky to be going to prom with her three best friends, like any other teen. Like it never happened. And if she has anything to say about it, no one but her best friends will ever know it did.

Jenna, Rosie, and Ket will do anything to keep Elin's secret--and to make sure it never happens again. That's why they're determined to make prom the perfect night. The night that convinces Elin that life is worth living.

Except, at prom, Elin goes missing.

Now it's up to her friends to find her. But each of the girls has her own demons to face. Ket is being blackmailed by an ex. Rosie is falling in love for the first time. And Jenna . . .

Jenna is falling apart.

And no one, not even her best friends, knows why.

Heart-wrenching and utterly impossible to put down, When the Truth Unravels follows four friends as they confront their greatest hopes and darkest secrets during one life-changing night.

Purchase When the Truth Unravels at Amazon
Purchase When the Truth Unravels at IndieBound
View When the Truth Unravels on Goodreads


RuthAnne Snow was born and raised in Kaysville, Utah. She was a sorority girl in college and social activities director in law school―which was a lot like being back in the sorority. She loves traveling, watching horror movies, and baking. She lives in Salt Lake City with her husband and dogs. WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS is her first novel.


Have you had a chance to read WHEN THE TRUTH UNRAVELS yet? Do you put Easter Eggs into your writing? Have you had to let go of a vision that wasn't working? Share your thoughts about the interview in the comments!

Happy Reading,

Jocelyn, Halli, Martina, Erin, Susan, Shelly, and Kelly

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