This episode Jason talks to Leslie Lutz, whose strange Lost-like thrilled Fractured Tide debuts this month from Blink/HarperCollins in hardcover.
Says the publisher: This young adult thriller pushes 17-year-old Sia into a reality where the waters in front of her and the jungle behind her are as dangerous as the survivors alongside her. Told through journal entries from a daughter to her father, Fractured Tide is a gripping mix of suspense and horror. It's Lost meets Stranger Things.
Leslie Lutz is a devoted diver and fan of creature horror. Her writing has appeared in various journals, including Orca Literary Journal, Kaaterskill Basin Literary Journal, Typishly, Number One, The Lyric, and Raintown Review. She is a member of International Thriller Writers and Horror Writers Association. Fractured Tide won the 2018 Frisco First Chapter Contest.
The author talked about how she took her knowledge of diving and turned it into a mystery that involved more extreme versions of her own experience. The book, for instance, begins with a harrowing scene inside a shipwreck. She talks about how in real wrecks or in billowing waves of silt, divers can become lost and even perish.
Another significant aspect of the book that Lutz wanted to write about was her main character's relationship with her imprisoned father. She explains that in pop culture, parents in prison are either unjustly accused or evil and to be avoided forever. Still, in her book (as in reality), people's stories are complicated. "We talk a lot about second chances," Lutz says, "but we don't practice what we preach… it's really easy to make a huge mistake and almost destroy your life."
She also talked about her process and the challenges of writing in and amidst small children.
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Jason Henderson is the host of the Castle of Horror and Castle Talk Podcasts, the editor of the Castle of Horror Anthology series, and the author of Quest for the Nautilus: Young Captain Nemo from Macmillan Children's Books. His new horror novel, under the pseudonym Peyton Douglas, The Book Man, debuts on June 2.