WSJ BESTSELLER EMILY BLEEKER RELEASES NEW THRILLER “THE WAITING ROOM”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICAGO, IL – “Wall Street Journal” Bestselling author Emily Bleeker is set to add a new novel to her already impressive list of accomplishments — her latest thriller, “The Waiting Room” is filled with suspense and mind-bending twists that will consume readers and keep them guessing until the very last page.
“The Waiting Room” (Lake Union Publishing, August 21, 2018) tells the story of a new mother reeling from the recent death of her husband, battling a postpartum depression so deep she is unable to touch her daughter. Her emotional state is whispering lies in Veronica Shelton’s ear: You’re a bad mother. Your baby would be better off without you. But not everything can be reasoned away by Veronica’s despair. As her mother urges her to seek help through counseling, Veronica begins to learn that everything is not as it seems. After all, the break-in at her house happened and the mysterious and disturbing sketches she found in her studio are real. So is the fear for her daughter’s safety—especially when Veronica comes home to a cold, silent nursery and a missing baby.
As she turns from victim into primary suspect, Veronica realizes that only she can find her daughter. The authorities aren’t helping; They’re only watching. Veronica’s concerned mother has suddenly vanished from her life. And a new friend seems to be keeping secrets from her too. Now, reality is waiting for Veronica in a dark place—because someone’s mind games have only just begun.
EMILY BLEEKER is a former educator who learned to love writing while teaching a writer’s workshop. After surviving a battle with a rare form of cancer, she finally found the courage to share her stories, starting with her debut novel, “Wreckage,” followed by the “Wall Street Journal bestseller” “When I’m Gone” and “Working Fire.” Emily currently lives with her family in suburban Chicago. Find out more about her at www.emilybleeker.com.
“The Waiting Room”
Emily Bleeker | August 28, 2018 | Lake Union Publishing
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1503900882 | Price: $14.99
Paperback ISBN: 978-1503901421 | Price: $10.99
Mystery/Thriller & Suspense
“Fast-paced and suspenseful from page one, a story where nothing is as it seems.”
—Barbara Taylor Sissel, bestselling author of “The Truth We Bury and Faultines”
In an interview Emily can discuss:
* How her experience as a mother gave her valuable insight into Veronica’s struggle as a mother with PPD depression, due to the loss of a spouse
* Her battle with cancer and how that led her to follow her dream of becoming an author
* A mother’s fear for her daughter’s safety in the face of a mysterious kidnapping
* Balancing being a “stay-at-home mom” with her writer life
* How her industry success with previous titles When I’m Gone and Working Fire has prepared her for her upcoming release
An Interview with Emily Bleeker
How did your background as an educator and work in a writer’s workshop prepare you to write your own novels?
When I taught writing as an educator I would tell my students to write with abandon, to let the joy of writing overtake them and then worry about the technical work later. As I watched them submit to this process, I realized that I should be a good example and try to do the same thing. I’d never thought of myself as a writer before, but as I wrote along with my students I started to wonder why I didn’t want to stop even when class was over and school was out for the summer.
You’re a cancer survivor and have experienced your own traumas; how has this informed your writing process when you create characters going through their own difficult situations?
Something a lot of people don’t know about cancer is that the fear of what is going to happen to you and your family is almost as intense as the physical fight. Fear is a really powerful and potentially paralyzing emotion—rightfully so. In order to deal with the fear during my own battle I found myself thinking through each potential outcome and finding a way to be okay with it. I find that is how I write my character’s inner worlds even now. I look at it like the pain scale at a hospital—when you are asked how much pain you feel from 1-10, it is not comparative to someone else’s pain. It is if this is the worst pain YOU have ever thought. I feel that by letting myself explore the full range of that emotional pain scale in my own life, I can get in touch with my character’s emotional lives at a deeper level.
Veronica struggles with postpartum depression and not feeling like a successful mother. How has your experience as a mother played a role in writing Veronica’s story?
Let’s be honest, all mothers struggle with feelings of inadequacy at some point in their journey through parenthood. I did not personally struggle with postpartum depression but it is something I’ve seen up close and personal with loved ones. But beyond PPD, I do have personal experience in my home with mental illness in general. It is something that carries such a terrible stigma in this world that I would love to get rid of. I’m proud of anyone who walks into a therapist or psychiatrist’s office wanting a better life.
Being a mother is hard work. On top of a lot of hidden effort, tears and frustration, there is an overwhelming amount of judgment in the world against mothers. This is not a new phenomenon but nowadays there are new and ever-evolving platforms that intensify this feeling of “never good enough.” I’ll admit it—I’ve found myself unfollowing the “perfect mom” on Facebook or deleting Pinterest on my phone so I don’t feel ashamed of counting yogurt covered raisins as the dairy and the fruit in my kids’ lunch that day. Over time (and many many kids) I’ve learned that part of being a perfect mom is accepting your imperfection.
How have your past novels led you to “The Waiting Room”?
The Waiting Room was special in its inception. It poured into my brain fully formed after a discussion with a friend about an interaction that happened in the waiting room of my own therapists office. That day I was helping in my daughter’s classroom cutting out bunnies for a project as the story built up, one thought at a time, in my mind. In a moment of what must’ve looked like insanity, I pushed all the bunnies aside and wrote out a basic synopsis for The Waiting Room on some scratch paper.
Though this book started a little differently than my other stories, I know that what I learned about grief from When I’m Gone, helped me write about Veronica’s loss. And that the feelings of guilt and insecurity following great trauma in Wreckage, helped me understand how inescapable sorrow can appear. And from Working Fire I learned how sometimes new beginnings come from the ashes of catastrophe. Veronica faces all of these challenges. Mostly I like exploring resilience in all of my novels, and how resilience doesn’t mean never falling down, it means never staying down.
What authors have inspired your writing?
I’ve read and met a lot inspiring writers in my life and I wish I could mention them all, but there is a group of women who I’ve never met that first inspired my imagination and now inspire my soul. The Bronte sisters, Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott and other extraordinary women who followed their passion to write despite countless stumbling blocks have helped me see that I can write even through my insecurities, challenges and while balancing life as a single mom of four kids.
I first read Jane Eyre when I was in seventh grade. My teacher at the time told me it was too far above my reading level and that I should try something a little easier. I persisted and found more depth and emotion in that story than I ever had in the more age appropriate books I had been reading. I felt that I knew Jane and that I felt her joys and sorrows along with her. I remember taking the book into a bathroom stall at school and crying along with her heartbreak. That is what I want—I want to touch hearts. I want my readers to come to know my characters as intimately as I knew and loved Jane. When a reader sends me an email or message saying one of my stories made them feel real emotion—I think of thirteen-year-old Emily sobbing in a bathroom stall…and I smile.
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