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One question for Megan Abbott

June 24, 2014
Photo by Drew Reilly

Photo by Drew Reilly

I recently read and loved Megan Abbott’s newest book, The Fever (my review), so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to ask her one question.  I thought long and hard, though, because I wanted that one question to be a good one.  I finally decided to ask her this:

As I read THE FEVER, I couldn’t help but think about the girls in upstate New York who suffered from conversion disorder a few years ago and I suspected it was your inspiration for the story. When you’re inspired by a story like that do you read all you can about it or do you avoid the news stories in order to keep your story unique?

This was her reply:

You are right about the inspiration! The first few weeks after the story about the girls in upstate New York broke, I read the news coverage a bit (though at that time, there was little concrete information about the cause of the girls’ symptoms). But almost immediately I shut it out. I knew my story would chart a very different path, (no spoilers!) a different resolution. After the book was finished, however, I read everything about the real-life case. It was an uncanny feeling. Both how different my story was and a few surprising overlaps.

About The Fever:

The FeverThe panic unleashed by a mysterious contagion threatens the bonds of family and community in a seemingly idyllic suburban community.

The Nash family is close-knit. Tom is a popular teacher, father of two teens: Eli, a hockey star and girl magnet, and his sister Deenie, a diligent student. Their seeming stability, however, is thrown into chaos when Deenie’s best friend is struck by a terrifying, unexplained seizure in class. Rumors of a hazardous outbreak spread through the family, school and community.

As hysteria and contagion swell, a series of tightly held secrets emerges, threatening to unravel friendships, families and the town’s fragile idea of security.

Thanks to the great folks at Little, Brown, I have a copy of The Fever to give to one lucky reader!  To enter to win this great book, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open to those with a US or Canadian address only– one entry per person, please.  I will use to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EST Tuesday, July 1, 2014.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

23 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2014 4:08 am

    I am fascinated by this story and have requested this book from Netgalley as well. I don’t know the conversion story and would appreciate knowing something on this.

  2. June 24, 2014 7:22 am

    You came up with a great question – I would have a hard time picking just one!

  3. Beth F permalink
    June 24, 2014 7:41 am

    Great, great question. And I totally understand why she’d avoid the news so as not to be influenced as she wrote.

  4. June 24, 2014 7:51 am

    Great question! I didn’t make the connection between that incident and the book,but now I want to read it even more.

  5. June 24, 2014 9:07 am

    Interesting question, now I have to look up the inspirational event.

  6. June 24, 2014 9:35 am

    Kathy, I received The Fever yesterday in the mail from Hatchette. Do I put it near/at the top of my TBR pile?

    • June 24, 2014 9:59 am

      I thought THE FEVER was very compelling so you do need to read it soon!

      Sent from my iPhone


  7. June 24, 2014 9:54 am

    Love the question. I vaguely remember hearing about the real-life story but don’t remember is resolution. Looks like a good one.

  8. June 24, 2014 10:13 am

    This book sounds wonderful, and that was a great question! Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  9. June 24, 2014 12:48 pm

    Great question! I remember that story in the news now that you brought it up. I was living in upstate NY at the time. I can’t wait to read this selection.

  10. Jennifer permalink
    June 24, 2014 1:10 pm

    Thanks for the giveaway.

    And thanks for sharing the Q&A. I’m alway intrigued to see into a writer’s process!

  11. June 24, 2014 1:44 pm

    You asked an excellent question, Kathy! Thanks for hosting this giveaway. I will add it to my blog’s sidebar. 🙂

  12. Patty permalink
    June 24, 2014 2:21 pm

    Great question and a great giveaway! Thank you!

  13. bookingmama permalink
    June 24, 2014 3:08 pm

    You nailed that one when you were reading it. I had no idea!

  14. June 24, 2014 5:57 pm

    Excellent question. I am looking forward to this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

  15. June 24, 2014 8:13 pm

    That is a fascinating event – I don’t think I had heard about it before. I am waiting for this book from the library, (though it will be a bonus if I win!) and hope to read it soon.

  16. Karen B permalink
    June 24, 2014 8:59 pm

    I may have entered twice – having computer problems. 😦

  17. June 24, 2014 9:44 pm

    Loved this book too!! I like your question Kathy, and Megan’s response.

  18. June 25, 2014 1:08 am

    I need to read about that story before I read The Fever! You used your one question very wisely. Can’t wait to read this book.

  19. June 25, 2014 5:50 am

    This sounds so great! Thanks for the giveaway!

  20. June 25, 2014 2:59 pm

    I’d never heard of the upstate NY girls’ story until I started seeing publicity for this book. It’s uncanny.

  21. June 27, 2014 8:19 pm

    what a great question! I’m so anxious to read this and have stopped myself from googling the actual events til after I get to read the book

  22. June 28, 2014 7:00 pm

    I’m really interested in this book and always enjoy hearing what inspired an author to tell a particular story.

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