Sara Gruen’s latest novel is At the Water's Edge.
From her Q & A with Claire Kirch at Publishers Weekly:
You’ve said that a vintage photograph in The Chicago Tribune inspired you to write Water for Elephants. Did a similar event inspire At the Water’s Edge?--Marshal Zeringue
Although the seeds were sown decades earlier (I first visited Urquhart Castle when I was twelve), the catalyst that turned it from fond memory to book fodder was an online article I stumbled upon four years ago. It was about government secrecy, but what really caught my attention was a 70-year-old declassified letter from Scotland Yard stating unequivocally that the government believed the monster existed. Before I knew it, I’d fallen down a Nessie rabbit hole. At some point over the course of the afternoon, it dawned on me that I was setting my next story.
At the Water’s Edge is set against a backdrop of World War II. What kind of research did you do before writing?
I spent five weeks in the Highlands, scouring the archives at the Inverness Courier, interviewing people who lived in the area during the war, researching the 1st Special Service Brigade, even trying to persuade the equivalent of the U.S. Coast Guard to throw me into the loch. I prowled around the castle, got lost in the Cover, and found myself on the wrong side of the law while exploring WWII ruins that I later discovered were...[read on]