Thursday, August 25, 2011

Megan Abbott

Megan Abbott is the Edgar®-winning author of six books, including Die a Little, The Song Is You, Queenpin, and Bury Me Deep. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar® Award nominations, Hammett Prize, the Macavity, Anthony and Barry Awards and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

From her Q & A with Brendan M. Leonard at The Rap Sheet about her new novel, The End of Everything:

BML: One of the things I really enjoyed about The End of Everything is I thought, even though your book is set a little bit earlier than the late 1980s and early ’90s, you captured the whole idea of “stranger danger,” or looking over your shoulder in the way that The Lovely Bones couldn’t get into, because this is set a little bit later. You evoke Polly Klass and things like that. Were those just things you remember growing up, that kind of fear being omnipresent?

MA: I do. I remember ... there was a post-traumatic change, starting with the Adam [Walsh] case in Florida. ... I remember there being a sudden panic about it, and I remember in my hometown, there was this crazy thing, where at school, they gave everyone these signs, and I don’t remember why it was the letter E--maybe it wasn’t the letter E, but that’s my memory--in red, and you’d put it in your front window, and that was supposed to tell children that this was a safe house. If someone was following you, you’d run to that house. Even then, I remember thinking it was the craziest thing in the world, because if I wanted to kidnap a child, what would I do? I’d put a big sign in my window!

But I remember this sort of palpable (even though I lived a half-block from my school) sense of danger, that didn’t feel natural, exactly, because there didn’t seem to be anything happening to anybody; but so much [was in] the zeitgeist.

And it wouldn’t be like now, with online predators--everything would be so different now. And with how careful we are, with AMBER alerts and everything. There was such a sense of ... if you grew up in the late ’70s/early ’80s, you were allowed to do whatever you wanted. It was a very permissive time for children. “Go ride your bike for five hours, and come back.” And then that suddenly ended, and so it was like, all of a sudden, all...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Megan Abbott's website.

The Page 69 Test: Bury Me Deep.

The Page 69 Test: The End of Everything.

--Marshal Zeringue