Interview with Holly Goddard Jones, author of The Next Time You See Me

the next time you see me

I had the opportunity to review Holly Goddard Jones debut novel, The Next Time You See Me, and I really enjoyed the book! So much so that I decided to ask Holly if she would come by Traveling With T for an interview- and lucky for me, she said yes!

Interview With Holly Goddard Jones

Holly, how did the idea of The Next Time You See Me happen?

I read a story about a little boy going into the woods and getting scared by a hermit, and it got me to thinking about a little scraggly, undeveloped area near the subdivision where I grew up. As a girl, I went into that wooded area sometimes to explore, play pretend, gather bugs and leaves for school science projects. My parents didn’t like me going—partly because it was private property, partly because they didn’t like me venturing so far out of sight of adults—and of course that was part of the attraction and the thrill. When I was a girl, about eight, a woman’s dead body was found about half a mile from my home, and so I always wondered what would happen if I’d have been the one to find the body. So the book took off from that premise: a girl finds a body. In this case, she makes an unusual choice about what she finds.

Are any of the characters based on you, Holly?

All of the characters I write have some of me in them. The story above might make you think that the little girl, Emily, is based on me, and she has a few things in common with my 13-year-old self. Or you might see me in Susanna, an English teacher in her late 20s. But I identify as much with the characters in the book who aren’t obviously like me: Wyatt, Tony, Sarah. In fact, if there are tender truths about me in my fiction, I tend to place them with unexpected characters, as a way of forging a connection with them.


How long did it take to write The Next Time You See Me?

About four years.

Gillian Flynn wrote a blurb for The Next Time You See Me. How was having an author like her, months after her Gone Girl success, writing a blurb for your book?

I was so grateful to her. I loved Gone Girl, and so it was an honor.

Do you think The Next Time You See Me would make a good movie? Have you ever wondered who could make up the dream cast?

I think it would make a better television show than a movie—something in the vein of Twin Peaks or The Killing. As for casting the characters, I find that really hard. I have a vision of each of them in my head, and they’re not really people who’d fit some typical Hollywood standard for beauty. Anna Kendrick could maybe play Susanna, just because she’s close to the right age and to me she’s pretty but very real looking. I had to think hard to come up with that one. It seems to me that there’s someone obvious out there who’d be great as Wyatt, but I’m drawing a blank. Wyatt’s supposed to be 55 in the novel, but I think he’d have to be played by someone older, since your average overweight Kentucky factory worker is going to wear 55 a lot differently from, say, Kevin Bacon, who is 55 according to IMDB. Maybe Phillip Seymour Hoffman in 10 years.


Do you have a writing space? A writing routine?

I just moved my office to a downstairs bedroom, so that’s where I’m writing now. I don’t have much of a routine. I wish I did.

Holly, are there any upcoming events that fans can attend to meet and greet with you?

I’ll be doing some festivals this fall: The Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium, the Kentucky Book Fair, and the Southern Festival of Books. All that info will be up on my website at some point.

The ending- did the ending of The Next Time You See Me reveal itself as you were writing? Or, Holly, did you know how the book should end from the moment you began writing?

I had a vague sense of what the tone of the ending would be, but I didn’t know the specifics until about two thirds of the way in. Then I had the idea for the Thanksgiving epilogue. I skipped ahead to write that—I hardly ever write out of order—then went back and wrote to the end. If you write a character-driven novel, I do think that the book you write has to teach you what it’s ending will be.

What are you working on next, Holly? Are you still gathering ideas or do you have a book in mind?

I’m working on a new novel and am perhaps a quarter or a third of the way into the rough draft.


*Thank you Holly Goddard Jones for agreeing to be interviewed!

holly goddard jones

Holly Goddard Jones debut novel, The Next Time You See Me, was published February 2013 by Touchstone Publishing. To connect with Holly, please visit her website or Facebook page!

The Never List by Koethi Zan

the never list

Photo Credit: Amazon

The Never List- first, let’s look at the cover- the cover definitely tells that there is something creepy about this book (because, the title- could be taken in 2 ways-fun & lighthearted or creepy). The cover lets readers know what side this book is on!

Sarah and Jennifer-BFF, like peanut butter and jelly, they are 2 peas in a pod. Together they coin a list, called The Never List. This list has all the things they should not do for safety’s sake.  One day, the girls are in a car crash- and this crash has everlasting effects. Both still adhere to The Never List- but after surviving a crash like that- one could think that is the worst thing they will face,

One would be wrong, though.

The girls are in college, still keeping up with The Never List- but college life begins to lull them into a sense of security- and the wanting to fit in, to be a carefree college student is a hard temptation to resist. One night, the girls, Jennifer and Sarah go to a party. Being planners, they make sure to have a way to get home- a safe way. Except, this time their careful planning is for nil. Jennifer and Sarah are being taken, against their will, and when they wake up, they are in a dark, cellar. With other women. Chained.

Their captor plays mind games- and one night, Jennifer never returns. The ladies in the cellar can only assume the worst (and they do!)

Years later, Sarah has changed her name to Caroline. She lives in NYC, a place where someone is always around to hear a person’s screams. Sarah is agoraphobic, in therapy, and trying to recover from years of torture- and what that torture did to her. When the FBI agent in charge of the case comes to Sarah to let her know that the captor’s parole hearing is fast approaching- she’s reluctant to help. She wants to put the past behind her. Except she wants to know what happened to Jennifer. She wants Jennifer’s body to be found.

Sarah sets back out to Oregon, to begin to hunt for clues. She reunites with the other captive ladies- all of them not wanting to be with the other- yet, knowing they need to find the clues he’s been sending them for years to keep the monster behind the curtain.

The problem: Some monsters refuse to stay behind the curtain. And sometimes, there are even scarier monsters waiting in the wide, open plain.

Traveling With T’s Thoughts:

This book has many good moments. A dark, creepy psychological thriller- a character trying to rebuild her life. The sadness of not knowing what happened to her best friend. This book has much to recommend about it. Koethi Zan shows us this: There are some sick people in the world. People who will torment and torture just for the thrill. But, Koethi also shows this- that when the chips are down and you have to decide how things are going to be- we might all have a pinch of sicknesses in us. Some of us just nurture it more than others. Recommended if you like creepy, psychological twists, and never being quite sure what character you can trust as a reader.

*This book was provided to me through Netgalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are mine alone.

The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell

other typistI’ll freely admit that I’d not heard the term “unreliable narrator” before- but when people speak of a book having “a great unreliable narrator” I was definitely curious. For those who are unsure exactly what an unreliable narrator is- according to Wikipedia it’s this: An unreliable narrator is a narrator, whether in literature, film, or theatre, whose credibility has been seriously compromised.

Meet Rose Baker. Prim and proper- she’s a woman who types men’s confessions at a NYPD office. Rose is living in New York in the 1920’s- a time that is confusing with women bobbing their hair, Prohibition and speakeasies. Women’s roles are ever-changing- and for Rose, a person who likes to know rules and procedures- this is hard to understand. One day, Odalie, walks into the NYPD for a job as a typist- and even though the reader will not understand at that point, Rose’s life will have changed. It’ll be up to the reader to decide if the change was positive or negative.

Odalie, a pretty and vivacious little thing, takes to the fact that women’s roles are changing- perhaps, even a bit too easy. As the reader begins to learn more about Odalie, more about Odalie’s and Rose’s friendship- it’s easy to see how someone could get caught up in the sparkle and glamour of Odalie. The friendship between the girls develops and Rose finds herself part of Odalie’s world- a world that is foreign and yet enticing.

The first couple of chapters, for me, were a bit hard to get into. I couldn’t quite decide what to think. But, as I began to read and find more details out (although one could never be sure if the details were true), I enjoyed the story more. By the last half, I was on pins and needles to find out what made Rose the “unreliable narrator”. By the end of the book, I felt completely drawn into the book, entertained, and ready to go to a speakeasy.

The Other Typist is a book you should read with friends. With book clubs. With someone who has a fondness for “unreliable narrators”. And, just in case you are curious- this is a perfect book to introduce a friend to the meaning of “unreliable narrator”.


Traveling With T’s thoughts:

Enjoyable. Interesting. 2 thumbs up. The Other Typist has all the makings of being a highly discussed book of 2013- perhaps even the most discussed book of 2013. Buy. Read. And see what all the fuss is about The Other Typist.


* This book was sent to me by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam for consideration of recommending to a book club. The above thoughts and opinions are mine alone.