Monday, May 28, 2007
Celebrating a new release: Over Her Head
Blatant self-promotion here, but I can't help it! My fourth women's fiction release, Over Her Head, came out last week and I've just gotta tell you about it. It’s the story of Laurie Hale, a small-town mom and community leader whose life is perfect--until her teenage daughter, Anna, is accused of murder.
The book was inspired by a real murder than happened years ago at my junior high school. A swarm of teenagers surrounded a girl who was trying to get into their clique and they beat her nearly unconscious under a bridge (the same bridge I used to cross twice a day to get to school). Then two of them took her out into the water and drowned her--trying, I imagine, to cover their tracks.
I was so horrified and emotional about this when I read about it in the paper that I got cold chills--which is also what happens when I know I’m going to write about something. The story percolated for ten years while I was writing other things, and I thought, What if a mother found out her daughter was in a swarm like that--and did nothing to help? What would that do to their relationship? What would happen to their standing in the community? The church? How would it affect their family and the marriage?
And Over Her Head began to script itself in my brain, with the result that, a year later, it's on the shelves! Reviews have been really good so far--so I hope readers enjoy it, too!
"As tragedy unravels a community and a church, a good woman is forced to face the stark truth of her own faith in Shelley Bates's Over Her Head. Once more, Shelley has created a compelling story of crisis and spirit." --bestselling author Mary Jo Putney
“Every mother and her teen daughter should read Shelley Bates’s Over Her Head together. And dads, too. Powerful. Moving. Uplifting.” --Lyn Cote, author of The Women of Ivy Manor series