The Ghosts of Thorwald Place
by Helen Power
October 1-31, 2021 Virtual Book Tour
Trust No One. Especially your neighbors.
Rachel Drake is on the run from the man who killed her husband. She never leaves her safe haven in an anonymous doorman building, until one night a phone call sends her running. On her way to the garage, she is murdered in the elevator. But her story doesn’t end there.
She finds herself in the afterlife, tethered to her death spot, her reach tied to the adjacent apartments. As she rides the elevator up and down, the lives of the residents intertwine. Every one of them has a dark secret. An aging trophy wife whose husband strays. A surgeon guarding a locked room. A TV medium who may be a fraud. An ordinary man with a mysterious hobby.
Compelled to spend eternity observing her neighbors, she realizes that any one of them could be her killer.
And then, her best friend shows up to investigate her murder.
Praise for The Ghosts of Thorwald Place:
“[An] enticing debut . . . Distinctive characters complement the original plot. Power is off to a promising start.” —Publishers Weekly
“A creative, compulsively readable mystery—haunted by strange entities and told from the unique perspective of a ghost. I couldn’t put it down.” —Jo Kaplan, author of It Will Just Be Us
Published by: CamCat Books
Publication Date: October 5th 2021
Number of Pages: 368
ISBN: 0744301432 (ISBN13: 9780744301434)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads | CamCat Books
Read an excerpt:
Helen Power is obsessed with ghosts. She spends her free time watching paranormal investigation TV shows, hanging out in cemeteries, and telling anyone who’ll listen about her paranormal experiences. She is a librarian living in Saskatoon, Canada, and has several short story publications, including ones in Suspense Magazine and Dark Helix Press’s Canada 150 anthology, “Futuristic Canada”. The Ghosts of Thorwald Place is her first novel.
Q&A with Helen Power
What was the inspiration for this book?
The initial idea for this plot came to me in a dream. When I was a kid, I had night terrors, and now that I’m older, I still have vivid dreams and nightmares. In my dream, I was a ghost attached to an elevator. I would try to escape the elevator and visit the adjacent apartments, but then the elevator would move, pulling me back before I could escape. When I awoke, I jotted this idea down along with a working title: Ghost Storey (Cheesy, I know!). While there’s a common trope of ghosts being attached to the place where they died, the possibility of a ghost being attached to a place that isn’t stationary hadn’t really been explored. I took this idea and experimented with it, and it eventually led to The Ghosts of Thorwald Place.
What has been the biggest challenge in your writing career?
Navigating the world of publishing is honestly the trickiest part. Writing isn’t without its own challenges, but it’s generally a solitary activity. It’s fun. Exciting. Creating characters out of thin air and confronting them with obstacles and villains and seeing where the story leads is an exhilarating feeling. But the publishing part?
Crunching down your 90,000-word novel into a single-page query letter and sending it to complete strangers who determine your publishing fate is incredibly time consuming, terrifying, and at times disheartening.
What do you absolutely need while writing?
I need access to the internet. So often I read author blog posts where they rave about the benefits of disconnecting, going to stay at a quaint cottage by a lake with absolutely no wifi, and how nature inspires them to write like the wind. I would probably only last one page before I started to get the shakes. I need the internet like most writers need coffee. (I’m strangely not a caffeine addict.) I’m constantly Googling answers to questions, opening the online thesaurus when my brain just won’t come up with the right word, and whenever I feel stuck in my writing, sometimes I find that shutting off my brain and scrolling through Instagram or news articles can give me the distance I need to figure out a problem in the back of my mind.
Do you adhere to a strict routine when writing or write when the ideas are flowing?
I wrote the first 50,000 words of this novel during National Novel Writing Month 6 years ago. (For those who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is a challenge where participants write 50,000 words in 30 days.) Even though the purpose of NaNoWriMo is to help you to get into the habit of writing every day, I still can’t do that. I’m very much a mood writer. Some days I’ll write 60 words, and other days I’ll write 6,000. That said, if I need to meet my word count goals, or if I have a looming deadline, I have a few hacks that trick me into being productive. One is to set a timer for a half hour – the Pomodoro technique – and force myself to write for that amount of time. If, once the timer is up, I’m still not in the mood to write, I let myself quit. At least I got some work done. But usually after the half hour passes, I’m already entrenched in the world I’ve created, and I’m inspired to continue plugging away at the keyboard.
Who is your favorite character from your book and why?
This is such a tricky question! My book is full of morally gray characters, and I love each of them for different reasons. While I do love my protagonist, I think my favourite character is someone that nobody would guess – Alexei Utkov. He’s a TV personality, a medium who may or may not be a complete fake. My protagonist, Rachel, is a ghost, and his authenticity means the world to her. Alexei is enigmatic and mysterious, but he’s also incredibly ambitious and self-centered. What will he do when confronted with the fact that there might be a killer in Thorwald Place? Will he try to do something to help? What will he do if he finds out that interfering can have a catastrophic impact on his career goals? You’ll have to read the book to find out.
Tell us why we should read your book.
The Ghosts of Thorwald Place is the ultimate genre-blender. My protagonist is a ghost. There’s no escaping the paranormal elements, but at its heart, the book is a mystery. There are multiple subplots, all following the different types of characters you’d expect to meet in an affluent apartment building. Their stories intersect in surprising ways, and there are many twists that drive the plot forward. There’s something for everyone in this book, whether you’re a fan of domestic suspense novels or ghost stories.
Give us an interesting fun fact or a few about your book?
The brutal murder of my protagonist occurs in Thorwald Place, which is a highly secure apartment building with wealthy inhabitants. Part of the inspiration for the setting – including the layout of the building and its security feature – is the building where my uncle lives, where there was a triple homicide a few years back. You wouldn’t expect something like that to happen in a place like this, but it does. Even in Canada.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Write a review! Even if it’s only a sentence long, this can do wonders for promoting a debut author.
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I’m an academic librarian living in Saskatoon, Canada. I did my undergraduate degree in Forensic Science, and while there are very few murders in the library where I work, I get to use this knowledge a lot in my writing.
What’s next that we can look forward to?
I’m currently working on my next novel, another supernatural thriller, but this one has a science fiction bent.
Catch Up With Our Author:
BookBub – @helen_power
Instagram – @powerlibrarian
Twitter – @helenpowerbooks
Facebook – @helenpowerauthor
Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!
This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Helen Power & CatCam Publishing. There will be Five (6) winners for this tour. Each of the winners will each receive 1 print ARC edition of The Ghosts of Thorwald Place by Helen Power (US, Canada, and UK shipping addresses Only). The giveaway begins on October 1 and ends on November 2, 2021. Void where prohibited.