Blog Tour: Jane Anonymous by Laurie Faria Stolarz Book Spotlight + Exclusive Guest Post
Author: Laurie Faria Stolarz Publisher: Wednesday Books Release Date: January 7th 2020
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Bestselling author Laurie Faria Stolarz returns with Jane Anonymous, a gripping tale of a seventeen-year-old girl’s kidnapping and her struggle to fit back into her life after she escapes.
Then, “Jane” was just your typical 17-year-old in a typical New England suburb getting ready to start her senior year. She had a part-time job she enjoyed, an awesome best friend, overbearing but loving parents, and a crush on a boy who was taking her to see her favorite band. She never would’ve imagined that in her town where nothing ever happens, a series of small coincidences would lead to a devastating turn of events that would forever change her life.
Now, it’s been three months since “Jane” escaped captivity and returned home. Three months of being that girl who was kidnapped, the girl who was held by a “monster.” Three months of writing down everything she remembered from those seven months locked up in that stark white room. But, what if everything you thought you knew―everything you thought you experienced―turned out to be a lie?
What inspired you to write this book/story:
I’d been wanting to write an abduction story for a while, but I also felt that kidnapping/abduction had been well-covered territory (in books, movies, and other creative outlets). I was also interested in exploring the emotion of loss. We typically associate loss with the loss of a person or pet, but I wondered about the loss of time, innocence, and a sense of self... Were those “losses” any less impactful? In my quest to explore that question, I began my story, aiming my camera lens on the period of time, post-trauma, when a threat is removed but the wounds remain, raw and searing, as the individual tries to acclimate back in a safer space.
My main character hides her identity under the guise of “Jane Anonymous” as she writes about the seven months she spent in captivity, having been taken by someone she refers to as “the monster” and locked in a room with a bed and adjoining bathroom. “Jane” received meals and toiletries through a cat door, never knowing if it was day or night. The story is told on two timelines – then (during her time in captivity) and now (after she gets back). We see how the traumatic experience (and the losses incurred from it) changes her. Not only does Jane lose seven months of her life, but she also loses friends, relationships, and a sense of self.
When trauma strikes, we’re typically given an “acceptable” amount of time to heal and “move on,” but what happens when that allotted window of grieving time closes and the individual simply can’t move on? What happens when one feels as though she’s disappointing those around her for not being able to readjust quickly or radically enough, and so the trauma deepens, while emotions of guilt, anger, and alienation grow? Jane Anonymous explores those questions. “Jane,” the character, post-escape, behaves badly – to herself as well as to those who love her – as a result of her trauma. She knows this and owns it, but that doesn’t mean she knows how to fix it. The novel explores questions rather than providing answers.
What kind of research did you do regarding kidnapped cases, and how did that influence how you wrote the book:
I read anything I could get my hands on regarding kidnapped cases, for sure – both fiction and non-fiction. There are so many crime stories written about abduction, which is probably why it took me so long to write mine. What could I possibly add to the already long list of amazingly powerful and insightful stories?
book focuses more on the losses incurred from such a traumatic experience. Yes, Jane is abducted, which may be considered an extreme case, but the losses she incurred from it can bleed into other losses as well. In addition to reading, I also interviewed people who’ve experienced loss – the loss of a child, the loss of a spouse, the loss of innocence... I delved into the psychology of the brain – how the brain can serve as a protector in times of trauma. I researched PTSD, repressed memory, Dissociative Disorder, and the effects of triggers to those who’ve been traumatized.
about the author
Laurie Faria Stolarz grew up in Salem, MA, attended Merrimack College, and received an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston.
Laurie Faria Stolarz is an American author of young adult fiction novels, best known for her Blue is for Nightmares series. Her works, which feature teenage protagonists, blend elements found in mystery and romance novels.
Stolarz found sales success with her first novel, Blue is for Nightmares, and followed it up with three more titles in the series, White is for Magic, Silver is for Secrets, and Red is for Remembrance, as well as a companion graphic novel, Black is for Beginnings. Stolarz is also the author of the Touch series (Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, and Deadly Little Lessons), as well as Bleed and Project 17. With more than two million books sold worldwide, Stolarz's titles have been named on various awards list.