Monday, March 25, 2013

Asylum, by Jenny E. Miller- Guest Post and E-Book Giveaway!

From Goodreads:
June Foster’s summer is limping along. Her life on a 1950′s farm in eastern Washington is boring–full of milking cows, picking apricots and tending to the chicken coops. Her only friends are her record player and her books. But when gorgeous, turquoise-eyed Frank falls into her world, her life becomes anything but ordinary.

June falls for Frank hard and fast–he’s beautiful, impossibly strong, and capable of things ordinary humans are not. But she’s wary about his father Jonas, a creepy man with an agenda. She should be. Suddenly June is deathly ill, falling in and out of consciousness. When she recovers, June and Frank discover Jonas’s deadly plans for her–and June takes revenge.

Convicted of murder, declared insane and sentenced to life at Washington Pines Sanitarium, June is stuck. Jonas’s plans are reaching her beyond the grave, and she suspects that there’s a lot more going on in the sanitarium than group therapy and electric shocks. Something evil has followed her here, or maybe it was waiting for her all along. If Frank doesn’t break her out soon, she’ll lose her mind–and her life

Publishing in E-book format today, author Jenny E. Miller has stopped by to talk about Sanitoriums to wet your appetite for Asylum!

Real life Asylums: creepier than fiction
by Jenny E. Miller

There’s nothing creepier than an old, abandoned insane asylum. There are TV shows—both reality and fiction—dedicated to these haunting places. Books, websites and blogs showcase their troubling pasts. So naturally, when I set out to write a young adult novel set in the 1950’s, there was no better place to locate it than an asylum.

I began with research. You’d be surprised at the amount you can dig up at the library about the goings-on of insane asylums in the 50’s. What I found was jarring: electro-shock therapy was commonplace, overcrowding was the norm, and—when all else failed to “cure” a patient—there was the lobotomy. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest wasn’t too far off target.

I read several books, the most haunting of which was Nelly Bly’s Ten Days in a Madhouse, in which she poses as a patient to report the atrocities going on inside. What she found was more than gruesome (it’s good, fast read, by the way).

But I wasn’t satisfied with the Internet and books. The real asylum from which Washington Pines Sanitarium (my fictional asylum in the book) is based was a four-hour drive, and even if I went, there was no way to get inside. Emails to the wardens went unanswered. Phone calls went unreturned. Unless I posed as a doctor (something I seriously thought about doing, over one too many glasses of wine), I wasn’t getting in.
I settled for second best: I took the family down to a more local asylum, one about an hour south of Seattle. Because really, what’s my ideal Sunday? Spending quality time at a loony bin with my kids.

It was a rainy, grey day, and it suited our trip perfectly. The wee ones slept most of the way, and as we reached the gates, we were pleasantly surprised that they were wide open. We drove through, but couldn’t see much beyond the frosted glass and locked doors. The property was huge, with towering brick buildings peppered with barred windows. You could hear the hospital’s ancient cement power plant buzzing around the entire property, and that’s enough to drive anyone crazy. I stopped several times to take photos of the eerie place, but when security noticed us snooping around, they started tailing us in a not-so-subtle gesture to get the hell off their property.

The trip didn’t yield much. Even though I desperately wanted to get inside, just seeing a real, live insane asylum (even though it’s not called an asylum anymore), gave me a good feel for these types of places. And in the end, I’m glad I didn’t get inside. Two days later in the newspaper there was an article about a horrific event there: a patient had killed a guard in a way I don’t want to describe, and escaped. They caught him a week later.

The culmination of all this research was my book, ASYLUM, which hits Amazon March 25th. The warden is creepy, the patients are both endearing and dangerous, and the asylum holds more secrets than June Foster cares to discover. Writing about an asylum was so much fun, I’ll do it again in the sequel. And if you’re up for a creepy, fast and fun read, pick up a copy and enter the ASYLUM.

Now for your chance to win!  Make sure to provide a valid email address and your preference between .mobi or .epub versions.  Best of luck!  But if you don't want to leave it to luck, then make sure to head over to Amazon to order your own copy.

1 comment:

  1. This book sounds creepy and I want to know more! Thanks for the giveaway!