Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Guest Post: Rumer Haven on Film Inspiration for What the Clocks Know @RumerHaven

Thanks so much for hosting me, Sarah!

As an avid reader, I've had many literary inspirations for my writing. But as a film buff, movies make their way into my stories, too! Here are just a few that influenced What the Clocks Know:

1. Enchantment (1948) - Starring David Niven, this black-and-white classic did indeed enchant me with its graceful cinematography and delicate storytelling. I adore past-present stories and am perpetually contemplating the different lives that have existed in the same spaces. So this film immediately struck a chord, as it follows a single London household through the generations. It was based on Rumer Godden's novel Take Three Tenses: A Fugue in Time, which is equally lovely (and yes, that Rumer is my namesake!). My protagonist Margot actually watches the film during one scene, and it's Enchantment's opening narration that inspired my book's title.     

  2. Vertigo (1958) - Starring Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak, this Hitchcock classic is a haunting psychological tale as Stewart's character descends into madness and obsession. But while my Margot spirals into her own depression, her experience more so parallels Novak's character and the tragically beautiful trances she slips into as though possessed by a troubled spirit from the past.

  3. The Others (2001) - Speaking of Alfred Hitchcock, this contemporary ghost story (starring Nicole Kidman) embodies his less-is-more approach to suspense. Forget in-your-face ghouls and gore--this is the kind of storytelling that scares the crap out me. The subtle and offscreen, not the explicit. The kind that leaves more to our imagination, which we don't give enough credit these days. And with an added psychological element that makes us and the characters question our perceptions, this is the kind of ghost story I wanted to tell, too.   

  4. Dead Again (1991) - Starring the then-married Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh, this movie has the basic essence of what I've always loved in a story: plots that traverse time, connecting the living with the dead as those in the present try to uncover secrets from the past to make sense of their identity and what's happening to them now. Throw in hypnosis and a little Robin Williams in that wise-sage role that he used to play so well, and you've got a haunting, entertaining little mystery/thriller that I loved as a teenager, anyway. :)

  5. Before Sunrise (1995) - Starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, this indie favorite of mine is such a great example of how you don't need major action and other bells and whistles to tell an authentic and engaging story. Before Sunrise's characters first meet on a train and then simply wander through Vienna and talk, exploring unfamiliar sights and streets while their conversations range from the flirty and trivial to the weighty and existential. This suits Margot as she also finds herself in a new city and contemplates what she wants in life with unfamiliar people against an unfamiliar backdrop.    So that's the sort of cinema that I'm drawn to, and consequently the kind of story I like to tell. I recommend watching any and all of them when you're not otherwise reading What the Clocks Know. ;)
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About What the Clocks Know: Finding a ghost isn't what Margot had in mind when she went ‘soul searching’, but somehow her future may depend on Charlotte's past. Woven between 21st-century and Victorian London, What the Clocks Know is a haunting story of love and identity. A paranormal women's fiction, this title is available as of March 18, 2016 from Crooked Cat Publishing. "A unique tale of the paranormal – as beautiful as it is haunting." ~ Shani Struthers, author of Jessamine and the Psychic Surveys series

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Author Bio:
Rumer Haven is probably the most social recluse you could ever meet. When she’s not babbling her fool head off among friends and family, she’s pacified with a good story that she’s reading, writing, or revising—or binge-watching something on Netflix. A former teacher hailing from Chicago, she presently lives in London with her husband and probably a ghost or two. Rumer has always had a penchant for the past and paranormal, which inspires her writing to explore dimensions of time, love, and the soul. She debuted in 2014 with Seven for a Secret (in which a Jazz Age tragedy haunts a modern woman’s love life), and her award-winning short story “Four Somethings & a Sixpence” (about a bride who gets a little something she didn’t register for) was released in 2015. What the Clocks Know is her second novel.

Learn more about Rumer at: Website - Facebook - Twitter - @RumerHaven

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