Every Tuesday, get to know a bit about the stories behind the books you love, and discover your next favourite novel.
Sabitha: Laura Quinn is here! She’s written a sweeping historical novel about family and love set in the time of World War One. Laura, can you introduce us to your book?
Laura: Titanic meets Boardwalk Empire in this historical fiction set against the picturesque shore town of Cape May, NJ, at the onset of World War One. Siblings Danny and Shannon Culligan are trapped under the thumb of their alcoholic father. Danny’s been in love with his childhood sweetheart, Jennie Martin- a wealthy cottager from Philadelphia- for as long as he can remember while her cousin, Hugh, is smitten with his sister.
As the foursome struggles to surmount the class differences between them, the nation is plunged into the Great War, changing all of their lives forever. Danny is drafted into the Army and Hugh enlists in the Navy- defending the home front as a lieutenant at Cape May Section Base Number 9. While Jennie works tirelessly on the Liberty Loans campaign in Philadelphia, Shannon finds herself ensnared in a rum ring operation as the temperance movement ebbs closer to its goal of Prohibition.
A sweeping saga of betrayal, lies, and loss on all sides, Thicker Than Water, marries the historically accurate world building of Ellen Marie Wiseman’s The Orphan Collector with the emotional resonance of Renee Rosen’s works.
Sabitha: What inspired you to write this book?
Laura: I grew up going “down the shore” every summer during childhood, and have a deep love of the area. The idea for Thicker Than Water came to me shortly after becoming a parent myself. My oldest was a terrible sleeper, and the story of one of the pairings (Danny and Jennie) was one I’d tell myself in my head while rocking him at night.
Sabitha: That’s a lovely story! What was your favourite thing to write in the book?
Laura: I love being able to give readers a peek into yesteryear. The Christmas scenes (at John Wanamaker’s Department store) are particularly endearing to me.
Sabitha: What advice would you give to someone who’s writing or querying?
Laura: Get it down. Whether handwritten in a notebook, typed up on a laptop, or texted from your phone when you can’t sleep. Tell your story. Be authentic and don’t hold back.
Sabitha: What do you most want your readers to take away from reading your book?
Laura: The idea that people aren’t their parents. Change is possible, as is love, if you’re able to open your heart and let it in.
Sabitha: That’s a really lovely sentiment. In your novel, which character do you relate to the most and why?
Laura: Shannon shares my snark and guarded nature. I’m an #ACoA (Adult Children of Alcoholics) myself, so portraying her and Danny’s home environment accurately was very important to me.
Sabitha: Thank you so much for sharing a story that comes from such a deeply personal place. It sounds like a great read! Where can the Night Beats community find you and your book?
Laura: It is available in both eBook and paperback at a variety of bookstores. Those visiting Cape May can find it in stores at Exit Zero and Ferry Park. You can find me on my website, Instagram, Facebook (either my author page or my private fan group), Pinterest, and Goodreads.