The Story Behind IF YOU FIND ME

March 18, 2013 2013, author interview, emily murdoch, giveaway, guest post, TMG tours, Wendy 120

It’s fun to stay connected and get a sense of an author’s personality online, but I’m always aware that for many industry peeps, it’s a business decision to be on social media. As a result, many posts are often (understandably) limited to their own projects or those of their colleagues.

But every once in awhile, you get a glimpse of a truly remarkable person and kindred spirit. I’d had Emily Murdoch’s If You Find Me on my TBR list for awhile, but it was getting to know her through Twitter that convinced me that I’d love the book. From looking at photos of the horses she rescues and seeing her simple, heartfelt tribute to a friend who’d passed on a year ago, I knew there was a deep and genuine soulfulness to this person–and I wanted to see the kind of book that person would produce.

My instinct was right. The book is a gut-wrenching, though ultimately uplifting, story of one girl’s neglect and abuse. There is a rawness and emotional honesty in If You Find Me that I think readers will respond to, and as we kick off the offical blog tour for the book today, I asked Emily if she’d share how Carey’s story came to be. I had a gut feeling about what the answer might involve, but I was still shocked–and incredibly moved–by her answer. I think you will be, too.

~ Wendy

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A Tale of Two Emails

Emily Murdoch shares her story behind If You Find Me

If you asked my husband, he’d tell you, “Good luck arguing with Emily. If it comes down to words, you’re sunk.”

I admit to a secret pirate’s smile, like any writer would at word-praise. But I know what he means. My mind and the words are the same. They whir on incessantly, like a ceiling fan in the background. There’s so much to think about.

And, I can admit it: I have a lot to say. I’ve always had a lot to say. I was that child pointing out life’s naked emperors, questioning every wrong, every injustice done to people, children, animals … until the cost became too much, and I lost myself for awhile.

But the one thing I never lost? The writing.

My favorite psychiatric nurse from the Riverside-St. Clare’s inpatient eating disorder unit, of which I called home two or three times in my early twenties, knew it, too.

Nurse B: Feel the fear and do it anyway. What’s left to lose? They’re just words. What’s going to happen if you say them out loud?”

Me: It will make them real.

Nurse B: It’s already real. And from what you have told me, you’re all about the truth. If you can’t say the words out loud, what would happen if you wrote them down? You like to write. Write something important.”

When Nurse Barbara said those words, I was all of XX pounds and so pissed off about my lot in life — especially the nasogastric tube threaded through one nostril, scraping down my esophagus to dangle in my stomach. The tubing was attached to a bag of life-saving, liquid nutrition. All I could think about was finding a way to stop the onslaught of calories. As a matter of fact, she was interrupting my scheming and plotting and it was bugging me.

Until her words stopped me in my tracks. Not hard to do when you’re shaky from starvation and pushing around a kangaroo pump attached to a pole on wheels, but even still.

My writing and my history were intertwined, even then. I guess they always will be. I know now there’s a reason for it. To quote Joan of Arc: “I am not afraid. I was born to do this.”

So, when Wendy Darling of The Midnight Garden, a blog I adore and a woman I admire for her honesty, generosity of spirit, and intelligence as a book blogger and reviewer, approached me and asked if I had plans for a blog tour, and if I didn’t, offered to organize one for If You Find Me, I was over the moon.

Speechless!

And there was more: she loved the book.

It’s magic, I told myself, and not for the first time. Because it’s always been magic with If You Find Me.

A blog tour! Hard work, and fun. I love hard work. I love fun. Easy enough, right? Talk about the book. People love the book. I love the book.

Wendy and I exchanged a flurry of emails.

Until one email stopped me in my tracks. I read the words for a second time, and then a third. My heart knocked crazily against my ribcage.

I’d been found out.

Me: Shi#.

Hubs: What?

At the same time, I’d finally “allowed” my husband to read my ARC.

Me: Uh, nothing.

Hubs reading IYFM on his iPad from the couch: Wow. I see a lot of you in this book.

Me: No you don’t. You do?

Hubs: Wow.

Me: Now what’s wow?

Hubs: This isn’t your story specifically, but the parallels – it hasn’t occurred to you before?

Actually, it hadn’t.

And the bizarre part, looking back on it a few days later, is the fact that I believed AT ALL, on any level, that I, the writer, could hide behind my book.

I read Wendy’s email again. This paragraph, specifically:

“Oh, and goodness–I also wanted to get in your head about how this story came to be. I know some of the interviewers will ask, but do you have a story behind that? Experience with social work/know girls who have been abandoned or abused? The book felt like it came from such a raw and real place, and I couldn’t tell whether that was from real life.”

Me: Shi#!

Hubs looking up from ARC: Huh?

And like all dams that should, mine broke. This email, like all good magic, like all good books, for that matter, moved something important and necessary within me out of the darkness of the scared and impossible.

How do you turn down magic?

I needed to think about it.

I did. And I cried. I waffled. I panicked. I cried some more. Was I really going to do this? Smack in the middle of my blog tour? And if I didn’t? What would that mean? What would I be saying to the children?

Whir, whir, whir …

Finally, finally … I decided. And in the end, I wrote this email.

Wendy,

I kept wanting to reply further to your lovely email, even during the freak snowstorms that felled our internet, even from my sand-grain-sized phone keypad, as I’m doing now, but I just couldn’t get the words together.

When I first read your email, it sent me into a tailspin. It hadn’t (denial! ding-ding-ding!) occurred to me anyone would attach any of the story to me, personally.

I wasn’t kidnapped. I didn’t have a meth-addicted mother. Oh, the (protective) human mind is fearfully and wonderfully made!

Carey isn’t me, certainly. But she IS an over-arching thinking pattern of abused children. A thematic, you might say. If you’ve been hurt, or have children, she’ll especially strike a chord. It’s impossible for me to read the book without crying, myself, no matter how many times I’ve read it since starting production.

I was a middle-class battered child, and a genius at hiding it. Keeping the secret meant I was purging my school lunches by age eight in the girls’ bathroom. I ended up with anorexia by age eighteen and made the rounds of the inpatient eating disorder programs.

It was there that I began to come to grips with my abusive history. At that point, my physical life depended on it.

All these years later, I’m “out of the woods.” Happy. Writing. But as the book’s release date approaches, I’ve been anxious, worried, snappy … so many tangled emotions! So much exposure! At almost a month until release (as of this writing) and with all the lovely buzz, and all the publicity – three starred reviews so far, along with being on Macmillan’s bestseller list –

Wow. I wanted to write a great book, that’s a fact. But I had no idea the book was going to hit like this. I’m watching this book, like Carey and Nessa’s eaglets, find the edge of its nest and take the leap.

Soar.

Which brings me full-circle-round to what I already knew: obviously, this book is bigger than me, and who am I to stand in its way? If I was appointed its steward, then it’s an honor to not only write books I love, and books others love, but books that can touch, validate, heal.

Shine.

Because books really can, and DO, save lives.

Books saved mine.

But, in all honesty, I don’t want to become the poster child for abuse or eating disorders. At least, I don’t want those glimpses into my life to become the definitive glimpses. I’ve worked too hard as a writer. To become an author. I’m a writer with some hard experiences. We all have our skeletons in the closet.

I’m not a saint, and I’m definitely not perfect. I’m just a person who has always loved to help. And if my writing can do that …

“God’s in his Heaven
All’s right with the world.”
~ Robert Browning

xo Emily

I hadn’t been found out.

I’d been found.

Magic.

And I want to pass it on.

For children of all ages:

I’m doing this for you, because you count. You are precious. I realize I’d be dishonoring Carey and all of you if I didn’t speak up. And I’d be dishonoring myself.

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

Is it scary? You bet. But what’s the alternative? Even scarier, believe me.

If you are being hurt, find a trusted adult, one that DOESN’T hurt, and TELL.

The truth really does set you free.

People WILL help you. Good people. To quote Melissa from If You Find Me, “Good things come to those who let them in. All you have to do is take a chance.”

You’re a one-of-a-kind original. The world needs you desperately.

In parting, I leave you with this:

“What is the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”
~ John Green, An Abundance of Katherines

Be remarkable! And even better? Pass it on.

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About the Author

Emily Murdoch is a writer, a poet, and a lover of books. There’s never a time she’s without a book. Her debut novel, IF YOU FIND ME, will be available from St. Martin’s Press on March 26, 2013 and from Orion/Indigo UK on May 2, 2013. Add the book on GoodReads or reserve your copy on Amazon.

When she’s not reading or writing, you’ll find her caring for her horses, dogs and family on a ranch in rural Arizona, where the desert’s tranquil beauty and rich wildlife often enter into her poetry and writing. You can find Emily online on her website, Twitter, GoodReads, and blog.

Our rave review for If You Find Me can be found here.

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Win an If You Find Me hardcover!

Thanks to our friends at St. Martins Press, we’re giving our readers the opportunity to win a finished copy of this beautiful book. All you need to do is enter your details into the Rafflecopter form and leave a comment below telling us why you’re interested in reading this book.

Open to U.S. and Canadian residents aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. Complete rules are on the entry form. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow along with the rest of the If You Find Me Tour! Thoughtful new posts, excerpts, and Q & As daily through March 29th, 2013 at these wonderful blogs.

3/18  The Midnight Garden
3/19  Alluring Reads
3/20 Live to Read
3/21  YA Romantics
3/22  Winterhaven Books

3/24  Hobbitsies

3/25  ExLibris Kate
3/26  Xpresso Reads
3/27  Bookish
3/28  Great Imaginations
3/29  Good Books and Good Wine

120 Responses to “The Story Behind IF YOU FIND ME”

  1. Jess C.

    I’ve had this on my to read list for a while, I’m worried its going to make me feel so sad! I’ve worked with kids in group homes who have had rough lives and know they can turn out to be amazing people.

  2. Fangirl Fanatic

    This book has been recommended to me on Goodreads, but I have always just brushed it off. Now, after reading your review about the book and the getting to know the author I think I will give it a go.

  3. Tina Kohrman

    I really want to read this book because it seems like such a great book and I can’t wait to read it. Thank you for sharing yor story. Thank you for the giveaway and have a wonderful day!!

  4. putyourpawsup

    I already couldn’t wait to read this book, but now I am buying it today! Thank you so much for sharing your story Emily!

  5. Ashley

    What a wonderful book. It’s inspiring to see that people are still creating such beautiful art.

  6. Go Flash Go - Read, Rinse, Repeat

    I looked a bit of Emily’s post and knew that now, as I’m sleepy and trying to unwind before bed is not the best time. So, I’ll say that so many positive reviews enticed me, and the summary reminded me bit of the film, Winter’s Bone. I finished the book today, and it was exceptional. I have no doubt that it will go on my year end best list.

  7. May

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about this books. I can’t wait to read it. Thanks for the giveaway and great post by Emily Murdoch :)

  8. Lyn Kaye

    I was very afraid that I was going to dislike the book. I was so thrilled when I reached the final page. Emily is going to be such a treasure to us, and her voice is welcomed into our community.

  9. Rachel

    Oh my heart! I was disturbed and moved when I read If You Find Me, and I loved it. Well, not the disturbed part but the story was amazing. To find out how it all came about and how the Emily’s life experience fed into the story really touched me. Thank you for sharing. :)

  10. Melanie

    Thank you for sharing this Wendy, I felt like crying myself (I am a very sensitive person when it comes to things like this). I must read this book now. MUST.

  11. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    Wow, what a powerful post! I applaud anyone willing to share such personal details, because I know that must be hard, but I also know how helpful it can be to see that you’re not alone. Amazing.

  12. sarah benard

    this is such an amazing story… I really wanted to read the novel before, now it’s like a physical need–i’m feeling myself pulled to the bookstore!!! thank you emily murdoch for sharing your story.

  13. Jill

    This post was incredibly moving and Emily’s anxieties over letting a piece of herself out in the world by publishing this novel reminded me of this quote by the fantastic Anais Nin:

    “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”

    I think authors are very brave people. Some are more inspired by their own lives than others, but the influence of their real lives on their work is always undeniable. And to let others read that and find comfort in it is selfless and courageous.

    I can’t wait to read this novel since if it’s as eloquent and brave as this guest post, it will be very very good!

  14. sinmotion

    This was such a great interview.I really appreciated her honestly and willingness to push through her fear and talking about such vulnerable things in her life history. Thank you for reaching out to find out more on how this book came to be.

    -S

  15. sinmotion

    This was a really good interview, and I appreciate her honestly and willingness to put her vulnerabilities out there. Thank you so much for looking into the history of how this book came to be, Wendy.

  16. anothernovelread

    What an absolutely beautiful post! The further I read, the more my heart was aching. Thank you so much, to Emily for sharing this story with us through The Midnight Garden.

    Knowing the story behind things always makes me want them (and like them) even more. I undoubtedly *need* to read If You Find Me, because it’s already got its hooks so deep into my heart.

  17. Desiree

    I think that this book is going to tear me apart! I had no interest in this book at first, but after reading your thoughts on it I now NEED to read it! It sounds like If You Find Me could be one of those books that only comes along every once in a while and give you all the feels! I am excited to read this and I am even excited for the stream of tears I expect will come along with it! Thanks for the awesome review and the chance to win it!

  18. emilymurdoch

    Thank you so much, everyone!

    I’m truly honored. We all try so hard to write a wonderful book. We hope it will matter or resonate or touch something meaningful inside someone, especially when it comes to the children.

    We all have a soft spot for the children. <3

    I’m working on how we’ll get the Epilogue out. It’s a wonderful extra chunk of pages (16 pg.s as it presently stands).

    My husband says it completes the book “with an answering of leftover questions and a sigh of contentment”.

    You should know what happened to Carey. I’ll update on my blog once it’s all sorted out.

    Truly blessed by all of you! <3. Go books!

  19. Kara_Malinczak

    I loved this book to death, and it was clear to me that it came from someone who had been through some pretty tough stuff in her life. Maybe that’s why I connected with it so much. It was full of true emotions that felt very raw and real. I am so happy to be a part of this blog tour and I want to thank the author for sharing so much of herself with us, the readers. Emily is wonderful.

  20. Kristin Lenz

    Wow, I’m coming to this post a couple days late – it clearly has touched a lot of people – and so will Emily’s book. I read the ARC and was so moved by the story and Emily’s prose.

  21. starryeyedjen

    Wow…what an inspiring story. I always wonder how much of an author you can see in a character, in their story, but then there are some where it’s obvious that the author poured all of themselves into it, sometimes without intending to, like in this case. Thank you so much for bringing this guest post to us, Wendy.

  22. Annabelle Marie Veronica

    Oh my gosh, this was a very moving post and probably not something I should be reading just as I’m trying to get over some other stuff, but I couldn’t help it. I’m actually, literally in tears. Wow. Still, what a gorgeous, gorgeous post. I’m going to have to move this book up on my TBR. <3

  23. iheartbigbooks

    Wonderful post. Thank you for featuring and sharing this book and author with us. Emily’s positivity and eloquence while sharing something so personal and emotional with the world is inspiring. This one’s definitely going on my list to read.

  24. Alexa Y.

    As this post so clearly shows, there is just something about Emily’s spirit and her way with words that speaks so clearly to me. I love that her personality shines so clearly in this post, and in this other interview I read, and I think that translates really well to me as a reader. I definitely want to check out her book!

  25. Laurie Rosengren

    What a great “interview” — I had been intrigued by the book before, and now I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I wholeheartedly agree — books CAN save lives!

  26. Melissa

    I haven’t read her book yet, but after learning more about Emily I am really looking forward to it. I think knowing her background will enrich the story. It sounds amazing and I am anxiously awaiting its release.

  27. Melissa

    I have not read her book yet, but after reading this post and learning more about Emily I am really looking forward to it. I think knowing her background will enrich the story. It sounds amazing and I’m anxiously awaiting its release.

  28. C.J. Redwine

    I just finished reading If You Find Me yesterday morning, and it will forever claim a corner of my heart. Such an achingly beautiful story! Emily is an authentically generous soul who brings light to others’ darkness. The YA community is a better place because she’s in it.

    I’m putting this on my list of auto-recs whenever someone asks me what great books I’ve read lately, and I’m definitely suggesting it to the local school librarians. This is an important book to have on the shelves for the kids who’ve been hurt or are hurting and don’t yet have the voice to put words to their pain.

    No need to enter me in the giveaway. I just wanted to show support for an amazing woman who wrote an amazing book. <3 <3

  29. Chenise Jones

    Wow, hearing such a personal story like that compels me to read this even more now!

    So excited to read this one! Sounds like it’s absolutely amazing!

  30. Jasprit

    Wow just wow, I always enjoy learning about how authors come up with their ideas to write their books in the first place and I truly admire Emily for sharing her experience with us! I was eager before in giving this book a go, but now that I know about all the heartfelt and emotional energy that went into writing If You Find Me, I know I will have to get onto this book asap! Thanks for sharing this post with us ladies! :)

  31. emilymurdoch

    Thank you for validating and supporting my leap of faith. All of you have been so wonderful, I can’t even begin to form the words.

    Thank you for showing me all the light and kindness, today. The comment section was so bright, I squinted. : ).

    Big thanks to those who shared stories, (so brave!) whether your own struggles, or your anorectic college roommates’.

    I was that anorectic college roommate. And I can tell you those around me who cared made all the difference.

    Sometimes you’re all we have. Sometimes that difference shows up immediately, or semi-immediately, and sometimes it’s seen much later, only upon looking back.

    Sometimes it seems like nothing you do or say is helping, or can help. But it isn’t true. Love, understanding, support, concern, patience. Kindnesses. All those things make all the difference.

    No one can fix us but ourselves. But the caring along the way can keep us going. Even if we can’t show it. Even if we can’t tell you or admit it at the time, no heart-to-heart effort is ever in vain.

    And neither is anyone suffering or struggling. As long as we’re alive, there’s hope. <3

  32. Candace

    Whoa. Lump. In. Throat.

    Books like this are SO important but when some own history is thrown in (even if its changed but contains a grain of truth) it makes it more real and the reader connects even more. I was dying to read this before but I’m wanting it even more now. Thanks for being brave and sharing a piece with us Emily.

  33. Tara

    This post is AMAZING. I thought Emily Murdoch was brilliant before, but man. I’m still working my way If You Find Me – I feel like it’s one of those books that you have to take in only bits and pieces at a time to fully appreciate it. But it’s amazing.

  34. Gaby

    This book has been on my TBR list for a while and I would love to read it. The cover is amazong :)

  35. Tammy Sparks

    That was quite a heart-wrenching blog post! I can tell by Emily’s emails and her post in general that I’m going to love her writing. Thank you so much for bringing this book to our attention!

  36. Shelver506

    Wow. I… Wow. I honestly wasn’t interested in reading IYFM, but after this post, how can I not be? Wow. Whether I win or not, I will definitely be checking it out.

    Thank you, Ms. Emily.

  37. emilymurdoch

    I’m hoping my previous comment published; if not, I saved it and will re-post it after this.

    Wendy, thanks for being a part of the magic, a true Kindred Spirit. : )

    Wendy popped up out of the blue, late one night in the middle of my fretting about what to do about a blog tour. When you take care of animals, money’s always tight. I figured I’d have to arrange my own, and had no idea (let alone time!) to even begin to figure out what to do.

    And Wendy asked me, do you have a blog tour planned? And she was offering due to her love of the book.

    She is my magic, also.

    Thank you for this amazingness, Wendy. Thank you for helping me. I’m just without words. When I was so scared the last two weeks, I borrowed courage from your emails, your reactions.

    When you wrote I should share my story one day, and named huge media outlets, I smiled. You were right. But I knew I wanted to share amongst friends. Here, with you. Amongst Kindred Spirits.

    Because the YA reading/writing community is a force to be reckoned with.

    Thank you, everyone, for welcoming me into the folds so warmly.

    x0x0

  38. emilymurdoch

    I’m just so touched and moved by all of your comments. I don’t even have words, but it’s so important for me to find them for you.

    *Thank you*. I’ve been absolutely terrified, to be honest, because I’m such a private person. I’ve almost pulled this post a good 20 or 30 times, and I wish I were exaggerating. : )

    We, because it’s obvious by now that we are a “we” worry what others will think. Worry about burdening people. Even worry about the impact on our abusers, if we tell.

    Thank you with all my heart for your comments here. I can’t tell you how healing it’s been just reading these comments. Just being able to be myself, both light and dark.

    Words don’t cover it, truly. It’s just amazing.

    Best as I can describe it, it helps fill what I have to give. The good people out there. The ones who care and who love. Who care about the children.

    I’ve always been amazed at the profundity of small kindnesses. A smile. A gesture. A kind word. Things you remember ten-twenty-thirty years after the fact. Lovely comments, like the ones here, today. It all makes such a profound difference.

    My hope is those of you reading, who know Carey too well, like I do, can take the love here and let it inspire you. Let it show you why it’s worth the fight.

    You have all filled me today, the opposite of what I feared.

    So much love to everyone. <3

  39. erin

    OH wow… that you for sharing! Congrats on the new release and I’m so touched by your journey!

  40. Vivien

    Thank you for this post. I can’t fully relate to this book but I can completely empathize. I’ve had my own struggles to deal with. I completely felt the raw place the Emily so dearly brought out in this book. Unsettling… I loved this book.

  41. Carl Scott

    Great post. We all have things in our past that were unpleasant, some more than others, and of course we don’t want to be defined by those. They do shape you though, in unseen ways, and some of them will always be part of who you become. Thanks.

  42. Mary @ BookSwarm

    *chills* Seriously. Wow. She pretty much bared her soul right there in the emails, didn’t she?!? That’s a seriously brave woman. And a seriously fantastic sounding book. I’m in. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

  43. Kim (YA Asylum)

    This is such a powerful and beautiful post. I’ve been dying to read IF YOU FIND ME and this only makes me want to read it more and more and so much more. I need this book. It’s really amazing that the author is willing to share something so personal like this with the world. A real inspiration.

  44. Kaylee

    I’ve honestly never even heard of this book before I saw this guest post, but DAMN. Damn, damn, DAMN there for being tears in my eyes and and ache in my heart and love already blossoming for this writer. It strength to open up to something like that, and I will forever connect the word “inspirational” to her name. That was just… BEAUTIFUL, and I already have a feeling I’ll love this sisterly book <33 (':

  45. Cassi Haggard

    Thank you for sharing. I had a friend in college who had very serious anorexia dating back to her childhood. Thankfully she survived though honestly in college I worried she’d never get better. It’s always good to hear these stories and to know they’re getting out there because when you watch someone suffering it seems so hopeless. I’m very interested in the book as well.

    • Wendy Darling

      In college, I had a friend who was anorexic too. It’s so hard to stand by helplessly, because there’s so little you can do–often the struggle is primarily an internal one that manifests itself in body–and what can you do in that case except be there for them?

      Carey’s story isn’t about anorexia, but certainly her fears and insecurities stem from self-image and trauma. I look forward to seeing what you think of this, Cassi.

  46. Amy

    Wow, what an amazing post. I am reading this book right now. So far I absolutely love it. The writing is fabulous. This post seriously made me cry! Emily was very brave to open up like that. She is truly an inspiration.

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m so glad you’re reading this, Amy! Books like this need bloggers behind it, and I know you’ll reach a lot of readers.

      Darn that Emily–she’s always making me cry, too. <3

  47. Mona Dong

    This is such an inspiring post! This is what makes me want to wake up everyday and give the world all I have to offer. It really strikes at heart that there is such a real history behind this book. I love the quotes as well, words really are so, so important. Thank you so much, and I am extremely excited for March 26th!

  48. Mona Dong

    This is such an inspiring post! This is why I want to wake up every day and give the world all I have to offer. It really strikes at heart that there is such a real story behind this book. I love the quotes as well; they really speak with this story. I am so excited for March 26!

    • Wendy Darling

      Not all fiction has to based in truth, but boy…so many of the ones that are can be so powerful. Just one more week to wait, Mona!

  49. Sam

    What a fantastic and heartfelt post! I completely admire Emily for opening up about her personal life. It’s certainly an inspiration to see where she has come now, with a well-received debut novel due out very soon. Thank you for sharing this!

    • Wendy Darling

      I have so much admiration for her coming forward like this too, Sam. And I’m so glad that the book is being received with open arms.

  50. Wendy Darling

    You might need a whole box of tissues, Tessa! The book is actually quite restrained even though it tackles tough subjects, but I think that’s actually a good thing, versus ones that wallow in all the gory details and do all the feeling for us, if you know what I mean. I hope you love it as much as I do.

  51. Wendy Darling

    Oh, darling Emily! xo I’m honored that the author trusted us with this, and it’s a pleasure to help bring attention to her book in some small way. Reading has saved me during some tough times, too.

    I agree that the book is very inspirational. I was just saying that I’d like to reread the book with this new knowledge of what went into it, too.

  52. Wendy Darling

    It takes a lot of guts to put your heart out there for the world to see, doesn’t it? Emily’s book is the same way. I’m so glad your interest in the book has grown–reading it with this knowledge of the author’s background should be an interesting experience. I’ll definitely have to reread it again, too.

  53. Wendy Darling

    I think we’d all be surprised to find how much pain people we know have gone through, Sarah–I think most of us are pretty good at hiding our personal suffering, whether it’s online or in our real lives. I’m so humbled by Emily’s choice to share her story with our readers, and I can’t wait for you to be able to read her book.

  54. Wendy Darling

    Tell me about it! The book was an emotional experience, and so is this post. I’m so glad we’ve all had the chance to read this, and I can’t wait for it to become available to the general public.

  55. Wendy Darling

    Oh, interesting! Given your profession, I’d love to hear what you think of this book–if you remember to, I’d love it if you’d come back and let us know.

  56. Wendy Darling

    Oh Rachel–thank you for sharing your story, too. It’s been amazing to hear from people who have been touched by Emily’s personal experience, and how they helped to shape Carey’s story. I can’t wait for you to read this, you will LOVE it!

    And yes, books have gotten me through some tough times in my life, too. IF YOU FIND ME offers the reminder that in spite of our suffering, there is a lot of beauty in the world, too. I firmly believe that.

  57. Jen Ryland/YA Romantics

    That was a very moving post, and If You Find Me is a very moving book. Both this post and Emily’s character Carey show that it is possible to get through dark times and still find beauty and kindness and light in the world.
    I am interviewing Emily on my blog on Thursday as part of the tour. I can’t wait!

    • Wendy Darling

      It is possible to get through dark times and still find beauty and kindness and light in the world.

      YES. This, exactly.

      I’m so looking forward to your review, Jen. And I loved your interview questions!

  58. Tessa

    Wow, such emotion evoked from a review- I can’t imagine how many tissues I’ll go through while reading this. I’m looking forward to this because it’s something different than what usually comes across my Kindle from the YA arena. Sounds beautifully heartbreaking and I can’t wait to read Carey’s story.

  59. Emily Elizabeth

    Wow, that was an absolutely beautiful post. I’m crying now. Thank you, Emily for sharing and Wendy for giving her an outlet. You two are both wonderful, strong women and I admire you greatly. Reading has saved me in a lot of ways as well. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    IYFM was one of my favorite reads so far this year! It’s an absolutely phenomenal book. I already want to read it again. So moving and inspiring.

  60. Eve

    To share your story with people (especially on the internet) you have to be incredibly brave. Books that are written from the heart are always the best. I was excited about this book before I saw this post, but now that’s multiplied by a hundred. Besides, authors who interact so much with fans – always. good!

  61. Sarah Johnson

    I love realistic books and was so skeptical about this one. I started to see reviews pop up and I realized that I wanted to read this. This book sounds like me. Not in the most obvious ways, but I’ve dealt with several problems and hardships that even today only the few select people I trust know. This post is one of the most amazing ones I’ve ever read and I thank you for sharing this, Wendy. It not only touched my heart, but it made me want to read IYFM all the more.

  62. Molli Moran

    This post really made me tear up! I wondered like you did, Wendy, what Emily’s background was. So reading this…touched me! I consider it a huge privilege to know her, and to have had the chance to read this beautiful book.

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  63. JCzaplewski

    This book sounds outstanding. I work for a nonprofit that deals with adoption and foster care so, unfortunately, I’m no stranger to stories about abuse. I bet a lot of the youth who we work with would find IYFM empowering – sounds like I will, too!

  64. Rachel

    What a beautiful post. Sitting here in the library, reading it and crying. Wendy as you know I post a ton on your review of this book on GR (“so jealous!! I can’t wait to cry with this book!!!”) … Okay I keep crying.

    I suffered from a long standing eating…thing. Not to the extreme of having to go to a facility (although it was mentioned quite a few times in therapy and from my parents), but I still struggled with it and had trouble coping. I, too, used words to find an escape. Books, movies, poetry, short stories… They all helped me move forward.

    I know I’ve wanted to read this book for a long time. (LOL I was a little mad when I got rejected via Netgalley but I promised myself I’d buy a copy when it comes out…) I can’t WAIT to see it on shelves and read it and feel even more connected to Carey’s story than I do now. I read the first chapter once on a website and it nearly killed me (in anticipation) of when I could get my hands on the whole thing… THIS WEEK!!! Finally!!!!

    • Wendy Darling

      This post really gives such great insight, for those who have read it and those who haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

      Reading the book without knowing any of this, I’d already felt there was emotional truth in it. It’s incredible to find about some of the roots behind Carey’s story, which is the story of so many girls.

  65. Nikki Vanderhoof

    Wow this book sounds heartbreaking and breathtaking! I’m a sucker for serious tragedy so this sounds right up my alley. Thanks for the great review Wendy!

  66. Nikki Vanderhoof

    Wow this book sounds so good! I’m a sucker for tragic and heartbreaking stories so this sounds like it would be right up my alley. Thanks for the great review Wendy!

  67. Bonnie R

    Wow what a heartbreaking yet inspirational story. I haven’t read this story yet but I definitely will be. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  68. thebookwurrm

    I loved If You Find Me even though I usually run from books that are potential heartbreakers. I think it is quite difficult not to give a bit of yourself to any story you write. I think that’s what made the book more authentic and makes it so good – that skein of realism. I look forward to seeing what you’ll write next, Emily.

    • Wendy Darling

      I am often very suspicious of books I am supposed to cry over too, bookwurrm. A lot of times, a tough subject in the wrong hands feels emotionally untrue or too manipulative, but the truthfulness of the feeling in this book couldn’t be denied. I love how you phrase that, “skein or realism.” It absolutely applies here.

    • Wendy Darling

      I was stunned when it first came through, LittleRead–I couldn’t believe her bravery in coming forth with her story. I’m grateful she trusted us enough to do it here.

  69. Randi M

    Wow, what a guest post! Wendy, I can see how knowing a little about the person behind the book made you more interested in the book itself – while If You Find Me was already on my TBR, I’m even more intrigued now knowing that it’s a story with hope for all of us who’ve been victims of abuse. Emily, thank you for sharing your story!

    • Wendy Darling

      Yes–through the endless stream of tweets that come and go, there was always something about Emily’s soul that shone through whenever I saw hers. I think you can absolutely retain your privacy while being personal online, and to allow people to get to know bits and pieces of the real you–and she’s a great example of that.

      It’s a very hopeful story–and I’m glad you’re excited to read it!

    • Wendy Darling

      From what I know of her–she is. And it was. I have so much respect for her, and I’m glad both she and this book came into my life.

  70. Enya

    Wow, beautiful post. I’ve read an egalley of this book and I’m having such a hard time writing a review that describes all the feels properly. But I will try my hardest. :)

    • Wendy Darling

      I had a similar issue with writing my review, but I’m sure you’ll find the words, Enya. Once you start writing, I’m sure they’ll start flowing! I’m glad the publisher made this title available early for reviewers, because it’s word of mouth that will help bring attention to the book.

  71. Sarah Kalaitzidis

    How cna I not be interested in this story, look at the history behind it! I really want to read this book. Can’t wait to check it out!

    • Wendy Darling

      Yes–fiction is often the most powerful when it comes from a place of truth. And as you can see, there is a great deal of honesty and emotion in Emily’s story, which lends itself to Carey’s.

      I hope you have the chance to read this soon, Sarah!

  72. Kate @ Ex Libris

    Thank you so much for your honesty, Emily. I truly believe that you help others when you share your story. I especially appreciate the way you wrote about the social workers in IYFM. I find that they aren’t often portrayed in the best light in fiction, but every social worker I know truly wants to help, so thank you for that.

    • Wendy Darling

      I agree–I was surprised and glad that the social worker was portrayed in a positive way. With strained resources and time, as with so many professions, there are times when there are failures for sure. But it’s so important to be reminded that there are good and decent people in the world, including many who have dedicated their lives to helping children who are in trouble.

  73. Livvy

    Wow. What a post. That certainly was emotional and Murdoch sounds to be an inspirational women with a novel that has true depth to it.

    Fabulously moving post! :)

  74. Faye M.

    Awww, that was so beautiful, Wendy! I LOVE Emily Murdoch. One of the best authors I’ve ever come across – beautiful inside and out. Her sharing here was so soulful and real – I actually cried! Kudos to you, Mrs. Murdoch. I’ll forever support your works <3

    • Wendy Darling

      I agree–she’s beautiful through and through. And how many times have you cried at an author’s guest post?! It’s never happened to me before. Amazing, amazing woman.

  75. Christina Fiorelli

    Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    I LOVED the first few pages of the book online form the publisher!

    I know Emily does amazing work with animals, but it’s so brave and selfless of her to share her story with us to help readers too:)

    Lovely post! Thank you:)

  76. Christina Fiorelli

    Christina K. in the rafflecopter

    I absolutely loved the first few pages of the book online from the publisher’s website!!

    I know Emily does awesome work for animals, but it’s so brave and selfless of her to share her own story in order to help readers everywhere:)

    Thank you!! Lovely post:)

    • Wendy Darling

      Yes, the opening chapter is pretty compelling, isn’t it? We’re going to be sharing more excerpts from the book on the tour, so hopefully that will whet your appetite some more.

      The work she does with animals is amazing, too! I’m really hoping she incorporates some of that into her future boos one day.

  77. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    Wow. Way to make me cry in my coffee this morning ladies. What a fabulous kick off to what is going to be an amazing tour. I knew there had to be something that came from Emily that made the story feel so real and vivid and it’s beautiful that she let us meet that side of her. Great post, Emily & Wendy.

    • Wendy Darling

      Emily told me this in confidence when I first asked about the story behind the book, and I promised to keep it to myself. I had no idea she was going to come forth and share this with us for the tour. I am so touched by her story, and by her bravery in coming forth with this. A truly exceptional human being.

  78. ahz1

    Wonderful post, Wendy. If You Find Me has to be one of the best young adult books I have had the privilege of reading this year. Emily – your story (and now your RL story) brought me to tears. I wish you continued success with your writing.

    • Wendy Darling

      I agree–it’s definitely one of the best books published so far this year. I’m really looking forward to Emily’s next book, too.