7 Apr 2015


Author Interview / Eva Lesko Natello

What would you do if you Googled yourself and discovered something shocking?

In this gripping psychological thriller, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women. She’s relieved to hear her name appears only three times, citing her philanthropy. Despite being grateful that she has nothing to hide, a delayed pang of insecurity prods Caroline to Google her maiden name—which none of the others know.

The hits cascade like a tsunami. Caroline’s terrified by what she reads. An obituary for her sister, JD? That’s absurd. With every click, the revelations grow more alarming. They can’t be right. She’d know. Caroline is hurled into a state of paranoia—upending her blissful family life—desperate to prove these allegations false before someone discovers they’re true.

The disturbing underpinnings of The Memory Box expose a story of deceit, misconceptions, and an obsession for control. With its twists, taut pacing, and psychological tenor, Natiello's page-turning suspense cautions: Be careful what you search for.

1.  If you could work with any other author, who would it be and why?

Oh, I love creative collaboration, especially because writing is so lonely so I'd want to work with someone who I believe to be a creative genius. I'd choose the screenwriter, Wes Anderson. He is incredibly imaginative, witty, visual, creative and one-of-a-kind. Also, I love that he is so clear in his thinking (that's what I hear, anyway) and strives to pursue an end product that reflects his imagination. 

2.  What would be a typical working day for you? When and where do you write?

I mostly write at my desk, though I take a notebook with me everywhere I go -- you can never predict where or when creativity will strike! Lots of writing gets done in my car and waiting in doctors offices or the grocery store. I try to use time away from my desk efficiently. I work on writing at my desk, and I work on thinking everywhere else.

3.  What is the hardest part of the writing for you?

The hardest part is that it is not collaborative. Although, that's sometimes the best part about it! But, I do find it isolating. Now that THE MEMORY BOX is published, I try to attend as many book club discussions as I can which is the perfect antidote. 

4.  When and why did you first start writing?

I started writing about 10 years ago, after I had decided to leave my then career to stay home raising my children. I definitely missed the creative aspects of my job so I began to think about how I could work creatively while raising my children. It was after I read a story in The New York Times about people Googling themselves did an idea come to me for a novel. I never planned on writing before, but the ideas came rushing to me and I just started putting them to paper. After years of writing/editing/procrastinating/rejection/frustration/contemplation and then more editing, THE MEMORY BOX was published.

5.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?

The story I read in the Times about people Googling themselves included a 17-year-old boy who was living in Los Angeles. He discovered, while Googling himself, that he was on a missing persons list in Canada. He didn't know that he was a victim of parental abduction until he searched his name online. I this idea of finding out something so personal from a Google search, that was previously unknown to you was a fascinating idea for a novel.

6.  Are you a big reader? If so, what are you reading now?

I love to get lost in a good book. Right now I'm reading We Were Liars by Emily Lockhart. It's chock full of great characters and wonderful storytelling.

7.  Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

The best thing you can do as an aspiring writer is get the story out of your head and onto the page. The most horrendous first draft on paper is far more valuable than a buttoned up version in your mind.