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Jessica Simpkiss is a published poet and fiction writer who resides in Virginia Beach with her husband and young daughter. Her debut novel, The Spaewife’s Secret, was released in November of 2018 via Solstice Publishing and revolves around a man who returns home to his remote island following the death of his estranged mother and is forced to face the real and imagined ghosts he left behind. Her second novel, Bone in the Blood, is forthcoming later this year. Please visit her website for more information on publications, release dates, and upcoming projects.

In this episode of Cover to Cover with . . ., Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum speaks with Simpkiss about her novels, her publications with The Bookends Review, True Detective S3, Scottish folklore, and more!

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What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?

The name of my first and latest book is The Spaewife’s Secret.

I did not set out to write a novel-length work. I was planning on working on a collection of short stories, retelling and updating some tales from Scottish mythology and folklore. After researching the tale of the kelpie, which plays a pivotal role in The Spaewife’s Secret, I felt there was enough of a premise to develop the idea from a short story into something longer.

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What is the book about?

The Spaewife’s Secret is part mystery, part thriller, part urban fantasy. At its core, it’s a murder mystery/who done it story. Lachlan McGinley is forced to leave the Isle of Lewis after being committed when he insists that a creature from Scottish folklore killed his best friend in the hills behind Bosta Beach. The chapters alternate between the adult, present-day version of the character and his younger self. The stories parallel and play off one another as they build toward the same climax; the truth about who or what killed Arden Scott?

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The Spaewife’s Secret is a thrilling, incredible and exceptionally well-written book that kept me hooked for hours. The Spaewife’s Secret is a unique book that incorporates themes you would not traditionally see in suspense novels which is one of the many attributes I love about the book. Because of the uniqueness of this book, I found myself falling in love with it even more. It is an incredible, thrilling, suspense-filled book that will keep readers intrigued and turning the pages with haste from beginning to end! That is why I would already implore you lovely readers to look at this astonishing book because it is just phenomenal!

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What inspires you to write?

Everything and anything! Sometimes it's as simple as a string of words, a song lyric, a spinoff of something in a tv show or movie – something bold enough that my creative mind finds value in, and runs with it.

Media: Work
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