Featured New Release: Throwing Clay Shadows by Thea Atkinson


Yeah, I’ve been quiet. Lots going on behind the scenes as we get ready for school to start in these parts. So I asked my good friend Thea Atkinson to stop in and talk about her new book, Throwing Clay Shadows.

You guys know what that means … I had to ask her the famed West of Mars Question: What song makes you think of your book?

Like is starting to be the trend around here, she outdid herself. Bring it!

It’s pretty hard to pick a song that would fit Throwing Clay Shadows since it’s set in 1800s Scotland and deals with a young girl who thinks she has killed her mother with bad words. It’s the story of this child finding a way to overcome her sense of guilt, a guilt that is nothing, really, but an echo of the remorse she feels from betraying a loved one in an earlier incarnation.

Usually, I have a full soundtrack that hits on themes and plot points from the entire novel. So to pick one song is even tougher.

I would say that I listened to “Orestes” a lot by A Perfect Circle because the singer uses the metaphor of the Orestes myth to speak of making the decision to pull the plug on his mother’s life support. This is probably the closest song in the soundtrack that translates the agony of losing a loved one and feeling responsible. It’s a beautiful, haunting song that delivers an evocative message about the bond between a child and mother.


All about Thea:
Thea Atkinson is a writer of character driven fiction; call it what you will: she prefers to describe her work as psychological thrillers with a distinct literary flavour. As in her bestselling novel, Anomaly, her characters often find themselves in the darker edges of their own spirits but manage to find the light they seek.

She has been an editor, a freelancer, and a teacher, but fiction is her passion. She now blogs and writes and twitters. Not necessarily in that order.

Please visit her blog for ramblings, guest posts, giveaways, and more, or follow her on twitter, or like her Facebook page.

Book Blurb:
On the Isle of Eigg, in 1807, four-year old Maggie believes she has killed her mother by saying bad things, and now she won’t say a word. It’s true that Ma’s voice stays in the cottage, and sometimes Maggie can see her in the shadows, but it’s not the same thing as having a real ma. She’s worried if she says anything, she will kill her da too. She doesn’t want him to die, and so no matter how much he tries to get her to, she won’t speak.

The trouble is, the consumption that really took her ma and her premature sister’s lives, has marked Maggie too and forces her da to marry Janet so she can have a woman to look after her.

It gets harder to stay silent because Janet tries just as hard to get her to talk. Maggie’s not sure she can hold out when this new ma reveals secrets that make her squirm, that make her feel like Da is doing things he shouldn’t be.

It seems there is more to worry about than a few words. He is indeed in trouble and much of that danger comes from the things his new wife isn’t saying.

If she can just understand what Ma is telling her from those corners, Maggie will be able to face her fears and find her voice and true power. And her true power should be enough to bind the family together even against the darkest secrets.

Book buy link


1 Comment

  1. thea atkinson

    August 24, 2011 11:10 am

    Hi Susan:

    so happy to be here and honored you would post my lil ditty up on your great blog. I’m sharing and tweeting it now just in the hopes you get tons of new folks to appreciate YOUR writing

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