Author Interview: The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg
Part mystery. Part romance. All amazing! The Insomniacs is a story that will keep you fully immersed and we checked in with author Marit Weisenberg in celebration. Check out our interview below.
PS we dare your to not fall for Van and Ingrid!
The Insomniacsby Marit Weisenberg
Published by: Flatiron Books
on September 1, 2020
Marit Weisenberg's The Insomniacs is “a deeply beautiful story of yearning, heartache, trauma, and love” (Jennifer Niven, #1 New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places) about two teens who discover the secrets of their neighborhood after everyone else turns out the lights. Ingrid can’t sleep.She can’t remember, either.
A competitive diver, seventeen-year-old Ingrid is haunted by what she saw at the pool at a routine meet, before falling off the high dive and waking up concussed. The only thing she remembers about the moment before her dive is locking eyes with Van—her neighbor, former best friend, and forever crush—kissing his girlfriend on the sidelines. But that can’t be all.
Then one sleepless night, she sees Van out her window…looking right back at her. They begin not sleeping together by night, still ignoring each other at school by day.
Ingrid tells herself this is just temporary, but soon, she and Van are up every night piecing her memory back together. As Van works through his own reasons for not being able to sleep, they’re both pulled into a mystery that threatens to turn their quiet neighborhood into a darker place than they realized.
Interview with Marit Weisenberg
Tell us about Ingrid. What motivates her?
Ingrid is very driven, Type A, and fearless. As a competitive diver, she can launch herself off a ten-meter platform, no sweat. In the wake of her father’s abrupt departure years before, Ingrid has learned that what makes her successful is her ability to focus (and block out what scares her). But we meet Ingrid at a point in time when cracks begin to appear. Out of nowhere (seemingly), she experiences stage fright during a competition and hits her head. A concussion side lines her for one month. Suddenly, Ingrid has time to think and she can’t keep going like she has, ignoring nagging memories, as well as her feelings and unfinished business with her former best friend and neighbor, Van. Ingrid thinks what makes her so successful is being invulnerable and keeping her cards close to the vest. But something is starting to trip her up. The mystery of the book is what that something is that Ingrid can’t quite put her finger on—what was the catalyst that made her mess up her dive and hit her head. It’s undermining the shell Ingrid’s carefully built.
You created a story of trauma, mystery, and a little bit of romance. What was it like infusing so many different story elements?
It was hard and weird and magical!! I knew I definitely wanted romance. The mystery took deliberate plotting. From the outset, I knew the story would use the hook from the Hitchcock film Rear Window (from her bedroom window, an injured, holed up Ingrid thinks she sees something frightening take place at the empty house next door). What was strange was how the story kept leading me one level deeper. It resisted being a thriller and became more of a psychological mystery. That’s where the trauma came in. I didn’t plan that!
What are you working on next?
Another YA contemporary novel! It’s about a family that has been on the run for the entirety of their seventeen-year-old daughter’s life. They are loving parents but they won’t tell their daughter their real identities or the crime committed, saying it’s for her own safety. But the world has changed since the parents first went on the run and technology has made it almost impossible to hide. Privacy is becoming close to non-existent. Their daughter undoes the careful life they’ve built when she takes a DNA test. It’s inspired by all the recent developments in cold cases being solved by genetic testing and how really, once you take the test, you are on the grid. No one can hide anymore!