Beyond the Book: Background information when reading Eye Contact

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Eye Contact

by Cammie McGovern

Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern X
Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern
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  • First Published:
    Jun 2006, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2007, 320 pages

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Like Cara, Cammie McGovern is the mother of an autistic boy; she says that about four years ago she started writing a nonfiction account of the time just before and after her son's diagnosis.  However, she eventually put the memoir aside to return to fiction because she says, "I knew how to create a story and keep it moving along with suspense and surprises better than I knew how to report the countless ways that those years were hard and lonely for our family."  She's glad that she returned to the familiar medium of fiction (she's the author of one previous novel, The Art of Seeing, 2002 and many short stories) because she says there are so many wonderful memoirs written by parents already - two of her favorites are Beth Kephardt's The Slant of Sun and Pat Stacey's The Boy Who Loved Windows.

Her stories have always been plot-driven but this is her first venture into the murder-mystery genre, she says that she likes the format because it puts every character on a precipice, raising the stakes and launching a story that can still do all the same things a "literary" novel does, but can also be a page-turner as well.

A number of reviewers comment on the unexpected ending - it was unexpected for Carrie too!  She says that for sometime she didn't know who the killer would be and changed the ending a few times - not only after the book had been sold but even just 24-hours before the book was to go to print!

She says that the thing she loved most about writing Eye Contact was creating a central character who was as much of a mystery as the perpetrator of the crime; she also comments that 20% of Americans currently identify themselves as disabled, "an enormous group of people that has been underrepresented in books, movies and TV"; so her next book will be a mystery centered around a woman with cerebral palsy who is the unlikely center of a love triangle and the victim of a crime committed in its wake. As everyone tries to figure out exactly what happened, they all begin to realize how little they actually knew about her.

Film rights to Eye Contact have already been optioned by Julia Roberts.  I wouldn't normally bother to mention film rights as books frequently get optioned and nothing is ever heard of the project again, but Eye Contact has the potential to make an exceptional movie - if strong enough child actors could be found to play the pivotal roles.

This article is from the August 2, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.

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