Giveaways Inspirations and Influences

The Girl From the Well: Rin Chupeco on Inspirations and Influences (& Giveaway)

Today we are thrilled to have author Rin Chupeco over to talk about Inspirations and Influences for her debut novel, YA horror story The Girl From the Well. Thea loved the book, so we are delighted to have Rin talk about the folktale behind the novel.

The Girl from the Well

Please give a warm welcome to Rin, everyone!

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The Creation and Genesis of Okiku

According to the Japanese legend, Okiku started life as a young maidservant to a powerful lord. She was eventually killed and thrown down a well for being less important than the men who were guilty of this crime. It’s not an unusual end in Asian ghost stories – many run through similar lines. That didn’t suit well with me.

Horror movies like The Ring and The Grudge have always featured women like this: victims in life, unholy killers in death. They are unwilling murderers – it’s unlikely that they enjoy their afterlife, and are instead compelled to murder by an outside malice more powerful than their free will. If you want to be meta about it, it could pass as a commentary on how women, despite making great strides toward equality in society, still remain victims to the overall patriarchial status quo. (Technically, both men and women are victims of the patriarchy, but women make up the majority.)

All too often in ghost stories the point of view is told through the eyes of the haunted, rather than those who haunt. It’s easier that way, and it’s why I strove to do the exact opposite. I wanted readers to be reminded that while she is first and foremost a gruesome creature, that isn’t her fault.

I wanted a different kind of heroine from a perspective few people would expect. I didn’t want a protagonist who was going to bleed emotion and desire into her pages, because my Okiku would never be the type to consider herself important enough for that – but I also wanted, in the short spaces between her madness, for her to let her guard down, to allow herself the luxury to talk about herself no matter how short or fleeting those instances of her humanity are. The more she finds herself immersed in Tark’s situation, the more frequent those became.

I rejected the Casper-the-friendly-ghost option – to make her any less than a terrifying spectre would lessen her impact and her importance. I wanted a ghostly heroine still motivated by the malice she acquired due to the horrificness of her death, but also one capable of making her own decisions – not only to go against her own terrifying nature when the occasion called for it, but to rise above it. To keep her both frightening and sympathetic at once was the main challenge, and I think I was able to do her justice in that regard!

About the Author

Rin Chupeco

Despite an unsettling resemblance to Japanese revenants, Rin always maintains her sense of hummus. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, she keeps four pets: a dog, two birds, and a husband. Dances like the neighbors are watching.

Follow Rin online at rinchupeco.com.

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The Giveaway:

The Girl from the Well

We have one copy of The Girl From the Well up for grabs! The giveaway is open to addresses in the US and Canada only, and will run until Sunday, August 10 at 12:01am EST. To enter, use the form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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26 Comments

  • Katie M
    August 4, 2014 at 10:55 am

    I’d say my favorite horror novel is I Am Legend, though I didn’t find it scary.

  • Marie-Claude
    August 4, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I love Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake !!!

  • Vivien
    August 4, 2014 at 11:16 am

    The Devouring by Simon Holt

  • Allison
    August 4, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    The Shining – Stephen King

  • Kelley
    August 4, 2014 at 1:47 pm

    I don’t really read a lot of straight “horror” but I did like “The Shining”–the movie just doesn’t compare to the book ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Katharine
    August 4, 2014 at 3:05 pm

    I don’t know that it’s my favorite, but it was scary – The Heart-Shaped Box, by Joe Hill.

  • Stefani @ Caught Read Handed
    August 4, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    My favorite horror novel is The Passage by Justin Cronin. It’s an amazing book, totally worth reading all 963 pages of it.
    Thanks for the giveaway, guys! I enjoyed getting to learn more about Okiku, which I was planing to do before I read The Girl from the Well. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Zabet Reading
    August 4, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    I really enjoyed this book. I agree, it being told from the ghost’s POV gives it a whole new perspective and allows new themes to be explored.

  • jennie t
    August 4, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    I have recently loved both Sorrow’s Knot and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

  • Rylie
    August 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    My favorite horror novel is The Girl with All the Gifts.

  • erinf1
    August 4, 2014 at 8:28 pm

    I’d also have to go w/ The Passage by Justin Cronin ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  • Sophia D
    August 4, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    It would have to be the first book from the The Strain trilogy by Guillermoro Del Toro & Chuck Hogan

  • Sabrina
    August 5, 2014 at 2:06 am

    House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski. So awesome and creepy!

  • Katie
    August 5, 2014 at 3:23 am

    My favorite horror novel is The Exorcist

  • Liat
    August 5, 2014 at 9:28 am

    I’m not much of a horror reader, but I think The Terror by Dan Simmons.

  • Amelia P.
    August 5, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Favourite horror novel? A bit of a hybrid but… Clive Barker’s Weaveworld.

  • Courtney Whisenant
    August 5, 2014 at 1:29 pm

    My favorite horror is Carrie…I know it’s old but it’s the first book I remember reading that was really scary!

  • Chenise J.
    August 5, 2014 at 2:46 pm

    I absolutely love the Ashes trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick. It`s so bleak and brutal, but oh so fantastic and addicting!

  • Kicha
    August 5, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    I’d say it would have to be something by Stephen King … been awhile ago but it was one of his short stories. I can’t think of the name of the book but the story was called Survivor Type.

  • Serena
    August 6, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I just finished and loved NOS4A2 by Joe Hill.

  • Hannah H
    August 6, 2014 at 10:59 pm

    I’ve had a deep and abiding love for Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories since I was a kid. My favorites are probably The Black Cat and The Cask of Amontillado.

  • Pierre Mosbey
    August 6, 2014 at 11:57 pm

    Dario Argento’s Suspiria!

  • Pierre Mosbey
    August 6, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Stephen King’s It!

  • Danielle
    August 7, 2014 at 9:52 am

    This sounds so interesting; it seems like a completely different look on horror novels. I’ve actually never read a horror novel that wasn’t a middlegrade, so I can’t really say what my favorite was. I look forward to trying my first, though! Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Lee
    August 7, 2014 at 12:09 pm

    Carrie! I read that book when I was way too young to be reading it!

  • vldixon1701
    August 29, 2014 at 10:43 am

    I don’t do Horror, but I finished devouring this book yesterday. I couldn’t read it at night – creeped me out too much. So I took it to work with me and probably had several suspiciously long lunch breaks because of it. OMG. You have to read this. It’s more than mere horror. It’s heart, soul (pun intended) blood and beauty. Who would have thought horror could be beautiful? Well done, Mrs. Chupeco. Can’t wait to read your next – whatever genre it is.

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