Jane Ammeson, Times correspondent
Megan Collins is the author of “The Family Plot”. She has taught creative writing for many years at the high school and college level, and is the editor of 3Elements Literary Review. She lives in Connecticut.
Can you give our readers an overview of your book?
Collins: “The Family Plot” is about the Lighthouses, a real crime-obsessed family who come together to bury their patriarch only to find the remains of their long-missing brother in the grave. During this horrific and tragic discovery, the protagonist of the novel, Dahlia, is understandably devastated.
But the rest of her family react in strange and disturbing ways, prompting Dahlia to spend less time with her siblings and more time investigating what happened to her brother.
Was his murder the work of a serial killer who terrorized their tiny rocky island for decades – or is it someone they know much more intimately than that? The novel is a psychological thriller filled with dark secrets, twists and turns, and a deeply dysfunctional family.
Lighthouses are a real family – how did your idea for the plot come about? Is it based on real circumstances?
Collins: The idea for this novel came from the title itself, which my husband actually suggested for something else I was working on at the time. And while it wasn’t a good fit for this project, I couldn’t get the title out of my head. I loved the potential double meaning of “plot”, as well as the associations of graves, cemeteries, corpses – all great fodder for thriller writers.