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Hi there! I just finished your book and I thought it was a great read, I couldn't put it down. I just read the alternate ending of the book and I am a little confused and was hoping you could clarify. Was Owen really also in the hospital? Did Libby really keep Annie from leaving the hospital or was Annie actually crazy?

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Hi! Thanks for your question. (And thanks for reading the book!) I left that ending deliberately ambiguous because I wanted both interpretations to be possible. I wanted you to be able to decide for yourself. I think I prefer Annie to be crazy, though. I really love driving characters to the brink of madness—Annie was just about to topple, and that alternate ending allowed me to muse on the question of “What if she does?”

We have a winner (or 5)!

I’ve wrapped up the first RUINING paperback giveaway and notified the winners—but I plan to do a few more, so keep checking back! Meanwhile, congrats to @bookbrews and Lori (grand prize winners) as well as to Noosh, Jessie, and Nadia (who won signed paperbacks)! 

BOOK GIVEAWAY: Happy (paperback) book birthday to THE RUINING!

Giveaway time!!! 

Friends, readers, fellow consumers of baked goods:


I am so excited! The Ruining is officially on sale in paperback! 

To celebrate this momentous occasion, I am going to buy myself a piece of pink birthday cake from Amy’s Bread. I’ve been craving this cake all year.

More importantly, however, I am giving away FIVE SIGNED COPIES of The Ruining (paperback edition). And that’s not all! The top two, “grand prize” winners will receive (in addition to a signed book) a pad of delightful Italian stationery (in yellow, like Annie’s creepy wallpaper), two writerly pencils, and a box of literary matches. (All items are pictured in the post below this one. Flip all the way through for the dog you can’t win but will love to look at.) The other three winners will each get a signed book.

Here are the rules:

1 point for tweeting a link to this post 

1 point for friending me on Facebook (facebook.com/anna.collomore)

1 point for following me on tumblr (annacollomore.com)

2 points for tweeting me a clever question about the book (which I will then answer)

Please tweet at me with your total points! (I will verify.)

Then I will count up your entries and pick 5 winners at random. 

The contest starts now (Thursday, February 6th). It ends at noon on Tuesday, February 11th. I will announce all winners by noon on Valentine’s Day!

Thank you all for participating!



I was recently stalking my Amazon page, and one reviewer said he/she thought of this song as an underscore for THE RUINING! Naturally I had to listen. Love it!

First of all , thank you so much for posting the alternate ending..Wow, I mean I expected a different end but this is just well "horrible" but great ! It fits really well with the whole boook. So I guess it's not a question but more thanking you for writting such a marvelous book!

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Thank you for reading!! I’m glad you checked out the alternate ending! 


Where did you get the idea for The Ruining?

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I used to babysit a lot, and I heard horror stories from friends who babysit, and I think the idea of psychological manipulation (calculatedly driving someone crazy) is fascinating. So I mashed all of them together in this book! When you’re a babysitter, you’re in a position of both control and vulnerability. I thought it was a great forum for thinking about those ideas!

what did you have in mind the theme of the book being?

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Some of the big themes I focused on were trust and manipulation: how to discern whom to trust—and how to learn to trust yourself. I’ve also always been fascinated by the border between sanity and insanity, and for this novel I tried to “walk the line” between the two. Toward the end of the novel, the theme I focused most on was courage/overcoming obstacles. It’s always interesting to think about how people in dire situations pull themselves up and out and change their lives. 

Thanks for asking!