Here are the answers to several frequently asked questions about TRUST ME, I’M LYING! If you have any questions I haven’t answered here, leave them in the comments.
Where did you get the idea for the book?
I was watching a lot of White Collar and Leverage at the time, and one night, after watching a few episodes back to back, I turned to my wife and said, “Man, I wish I could read a book with a teenage con artist as the protagonist, but I don’t think any exist.”* I went to bed that night, thinking nothing else of it, and then woke up the next morning with Julep’s voice in my head. I even knew that her name was Julep, though I had no idea why. She wouldn’t stop talking until I finally wrote her story, though I was resistant at first, because I’d never written a mystery before.
*FYI, there are several other books with teenage con artists at the helm, but I didn’t know that until after I’d finished writing the book.
How long did it take you to write the book?
About a year and a half, on and off. I wrote a significant chunk of it on my phone while commuting to and from work, so it was slow going at times.
Is this your first novel?
Yes and no. It’s my first published novel. But I wrote three or four full manuscripts before I found my agent and got the book deal.
Why did you do that thing at the end that you did?
Actions have consequences, even when you’re doing good things–sometimes especially when you’re doing good things. Besides, you can’t just go up against the mob and get off scot free.
How did you do research for this? Where did you find how-to con artist info?
You would not believe the information they put in books these days. I literally ordered books off the Internet. And the information I didn’t get from those books, I got from blog posts and articles I found–you guessed it–on the Internet. The only other way I got information was by asking workers how they would go about scamming someone in their position. For example, I asked my wife who worked for Starbucks during her college days how I would go about getting a free drink. She gave me some tips, I tried them, and bam! Free soy latte.
How many books will there be in the series?
There are three books and a couple of novellas planned for this series thus far. There will be at least two books for sure, and there could be more than three, depending on what happens as I’m writing book 3. 😉
What age group do you recommend this book for?
Much like a good Pixar movie, TMIL is an enjoyable read for almost any age–entertaining for younger readers while offering a deeper level of engagement for more advanced readers. There’s almost no swearing, no sex (barely any kissing, really), and very little violence. The vocabulary is pretty accessible as well. But the concepts, dialogue, and themes are complex enough to encourage deeper critical thinking from adults.