I was tagged in the Next Big Thing Tour by Emily Lloyd-Jones, author of ILLUSIVE, which is about a kick-ass group of high-class thieves with super powers embroiled in a deadly race against the government for the vaccine that gave them their powers. How cool is that??
The Next Big Thing Tour is for readers to discover new and upcoming authors. So hold onto your hats!
- What is the working title of your next book?
The title is Trust Me, I’m Lying. My mom thought of it, which makes it special to me. But TMIL is actually its second official title. The first, Catch My Grift, my partner thought up. Moral of the story: don’t ask me to name your book, but do ask my family. They’re the creative ones.
- Where did the idea come from for the book?
At the time I was casting about for a new story idea, I happened to be watching a lot of con artist shows on TV—Leverage, White Collar, etc. Con artists seemed to be everywhere in adult entertainment, but I hadn’t seen it at all in YA. (I then found some later, but at the time, I was blissfully unaware.) So that thought was congealing in the back of my brain one night when I went to sleep, and when I woke up the next morning, Julep (the protagonist for TMIL) sprung fully formed into my head. I could literally hear her voice. So I had to write her.
- What is the genre of your book?
YA mystery/suspense. To be more specific, it’s a caper novel with lots of heists and swindles, action and sleight-of-hand. And there’s a bit of romance, too, because romance. Amirite?
- What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in the movie rendition?
I’m terrible with actors/actresses. Especially ones that would look right in a teen role. BUT I do have a Pinterest page for TMIL that has pics of the major players, and may give you some hints about the story as well. Feel free to check it out!
- What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When Julep Dupree, con artist and sophomore at St. Agatha High, comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and a missing father, she must call in all her favors and use every grift in the book to find him before his mark finds her.
- Who is publishing your book?
The amazingly fantabulous folks at Delacorte Press (an imprint of Random House). My wise and steadfast and brilliant editor is Wendy Loggia, who also worked on (among a great many other awesome books) A Great and Terrible Beauty and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.
- How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
I had a few false starts, but once I started really going, it took about nine months to write and revise.
- What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Probably the closest is Ally Carter’s Heist Society, though TMIL is more about abandoned warehouses and grimy alleys than art museums.
- Who or what inspired you to write this book?
For a while now I’ve wanted to write a book wherein a bad guy somehow finds herself in a position to do a good thing, and then muddles through the identity crisis that inevitably ensues. I’d seen the trope in sci-fi with shows like Firefly and Battlestar Galactica, but I hadn’t really seen it yet told from a protagonist’s point of view in YA. (Again, I was woefully undereducated at the time.) In any case, what my imagination really glommed onto was the question: what if a bad guy had to become good?
- What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
There are mobsters in it. And tips on how to be a con artist. And cars, several cool-ass cars. And somebody gets arrested (several somebodies, in fact).
Now it’s my turn to tag two intriguing authors whose books I know readers will be drooling over!
Marie Langager, author of HAVEN (Bloomsbury) is out in Winter 2014. FYI, I’ve read this book and it totally rocks. Think ENDER’S GAME meets THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES. Marie Langager’s HAVEN is about a 17yo girl whose dying ship lands on an unexpectedly inhabited planet where she is marked by the Locals as a specimen for their grueling and dangerous tests and is the only one who can determine whether they are out to understand or destroy their uninvited guests.
Caroline T. Richmond, author of ANOMALY (Scholastic) is out Fall 2014. Seventy years after Hitler won WWII and colonized the United States, Zara St. James must use her superpowers to raise a revolution and push the Nazis to back where they belong.