So happy to have author Susan McBride here with an interview! I recently read and reviewed her new young adult novel, Very Bad Things. It was a refreshing mystery with very realistic, flawed characters. Check out my review if you're looking for a new mystery to add to your pile. Now on to the interview!
First of all, let me say that Very Bad Things is made up of two of my favorite things. Boarding schools and murder mysteries! If you had to choose a favorite boarding school book, what would it be?
Hmm, I really enjoyed Private by Kate Brian (the first of the Private books). It definitely kept me turning the pages.
If you were in a horror movie, what's the one thing you would definitely avoid doing?
I would not want to do anything alone, particularly going down into a dark basement, out to a dark barn, or into a creepy attic. All three are recipes for disaster. Oh, wait, and I would never try to run through the woods. Those movies always have the screaming girl tripping over a log.
What's the number one book you always go to when you need a book to snuggle with during the chilly fall days?
I love Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen. I could read that one over and over.
This is your first young adult mystery novel. Would you say the transition was easy, or was it tougher than it seemed?
I think Very Bad Things would have been a hard book to write even if I’d written for the adult mystery market (and, actually, the original idea for the book started as an idea for a mainstream thriller). It took three drafts to get it right. I had to eliminate one point of view entirely and shift to another. It was just really tricky showing how three different people who are so connected—Katie, Tessa, and Mark—viewed the disappearance of Rose and what happened after. I had to be careful what I revealed without cheating readers because everyone’s hiding something in VBT. It was so gratifying to do the final revision and feel like I did the story and the characters justice. I am so proud of this book!
What are the top fall releases you're most excited for?
Oh, man, I just turned in a mystery to HarperCollins this week so I’m feeling very brain dead. I don’t even know what’s coming out this fall. You’ll have to tell me what you recommend, Audris!
Were you always a fan of mystery novels? What were some of the things that inspired you to write mystery?
Yes, I always LOVED mystery novels. As a kid, I started out with the Nancy Drew books (which I still have and plan to give to my daughter someday), and I read Encyclopedia Brown and those Three-Minute Mysteries. I just like puzzles and trying to solve them. My first published novel was a mystery called And Then She Was Gone, which came out in 1999, and I’ve written several mystery series for HarperCollins (the Debutante Dropout Mysteries and the River Road Mysteries). So I’m definitely hooked. It’s fun to come up with the story and then try to lead the reader down an uncertain path strewn with both truths and red herrings. It’s a blast for me as a writer, and I hope it’s as entertaining for readers!
Thank you so much for participating in Creeptastic Reads!
Thank you, Audris! If anyone wants to learn more about my books, they can visit me at my website or at Facebook.
Thank you Susan for providing a signed copy of Very Bad Things! I will email the winner on November 4th.