We are so excited to be participating in our first blog tour with the Fantastic Flying Book Club. Below, find our Q&A with the author.
About the BookLie to Me by Kaitlin Ward
Published by Scholastic Press on January 7, 2020
From the author of the acclaimed novels Girl in a Bad Place and Where She Fell comes a pulse-pounding novel about love, betrayal, and a serial killer.
Ever since Amelia woke up in the hospital, recovering from a near-death fall she has no memory of, she's been suspicious. Her friends, family, and doctors insist it was an accident, but Amelia is sure she remembers being pushed. Then another girl is found nearby -- one who fell, but didn't survive. Amelia's fears suddenly feel very real, and with the help of her new boyfriend, Liam, she tries to investigate her own horrific ordeal. But what is she looking for, exactly? And how can she tell who's trustworthy, and who might be -- must be -- lying to her?
The closer Amelia gets to the truth, the more terrifying her once orderly, safe world becomes. She's determined to know what happened, but if she doesn't act fast, her next accident might be her last.
About the Author
Kaitlin Ward grew up on a dairy farm in a tiny New Hampshire town, the same town where she lives now with her husband and son. She studied animal science at Cornell University and cofounded the well-known blog YA Highway. She is also the author of Where She Fell, Girl in a Bad Place, and Bleeding Earth. Find her on Twitter at @Kaitlin_Ward
So you’ve written a handful of thriller/mysteries! Can you share a little bit about your writing process? Do you start with an ending in mind or does the plot just come to you as you go?
Kaitlin: No two books have been the same process for me. Usually I have one plot element that comes to me first and feels right, and I think about how I can turn it into a story. I pretty much always have an ending in mind, but how I get there often ends up changing what I visualized, at least somewhat. I usually write mostly linear, but if I get stuck on scenes, I will write a quick description of what needs to happen and move on, because sometimes it becomes clearer later on.
How did writing this book compare with your others? Any advice for aspiring writers out there?
Kaitlin: Writing Lie to Me was an interesting experience because the timeframe I had to work with was shorter than I’d had previously. It was also my first book to take place mostly in the regular, everyday world – in my other three, people end up outside of their regular lives during some or all of the book. This created some unique challenges for me, because when I can’t throw in glowing creatures or a cult or an apocalypse, I have to think harder about plotting so as to create an interesting story. But I enjoyed it a lot; I set the story in a fictionalized version of my hometown, and sent my characters to a fictionalized version of the high school I went to. It was cool to revisit those familiar environments and consider how they’ve changed since I was a teenager.
The two biggest pieces of advice I have for aspiring writers are: 1) never let yourself lose the love you have for writing. Obviously, there will be natural ups and downs, but if you find yourself hating every moment of writing something, think about why you are writing that, and what you might need to do to recapture your love for the work. And 2) keep going. Publishing can be a long game – sometimes an incredibly long game. If you really, truly, deep in your soul want to become a published author, the only way to guarantee it will happen is to persevere.
Which authors inspire your writing the most? Anyone you would love to co-author a book with?
Kaitlin: I am afraid I might be a horrible co-author because I’m a little bit bossy, but despite that I would absolutely love to co-author a book with Amy Lukavics someday! And I am inspired by so many authors, we could be here for years if I tried to make a list! However, my favorite author for many years has been Garth Nix; my writing style is not similar, but I just really love how unique and excellent every one of his books are.
Did you always want to write books? Can you share with us a few of the stories that developed your love of reading?
Kaitlin: I did always want to write books. I still have some of the “books” I wrote in kindergarten – they are not good but I was not lacking for enthusiasm. I was also always a bookworm. One of the first series I became obsessed with was the Thoroughbred series by Joanna Campbell. And around the same age, the Redwall series by Brian Jacques. If it wasn’t obvious based on those reading choices, I have also always been a big animal lover!
What does research for a book look like for you? Do you have any reading or writing quirks?
Kaitlin: I love researching. For most projects, I have a worldbuilding document where I continuously add notes. I don’t have a specific research method; usually it’s a mixture of nonfiction reading, internet research, and looking up random facts. I don’t think I have any major reading or writing quirks. Though I am very meticulous with the care of my books, so I guess for some people that is quirky!
Can you share with us a handful of 2020 releases you think should be on our radar?
Kaitlin: Yes! The 2020 releases I am most excited about are: The Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth, Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud, Lightbringer by Claire Legrand, This Town is Not All Right by M. K. Krys and Imagine Me by Tahereh Mafi.
When you aren’t writing (or reading), what else do you enjoy doing?
Kaitlin: I love video games, and playing board or card games with my son. I also really love being at my dayjob, at Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. And I like hiking, ATVing, hugging my dog, and just wandering around outside and enjoying the scenery.