I’m so excited to have author Karen M. McManus on the blog today to chat about her new novel One of Us is Lying, which could easily be compared to The Breakfast Club but with deadly consequences.
*This book does contain some triggers. I want to avoid any spoilers, so I’ll avoid details, but feel free to DM me on Twitter for more information.*
About the Book
Title: ONE OF US IS LYING
Author: Karen McManus
Pub. Date: May 30, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little Liars, & One of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.
Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.
Wow! What a fascinating concept! I usually avoid asking authors this question, because I’m sure you get it a lot, but I am dying to know how the idea for this story came to you. Would you mind telling us a little bit about that?
I get a lot of my book ideas while driving—something about half my brain being engaged in a mundane task gives the other half freedom to roam. The song “Don’t You Forget About Me” came on the radio, and I started thinking it would be fun to write a book inspired by “The Breakfast Club,” but with a twist. Then that twist took a dark turn, to put it mildly. The concept didn’t really come to life, though, until I had all five main characters fleshed out in my head and began to piece together how and why they’d intersect throughout the story.
This book has such a dynamic cast of characters, which of them was your favorite to write?
Nate was a joy to write, mostly because he seemed to write himself. I’d sit down at the beginning of his scenes with a hazy idea of what I wanted to accomplish, and just let him take over. He required the least amount of editing, too.
Did you find any of the characters to be more difficult to write than the others?
Cooper was challenging because he’s the most opaque character. He’s not as open about his true thoughts and feelings as the others are.
Which of these characters would you say you were most like yourself when you were in high school?
I was a rule-following “good kid” like Bronwyn, but I didn’t have her self-confidence. I was more like Addy in that respect, in that I tended to define myself by how other people saw me or wanted me to be (something that took years to outgrow). So a mixture of both.
I saw that you earned your MA in journalism from Northeastern University. Would you say that your background in journalism is part of what inspired you to want to write a mystery?
I joke about my MA in my bio sometimes because I’ve never used it professionally—I got it at a time that I was thinking about making a career change that ultimately didn’t happen. But journalism is great background for a book like this because it trains you to anticipate questions, to look for the holes in your story and fill them before they distract your reader. That’s especially important in a mystery, when readers often bring a clue-seeking mindset to the book. If your writing is lazy or sloppy, even for a moment, they’re going to notice.
Are there any mystery novels that you’ve read in the past that influenced or inspired your own writing?
I loved Agatha Christie novels as a kid—that whole closed-door, red-herring vibe—and one in particular that influenced me is Murder on the Orient Express, because it features the death of a character that all the surviving characters had a reason to dislike or fear. When everybody involved has a motive, everyone is a suspect and you don’t know who to trust.
Finally, congratulations on your debut novel! What, if anything, has taken you be surprise in your experience with publishing your very first novel?
Thank you! As a pantser-style writer, I’ve been surprised at how much I enjoyed the revision process. I’ve always hated revising, because it feels like a bad game of Jenga—I remove one piece, and everything else crumbles. It’s different with a brilliant editor in your corner, when you can see each round of changes strengthening the book. Although by the time I got to copyedits, I had read my own words so much that they’d almost lost all meaning and I’d think, “Does this even make sense? I can’t tell anymore.”
About the Author
As a kid I used to write books when I was supposed to be playing outside, and not much has changed. I’m a marketing and communications professional who also writes Young Adult contemporary and fantasy fiction in Cambridge, MA.
When not writing or working I love to travel, and along with my nine-year old son I’ve ridden horses in Colombia and bicycles through Paris. A member of SCBWI, I hold a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of the Holy Cross and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northeastern University. Which I have never, ever used professionally.
Enter the Giveaway
3 winners will receive a finished copy of ONE OF US IS LYING, US Only.
Follow the Blog Tour
Thanks so much to Rockstar Book Tours for hosting this tour and for allowing me to participate! Be sure to check them out here!
5/29/2017- YA Books Central– Interview
5/30/2017- YA Book Madness– Review
5/31/2017- Novel Novice– Guest Post
6/1/2017- Literary Meanderings– Review
6/2/2017- BookHounds YA– Interview
6/5/2017- Storybook Slayers– Review
6/6/2017- Book Princess Reviews– Review
6/7/2017- The Cover Contessa– Interview
6/8/2017- Book Briefs– Review
6/9/2017- Pretty Deadly Reviews– Guest Post
6/12/2017- Eli to the nth– Review
6/13/2017- YA and Wine– Interview
6/14/2017- Smada’s Book Smack– Review
6/15/2017- The O.W.L.– Guest Post
6/16/2017- Zach’s YA Reviews– Review
Have you read this book just yet? Tell me all about your thoughts on it!