Random House Books for Young Readers
On sale June 28, 2016
Stolen from her family as a young girl, Scarlett was lucky enough to eventually escape her captor. Now a teen, she's starting a summer job at an amusement park. There are cute boys, new friends, and the chance to finally have a
Her first day on the job, Scarlett is shocked to discover that a girl from the park has gone missing. Old memories come rushing back. And now as she meets her new coworkers, one of the girls seems strangely familiar. When Scarlett chose to run all those years ago, what did she set into motion? And when push comes to shove, how far will she go to uncover the truth . . . before it's too late?
With a to-die-for twist, fans of Lauren Oliver’s Vanishing Girls, Laura Ruby’s Bone Gap, and Pretty Little Liars will enjoy the this deliciously disturbing, heart-in-your-throat thriller NEVER MISSING, NEVER
“This layered, satisfying read brims with spine-tingling psychological suspense and plays on themes of identity, loyalty, and loss.”—BooklistFOUND.
“Panitch (Damage Done) tells a harrowing story of captivity, survival, and the pursuit of hope; readers’ hearts will break as Scarlett tries to find her place in a world that left her behind.
A jaw-dropping final twist gives way to a surprising, satisfying conclusion to this tense, clever thriller.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred
“With flashbacks that slowly reveal the terrible secret of Scarlett’s escape and Pixie’s fate, this psychological thriller evokes well-paced fear.”—Kirkus Reviews
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I've wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember: I started with hand-drawn picture books, moved onto piles of handwritten notebooks in elementary school, and have been going ever since.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
It depends on the book. I usually write first drafts pretty quickly, but it can take a long time to plan beforehand and to revise afterwards. It took several months to write and revise NEVER MISSING, NEVER FOUND.
3. How do you come up with themes for your stories?
I don't usually plan to have specific themes in my stories; they tend to weave themselves in as I write and revise.
4. Do you have a schedule of when you write?
I prefer drafting in the morning, when my mind's feeling fresh, and revising and brainstorming in the afternoon and evening when I'm feeling more tired, but it depends on what else I have going on any particular day.
5. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
Writing can be isolating, so I make sure to schedule time to get out and be social, even if it's just writing together with other author friends. I also do my best to get outside and exercise in some way every day so that I'm getting out of the apartment and keeping my blood flowing.
6. What elements do you think make a great story line?
It totally depends on the book. For me, writing thrillers, I write with the idea that if I'm bored writing a scene, the reader's going to be bored reading it. So, if I start to get bored, I throw in a twist or a revelation to get things moving again.
7. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Finishing. I always want to go back and fix things before I get to the end, but, if I keep doing that, I never make it to the end. I've had to make it a rule with first drafts that I can't edit as I go.
8. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
Many! I don't have a favorite – DAMAGE DONE was the first to be published, so it holds a special place in my heart, but they each have a piece of my heart.
9. Do you have a favorite character?
I wouldn't want to be friends with her, but I loved writing Julia from DAMAGE DONE.
10. Where do you write?
Anywhere and everywhere, as long as I have my trusty laptop. Most often I'm writing either in my apartment or outside in the park.
11. When deciding on how to publish, what directed you to the route you took?
I have nothing against self-publishing, but I pursued traditional publishing because I wanted my books to be widely available in libraries and bookstores.
12. Have you gotten feedback from family about your book(s)? What do they think?
My parents and siblings have been wildly supportive, which is wonderful, considering the terrible parents and siblings who populate my books.
13. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I love cooking, discovering new restaurants, watching Food Network, and doing basically anything food-related. I also like outside activities like hiking or swimming.
14. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Just write. Don't worry too much about the nitty-gritty details or the market. Write for the love of it and learn how to construct a novel, then worry about the rest later on.
15. What is your favorite book? favorite author? Do you have an author that inspired/inspires you to write?
There's no way I can pick one favorite book or author! Five of my favorite YA books this year have been UP TO THIS POINTE by Jennifer Longo, SCARLETT EPSTEIN HATES IT HERE by Anna Breslaw, THE DARKEST CORNERS by Kara Thomas, THE READER by Traci Chee, and VASSA IN THE NIGHT by Sarah Porter.
16. Do you have any go to people when writing a book that help you with your story lines as well as editing, beta reading and such?
I have a rotating circle of wonderful critique partners who help whip sense into me and fill up my plot holes.
17. Are you working on anything now?
Nothing I can talk about publicly at this point, I'm afraid!
18. Tell us 5 things that make you smile
1. My parents' dog, Beau the Beagle
2. The smell of the ocean and the rain
3. The notification from the library that a book I've been wanting to read for ages has finally arrived on hold
4. That little tingle in the back of my brain when I start reading a new book and know immediately that I'm going to love it
5. Typing, "THE END"
19. Tell us 5 things that make you sad
1. When the third book in a trilogy lets me down
2. The gray slush that fills all of NYC's gutters in the days after a snowstorm
3. When I open a book I've been hotly anticipating and discover that it doesn't use quotation marks in dialogue (my number one reading pet peeve)
4. Getting a stranger's sweat on me in a crowded summer subway car
5. When I realize the book I'm outlining is all wrong and I actually have no idea what I'm doing
20. If you could travel anywhere in the world to visit a place so you could use it as a background for a book, where would it be?
Amanda Panitch grew up next to an amusement park in New Jersey and went to college next to the White House in Washington, DC. Amanda now resides in New York City where she works in book publishing by day, writes by night, and lives under constant threat of being crushed beneath giant stacks of books. You can follow her on Twitter @AmandaPanitch, and visit her online at www.amandapanitch.com