From Amanda Searcy, author of The Truth Beneath the Lies, which the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying, Karen M. McManus, called “smart, suspenseful, and unpredictable,” comes a new YA psychological thriller, WATCH YOU BURN (Delacorte Press | On sale October 23, 2018 | Ages 14 & up). Readers who like dark, twisty mysteries will be mesmerized by this story about a girl who must keep her arsonist ways hidden—or watch her life go up in flames.
Jenny doesn’t want to move in with her dad at the creepy, possibly haunted motel he’s renovating. But the cops are on to her, and the only way she can protect herself is by moving as far away from her hometown as possible and staying out of trouble.
But even after she moves, Jenny gets the itch. The itch to light a match and then watch it burn. It’s something she hasn’t been able to stop since an accident years ago.
Now, in a new town, Jenny has the strange feeling that someone is watching her every move. And when a string of acquaintances are found murdered, she begins to worry that someone is out to get her. Will her secret be exposed? Or is the burning truth deep inside her a greater danger?
With a surprise ending and slow-burning romance, WATCH YOU BURN will leave you on the edge of your seat as Jenny desperately tries to keep her dangerous habit hidden at all costs.
Praise for The Truth Beneath the Lies by Amanda Searcy
« “An intricately plotted thriller that’s both gritty and engrossing.” ─Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“This thrilling, fast-paced, and complex story will leave the reader questioning the truth until the very end.” ─Booklist
“A smart, suspenseful, and unpredictable thriller that will keep readers turning pages until every last lie is revealed.”
─Karen M. McManus, New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying
Today we welcome Amanda for an interview!
1. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer or did you want to be something else?
I wanted to be everything else growing up (from an astronaut to an archeologist). Writing always felt too much like school to me (and I’m terrible at spelling and grammar). Then as an adult, I realized writing is storytelling, and it had very little to do with getting all the commas in the right places.
2. How long does it take you to write a book from start to finish?
I can write a first draft in about four months. Then it takes a couple more months of polishing to get it to the point where I’m comfortable with anyone reading it. (Turning it into a publishable book then takes many, many more months after that.)
3. Do you have a schedule of when you write?
Yes. I’m a morning person and have a day job, so I write really early in the morning in my pajamas (but after I make my coffee and feed the cat!).
4. How are you able to balance other aspects of your life with your writing?
I do it by keeping a very disciplined schedule. I go to bed/get up at the same time every day, so I make sure I get my writing time in. My brain is trained now to switch immediately into writing mode at the appointed time, so I get a lot done. And then I turn it off. I still think about my story throughout the day, but I rarely do any writing outside of my morning writing slot.
5. What elements do you think make a great story line?
Really engaging characters with interesting backstories and a plot that keeps you turning pages and makes you sad when you have to put it down. I also really enjoy interesting plot structures.
6. What was the hardest thing about writing a book?
Showing up day after day. Some days everything is going great and it feels amazing to be creating, other days it feels like pulling teeth and no part of you wants to do it. But you have to keep showing up. You can give in a little to not wanting to do it, but in my experience, the longer you let it go, the harder it is to start again.
7. How many books have you written so far? Do you have a favorite?
I have written 6 books (2 published, 4 unpublished). I love them all, but I do have one that is my very favorite: the first (unpublished) YA book I wrote. It’s really the book of my heart, and I’ve been hesitant to get it out of the drawer and dust it off, because I fear going through the editing/publishing process with it would be too hard on my heart.
8. What kinds of things do you like to do outside of writing?
I’m obsessed with the Great British Baking show, so lately I’ve been practicing making bread (which has turned out well) and pastry (which has not).
9. What kinds of advice would you give to someone who wants to start writing?
Read for pleasure—and truly for pleasure. Read whatever you get lost in and don’t stop to analyze every bit of it. When you are engaged in the story, your brain is sucking up all the important stuff like structure and character development. It will help you intuitively add those things to your own story.
10. 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?
I would love to go to Paris. Although, if I were to set a book there, my characters would probably just wander around eating pastries!
Amanda Searcy is the author of The Truth Beneath the Lies. She received her MA in the Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex in England. She is now active in SCBWI and is a two-time winner in the SouthWest Writers annual contest. She works as a collection development supervisor for the Albuquerque public library system and specializes in the acquisition of young adult materials. Visit her website or follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @Aesearcy.
WATCH YOU BURN by Amanda Searcy
Delacorte Press ⎸On sale October 23, 2018 ⎸Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 978-1-5247-0093-5 ⎸$17.99/ $23.99 Can. ⎸352 pages
Ebook: 978-1-5247-0095-9 ⎸$10.99