Hola! Beth, here.
Okay. I am super-stoked. Today we celebrate the release of PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL, a YA murder mystery written by my long-time beta-reader/manuscript-butt-kicker, Kara Taylor. And let me tell you, I've read this book and it is fabulous. Kara has a gift for (hilarious) voice and the pacing will keep you turning those pages well into the night.
Anne Dowling practically runs her exclusive academy on New York’s Upper East Side—that is, until she accidentally burns part of it down and gets sent to a prestigious boarding school outside of Boston. Determined to make it back to New York, Anne could care less about making friends at the preppy Wheatley School. That is, until her roommate Isabella’s body is found in the woods behind the school.
When everyone else is oddly silent, Anne becomes determined to uncover the truth no matter how many rules she has to break to do it. With the help of Isabella’s twin brother Anthony, and a cute classmate named Brent, Anne discovers that Isabella wasn’t quite the innocent nerdy girl she pretended to be. But someone will do anything to stop Anne’s snooping—even if it means framing her for Isabella’s murder.
Welcome to We Do Write, Kara! It's so nice to have you here. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I've been writing since my mom gave me a boxed set of Nancy Drew novels in the third grade! Now, I'm lucky enough to write full-time.
In addition to the PREP SCHOOL series, I write for television, on a project I can't share much about until the fall. I'm a TV nut and avid reader, but I also love hitting the beach and the river in my hometown, Long Island.
How did the idea of PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL come to you?
My dad let me watch Law & Order when I was six and I was hooked on procedural mysteries from that point on. I tried my hand at a couple adult crime novels (they were terrible), and eventually learned my voice is very YA. So that's how I wound up writing a YA murder mystery that's Veronica Mars meets Twin Peaks!
You're right. You have a perfect YA voice! I already know the answer to this, but for the sake of the interview, do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I have a few very close writer friends who read everything I write, and vice versa. I'm also huge on self-editing, though. I'll probably edit a book to death before I'm comfortable sending it for someone else to read!
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A little bit of both. I used to pants the hell out of my books, but planning out a 3 book series required a little more attention to the intricacies of plotting. So now I use outlines or summaries to guide me.
I might need to take some lessons from you on plotting. What's the hardest part of writing for you?
The loneliness! I spent a little while teaching, and while I love writing, I miss being surrounded by people all day.
Nail polish. When I get stuck, I absolutely have to paint my nails while brainstorming.
Of course. Nothing gets those creative juices flowing like a mani-pedi. Anne would approve.
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
Teleportation! I live in an area with a ton of traffic, and also, I'm afraid of airplanes. But I love traveling and discovering new places, so it's a quandary.
What's the weirdest thing you've Googled?
Probably, "How many volts of electricity does it require to take down a 250 pound man?"
Ha! Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: photograph, tar, bridge.
The man was so immersed in capturing the scenic view from the bridge in a photograph, he didn't realize he'd stepped in tar and ruined his new shoes.
Aww, bummer. Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably…
Giving way too much attention to my long-haired Chihuahua, Izzy.
Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
I'd be lost without my literary agent, Suzie Townsend. I also have amazing writer friends who read all my work and talk me off ledges: Kathy Bradey, Lindsey Culli, Elizabeth Holloway, and Debra Driza.
Hey, it's the least I can do, especially since I've had my share of ledges you have talked me off of. *grin* So, where can people find PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL online?
PREP SCHOOL CONFIDENTIAL will be available on July 30th on all major retailer websites. You can also find it on IndieBound, Goodreads, or Kara's website.
HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY AND CONGRATULATIONS, KARA!