January 3, 2014 by Alice in Readerland
I’m so excited about this interview, you guys! Trust Me, I’m Lying is one of my top anticipated reads of this year, and the cover was just revealed yesterday on YA Books Central! Before the interview, let’s reread the synopsis of Trust Me, I’m Lying:
Julep Dupree is good at telling lies. She has to be if she wants to stay at St. Agatha’s, the swanky private school where she runs petty scams that earn her tuition money. Luckily, deception is just part of the family business.
But when Julep comes home to a ransacked apartment and her con artist father missing, things get serious fast. Tyler Richland, a senior with a hotness factor approaching solar levels, offers his help, and suddenly Julep’s life gets even messier. She has to follow a trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, and family secrets. Julep is in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.
Now, let’s welcome author Mary Elizabeth Summer to my blog:
I love the concept of Trust Me, I’m Lying, it sounds fantastic!
How did you come up with the story idea and get into the mind of a teenage con artist?
Thank you! I came up with the protagonist, Julep, before I came up with anything else. Or maybe I should say she came up with herself, since I woke up one day with her lodged in my brain, fully formed and ordering me around. From there, I just kept asking myself (and her) questions until the story unfolded completely. And I’ll tell you this, it shocked the heck out of me in a couple of places. I wish I could take credit for some of the twists and turns, but I’m as surprised as anybody.
Was there any kind of research you had to do while working on this book?
Lots of research. And you would be amazed what people get away with publishing these days. I bought and read an entire book on how to make fake IDs. Sorry, “novelty” IDs. I also researched the ten basic cons and how to be a con artist and guns and all kinds of things about Chicago and the Ukrainian mob. Oops. I’ve said too much.
I saw that you watch Leverage and White Collar, and that just makes me so excited because Leverage is my favorite T.V. show! Did these shows help influence Trust Me, I’m Lying in any way?
Absolutely! White Collar and I have this hilarious relationship wherein I come up with ideas for the book, and then the NEXT EPISODE tells me exactly what I need to write to make it happen. It’s uncanny. I got a book on how to win a ten-spot in a bar, used one of the tricks in a scene, and then White Collar used the same trick on an episode a few weeks later. I swear the writers for that show and I are reading the same books.
Leverage influenced me in a different way in that it taught me how to use a crew to pull a con, and how to make sure all the loose ends tie neatly into a final resolution that the audience never sees coming. You’ll see what I mean when you read the book. ;-) Also, Leverage was filmed right here in Portland, which makes it even more near and dear to my heart. *hugs Leverage*
What was your favorite scene to write in Trust Me, I’m Lying?
This is a tough one for me. There are so many scenes I just loved to write! One of my favorite scenes, though, happens just after Julep and her best friend get run off the road. It sounds simple enough–> bad guy runs them off the road. But as with any twisty mystery, not everything is as it seems. Plus, there’s some good love-interest tension (via phone) and a significant reveal at the end.
What are five words to describe your next WIP?
My current work-in-progress is the second book in the Julep series, so I’ll go with… hitman cult mother rye revenge
Thank you so much, Mary Elizabeth! I loved reading your answers, it makes me even more excited to read Trust Me, I’m Lying!