I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the Dead End Girls by Wendy Heard Blog Tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours.
Check out my interview post below!
About the Book
Title: Dead End Girls
Author: Wendy Heard
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Publishing date: May 10th, 2022
In one week, Maude will be dead. At least, that’s what she wants everyone to think. After years of research, Maude has decided to fake her own death. She’s figured out the how, the when, the where, and who will help her unsuspectingly.
The why is complex: revenge, partly. Her terrible parents deserve this. But there’s also l’appel du vide, the call of the void, that beckons her toward a new life where she will be tied to no one, free and adrift. Then Frankie, a step-cousin she barely knows, figures out what she’s plotting, and the plan seems like it’s ruined. Except Frankie doesn’t want to rat her out. Frankie wants in. The girls vault into the unknown, risking everything for a new and limitless life. But there are some things you can never run away from. What if the poison is not in the soil, but in the roots?
This pulse-pounding thriller offers a nuanced exploration of identity, freedom, and falling in love while your world falls apart.
Find it Here:
1. How did your experience writing adult thrillers contribute to writing for the younger audiences of YA? Was the process the same or different?
The two definitely inform each other a lot, but I’ve had to learn to pull apart the tone and voice to make my work different for adult and young adult audiences. In adult, I tend to be more plot forward, and in young adult, I tend to be more emotions forward. I’ll go darker with adult plots and go a little easier with work for children.
2. What draws you to the thriller genre as a writer?
So many things! I’ve always loved the darker topics, even as a child when I’d stay up all night reading Stephen King and Christopher Pike. I got older and found Anne Rice, Edgar Allan Poe, and then I discovered mysteries and thrillers and it was all over from there. I don’t know why I love that aesthetic, but one of my Christmas decorations is a large skeleton unicorn with glowing eyes, so perhaps this is just…part of me.
3. What does your research process look like? Are there certain IRL cases that have triggered ideas for your books?
I am inspired by some true cases, and sometimes I’ll research something like “What’s the right type of poison for this book?” or “I need to kill someone and all I have in the room are XYZ.” I’ll try to define the question, and then I’ll take to Google. What I can’t learn on the internet, I’ll glean from experts. I’ve interviewed a lot of people, not least the FBI.
4. Have you ever written books in other genres? If so, what genres?
I wrote a dystopian book once that I’d like to rewrite and try again. I really liked it. I’ve also drafted some speculative work.
5. What are your favorite adult or YA Thriller recommendations?
Too many to count! I’ll try not to make this too long. Feel free to edit.
Gabino Iglesias: THE DEVIL TAKES YOU HOME
Wanda Morris: ANYWHERE YOU RUN
Erin E Adams: JACKAL
Amina Akhtar: KISMET
Diana Urban: THESE DEADLY GAMES
Ryan Douglass: THE TAKING OF JAKE LIVINGSTON
Erica Waters: THE RESTLESS DARK
Julia Lynn Rubin: PRIMAL ANIMALS
Katie Zhao: HOW WE FALL APART
Kate A. Boorman: INTO THE SUBLIME
About the Author
Wendy Heard is the author of two adult thrillers: The Kill Club and Hunting Annabelle, which Kirkus Reviews praised as “a diabolically plotted creep show from a writer to watch.” She’s Too Pretty To Burn, which Kirkus called “a wild and satisfying romp” in a starred review, marks her YA debut. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, International Thriller Writers, and Mystery Writers of America, is a contributor at Crimereads.com, and co-hosts the Unlikeable Female Characters podcast. Wendy lives in Los Angeles, California.
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