So I had the amazing opportunity to interview the lovely Paula Stokes on her new novel, Liars, Inc! It's an amazing mystery and psychological thriller that runs in the same veins as How to Get Away with Murder and I can't wait to share with you guys!
First, here's some info on the book:
ABOUTTitle: Liars, Inc.
Author: Paula Stokes
Release Date: March 24th 2015
Get it Here: Indigo Amazon BookDepository B&N
For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV's How to Get Away with Murder.
Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?
When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.
Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called "Captivating to the very end," Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.
InterviewRi: How would you describe Liars, Inc. in five words?
Paula: LIARS is fast-paced, bold, dark, twisty, and twisted.
Ri: What inspired Liars, Inc. ?
Paula: As always, a combination of things. On a subconscious level, the story was undoubtedly inspired by all of the Christopher Pike and Dean Koontz that I've read. Those guys are not afraid to take risks and push boundaries. I also remember seeing a movie when I lived in Seoul about a guy who traded identities with other guys for the weekend so they could cheat on their wives. Totally different storyline, but the same kind of plan that seems foolproof until something goes horribly awry. And then finally, closer to home, my older brother started an illegal lottery in sixth grade and Liars, Inc., the business, is sort of a more corrupt version of that.
Ri: How was the writing experience of Liars compared to The Art of Lainey?
Paula: I wrote both books fairly quickly, but LIARS took longer to revise because I kept changing the ending. The book has had five drastically different endings, but I do like the one I finally settled on the best, even though some of the others were more shocking or edgy. The thing with changing your mystery ending—it usually means you have to go back and reset all your clues and red herrings, and that can be tedious work.
Ri: Were there any particularly interesting things that you learned while researching for Liars?
Paula: Oh man. I did most of the research in 2011 and it feels like ten lifetimes ago. Lemme think. Oh okay. You’re going to love this. I learned how to make chloroform and what sort of chemicals make the best accelerants for a fire. Then this guy I was dating taught me all about guns and took me to the range and I learned that if I ever get in a shootout with a paper target, the paper is going down! Basically if writer doesn’t pan out, I’m planning to move into the role of master criminal ;) Kidding! I also learned less sketchy things like surfing terminology, Hindu customs, survival tactics, what FBI badges look like, when tides roll in and out, and scads of legal stuff, like the difference between an indictment and an arraignment, federal, state, and local charges, etc. Oh, and a teen blogger taught me how to Google search by image. Thanks Monica!
Ri: What song would you use to describe Liars, Inc. ?
Paula: My playlist is out of control but I’m just going to give you two. The way I write is to imagine each story playing out as a movie in my brain. Movies usually have music at the beginning during the title sequence and then at the end as the credits roll. LIARS’ music for the title sequence would be Ride to California by Paper Tongues. This just feels like a fun beach song and I can imagine it playing as a camera pans over a Southern California coast, the water full of surfers. The song for the closing credits is Never Meant To (Lie) by Radio Iodine. Both the lyrics and the dark and alternative feel of this song go perfect with the book. Radio Iodine was a local band from back in the 90s where I used to live. Yay, internet for having this band on Spotify!
Ri: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Paula: Ha! When I’m not writing I kind of wish I was writing. Yeah, I’m a little addicted ;) But no, there’s a lot of other stuff I like too, like hiking, kayaking, driving to the beach, reading, cooking, working out, working as a freelance editor, bingeing on the occasional TV series, traveling to exotic foreign lands. Oh, and tweeting. Can’t forget about tweeting!
Ri: If you were stranded on a desert island, what one book would you have with you?
Paula: A book made of meat and cheese :D Or THE US ARMY SURVIVAL MANUAL. Or if I have to pick a novel, GOING BOVINE, because being stranded would suck, but not as bad as having mad cow disease.
Ri: What are you currently reading?
Paula: I am currently reading (as of the end of January) A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU, BLOOD OF MY BLOOD, and THE MERCILESS. The library sent me one of those “Give these books back to us or else” emails, so I’m multi-tasking :-)
Thank you so much Paula for taking the time to answer my questions! Look forward to my review of Liars, Inc. which will be released soon!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of several YA novels, most recently Liars, Inc.and The Art of Lainey. Her writing has been translated into nine foreign languages. Paula loves kayaking, hiking, reading, and seeking out new adventures in faraway lands She also loves interacting with readers. Find her online at authorpaulastokes.com or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.