Monday, October 1, 2012

GCC Presents: Gretchen McNeil

My Girlfriends Cyber Circuit sister, Gretchen McNeil has a new book out called TEN, which I think any fans of YA horror or suspense will adore. Here are all the details!

About TEN:

And their doom comes swiftly.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives – three days on Henry Island at an exclusive house party. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their own reasons for wanting to be there, both of which involve Kamiak High’s most eligible bachelor, T.J. Fletcher. But what starts out as a fun-filled weekend turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly, people are dying and the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

About the author:

Gretchen McNeil is an opera singer, writer and clown.  Her YA horror POSSESS debuted with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins in 2011.  Her follow up TEN – YA horror/suspense about ten teens trapped on a remote island with a serial killer – will be released September 18, 2012, and her third novel 3:59, sci fi doppelganger horror is scheduled for Fall 2013.  Gretchen's new YA contemporary series Don't Get Mad (Revenge meets The Breakfast Club) begins Fall 2014 with GET EVEN, followed by the sequel GET DIRTY in 2015, also with Bazler + Bray.

Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4's Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk.  Gretchen blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and is a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels where she can be seen as "Monday."

The Interview:

Q: What inspired you to write this book? 

Gretchen: My publisher wanted another horror/suspense novel from me after POSSESS and I wanted to do a throwback to the old Christopher Pike and Agatha Christie novels I loved as a teen. Voila!

Q: The main character of my first book, I WANNA BE YOUR JOEY RAMONE, is the kind of girl I wanted to be (a rock star!), the MC of my second book has a lot more in common with teenage me. Is your main character someone you wish you could be, someone a lot like you, or your total opposite? How so? 

Gretchen: I think Meg is a lot like me in the she's cerebral, and constantly saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. Though that's where the similarities end. Meg's much more introverted than I ever was.

Q: If there was a soundtrack for your book what are five songs that would be on it and how do they relate the story? 

Gretchen: I'm going to wuss out and pick only one, but it's a goodie, trust me. "Kiss Off" by the Violent Femmes! I think the reason is obvious:

"I take one one one cause you left me and
2 2 2 for my family and
3 3 3 for my heartache and
4 4 4 for my headaches and
5 5 5 for my lonely and
6 6 6 for my sorrow and
7 7 for no tomorrow and
8 8 I forget what 8 was for and
9 9 9 for a lost god and
10 10 10 10 for everything everything everything everything"

Q: In addition to writing books, I also write for a website for teens called Rookie, which has a regular feature called "Literally The Best Thing Ever," wherein we write about a thing that we think is super mega awesome (even if it is the type of thing that others might call a guilty pleasure, we believe there is nothing guilty about pleasure!) and explain why we think it is literally the best thing ever. It's generally a kind of unexpected thing, for example I wrote one about the soap opera, One Life To Live. I don't expect you to write a whole essay obviously, but can you briefly tell us what either you or your character (or both!) would say is "Literally The Best Thing Ever" and why?

Gretchen: Right now I am completely obsessed with a shopping website called Mod Cloth – fun, retro inspired clothes from a huge variety of designers. Plus shoes. Plus tchotchkes. Like half my wardrobe in heavy rotation right now is from Mod Cloth, including most of the fun dresses I wear to appearances. It's reaching epidemic levels…

Q: What are you working on for us next?
Gretchen: My next book is called 3:59 and comes out Fall 2013. It's sci-fi horror about two girls who are the same girl in different dimensions, who discover that their worlds connect every twelve hours – at 3:59 – for one minute. When they decide to switch places for a day, all hell breaks loose. Literally.

After that I just sold a two book series, also to Balzer + Bray, for 2014 and 2015. GET EVEN and GET DIRTY are books one and two in the Don't Get Mad series about four very different girls who have formed a secret revenge society, getting back at bullies and mean girls who have terrorized their classmates, which all goes well until one of their targets turns up dead and the society is implicated in the death.

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