Good Morning, Readers! Today I have the talented Mary Elizabeth Summer to talk about her debut YA novel, Trust Me, I’m Lying (October 14, 2014 from Delacorte Press)! But first, here’s a bit about the book:
I’m currently reading it for the SECOND time. Trust me, you want this book! Without further ado, the interview…
Hi, Mary Elizabeth! Welcome to Whimsically Yours!!
Thank you so much for having me! My name is Mary Elizabeth Summer, and I’m a newbie author with a day job, a kid, a wife, a dog, and an evil overlord (her name is Smidgeon). I like sriracha sauce. A lot. My book’s name is Trust Me, I’m Lying, and it’s about a teenage con artist who has to lie, cheat, and blow stuff up to find her kidnapped dad. We’re both very pleased to meet you.
I’m glad you’re here! TRUST ME, I’M LYING has some great world & character building. I’m always impressed when authors take a topic I would think most people know nothing about and become almost experts in order to write the book. I hear you’re a pretty big Leverage fan (me, too!). I’m guessing it was a partial inspiration for TRUST ME, I’M LYING. Were there any other TV shows, books, and movies that inspired you to write the story or that were used as research?
OMG YES. You’d be amazed what you can learn from books–books that should know better than to teach any old person how to make fake IDs, for example. While researching this story, I read The Art of the Steal, 100 Ways to Win a 10-Spot, and Secrets of a Back Alley ID Man. I watched Leverage (as you mentioned), as well as The Sting, White Collar, and The Brothers Bloom. I had, of course, also seen The Italian Job, Ocean’s 11, The Usual Suspects, Catch Me If You Can, and so many more heist movies over the years. And there are loads more I still want to watch, like Paper Moon, A Fish Called Wanda, and American Hustle, to name a few. Plus, I Googled the heck out of famous con men and their scams. *hearts the Internet*
That sounds like so much fun *grins* This blog has a lot of teen followers, partially because I started this when I was a teen, so I was wondering if you could give a bit of advice to teens who like to write and/or your younger self?
Hmm. Well, one thing that this particular novel taught me is that there is no one right way to do anything–both in writing and in life. Don’t paralyze yourself with worry about doing the “right” thing. Just start where you are and do what you can and keep doing it until you’re done. If you have the skills already, use them. If you don’t have the skills you need, acquire them. Stop putting off your dreams. You have all the time in the world as long as you keep using it. You have all the inspiration you need as long as you keep generating it. The talent you have, the things you accomplish, start and end with you. You already have you, so what are you waiting for? To be older? To be ready? That’s malarkey. You’re ready now.
I love that advice–words to live by! If you could be any character from a book, movie, play, or musical who would it be and why?
Yikes. That’s a loaded question. All the characters I love go through such tortures…. I guess I’d pick Troy Horan from Catseye by Andre Norton. He could talk telepathically with animals, which, awesome. And Hunter Rerne as a BFF? Yes, please!
Haha, great! Coffee or tea?
Both! Though I prefer herbal teas, which aren’t technically tea, soooo…coffee!
I’m with you on those herbal teas. How about a fun fact about yourself most people don’t know?
I was raised by psychics. My dad worked in the Army Intelligence Remote Viewing unit (project Stargate) in the 80s/90s, and my mom has some unusual gifts as well.
WOW. Now that’s fun! Can you name a recently released book (or books…I know picking one can be hard) you read & adored.
SO many of the debut books coming out this year are outstanding. Keeping it to less than fifty is going to be hard. Standouts for me are: BEYOND OUR STARS by Marie Langager, ILLUSIVE by Emily Lloyd-Jones, SING SWEET NIGHTINGALE by Erica Cameron, GIRL FROM THE WELL by Rin Chupeco, and THE SECRET SIDE OF EMPTY by Maria E. Andreu.
I have read those & loved them all!! (If you haven’t go now!) If you had a Patronus what would it be?
Let’s be honest. We’d all have the same Patronus. #bookworm
LOL. That’s true. If there was any place you could travel to right now where would it be?
Chicago. Trust Me, I’m Lying is set there, but I’ve never been. I’d really love to see all the places I wrote into the book, like Cafe Ballou, Meigs Field, and St. Ignatius College Prep (the school I [loosely] based St. Agatha’s on).
That must’ve taken a ton of research! Can you tell us a bit about the story you’re currently working on?
I’m currently copyediting the second book in the Trust Me series. It’s title is… (and this is an EXCLUSIVE REVEAL, people, as in YOU READ IT HERE FIRST) …drumroll please… Trust Me, I’m Trouble. In it, our beloved Julep Dupree gets sucked into even more shenanigans as she’s dealing with fallout from the first book. I can’t tell you much, but I will say that, in this book, she has to go up against another grifter…and I’m still not quite sure she’s good enough to win.
Trust Me, I’m Trouble. LOVE that title…now if only it was out now 😉 Thank you so much for answering my questions, Mary Elizabeth! Any last words?
Haha, thank you so much, Mary Elizabeth!! I really enjoyed this interview.
I’ll be posting my review of TRUST ME, I’M LYING sometime next week! Your comments are always welcome below 😀