Trisha, how long did you work on THE SECRETS WE KEEP?
The book itself took me about 6-8 weeks to write. I was in a good writing space and my muse seemed to be cooperating. But drafting has always been the easy part for me; it is revising that takes the most time. It took me about three months to revise THE SECRETS WE KEEP and that is editing full-time each day. And then I held onto it, didn’t share it with my CP’s or my agent for months. I wasn’t ready to part with. It was the book of my heart and, in a way, I wanted to keep it all to myself for a little bit longer. Eventually, I let three people read THE SECRETS WE KEEP from start to finish, and it was only after a not-so-gentle shove from them, that I finally passed it on to my agent.
What did this book teach you about writing and yourself?
Looking back on it, writing the first draft of this book was the easy part; revising it was HARD. I had the foundations laid down, the scenes and the characters clearly drawn out in my head. But in order to make my MC’s guilt palatable and truly feel her pain, I had to dig deeper and revise harder than I ever thought I was capable of. We have all, at some point, experienced pain, and loss, and guilt…perhaps even desperation and hopelessness. I had to recall those feelings from my own past and pull them forward, toss all those emotions into my revision. It was difficult and uncomfortable at times. But what I learned was that more often than not, the scenes that are the hardest to write are often the most powerful ones.
What do you hope readers will take away from THE SECRETS WE KEEP?
Hmm…that is a hard one. I guess, I want them to understand that it is okay to be true to yourself. That who you are is exactly who you are meant to be. Sometimes it’s hard to see past people’s expectations of yourself, and frequently our own dreams and who we think we should be are dictated by the people around us. That is sad, and wrong, and causes more pain then necessary. Embrace your creativity, trust in your own self-worth, and simply take joy in being who you are.
ABOUT THE BOOKThe Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver Hardcover Farrar, Straus and Giroux
A girl takes over her twin sister's identity in this emotionally charged page-turner about the complicated bond between sisters.
Ella and Maddy Lawton are identical twins. Ella has spent her high school years living in popular Maddy's shadows, but she has never been envious of Maddy. In fact, she's chosen the quiet, safe confines of her sketchbook over the constant battle for attention that has defined Maddy's world.
When—after a heated argument—Maddy and Ella get into a tragic accident that leaves her sister dead, Ella wakes up in the hospital surrounded by loved ones who believe she is Maddy. Feeling responsible for Maddy's death and everyone's grief, Ella makes a split-second decision to pretend to be Maddy. Soon, Ella realizes that Maddy's life was full of secrets. Caught in a web of lies, Ella is faced with two options—confess her deception or live her sister's life.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Trisha Leaver resides on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather excitable black lab. Her YA Horror novel CREED is coming in Fall of 2014 from Flux. Her YA Contemporary THE SECRETS WE KEEP coming in the Winter of 2015 from FSG/Macmillan.
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