BEWARE THAT GIRL is the latest book from Teresa Toten, and we're delighted to have her here to tell us more about it.
Teresa, what was your inspiration for writing BEWARE THAT GIRL?
I had a picture in my head for years. Two young women in a hospital ICU. One is unconscious in the bed hooked up to wires and monitors and the other is covered in mud and sweat rocking in a chair beside her. That picture eventually became the opening scene in Beware That Girl. The rest of the book was my journey in trying to figure out which girl was in the bed and which was in the chair. I honestly didn’t know the answer until I wrote that final scene at the very end of the book!!
What scene was really hard for you to write and why, and is that the one of which you are most proud? Or is there another scene you particularly love?
Any scene with Kate and her father. I had a much older half brother (now deceased) who I now realize must have been a sociopath. The few and brief times that he was in my life were chaotic, exciting and often violent. I drew on those emotions and memories for the Kate scenes with her dad. Clearly, the things that happen to Kate did not happen to me but there was enough emotional honesty in them that they affected me.
What book or books would most resonate with readers who love your book--or visa versa?
The very wonderful: We Were Liars by e. lockhart
How long did you work on BEWARE THAT GIRL?
Just over two years.
How long or hard was your road to publication? How many books did you write before this one, and how many never got published?
Beware That Girl is my 12th book. I was miraculously lucky to have my very first manuscript published and the luck has held all the way to Beware That Girl!!
What do you hope readers will take away from BEWARE THAT GIRL?
I absolutely hope that my readers find Beware That Girl thrilling, chilling and . . . unsettling.
Was there an AHA! moment along your road to publication where something suddenly sank in and you felt you had the key to writing a novel? What was it?
Twelve books and twenty years later—I’m not there yet with the global AHA! Each book is a sweat soaked crisis of confidence and I just push through that word by word.
What advice would you most like to pass along to other writers?
Keep writing through your own sweat soaked crisis of confidence and FINISH what you’re writing. Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing!!!
What are you working on now?
I am ever so slowly, painfully (word by word) working on another psychological thriller.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Beware That Girl
by Teresa Toten
The Haves. The Have Nots. Kate O'Brien appears to be a Have Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she's had to snake her way out of--some more sinister than others. But she's determined to change that. She's book smart. She's street-smart. And she's also a masterful liar.
As the scholarship student at the elite Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ranks and land a spot at Yale. She's already found her "people" among the senior class "it" girls--specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she's always needed, the sister she never had.
When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration as head of fundraising, he immediately charms his way into the faculty and students' lives--especially Olivia's, although she doesn't share what's going on. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can't reveal and can't afford to ignore. Mark has his own plan for a bright future and never doubts that he can pull it off. How close can Kate and Olivia get with Mark without having to share their dark pasts?
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ABOUT THE AUTHORTERESA TOTEN is the author of the acclaimed Blondes series, as well as The Game, The Onlyhouse and The Taming (with Eric Walters). Teresa has been nominated three times for the Governor General’s Literary Award and won it in 2013 for The Unlikely Hero of Room 13b, which also won the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the CBC Bookie Award, was the CLA Honour Book for 2013 and was nominated for the 2014 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. For more information, visit www.teresatoten.com.
Jocelyn, Shelly, Martina, Anisaa, Sam, Erin, Susan, Michelle, Laura, and Kristin