Please Don’t Tell by Laura Tims
Joy killed Adam Gordon—at least, that’s what she thinks. The night of the party is hazy at best. But she knows what Adam did to her twin sister, Grace, and she knows he had to pay for it.
What Joy doesn’t expect is that someone else saw what happened. And one night a note is shoved through her open window, threatening Joy that all will be revealed. Now the anonymous blackmailer starts using Joy to expose the secrets of their placid hometown. And as the demands escalate, Joy must somehow uncover the blackmailer’s identity before Joy is forced to make a terrible choice.
In this darkly compelling narrative, debut author Laura Tims explores the complicated relationship between two sisters, and what one will do for the other. It’s a story that will keep readers turning pages and questioning their own sense of right and wrong.
Big thanks to Laura for letting me interview her! Let’s check it out!
Tell us about your publishing journey.
It was actually pretty painless! The process took about five months, from agent to editor. It was my first time querying, and querytracker.com was an invaluable resource. I started getting so excited every time my email notification went off, thinking maybe it was an agent responding, that I kept getting a little thrill up my spine whenever I heard the ding even weeks after I was agented.
Was PLEASE DON’T TELL your first choice title or were there any different possibilities? If so, what were they?
I queried it under the title YOU KILLED ADAM GORDON. Someone eventually pointed out that this made it sound like the reader killed Adam Gordon (which would be an interesting book, but it wasn’t mine) so we decided to brainstorm new titles. I believe it was my agent, Sarah Davies, who came up with PLEASE DON’T TELL!
What was your writing schedule like?
I was writing as an undergrad, so mostly it revolved around my class schedule. My favorite days were lazy mornings when I had lots of extra time to lay in bed and write. I was living in a house with a few other students, so sometimes I felt super antisocial, writing alone in my room while everyone else was hanging out, but it was worth it in the end.
How did you come up with your characters? Do you see parts of yourself in any of them?
I usually start with one trait or core problem that defines them, and spread out from there. With Grace and Joy, I initially thought of two girls who had fallen into the dynamic that people expect from twins – the “shy one and the loud one” – and who wanted to try to change this, and how that would go wrong.
What advice do you have for aspiring authors?
There’s a quote I love – “Not everything worth doing is worth doing well.” If you’re a perfectionist, beware of the danger of never writing anything for fear it won’t be perfect. It definitely won’t be perfect. So give yourself permission to write crappy stuff, cliche stuff, self-indulgent stuff. Anything that gets you writing is good enough!
Are you planning another novel soon? Is there anything you can tell us about it?
I am! My second novel, THE BEST THING ABOUT PAIN, will be out in 2017. It’s about a girl afraid of pain who meets a boy who, due to a congenital condition, can’t feel it. There’s also a dog.
I’m so excited to read Laura’s upcoming novel, especially for the dog!
Laura Tims is the author of PLEASE DON’T TELL, coming Fall 2016 from HarperCollins.
She’s a mental health advocate, a cancer, and a reasonably cute organism. She likes Tumblr, anime, Neko Atsume, Homestuck, Steven Universe, and Undertale. She likes you even more.
She writes books about strange relationships, pain, and people who are scared but good. She loves to talk and if you also love to talk, find her on Twitter @laura_tims
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What was your favorite part of this interview? Have you read PLEASE DON’T TELL yet? Comment below with your thoughts!