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Very Bad Things Q & A with Susan McBride

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Katie never thought she'd be the girl with the popular boyfriend. She also never thought he would cheat on her-but the proof is in the photo that people at their boarding school can't stop talking about. Mark swears he doesn't remember anything. But Rose, the girl in the photo, is missing, and Mark is in big trouble. Because it looks like Rose isn't just gone…she's dead.

Maybe Mark was stupid, but that doesn't mean he's a killer.

Katie needs to find out what really happened, and her digging turns up more than she bargained for, not just about Mark but about someone she loves like a sister: Tessa, her best friend. At Whitney Prep, it's easy to keep secrets…especially the cold-blooded kind.

Goodreads Summary


1) If you could be any character in your book who would it be?

I’d have to say Katie because of the way she changed through each draft of Very Bad Things. She’s had a rough time since her dad died when she was 13. Her whole life flipped upside-down. Her mom pretty much checked-out and sent her away to school. So Katie’s struggled with trust issues, which is why her best friend Tessa and her boyfriend Mark are so special to her. When her faith in them is shaken, she can only count on herself. I didn’t mean to put her through so much in this book, but I admire how she figures out what’s real and what’s not. And I love that she’s able to reach out for help—and tries to help others—when she needs to. I have a lot of respect for people who know that, no matter how strong you are, we’re all vulnerable. Katie is that kind of person.

2) Who was your favorite character in the book?

Joelle—the ex-girlfriend of Katie’s boyfriend, Mark—because she surprised me the most!  Sometimes people just aren’t who they seem on the surface. Katie is convinced Joelle is totally one dimensional: a pretty girl who thinks she can have whatever—or whoever—she wants. But Joelle is so much more as Katie learns throughout VBT. So many characters in this book are a mystery. That’s what made writing this story so intriguing!

3) Which character would be your best friend and why?

My first instinct is to say Katie because she’s very loyal. She’s in relationships to stay. So if she was my friend, I’d know it was for real and not superficial.

4) How did you get the idea for the book?

I got the idea from something I read in the paper years ago about a FedEx box that was leaking. What was found inside was pretty creepy (um, body parts for sale!). So I started with the leaky package and went from there. The mystery turned out to be so much more than I’d imagined when I first began writing. The development of the story and the characters from the first draft to the final book kind of blew me away. (And I owe it to my editor, Wendy Loggia, for really pushing me to make the story even more twisted!)

5) What is your favorite scene?

It’s hard to pick one!  But I’ll go with the scene where Katie finds herself lost in the tunnels beneath her boarding school in the middle of the night. It’s a huge test of her strength and her faith in Mark. She kind of has to decide in an instant whether she trusts him or believes the gossip that he had something to do with the disappearance of Rose. I found myself holding my breath as I typed!

6) Are you working on anything else we can be excited for?

I’m working on Say Yes to the Death, the sixth book in my Debutante Dropout Mystery series for HarperCollins (which will be out in 2015). The fifth, Too Pretty to Die, was published in 2008 so it’s been a while! But I’m thrilled that HarperCollins wanted more. And I look forward to writing more YA mysteries for Delacorte because doing Very Bad Things was such a roller-coaster ride! It was such a challenge to get the story right; but once I did, it was like rolling downhill with my hands in the air, yelling, “Ahhhhhhhh!”  ;-)

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews. COPYRIGHT © 2014 LIVE TO READ


  1. Unknown said...:

    I really like the sound of this book. The mystery sounds very intriguing!