Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: In Her Skin by Kim Savage-- Interview & Giveaway

In Her Skin

by Kim Savage
Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Release Date: April 17, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
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A dark, suspenseful young adult novel about crime, identity, and two girls with everything to lose.

Fifteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain takes on her biggest heist yet—impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and she hopes to cash in on a little safety, some security. She finds her opportunity with the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family tied to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.

When Jo takes on Vivi’s identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. When hidden crimes come to the surface and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold on to an illusion of safety or escape the danger around her before it’s too late. In Her Skin is Kim Savage at her most suspenseful yet.

I can't believe I was able to ask Kim Savage some questions about herself and her new book, IN HER SKIN.  I've been so excited about this book & I can't believe it's almost time for it to come out in the world!!  Kim, thanks so much for taking the time to do this tour and answer our questions!!


Favorite Book? 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt. As a former journalist who now writes fiction, stories about being an outsider, or “the bystander I so essentially am,” as Richard Papen calls himself, speak to me.

Favorite TV show? 

Peaky Blinders.

Favorite movie? 

Memento with Guy Pearce and Carrie Ann Moss.

Favorite Song? 

On My Own from Les Miserables. A lot of people I loved left this world in the last few years. For me, it’s not about lost romantic love, like it is for Jo in In Her Skin. It’s about lost love in all its forms. Also, I love its simplicity.

Favorite Food? 

Is Sriracha a food?

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat. 

Narnia, Sunnydale, Terabithia.

What were your favorite books while growing up? 

A Wrinkle in Time, the Betsy-Tacy books, and the Phyllis Naylor witch books. I longed for a witch to move in next door.

Favorite Quote?

“You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.” Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?

Peaky Blinders, Game of Thrones, everything written by Donna Tartt and Jesmyn Ward.

What recent book would you recommend to our YA fans? 

I loved Tanaz Bhathena’s A Girl Like That.


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about IN HER SKIN?

Fifteen-year-old Jo’s Momma taught her every con—impersonation, swindling, blackmail—but the one thing she didn't teach her was how to live on the street. After Momma’s boyfriend kills her, Jo flees Imokalee and finds herself living in Boston’s Tent City with Wolf. Wolf loves Jo, but he can’t give her what she wants most: the safety of a family. When Jo spots Temple Lovecraft, she considers stealing her identity until she learns Temple’s father is a big local developer: too recognizable, she thinks. Jo finds an article connecting the Lovecrafts to nine-year-old Vivienne Weir, who disappeared from the Lovecrafts’ Back Bay brownstone seven years earlier. Jo decides Vivi is her ticket off the streets, and convinces the police she’s Vivi, kidnapped and held for years. She is taken in as a ward of the Lovecrafts, and life with them is perfect—until clues emerge that the Lovecrafts have secrets of their own.

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of IN HER SKIN.)


If you could check-in with any of your characters (from any of your books), who would you pick and why?

Alice from After the Woods. I’m wondering if she was able to resist telling Julia, “Told you so!”

Your books are twisty in all the best ways.  What’s a memorable book/movie/tv show that had a twist that you never saw coming? 

Thank you! It’s hard to fool me in books. Maybe that’s because I’m constantly deconstructing when I read suspense, so I’m sensitized to clues. I love the movie The Others, with Nicole Kidman as the mother of photosensitive children left alone after her husband doesn’t return from war. It has every element I love in a plot, plus ghosts! I also really like Mother, though I can’t call what happens in that movie a twist, exactly. I’m still not sure what to call it.

Tell us your favorite quote from IN HER SKIN. 

“Every time I switched schools, to avoid getting teased for my backwater accent or my short pants, I’d pick a certain girl—the girl whose laugh could leave you bleeding, the one who moved other kids around like chess pieces, the one teachers let get away with murder. I couldn’t copy clothes, or the smell of clean scalp, or a hard little chin. But I’d get good at the cool rhythm of her speech, her shuffle walk, her nonchalance. Eventually, it wasn’t enough to be on the outside: I wanted in.” 

That quote tells you everything you need to understand Jo.

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?  Or which part was the most difficult to get through?

Gerry’s scenes were tough, because he is based on a friend. Gerry’s past is so painful, and because I know his past intimately from knowing the real Gerry, I had to stay emotionally distanced to allow Gerry to function as a mirror to Jo, and not consume the story, which is not his. 

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for IN HER SKIN– Which one would you pick?

Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift. Think: I don't like your little games/Don’t like your tilted stage/The role you made me play/Of the fool, no, I don't like you.

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read IN HER SKIN (specific music, snacks…)? 

I would recommend doing a walking tour of the cool locations in Boston where In Her Skin takes place: the Boston Public Library, the Granary Burial grounds, the abandoned Steinert Hall under Boylston Street, and the Mapparium at the Christian Science Museum. And if you can’t get to Boston, I’m going to be posting a video tour of In Her Skin locations on one of my favorite Boston-based blogs around release time. Details will be on Twitter @khsavage. 

What’s next for you? 

Thanks for asking! I’m writing two books. One is a straight-up thriller where two girls are about to exact the perfect revenge on a boy. It’s loaded with smart twists, and if you loved After the Woods, you’ll love this. The second is a gothic contemporary retelling of Shakespeare’s Richard III, the greatest villain ever written. I’m having so much fun writing it!

I can't believe I've found someone else who liked the Phyllis Reynolds Naylor Witch books!!!  I was OBSESSED with that series-- I so wanted to turn all my neighbors into Mrs. Tuggles!!  Also, I will be obsessively tracking when your next 2 books come out because they sound AMAZING!!

KIM SAVAGE is the author of three critically acclaimed young adult novels, After the Woods, Beautiful Broken Girls (named by Kirkus as one of the 10 Best YA of 2017), and In Her Skin (releasing March 27, 2018), all with Farrar, Straus, Giroux/Macmillan. Her novels have been published in Spain, Brazil, and Turkey, and have been optioned for TV. Kim presents at conferences and book festivals nationwide; has been featured on NPR, Herald Radio, and on local cable stations; and she reads from her novels at bookstores across the country. A former reporter with a Master degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, Kim's stories are based in and around Boston. She lives with her family near Boston, not far from the real Middlesex Fells Reservation of After the Woods. Kim and her husband have three children, each of whom beg to appear in her books. They shouldn't.  

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  1. I love suspenseful novels so this one is going to be fun to read.

  2. This book sounds really interesting! Definitely one I'll have to keep on my bookish radar for future shopping sprees. :)