Monday, December 4, 2017

Welcome to the FFBC: THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES by Amanda Searcy-- Interview + GIVEAWAY

The Truth Beneath the Lies

by Amanda Searcy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: December 12, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller


Fight or Flight. 

All Kayla Asher wants to do is run. Run from the government housing complex she calls home. Run from her unstable mother. Run from a desperate job at No Limit Foods. Run to a better, cleaner, safer life. Every day is one day closer to leaving. 

All Betsy Hopewell wants to do is survive. Survive the burner phone hidden under her bed. Survive her new rules. Survive a new school with new classmates. Survive being watched. Every minute grants her another moment of life. 

But when fate brings Kayla and Betsy together, only one girl will live.

Hello Amanda! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours. 


Favorite Book?

Too hard! I have so many favorite books—sometimes one for every day of the week. So…I’ll go with my very favorite book from my early childhood: The Plant Sitter by Gene Zion, illustrated by Margaret Bloy Graham.

Favorite TV show?

Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Breaking Bad

Favorite movie?

Independence Day

Your Favorite Song?

Kite by U2

Favorite Food?

Pizza with onions, mushrooms, and green chile.

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

The Starship Enterprise from Star Trek the Next Generation (I’ve wanted to live there since I was 9.)

The Paris of Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (which is basically just Paris with cute boys)

The upper floors of the tower in The Thousandth Floor and The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

What were your favorite books while growing up?

I read a lot of historical fiction and a lot of survival stories. My very favorites were My Side of the Mountain by Jean Criaghead George, Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell, and Calico Captive by Elizabeth George Speare.

Favorite Quote?

“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree today.” – (attributed to) Martin Luther

What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?

Hamilton and Game of Thrones

Name a recent book you’ve read that you would recommend to our YA readers.

So many! 
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES and Kayla and Betsy?

The Truth Beneath the Lies is the story of two girls: Betsy and Kayla.

Kayla lives with her mom in a public housing complex in a drug infested, violent neighborhood in Clairmont—a cold, wet city with swaths of dense woods. Kayla’s mom is a recovering heroin addict who just regained custody of Kayla. She’s so afraid of relapsing and losing Kayla again that she’s become agoraphobic and can’t leave the apartment. Kayla, having lived a much safer and more stable life with her foster mother, is extremely driven to get out of Clairmont. But, there’s a killer targeting girls in her neighborhood. Kayla is terrified she’s going to be next.

Betsy has just moved to San Justo, TX—a hot, dusty desert town on the US-Mexico border. She’s trying to recover from a trauma in her past, but she can’t. There’s a black burner phone under her bed. Whenever she gets a call on it, she has twenty-four hours to respond, or the man on the other end will come and kill her. Betsy tries to heal from her past and make friends, but the phone and the man are always there. Waiting for her to mess up.

In the end, Kayla and Betsy’s stories will come crashing together and only one girl will live.

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

Most of my inspiration came from bits and pieces of real life. I’ve always watched the news every night and this book comes from so many unanswered questions that I have about people and why they do what they do. What leads someone to commit a crime? What twists of fate and circumstance make someone a victim of one?  How does a person move on with their life after having committed a crime? After being the victim?

I try not to watch or read anything that is too similar to what I’m working on. My subconscious is super lazy, and if I’m not careful, it will suck up other people’s ideas and incorporate them into my story without me realizing it.

Tell us your favorite quote from THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES.

One of my favorite quotes is actually the one on the book jacket:

“My mom never sees me. She sees her sixteen-year-old self. Bright girl with a bright future. Waist-length brown hair. Fell in love with a boy named Finn. Nice boy, nice family. She and Finn went to a party at the rotting flophouse of a friend of a friend. And never came out again.”

Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?

In Kayla’s story, there’s a man attacking girls. The police have a suspect and they set up an undercover operation to arrest him. I wrote that chapter and then showed it to an actual police officer. His response was “No. Absolutely not. It would never happen like that.”  His explanation as to why was perfect and made that chapter fit so much better into the overall theme of the book. I love that scene. (I still took A LOT of liberties with it).

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES – Which one would you pick?

I’m going to cheat and pick one song for each girl.

For Kayla it would be Fight Song by Rachel Platten. I could see Kayla humming this to herself on her dark walk home from work.

Betsy’s theme song is definitely Praying by Kesha.

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 THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES.)


I love Mystery/Thrillers!!  Do you have any twisty Mystery/Thriller TV shows or movies that you love?

The Killing (the first three seasons), Homeland, Hostages—the original Israeli version (It’s on Netflix and super addictive).

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read THE TRUTH BENEATH THE LIES (specific music, snacks…)? 

Find a comfy chair and rip open a bag of M&Ms. 

What’s next for you? 

I have another standalone YA thriller coming out late-2018-ish!

Thank you so much for everything, Amanda!

I am totally with you on The Thousandth Floor!!  I would LOVE to see that view!!  And now I need to look up Hostages ASAP!!!  Thanks!

Amanda Searcy has a BA from New Mexico State University and an MA in human rights from the University of Essex in England. She works in collection development for a public library system and loves chocolate, cats, and curling up with a good book. She lives in New Mexico. 

Visit her online at and follow her on Twitter at @aesearcy.

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