Title: Pretty Fierce
Author: Kieran Scott
Pub Date: April 4, 2017
An action-packed, edge-of-your-seat novel about a teen who, when backed into a corner, fights back, from the author of What Waits in the Woods
Kaia has been on the run her whole life. The daughter of professional assassins, she knows danger—and she’ll do anything to survive. After her parents vanished during a job gone bad, Kaia’s spent the last year in hiding, trying to blend in as an ordinary teenager, and there’s no one who makes her feel more normal, more special, than her boyfriend, Oliver.
But when she's attacked by someone from her mother's past and Oliver catches her fighting back, Kaia's secret is exposed. In a split-second decision, she flees the small town, taking Oliver with her. Stalked at every turn, Oliver and Kaia must protect each other...or die trying.
1) What inspired you to write a thriller YA novel?
Thrillers have always been my favorite stories to read, to watch and to write. When I was a kid I used to watch classic thrillers with my mom like REAR WINDOW and FRANTIC and I always just loved the way they made me feel—like I had to hold my breath because something or someone was about to jump out from behind that curtain or fling themselves off a train. I’ve also read a lot of great adult thrillers over the years and felt like, while there are some great YA novels in the genre, there weren’t any fun, humorous thrillers. I always think the best ones have those moments of comedic relief, which is what I tried for here.
2) If you could only write one genre for the rest of your career, what would it be?
I’d like to write mystery/thrillers. There’s just something exciting about coming up with all the twists and turns, trying to keep secrets from the reader, and challenging myself to come up with cliffhangers to end each chapter. Plus, plotting is my favorite part of the writing process, so I really enjoy plot-driven narratives. I’ve never been great with the flowery descriptions and settings. I like to write dialogue and action.
3) What is the best piece of advice you have received about writing?
Just write. Even if you think what you’re writing is horrible, just push through. Sometimes the best pieces come from the worst starts.
4) What does your average day of writing look like?
I have a full time job as an editor, so I don’t often get a full day to write. When I have more than an hour, it’s a huge gift! I try to squeeze in my writing time after I put my kids to bed at night and before I pass out, so what does it look like? It looks like me bent over my laptop frantically trying to get my word count up! Maybe that’s why I like thrillers. My whole writing process is a breathless Will she get this done in time? There’s always a ticking clock.
5) Out of all your main characters from the books you've published, which one do you think you would get along with the most?
This is a tough one, because there have been a lot of characters. I’d kind of love to hang out with Josh Hollis from the PRIVATE novels (written under my pen name, Kate Brian). He was very chill and modest and loyal and not at all braggy, even though he was basically a ridiculously wealthy Kennedy-type.
6) Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, can you give us a hint about it?
I’m actually working on an adult novel with a mystery twist, but there are two teenaged characters, so I’m hoping it will be a bit crossover-y. We’ll see!
7) Pitch Pretty Fierce in 10 words or less!
What if Mr. and Mrs. Smith had a daughter?
Thanks so much for taking the time and answering these questions! Congratulations on Pretty Fierce!
THANK YOU! And thanks for asking all these amazing questions.
KIERAN SCOTT is the author of several acclaimed young adult novels, including the Non-Blonde Cheerleader trilogy, the He’s So/She’s So trilogy, and Geek Magnet. She also wrote the New York Times and USA Today bestselling Private and Privilege series under the pen name Kate Brian. She is a senior editor at Disney/Hyperion and resides in New Jersey with her family. Visit kieranscott.net.
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