Hi guys, I’m delighted to be kicking off the official blog tour for THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins! This YA horror book comes out on Sept 26 – perfect timing for your Halloween or October reads!
Today I’ve got a Q&A with Steph, as well as a giveaway for you US readers. A few things to know: Steph is an auto-buy author for me – you’ll know her from her wonderful contemporary romances Anna and the French Kiss (swoon), Lola and The Boy Next Door (sigh), and Isla and the Happily Ever After (.) She’s also edited a couple of fantastic anthologies.
THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE might look completely different because it’s horror (of the Scream variety), but it’s still Stephanie, so there are some serious swoons and funny bits as well. But I’ll let her tell you all about it!
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Find the author: Website, Blog, Twitter, Goodreads, Instagram
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Publication date: September 26th 2017
Source: ARC from BEA17
Buy It: Indigo.ca | Amazon.com | The Book Depository | iBooks | Google Books | Audible
"There’s Someone Inside Your House is equal parts heart-stopping horror and steamy romance. It’s tons of bloody fun." —HelloGiggles
"Turn on—all—the lights before reading this hair-raiser full of serious Scream vibes." —SeventeenIt's been almost a year since Makani Young came to live with her grandmother in landlocked Nebraska, and she's still adjusting to her new life. And still haunted by her past in Hawaii.
Then, one by one, the students of her small town high school begin to die in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, Makani will be forced to confront her own dark secrets. Stephanie Perkins, bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss, returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.
"There's Someone Inside Your House is a heart-pounding page-turner with an outstanding cast of characters, a deliciously creepy setting, and an absolutely merciless body count. Best read at night with big bowl of popcorn, this is a killer addition to the slasher genre written by one of the best contemporary YA writers around." —Courtney Summers, author of All the Rage and Cracked Up to Be
"Perkins deftly builds the suspense like a pro: an uneasy opening leads to some legitimately horrifying murders, and the identity of the killer isn’t quite as important as the motivation.... Readers will be sleeping with one eye open." —Booklist
"Perkins lulls readers into a false sense of security before twisting the knife. . . . the body count keeps rising, leaving readers with questions of motive and where it will all end." —Publishers Weekly
Please welcome Stephanie Perkins to Mostly YA Lit! So I’ve read the book already (look for a review next week), but our talk will be mostly spoiler-free (tags if there’s anything remotely spoiler-y, I promise!).
1. Hi Steph! Welcome to Mostly YA Lit! So when we met in New York during BEA, you said There’s Someone Inside Your House was still very much a Stephanie Perkins book, just with stabbing and killing. What do you think constitutes a “Stephanie Perkins book”? What elements of your romantic contemporary fiction did you really try to incorporate into TSIYH? For your readers who aren’t into horror, what would you tell them to convince them to read the book?
Stephanie Perkins: What a great question! I was referring to the ever-elusive and difficult-to-describe voice of a book. It’s how an author thinks and communicates on the page, as well as, perhaps, the types of characters and themes that inhabit their stories. I didn’t have to consciously incorporate any of my old standbys into this book because they were already there, a part of my authorial makeup. These characters could be friends with my other characters. They interact with the world in the same way.
As for the last question—and my publisher might grimace to read this—I would NEVER try to convince someone who didn’t like horror to read this book. As a former librarian, I firmly believe that most people can enjoy most genres, but . . . I could never know exactly what trauma another person has been through or what triggers they live with. Horror isn’t for everyone.
However, I would encourage anyone curious to try it! Everyone is stronger than they think they are, and there are so many different levels of horror. A lot of slashers, like my own, contain a plenty of humor and self-awareness (and even romance!) to balance out the tension. It’s horror lite.
2. I definitely agree that it’s horror lite because I am a scaredy-cat. For me, TSIYH wasn’t TOO scary, but it was pretty darn gory. So let’s talk about the gore! There are some seriously graphic murders in this book. Where did you draw inspiration for these gory parts? Which one was your favorite (can you hint at it?)?
SP: Ha! Yeah, gore isn’t for everyone, either, but it felt natural for me to include it simply because I do enjoy that kind of horror—as long as it serves a narrative purpose. My inspiration is cinematic. I’m constantly testing myself with the worst of the worst, like films that have been banned in multiple countries.
I suppose my favorite gore in this book was at the end of the second murder, a line that involved comparing a head to a jack-o’-lantern.
3. Eww. I remember that part. So between the horror and the romance, TSIYH deals with some dark issues of bullying and hazing. How much was it your intention to bring these issues to light?
SP: Bullying and hazing are everyday horror. It’s something that most of us experience at some point in our lives, and it’s devastating. Shame is the most dangerous emotion. It flat-out destroys people. So yes, it was important to me to explore these ideas, and it was important to me that they should feel (nearly) as dark and ugly as the murders.
This question is a bit of a SPOILER. For those of you who don’t want to know, please skip!
View Spoiler »4. For me, the best horror has a ton of suspense in it. I thought you did a solid job introducing suspense in each of the murders (don’t want to say too much and spoil it!). That said, there’s a turning point in TSIYH where we find out some information about the killer…and it happens pretty early. How did you navigate continuing to create suspense after that? Why give that information so soon in the book? Was that always your intention – to reveal that information and keep going?
SP: It was always my intention, and it was definitely one of the trickier aspects. It’s impossible for me to discuss all of my reasons for breaking narrative tradition without spoiling it, so I’ll just say this: I don’t believe the killer is the most interesting person in stories like this, whether it’s fictional or true crime. For me to care, it has to be about the victims and survivors. That’s who matters.
« Hide Spoiler
5. TSIYH centers on a bunch of people who kind of don’t belong in the high school – or at least don’t feel like they belong. But throughout the book, we also get glimpses at many of the other students, who also had moments of feeling a little alone or isolated.
Do you feel like Makani, Ollie, Alex, and Darby put themselves into situations where they felt like outsiders? Do you think they did it on purpose to separate themselves from the rest of the pack? Or was it really that they were outsiders/misfits?
SP: Oh, wow. This is tough. It’s probably a mixture of both, right? I tend to write characters who feel like outsiders because that’s how I always felt as a teenager. But yeah, to your point, I do believe MOST teenagers feel this way, which is why you get those other glimpses throughout the novel.
While I was unquestionably an awkward teenager who didn’t share many of the same interests as my classmates, I can also recognize—now, as an adult—that I exacerbated my isolation and made my own situation worse than it had to be. Makani, Ollie, Alex, and Darby live in this same space. There’s a natural isolation, but then there’s also a constructed isolation on top of that. It’s self-preservation.
6. One last question! What Hogwarts Houses are Makani, Ollie, Darby, and Alex in?
SP: I always love this question! Ollie and Darby are Hufflepuff, and Makani and Alex are Slytherin.
Thanks SO MUCH, Steph, for your thoughtful and honest answers. I really appreciated what you said about bullying and hazing as “everyday horrors” – they really are. There’s Someone Inside Your House was definitely unique in addressing those issues alongside the scary, romantic, and gory. Also…those Hogwarts houses!
Penguin Teen is generously offering up the chance to win a finished, hardcover copy of There’s Someone Inside Your House for US readers. Sigh up below!
Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins. (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on September 18, 2017 and 12:00 AM on October 16, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about October 18, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
Thanks so much to Penguin Teen for including me on this blog tour and giveaway. Will you be checking out THERE’S SOMEONE INSIDE YOUR HOUSE? Are you into horror books or Halloween books? How do you feel about romance + horror? Hit the comments and let me know!