Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister's friend Sophie didn't kill herself. She was murdered.
Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn't actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else's mind and experiences the world through that person's eyes. She's slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed "friend" when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what
Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can't bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting distant lately, especially now that she's been spending more time with Zane.happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie's slashed body.
Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again
So, I was super stoked to do this interview, partly because I got a shiny SLIDE ARC to read as part of the deal (WOOT!) and partly because I "know" Jill from back when we used to frequent the Absolute Write boards together.
In SLIDE, Vee has such a fascinating ability--she can literally slide into other people's heads and experience the world through their eyes. If you could slide into only one person's head (Jill's note: and body!) for a short time, who would you pick and why?
Jared Let's girlfriend. Um, do I really need to explain why? ;)
Yes. Yes, you do. *coughs* Okay, maybe not. Next question. I've read that you're more of a pantser than a plotter (pantsers of the world, UNITE!) Did you intend to write a mystery from the very beginning, or is that just what spewed forth? What are some of your favorite mysteries?
I actually didn't MEAN to write a mystery, but since the seed idea was a girl finding herself staring over a dead body with no idea how she got there, it just sort of happened. Hmm, some recent mysteries I've read and loved are BETWEEN by Jessica Warman and CLARITY by Kim Harrington.
I think Vee is such an interesting character--flawed but relatable (my favorite type). Do you see any of yourself in her, either now or when you were a teen?
I was more like her when I was a teen. Now I'm more like the Mrs. Winger character (but without the solitaire addiction). :D True story: The school librarian came up to me and was like, So you're Mrs. Winger, right?" Hee.
You're a high school English teacher. What do your students and peers think about your upcoming debut as a YA author?
My kids are really psyched for it! We have a countdown on the board. A lot of my colleagues are buying copies for their classrooms, which kind of weirds me out. I think it would be totally surreal to have a student do a book project on SLIDE.
I really enjoyed your characterization and all the different relationships throughout the story and their varying effects on Vee. Which secondary character was your favorite to write and why?
Aww, I love Rollins. I can't tell you why, but you'll figure it out.
(Note: I <3 Rollins!)
SLIDE has some interesting things to say about the price of popularity. Where did you fit into the social hierarchy at school and is there anything you'd do over from high school years if you could?
Yeah, I've seen a lot of people comment about "mean girls" in the book and "jock" stereotypes. I absolutely agree that not every cheerleader or athlete is guilty of bullying--many are super nice kids. I know, I see them every day. But the thing is, people who bully tend to be at the top of the social ladder. And guess who's usually at the top? Not the kids at home playing World of Warcraft, that's for sure. So, um, yeah. If WoW had existed when I was in high school, that's what I would have been doing. If I could go back to high school, I would try not to care so much about what other people thought of me and focus on my own goals and interests. AMEN! I wasted a lot of time feeling bad because I wasn't a part of the "popular" group.
If SLIDE were made into a movie, who could you see being cast as Vee? Rollins? Zane?
Hmm...I'm not quite familiar with young Hollywood, but I think Dakota Fanning would do an excellent job in the role of Vee. When I was writing Rollins, I very much had the character of Jordan Catalano in my head (google it!)* And I see Zane more like Chace Crawford in the first season of Gossip Girl.
*We did, and here you go--WAIT! Is it just me, or this interview turning into Six Degrees of Jared Leto?)
Vee's a bit of a 90's music buff. What's
your favorite song from the 90's?
Tonight, Tonight by Smashing Pumpkins
Favorite snack while writing?
Diet Pepsi. Peanut butter Oreos.
Since we're with the Lucky 13's, we have to ask: what, if any, are you favorite superstitions or lucky writing charms (as opposed to, you know, just Lucky Charms. Which are magically delicious, but probably not all that lucky, since they get chomped on a daily basis.)
I'm super paranoid of losing my work, so I hit save like every five seconds and constantly email drafts to myself.
Thanks so much, Jill! SLIDE debuts TODAY at your local bookstore, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or Indiebound.
Jill Hathaway is the author of SLIDE, to be released March 27, 2012 from Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins