Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Interview: Margo Kelly, author of Who R U Really?

who are youWho R U Really? by Margo Kelly

Thea's overprotective parents are driving her insane. They invade her privacy, ask too many questions, and restrict her online time so severely that Thea feels she has no life at all. When she discovers a new role-playing game online, Thea breaks the rules by staying up late to play. She's living a double life: on one hand, the obedient daughter; on the other, a girl slipping deeper into darkness. In the world of the game, Thea falls under the spell of Kit, an older boy whose smarts and savvy can't defeat his loneliness and near-suicidal despair. As Kit draws soft-hearted Thea into his drama, she creates a full plate of cover stories for her parents and then even her friends.

Soon, Thea is all alone in the dark world with Kit, who worries her more and more, but also seems to be the only person who really "gets" her. Is he frightening, the way he seems sometimes, or only terribly sad? Should Thea fear Kit, or pity him? And now, Kit wants to come out of the screen and bring Thea into his real-life world. As much as she suspects that this is wrong, Thea is powerless to resist Kit's allure, and hurtles toward the same dark fate her parents feared most. Ripped from a true-life story of Internet stalking, Who R U Really? will excite you and scare you, as Thea's life spins out of control.

Praise for the book

"Kelly's first novel is a suspenseful page-turner with multiple suspects, a little bit of romance, and a strong but not overbearing message." --Kirkus Reviews

"Suspenseful novel that's guaranteed to give readers goosebumps--particularly as events heat up toward the end. A good choice for families to read together." --School Library Journal

"Who R U Really? is a fantastically creepy book that is surprisingly realistic and totally engrossing.... Once I opened it, I couldn't close it. Who R U Really is a satisfyingly unique YA thriller that left me guessing up until almost the very last page.... This book is very realistic and I really enjoyed the writing style." --Tempest Books

"Based on actual events, the story should be required reading for all teens." --VOYA Magazine

who are you (1)

An Interview with Margo Kelly

1)      What was the craziest thing you have ever done? 
When I was around seventeen, I took a college entrance exam for a coworker so that she could test-out of a math class she didn’t want to take.

2)   What inspired you to write Who R U really? 
Years ago, my daughter was nearly abducted by an online predator. After a counseling session one day, my daughter and I played the “what if” game. What if “this” had happened instead of that? What if “this” decision had been made instead of this one? And a novel was born. There are many true scenes in the book along with many fictional ones.

3)   What are your thoughts on social networking and friendships? 
I love social networks, and I love friendships. However, we need to be aware and alert. People online are not always who they say they are. I recently partnered with a campaign called STOP. THINK. CONNECT., and I’ve learned some interesting statistics through them. 75% of kids will share personal information in exchange for goods and services. That means, even if you tell your kids constantly to not share personal information online … when they receive an email or a message stating that they can get a free iPod (or whatever product), they’ll quickly type in their personal information to claim the merchandise. That message could be from a malicious person. It is our shared responsibility to help educate ourselves, our friends, and our family regarding online safety.

4)   What is the most unusual or interesting research you have done for your books
I’ve read a lot of Psychology Today articles about our emotions and why we make the choices we do … but I suppose that’s pretty boring research. For this book, the most interesting research I did was watch a lot of YouTube videos on self-defense so that I could make the scenes realistic in the story.

5)   How would you describe your protagonist? 
Thea is a na├»ve teenage girl who hungers to be loved by a boy. When things go wrong with the boy she likes at school, she falls for Kit, a guy she meets in an online role-playing game. She ends up lying to her parents and her friends, because she’s convinced she’s in love with Kit, and she’ll do anything for him. Her world falls apart when she learns that Kit is not who she thought he was. Thea has to figure out who she can trust in order to save herself in the end.

6)   What other creative things do you do?
 I love to quilt.

7)   How do deal with writer’s block? 
The hardest part of writer’s block is pushing through it. That means first, I have to sit down and start. Sometimes I’ll set the timer for fifteen minutes and force myself to just write – even if it’s terrible and even if I just delete it later – because sometimes just the physical action of typing will get the creative energy flowing again. And that’s how I push through the writer’s block.

8)   Do you believe in love at first sight? 
Yes. I fell in love with my husband at first sight. I went back to my college dorm that night and told all of my friends that I was going to marry him. They thought I was nuts, but they laughed when I announced our engagement about five months later.

9)   If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
 I’ve travelled a lot. I’ve been to places like Bermuda, Grand Cayman, Cancun, Panama, Alaska, Hawaii, Washington D.C., Williamsburg, Puerto Rico, and many other great places. But one place I’ve not yet been, which I would LOVE to visit, is the Mediterranean.

10)   Can readers expect more books from you in the future? 
Absolutely! My next manuscript is in the hands of my agent now, and hopefully it will enter the wheels of the mighty publishing machine soon.

Margo Kelly

Author Margo Kelly

Margo Kelly is a native of the Northwest and currently resides in Idaho. A veteran public speaker, she is now actively pursuing her love of writing. Who R U Really? is her first novel. Margo welcomes the opportunities to speak to youth groups, library groups, and book clubs.

Blog Tour Giveaway

1 print copy of Who R U Really?

Open to US only

Ends 1/12/15

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