DECEPTION: A HAUNTING EMMA NOVEL follows Emma Vaile after her parents go missing while away on a mysterious business trip. She's left all alone in her creepy old house only to be whisked away to New England by a knight in J. Crew armor. But the eerie visions she's been hiding from everyone have gotten worse and Emma learns she is a ghostkeeper, a person who can communicate with ghosts. And now she's got to track down an other-worldly murderer.
Ok, so who doesn't want to read that book? Seriously. It's going to be released on June 8th, my friends, so mark your calendars.
But we were sort of wondering how an acclaimed adult novelist suddenly found herself mired in the endless angst of YA and Lee was gracious enough to answer.
When I tell people I’m writing a series for teens, they always ask, “Why?”
After finishing my fifth chick-lit novel for adults, I kicked around some ideas with my agent for a new book. We both liked a sort of contemporary ‘gothic’ novel about a woman who moves into an old New England house that she discovers is haunted.
So I started fiddling with the plot, but couldn’t make it work. My character kept getting younger and younger. Instead of a thirty-something house-sitter, she turned into a twenty-something historic preservationist, and finally a teenager. But not just any teenager: one with the power to see, dispel, and communicate with ghosts.
And I finally had to admit I wanted to write a YA novel.
Which was a huge relief. I love the genre. It’s thrilling in the same way that chick lit was exciting when it first appeared. The writing is fresh and new, and even if the stories are the same (it’s not like we’ve never seen vampires before), the YA take on them is so appealing. These characters are not dressed in thigh-high boots and leather dusters. There’s something real and identifiable and romantic about them. And don’t get me started on YA literature authors like Laurie Halse Anderson and Alexie Sherman who are simply brilliant.
The reason adults are finding themselves scanning the shelves of the YA section is because they’re tired of formulaic genre fiction, but still love great, fun, dramatic, twisted, adventurous books. It doesn’t matter that the characters are only seventeen. They just want a good novel and discovered teens were getting it.
So that is why I wrote my first YA book, DECEPTION: A HAUNTING EMMA NOVEL, and why I can’t wait for it to hit the shelves in June.
Writing for teens was a natural transition for me. All my adult novels have a coming–of-age theme, in the sense that the main characters are searching for who they are, the type of person they want to be. And even though my character Emma has killer ghosts thrown into the mix, she’s still dealing with those fundamental questions: Who will she choose to be? Someone who hides from her abilities and destiny or who stands and fights?
I guess the answer is obvious. But I hope readers have fun learning how she does it. And while it may appear I’ve stumbled into the YA realm, I feel like I’ve grown into it.
Ok, so I know we're all dying to read Lee's books now, and lucky for us she's giving away a copy of HAND ME DOWN (Love triangles, romance and SISTERS! Um, this book is AMAZING.) to one lucky reader! All you have to do to enter is leave a comment on this post and become a follower of Lee's blog. We'll announce a winner this weekend. Good luck everyone!
If you're like us and plan on cyberstalking Lee from here on out, you can follow her on Twitter, friend her on Facebook and find tons of other cool info on her website.