Friday, October 3, 2014

YA Horror/Thriller Spooktacular Day 3 - (Don't You) Forget About Me + A Giveaway

For the third day of October I have an author whose newest book always makes me want to sing that song that plays at the end of The Breakfast Club.  Seriously, every time I think about this book I start singing that song, it's crazy, but that being said her first book, also a YA horror novel, is fantastic, and from what I've read of this one ditto.  So for day three I present to you Kate Karyus Quinn!

Peace, Love, Teen Fiction:  Let’s start with the bare basics; can you describe (Don’t You) Forget About Me in fewer than 10 words?

Kate Karyus Quinn: Sisters torn apart by town that tries to cheat death.

PLTF:  How did you come up with the price people would have to pay to live in Gardnerville?

KKQ:  I don't really know. The first scene I wrote was the one with Skylar at the press box buying forget-me-not pills. I didn't even know what the book was about then. I just knew this character was trying to forget something terrible. Then I went back and wrote the beginning scene with Piper leading her classmates to the railroad bridge, and that's when it all began to come together.

PLTF:  Every fourth year teenagers seem to be affected by some force that is in or around Gardnerville, how exactly does it affect them? Is everyone affected the same way and is there a reason it’s just teenagers that are affected?

KKQ:  It's just the teenagers who are affected. I think it's because they are vulnerable and more open. Also because teens already have all these heightened emotions and feelings, and I think the force that is Gardnerville plays upon this. The way it affects them is different for everyone, but basically it amplifies whatever someone is feeling - so alienation, hurt, anger - whatever it is gets dialed a thousand times higher until... KABOOM!

PLTF:  Writing a book with a “horror” label for teenagers (or I guess about teenagers, seeing as adults read it too) has to be difficult, how do you decide where to draw the line in terms of the blood and guts you put onto the page and what you leave off?

KKQ:  don't really draw a line. I mean, I try not to go too too over the top, just because then I'd be grossing myself out. But when I was a teenager (waaay back in the nineties) there weren't all the wonderful YA books that exist today. So teens - myself included - read Stephen King and what ever else they could get their hands on. Teens also then and now watch horror movies, TV shows, and play video games that are way more graphic and violent than anything I've yet to come up with, so I really don't feel like teens are an audience that needs to be talked down to or that will be easily shocked or horrified. 

PLTF:  What’s next?

KKQ:  My next book is called DOWN WITH THE SHINE and will be available from HarperTeen in early 2016.

Lightning round
1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how scary is your book?

3? I actually don't think it's scary at all, but with anything your mileage may vary.

2. If you were a character in your book would you survive?

I probably wouldn't. I am such a weenie. Anytime I read any sort of post apocalyptic book, I'm like, "Yep, I'd be the one first to die."

3. Favorite scary movie?

Again, I am a weenie. I don't watch Scary Movies anymore because I get too scared. However, the last scary movie I saw - 28 Days Later - while terrifying was a pretty great movie - so we'll just go with that one.

4. Favorite Halloween candy?

This is such a tough question! Skittles and Three Musketeers. I know that's two and I am a cheater.

5. What were you last year for Halloween or what do you plan on being this year?

I was a mom wearing a headband with a glittery skeleton on top of it. I plan on being the same thing this year. I mostly let my kids do the dressing up.

This or That
1. Live in Gardnerville or live in the regular world?

Oh the regular world. Gardnerville is much too scary for me.

2. Another Little Piece or (Don’t You) Forget About Me?

I gotta give a slight edge to Another Little Piece just because it is my debut novel and will always for that reason have a special place in my heart.

3. Tied up in a bow or open endings?

Open endings. This is probably obvious if you've read my books. ;)

4. Realistic magic or magical realism?

Magical realism all the way baby!

5. Tricks or treats?

Treats, of course! Preferably Skittles or Three Musketeers.

Welcome to Gardnerville.

A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies.

There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them.

Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all.

Find (Don't You) Forget About Me on

Kate Karyus Quinn has a BFA in Theatre from Niagara University and an MFA in Film and Television Production from Chapman University. 
After growing up in the suburbs of Buffalo, NY, Kate left her hometown for Southern California and film school. After finishing her degree, she moved with her husband to Knoxville, Tennessee. However, just recently she made the move back home, with her husband and two children in tow. She promised them wonderful people, amazing food, and weather that would... build character. 
Kate is first and foremost an avid reader and unapologetic booknerd. Although, she mostly reads YA and romance, she often samples different genres in her constant search for the next great read.  
Kate is represented by Alexandra Machinist of ICM. Her young adult novel, ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE, is now available from HarperTeen wherever books are sold. Her next novel (DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME will be available in 2014 also from HarperTeen.

Find Kate on

Kate has kindly donated a swag pack that one lucky winner will receive (check it out below! Aren't those buttons cool!?).  The giveaway is US only and will run for two weeks.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hi :D Did you find out if the giveaway is open internationally too? :)

  2. Mary DeBorde
    *Infecting teens with deadly urges* .... sounds creepy, cannot wait to read :D

  3. I've never read her, but I've wanted to for a long time. I love good/creepy books!

  4. It sounds like a classic horror movie. Maybe a bit too scary for me.