Q&A with Pintip Dunn

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Get to know Pintip Dunn, author of The Darkest Lie and a Harvard University and Yale Law School graduate who was awarded Best First Book RITA by the Romance Writers of America…

What author or book inspires you most, now and/or at any time in your career?

Without doubt the book that changed my life was The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. I had never really read YA before (when I was a teen, I skipped straight from MG books to adult books). Before I read The Hunger Games, I skipped around in my writing, trying to find the right genre for my voice and style: first chick lit, and then contemporary romance, and then women’s fiction. As soon as I read Ms. Collins’ breathtaking novel, however, I knew I had found my home in the YA genre. Seven books later, I haven’t looked back once.

What is your favorite part of participating in book festivals?

I love meeting readers and potential readers! The energy at a book festival is amazing because everyone who is there loves books. It is also great fun to connect with other authors and listen to the wonderful panels. I always walk away from book festivals learning something and feeling inspired.

When did you realize you wanted to write this book?

I wrote Remember Yesterday in 2015. While I had always envisioned Forget Tomorrow as a trilogy, I didn’t start writing the sequels until all three books sold to my publisher! I wrote Forget Tomorrow in 2011, and I knew I wanted to write this series when an editor-friend of mine said to me, “I wish I had a crystal ball. Then, I could tell you five years from now, you would be published, and you wouldn’t spend so much time worrying about it.” The next day, I was pondering her words, and I thought, “Gee, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could send memories back to our younger selves?” My next thought was: “Hey, that would be a cool idea for a book!” And presto, the Forget Tomorrow series was born.

Which part of the book are you most proud of?

The Darkest Lie is a thriller about a girl whose mother commits suicide after being accused of having sex with a high school student. In the aftermath, all CeCe wants is to lay low, as she is bullied mercilessly. But when newspaper intern Sam moves to town, CeCe learns that her mother’s death is not as straightforward as it appears. . . .

This book is fast-paced and action-packed, and I love those parts of it. However, I am most proud of the sections where CeCe mourns her mother. My own mother passed when I was five years old, and I have felt her loss like a hole in my heart ever since. I wanted to capture those feelings in CeCe, and I hope I was successful.

What are you working on next?

I am so excited about my next novel which releases on June 27, 2017, an #ownvoices thriller called Girl on the Verge. This book is about Kanchana, a Thai-American girl caught between cultural worlds and trying to find her identity—and what happens when a stalker tries to steal that identity. . . .

I am also almost done writing the third book in my Forget Tomorrow series, which is titled Seize Today. This book releases on October 3, 2017, and I cannot wait to see what readers will think of this conclusion to the series of my heart.

Don’t miss Pintip Dunn at the 2017 Virginia Festival of the Book in Heroines of Destiny: Paranormal Romance as well as Crossing Boundaries: Relationships, Challenges, and Perspectives in YA Fiction.