Blog Tour: Beware That Girl by Teresa Toten + Interview

Welcome to our blog stop tour for BEWARE THAT GIRL for Teresa Toten. 
This blog tour is hosted by Random House Children's Books.

Beware That Girl
Author: Teresa Toten
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Thriller
Release Date: May 31st 2016
Review Source: Delacorte Press

For fans of We Were Liars, The Girl on the Train, and Gone Girl, this powerful psychological thriller with multiple mysteries is set against the backdrop of the megawealthy elite of New York City. Toten delves into the mesmerizing yet dysfunctional world of those who manipulate but seem ever so charming. With its gripping pace and Hitchcockian twists, Beware That Girl will keep readers guessing until the very last line.

The Haves. The Have-Nots. Kate O’Brian appears to be a Have-Not. Her whole life has been a series of setbacks she’s had to snake her way out of—some more sinister than others. But she’s determined to change that. She’s book smart. She’s street-smart. Oh, and she’s also a masterful liar.

As the scholarship student at the Waverly School in NYC, Kate has her work cut out for her: her plan is to climb the social ladder and land a spot at Yale. She’s already found her “people” among the senior class “it” girls—specifically in the cosseted, mega-wealthy yet deeply damaged Olivia Sumner. As for Olivia, she considers Kate the best friend she’s always needed, the sister she never had.

When the handsome and whip-smart Mark Redkin joins the Waverly administration, he immediately charms his way into the faculty’s and students’ lives—becoming especially close to Olivia, a fact she’s intent on keeping to herself. It becomes increasingly obvious that Redkin poses a threat to Kate, too, in a way she can’t reveal—and can’t afford to ignore. How close can Kate and Olivia get to Mark without having to share their dark pasts?

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your book?

Beware That Girl is my 11th book and it is very, very different from anything I’ve written before. Apparently I like to take risks and live in a state of high anxiety because no matter how complex the story line is, I don’t plot or outline any of my novels. It’s a blank page with a blinking curser that greets me every morning and I have no idea what I’m going to write until I write it. I’m completely dependent on my characters doing the heavy lifting and pushing their own plot. I usually have an opening scene that’s been rattling in my head for a couple of years (like the hospital scene in Beware That Girl) and then I discover what the story is page by page.

Without spoilers, were there any scenes you had to cut that you wished you could have kept?

Ha! Unlike like all of my writer friends and all the writers I admire—If I could, I’d write a novel in point form! Almost twenty years later, the most consistent editorial comments I get are some variation of: “Teresa, you’re going to have to flesh this out more.” I would LOVE to have enough material to cut, hone and mourn when it had to go.

What’s the most interesting/exciting thing you’ve done in the name of research?

It’s a tie. For my last book The Unlikely Hero of Room 13b I spoke to and sat in quite few different group therapy sessions for anxiety and Obsessive Compulsive Disorders. The young people I met in those sessions will stay with me forever. For Beware That Girl in my hunt for the perfect Upper East Side penthouse for my character Olivia to live in, I spoke to about half a dozen pretty fabulous doormen. Now I’m sure that with the tenants and anyone who goes into their buildings they’re the souls of discretion. But for a YA writer –WOW- did they have stories!! Those stories are going to live in me forever too.

What's your ideal environment for writing?

Since I don’t outline etc. my first draft is a messy, slow and torturous thing. It has to be at home in my little study on the second floor. Alone. I wander all around the house trying potential dialogue out loud and reciting narrative bits with the dog at my heels. I spend almost as much time wandering and reciting as I do writing so a laptop on the plane is just not possible for me.

Do you have any exciting upcoming projects you can tell us about?

I’m in that messy, slow tortuous part with my next novel. So far, it too is coming out pretty dark, a little twisted and kind of disturbing.

To which Hogwarts House do you belong?

Hmmmn . . .you know, I always pegged myself as a Ravenclaw kind of girl, but given what I’ve been writing the past few years, I’m wondering if I’m not Slytherin after all . . 

My earliest and most fervent ambition was to grow up and take my rightful place among the other mermaids. When cruel and insensitive adults crushed that dream by insisting that mermaids did not exist, I settled on the more mature aspiration of becoming an intergalactic astronaut. Then I realized that math would likely be involved. So, in the end, I went to Trinity College at the University of Toronto where I got a BA and then an MA in Political Economy taking great care not to take a single English or Creative Writing class. The only thing I knew for sure was that I was never ever going to be a writer. That would be silly, fanciful and well, unrealistic. And then I started to write...

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