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>> How far would you go to get what you want?

How far would you go to get what you want?

How far would you go to get what you want?

GENUINE FRAUD, the new pschological thriller from bestselling author E.Lockhart ('We Were Liars'), has a runaway heiress, an intense friendship and a murder (or two) along the way....

Genuine Fraud explores identity, friendship and how far we will go to get what we want. We asked author E LOCKHART to tell us more.

Q: What first brought you in to writing for young adults and what is it about this age group that you enjoy writing about?

A: A long time ago, I wrote a novel for adults and everyone's favorite character was the teenage babysitter. Young adulthood itself is fascinating - you change who you are, fundamentally. You rebel, you reinvent yourself.

Q: What was it about The Talented Mr Ripley that inspired you to write your own novel about identity?

A: I love Patricia Highsmith's novels, but I don't remember when I first discovered her. Probably after watching the Hitchcock film of Strangers on a Train in college.

With Genuine Fraud, I started with the idea of writing an antihero story - the kind that's usually told about men - with a very young woman at the center. I wanted to explore morality and the darkness that lies inside most human beings.

Highsmith's premise was a place to begin, but quickly I realized I had many many other influences on what I was writing: the Incredible Hulk, Black Widow, and other superheroes; Great Expectations, Pygmalion, Vanity Fair and other stories of class mobility. Pretty soon after that, the story just became its own thing.

Q: What did you feel having female lead characters in your story would bring to the novel?

A: I am interested in women and what shape heroism and villainy takes in them.

Q: Genuine Fraud with what happens near to the end, and takes us backwards in time to find out what happened and why. Why did you structure it like this? Was it difficult to plan?

A: Telling the story backwards was a way to build connection to my hero - you become closer and closer to her as you see her progress to innocence from experience.

Q: Your central character, Jule, is hard to like. How difficult was it to write her and how do you keep the reader engaged with her?

A: I always write stories of women other people find difficult to like. I am that kind of person, myself. I am not that worried about being liked. I am more concerned with being an engaged mind, a loyal person, a creator.

In this particular book I wrote about the most unlikable parts of myself as truthfully as I knew how, and hoped that my honesty would compel the reader. So many of us have feelings like Jule does.

Q: Jule creates her own internal identity as a superhero, but she acts out the villain. Why did you want this and how hard was it to develop this dynamic in her character and actions?

A: It's always a fine line between superhero and villain. How far will you go to help? How far will you go to defend, then? How far will you go for revenge, then?

Q: Both the main characters, Jule and Immie, have questions about their identity. Do you feel this is something that many young adults will identify with? Is this particularly true for women and minorities, given the socioeconomic divides you explore?

Q: Of course. Young people have a chance to reinvent themselves as they separate from their families of origin and figure out who they want to be in the larger world.

A: That navigation of the larger world happens differently for women and for people of other marginalized identities than it does for people of the dominant culture. Jule and Immie are both running away from home and starting life anew.

Q: Many novels in YA literature work towards redemption, while this one does not. Why is that?

A: Redemption can be boring.

Q: What would you like readers to take away from Genuine Fraud?

A: Feelings of cathartic exhilaration.

Q: How does writing this novel compare with writing your earlier novels?

A: Genuine Fraud has a lot in common with The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks. My feminist rage in two different story forms. It was the hardest to write because it goes backwards!

Q: Where is your favourite place to write and what are you writing now?

A: I have a home office with a couch and a kitty. I'm working on a new YA novel but it's top secret.

Q: What kind of books and films do you enjoy?

A: Right now I'm heading out to see Spider-man: Homecoming in a movie theater with a good friend. Spidey is my favorite superhero and I love seeing him on the big screen. I'm currently reading They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera.

Q: What is your favourite escape?

A: I do a lot of yoga and I travel. This year I went to Kerala, India and Tulum, Mexico. Pretty standard tourism agendas, but I felt very grateful to see some parts of the world I had only read about.


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