The Killer in Me
by Margot Harrison
Release Date: July 12th 2016
by Margot Harrison
Release Date: July 12th 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Contemporary, Fiction
Hasn't he lived long enough? Why not? I could take him like a thief in the night.
This is how the Thief thinks. He serves death, the vacuum, the unknown. He’s always waiting. Always there.
Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She’s intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims’ bodies in an abandoned mine in the deepest, most desolate part of a desert.
Now, for the first time, Nina has the chance to do something about the serial killer that no one else knows exists. With the help of her former best friend, Warren, she tracks the Thief two thousand miles, to his home turf—the deserts of New Mexico.
But the man she meets there seems nothing like the brutal sociopath with whom she’s had a disturbing connection her whole life. To anyone else, Dylan Shadwell is exactly what he appears to be: a young veteran committed to his girlfriend and her young daughter. As Nina spends more time with him, she begins to doubt the truth she once held as certain: Dylan Shadwell is the Thief. She even starts to wonder . . . what if there is no Thief?
Hello Margot! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours.
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë. I see it more as a twisted family saga than a love story.
Favorite TV show?
Oh wow, that’s hard. Currently airing favorite: Bates Motel. All-time favorites: Twin Peaks, Breaking Bad, everything Joss Whedon.
Memento. I never get tired of its mind games.
Your Favorite Song?
“Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads.
Anything with almond paste.
Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.
The castle in Howl’s Moving Castle, Twin Peaks, and Night Vale.
Who is your perfect fictional boyfriend?
Tie between Han Solo and Howl in Howl’s Moving Castle.
“I don’t know, I’m making this up as I go!” — Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark
What do you find yourself “Fangirling” over?
Right now, Vera Farmiga as Norma Bates on Bates Motel. She is so outspoken and angry and funny and I love it. Plus she has the best retro outfits ever. Norma and Sheriff Romero are my OTP.
If you could meet one author, dead or alive, who would it be?
Pauline Kael, who used to write movie reviews for the New Yorker. She was a role model who showed me female authors could be smart, snarky, and opinionated.
Something to say to our Book Addicts?
Thank you so much for having me! It makes me so happy to see people excited about books. I’m honored and excited to be here, and I hope you like The Killer in Me!
Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about The Killer in Me? And what’s the Thief?
The Killer in Me is about a seventeen-year-old girl, Nina, who believes she has a mysterious connection with a serial killer. The Thief in the Night is what the killer calls himself, because he wants to be invisible and inevitable like death itself. He will travel a thousand miles to “steal” a random person away in the night, then hide the body, and the cops never even know he exists.
Can you tell us a bit more about Nina and her personality? What’s so interesting about this character?
Nina believes she has seen cold-blooded murders happen through the Thief’s eyes, but she has no proof and no way of stopping future ones. Worse, she’s not a hundred percent sure she really has seen the things she thinks she’s seen. What if those crimes never really happened? Or what if she somehow did them herself? When we first meet her, Nina is self-doubting and scared of her own shadow. But as she does detective work, trying to prove the Thief actually exists, she gains strength and comes into her own.
How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?
A real person similar to the Thief murdered two people a few miles from where I live. It had a big impact on our normally safe community. So that was the seed of the story. It took us more than a year to find out what really happened that night, because the killer was so good at covering his tracks. So I imagined how it would feel to be the only person who knew who the killer was, and unable to prove it.
While I was writing my second draft, I started watching the great TV show The Fall, in which Gillian Anderson chases a killer who’s similar to the Thief in certain ways. (For instance, he has a normal life and loving family at home.) That fueled my excitement to keep working on the book.
Tell us your favorite quote from The Killer in Me.
“He serves death, the vacuum, the unknown. Always waiting. Always there.”
Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun to write?
I loved writing all the scenes of Nina and Warren’s cross-country road trip, because that was my fantasy as a teen—to take a summer road trip across the U.S. with a cute boy!
If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for The Killer in Me – Which one would you pick?
“Disarm” by the Smashing Pumpkins. Yep, my title is right there in the lyrics! And while those lyrics didn’t inspire the story, they apply pretty well to it.
Imagine that we get to see your book on the big screen (how awesome would that be?). Who would you pick to play your characters?
Olivia Cooke (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) would play Nina. Tom Holland (Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War) would play Warren. A younger version of Michael Shannon (Zod in Man of Steel) would play the Thief.
Is there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read The Killer in Me (specific music, snacks…)?
Lock all your doors, keep all the lights on, check under the bed before you start, and have plenty of road-trip food on hand. (My characters like Twix bars and Funyons.) Or you could be more daring and read under the covers with a flashlight.
What’s next for you?
A YA thriller about a girl who’s been raised to believe using the Internet could kill her, and what happens when she meets a boy who wants to put the Internet directly inside our heads.
Thank you so much for everything, Margot!
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I was raised in the wilds of New York by lovely, nonviolent parents who somehow never managed to prevent me from staying up late to read scary books. I now work at an alt-weekly newspaper in Vermont, where my favorite part of the job is, of course, reviewing scary books and movies. The Killer in Me is my first novel.