You’re probably thinking: “Vicky, honey, you know that today is Friday, right?”
And it may be Friday in the US, but it’s *basically* Wednesday in the UK. Because UK books come out on Thursday and US ones come out on Tuesday. Likewise, Writer Wednesday happens on the day after pub day in that country–so in the US it’s Wednesday after Tuesday, and in the UK it’s Friday after Thursday.
Makes sense . . . right? No? Moving on.
Whether or not you agree on the branding for today’s post, I am still extremely honored to be hosting Savannah Brown on my blog today, talking about her queer debut thriller, The Truth About Keeping Secrets!
Sometimes I feel a little left in the dark about UK releases, but I’m really glad that I crossed paths with this book because it sounds amazing.
Homecoming queens and conspiracies and mysteries galore, The Truth About Keeping Secrets sounds like a juicy thriller full of twists and turns. I’m definitely excited!
So, I hope you enjoy this post and I’m glad to be able to make time for another wonderful author this week! I hope you enjoy!
Hi Savannah! I’m so excited to have you on my blog today–The Truth About Keeping Secrets comes out next Thursday in the UK. For readers unfamiliar with your YA debut, can you tell us a little bit about it?
Hi Vicky! Thanks so much for having me. TTAKS is about a girl called Sydney who loses her dad, a therapist, in a car crash. She suspects the crash wasn’t accidental, and after the threatening texts begin and June Copeland — the homecoming queen — appears at his funeral, she’s sure of it. Sydney develops a relationship with June who offers a glimpse of a life without the darkness of an unresolved grief — and even though Sydney knows everyone is keeping secrets, she’s not sure she wants to know what they are. It’s also f/f!
I know a few years back you self published a poetry collection, Graffiti–what is it like writing in multiple genres and how do you think your work in poetry has influenced The Truth About Keeping Secrets?
Yes! My processes for writing poetry and prose are so different, but they sort of inform each other. I love poetry for the attention to detail, the flow, the specificity of word choice — and the things that draw me to poetry have really impacted my prose. But what I also love about poetry is the lack of any required structure, whereas novels are (often) all about structure. I really enjoyed mulling over the anatomy of the story while still getting to maintain that lyricism at a sentence level.
Thriller is a genre that, in my opinion, is extremely dynamic and has a wide range for a lot of different emotions and focuses. How does The Truth About Keeping Secrets distinguish itself from other thrillers in YA?
You’re completely right — thrillers allow you to dive into some pretty dark subject matter (my favorite) and sort of examine how people react to the most extreme of situations. But weirdly, TTAKS actually started as a contemporary. The thriller element really came out in later drafts, but its core is still the same: it’s a story about grief and loss and longing, and those looking for a thriller that really digs into the human aspect of the story will enjoy it, I think.
I’ve heard a lot of great things about Sydney’s voice in this–that she’s unique and real and bold. What made you choose to write from Sydney’s point of view and how do you think making her into a strong female protagonist has shaped the story?
First person gives you so much space to explore the nuances of what makes a person them — and from the beginning, Sydney’s voice was so fully-formed in my head that I couldn’t have imagined telling the story any other way.
Sydney is strong — but I’d say as a result of her flaws and not in spite of them. She’s a kid who’s been dealt a shitty hand and is dealing with it in the best way she knows how. She makes jokes to hide her feelings and can be selfish and reserved but ultimately, she’s trying. And since that’s all any of us can do, I think she’s a realistic character who a lot of people will be able to see themselves in: a girl who messes up and makes amends and ultimately is just trying to learn how to be happy.
June seems like a really interesting foil to Sydney–homecoming queen and golden child contrasted to daughter of the dead psychiatrist. How do both June and Sydney help (or hinder) the other’s growth throughout The Truth About Keeping Secrets?
For sure — Sydney and June’s relationship was one of my favorite things to write and develop in TTAKS. In vulnerable times, we do what we can to avoid the chaos and look for any semblance of stability. This is how their friendship begins. To Sydney, June represents a life without pain or grief — which leads to an obsession that allows her to avoid her other harmful thought patterns, but creates a new problem in and of itself. Meanwhile, June is fighting her own battles that Sydney can’t seem to crack, the extent of which only come to light towards the end. Ultimately, they’re both unable to solve their problems without the other, and even if their path to growth isn’t as healthy as it ought to be, they need each other.
This??? Sounds??? So??? Good???
I’m so so excited to read about Sydney’s voice and find out just what’s going on with Sydney’s father’s death . . . PLUS JUNE. I am here for all the awesome female friendships (or more?!) and I love the sound of the contrast between the two of them.
Savannah has totally whetted my appetite to read, and I’m so excited for next Thursday!!
By the way, please make sure you’re comfortable with the content warnings (found here) before reading! Stay safe, y’all!
More About the Book
The Truth About Keeping Secrets by Savannah Brown
Paperback, 314 pages
March 7th 2019 by Penguin Books Ltd
Sydney’s dad is the only psychiatrist for miles around their small Ohio town.
He is also unexpectedly dead.
Is Sydney crazy, or is it kind of weird that her dad-a guy whose entire job revolved around other peoples’ secrets-crashed alone, with no explanation?
And why is June Copeland, homecoming queen and the town’s golden child, at his funeral?
As the two girls grow closer in the wake of the accident, it’s clear that not everyone is happy about their new friendship.
But what is picture perfect June still hiding? And does Sydney even want to know?
THE TRUTH ABOUT KEEPING SECRETS is a page-turning, voice led, high school thriller.
More About the Author
Savannah Brown is the 22-year-old author of The Truth About Keeping Secrets, a YA thriller coming March 2019 with Penguin Random House UK.
Savannah grew up in Wadsworth, Ohio, and currently lives in London, England. At age 19 she self-published a collection of poetry called Graffiti, which was a finalist in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found watching conspiracy theory documentaries, making faces at her cat, or worrying.
She also has a personal Goodreads.
Photo Credit: Chloe Sheppard
This sounds so thrilling–I’m really excited to track down a copy! Are you looking forward to The Truth About Keeping Secrets?
If you enjoyed this post, make sure to let Savannah know on her social channels! ❤