Author Chat with Peter Stone (The Perfect Candidate), Plus Giveaway!

Screen-Shot-2018-09-28-at-7.08.46-AM

Today we're excited to chat with Peter Stone, author of The Perfect Candidate.  Read on for more about Peter and his book, plus a giveaway!

 

Meet Peter Stone! 

 
 

Peter Stone is a lifelong fan of thrillers on the big screen, small screen, and page. Prior to his career in TV and film marketing, he worked in Washington, DC, first as an intern on Capitol Hill and later as a Spanish tutor for a former Speaker of the House. The Perfect Candidate is his debut novel. He lives in Tokyo, Japan, with his wife and two sons. 

Meet The Perfect Candidate!
 
 

From debut author Peter Stone comes a heart-stopping, pulse-pounding political thriller that’s perfect for fans of Ally Carter and House of Cards.

When recent high school graduate Cameron Carter lands an internship with Congressman Billy Beck in Washington, DC, he thinks it is his ticket out of small town captivity. What he lacks in connections and Beltway polish he makes up in smarts, and he soon finds a friend and mentor in fellow staffer Ariel Lancaster.

That is, until she winds up dead.

As rumors and accusations about her death fly around Capitol Hill, Cameron’s low profile makes him the perfect candidate for an FBI investigation that he wants no part of. Before he knows it—and with his family’s future at stake—he discovers DC’s darkest secrets as he races to expose a deadly conspiracy.

If it doesn’t get him killed first. 

 

 

A Chat with Peter Stone:

 

1. What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I was an intern in Congressman Gary Condit's Capitol Hill office the summer after I graduated from high school, and soon after, he was embroiled in the media circus surrounding Chandra Levy's murder. The whole experience was really formative for me — living in a big city for the first time, being surrounded by political power, and then seeing the piranha feeding frenzy of the press, as well as how America couldn't get enough of the scandal. The more I reflected on that vivid experience, I knew there was a YA book in there. There are so many stories about Washington, DC, from the point of view of adults—House of Cards, Scandal, Tom Clancy novels—I wanted to explore the perspective of the most junior staffers in DC. Because sometimes, the people with the smallest titles end up having the most power.

2. What made you think you could be a writer?

Before The Perfect Candidate, the longest thing I'd written (since college term papers) were emails for work. That all changed on my wedding day, when one of the guests (on my in-law side) came up to me at the reception and encouraged, "You have a book in you." She was apparently impressed with the wedding vows I'd spoken, but I was pretty sure it was a drink from the bar talking. I later realized that the guest was bestselling

author Margaret Stohl, which made me consider the idea more seriously. So I set out to write a first chapter. The takeaway here is to invite Margaret Stohl to your wedding.

3. What is your favorite scene in the book?

I couldn't wait to write Cameron's revelatory conversation with another character while they stroll around the Tidal Basin at night. They walk past the most famous monuments in the city - from the Lincoln Memorial around the water until they reach the gigantic obelisk of the Washington Monument. I love Washington, DC - the city is essentially a character in the book. And this two-mile pathway is one of my favorite walks in the world, especially late at night. As Cameron and his companion pass the impressive structures, they discuss ambition, power, and sacrifice—fitting subjects for this pantheon of legendary American leaders.

4. Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?

I've received the same advice from many successful authors, but I think Neil Gaiman puts it best: "If you only write when you're inspired, you may be a fairly decent poet, but you'll never be a novelist because you're going to have to make your word count today and those words aren't going to wait for you, whether you're inspired or not." Simply put, if you want to be a writer, you have to write. You have to write when you're inspired (which is as awesome as it is rare). But more importantly: You have to write when you're tired, when you want to watch Netflix instead, when you have other things to do, and even when you really, really don't want to write. And then, something magical happens: the words come. Each time I write, it feels like jumping off a cliff, and then I land on a word, and another, and then there's this pathway of ideas that rolls out in my mind. But it only materializes when I sit down and start.

5. What do you like most about the cover of the book?

Simon & Schuster designer Greg Stadnyk has created an iconic, deceptively complex piece of art. I love it! The handwritten red circle around the face underscores one of the key mysteries of the book: Why Cameron? What could an eighteen-year-old young man have to do with an explosive political mystery? And then, you realize that he's not the only face in the image; there are other young people. It's a group photo. The striking cover is a perfect reflection of the tone and intrigue of the story. (Thanks, Greg!)

6. Which character gave you the most trouble when writing your book?

Action and plot and dialogue come naturally for me, but romance does not. And so Cameron's love interest Lena was a bit elusive at first. She's sophisticated, smart, and refined, and Cameron is this country kid. It took a while for me to find their vibe. But I eventually realized that their early interactions were kind of like the ones I had when I first met my wife (whose league of grace and cool I am GALAXIES away from). And then it clicked: I channeled a few early dates with my wife—my astonishment, my eagerness to be with her... that queasy vulnerability. Suddenly, I had all the inspiration I needed to make Cameron and Lena's relationship real and unique.

7. Are you a planner or a "pantser"?

I love the romantic ideal of writing "by the seat of my pants," but I don't think I could ever do that, especially with the intricate plot of a thriller. I created a detailed outline for The Perfect Candidate before I embarked on the full draft. I'd written the first chapter, but from there, I thought through each character's journey, their intersection points, and how to pull of the big twists in the story. That said, as I wrote I stumbled across new ideas, characters, and a couple of major changes from what I initially planned. I write like I explore a new city—often with a minute-by-minute schedule, but open to deviations, which usually involve a Banana Nutella crepe. I don't know how I got to "Banana Nutella crepe" in this answer, but I do know what I'm going to eat right now.

8. What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2019?

Two Can Keep A Secret, by Karen M McManus. I tore through One of Us is Lying, and I am totally digging her John Hughes meets Agatha Christie vibe. I can't wait to dig into this new mystery, but mostly I'm excited to meet a new crew of deeply drawn and "I totally know this person" characters.

9. Is there an organization or cause that is close to your heart?

The National Speech & Debate Association. I think high school speech and debate is the best thing any teenager could do with their Saturdays. I spent so many of my adolescent weekends riding cold, early morning buses to random school campuses, where I'd argue the issues of the day and (tragically) try to be an actor with a dramatic interpretation. This training taught me how to think on my feet and empathize with all sides of an argument - and therefore, all kinds of people. My final speech tournament was the national competition, where I won first place in Impromptu speaking. That win and everything that came before it built my confidence and capabilities more than any other educational endeavor, and I want as many teens as possible to have the same opportunity to nerd out every weekend.

10. What’s up next for you?

I am currently revising a draft of my second novel - a standalone YA thriller. The setting and mystery of this new story are worlds away from the marble hallways and dark alleyways of Washington, DC. But writing it still makes me want to keep as many lights on as possible, while I translate a few nightmares into words on the page.

P.S. After you read The Perfect Candidate, it will become clear that there is much more of Cameron's story to tell. So I also continue to daydream about DC (I like my version of the city more than the real one these days!). 

 
 
 
 
 
 

The Perfect Candidate

By: Peter Stone

Release Date: October 2, 2018

*GIVEAWAY DETAILS* 

One winner will receive a copy of The Perfect Candidate (US only). 

 

*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Featured Review: Emerge: The Assignment: An Immort...
Author Chat with Jacqui Castle (The Seclusion)!

Related Posts

 

Comments 8

Already Registered? Login Here
Kara S on Saturday, 29 September 2018 03:51

The cover appropriately represents the book's genre, and I for one find political intrigue fascinating! Thanks, Kara S

0
The cover appropriately represents the book's genre, and I for one find political intrigue fascinating! Thanks, Kara S
Madeline Tebo on Tuesday, 02 October 2018 11:28

The cover and the synopsis are both amazing! I can't wait to read this book!

0
The cover and the synopsis are both amazing! I can't wait to read this book!
Renee Moore on Friday, 05 October 2018 23:03

Sounds like a good read. I enjoy a good thriller during fall!

0
Sounds like a good read. I enjoy a good thriller during fall!
Debra Branigan on Sunday, 07 October 2018 17:50

This sounds like an exciting read and your cover is perfect for the book. I look forward to reading it.

0
This sounds like an exciting read and your cover is perfect for the book. I look forward to reading it.
Marisa Fort on Tuesday, 23 October 2018 17:24

The cover is awesome and the synopsis sounds amazing!

0
The cover is awesome and the synopsis sounds amazing!
Penny Olson on Wednesday, 24 October 2018 23:18

The cover really fits the story which sounds like an intriguing thriller.

0
The cover really fits the story which sounds like an intriguing thriller.
Danielle Hammelef on Friday, 26 October 2018 18:44

The cover is breath-taking and thrilling just like this suspenseful synopsis.

0
The cover is breath-taking and thrilling just like this suspenseful synopsis.
Dianna G. on Saturday, 27 October 2018 20:37

What a cool story idea. I love how the cover looks like it would be on Inside Edition.

0
What a cool story idea. I love how the cover looks like it would be on Inside Edition.

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

controlfreak_wordart (wecompress.com).png
He actually gets the girl in this story. His perfect...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Soul of Power (The Waking Land, #3)
One young woman learns the true nature of power—both her...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Oath Taker
Light magic is forbidden. Dark magic spells death....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Twisted Saga Collection 1
Save almost 40% off the price of the single books...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Sin Soldiers Cover
Red compound makes them angry. Yellow exhausts them. Blue drives...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Hunter's Truce
The Big Bad Wolf never killed for fun—he was on...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Lions and Lamps
Aladdin-meets-steampunk in this brand-new retelling from K.M. Robinson ...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ode to the Queen
Savannah wants to be a nurse, not a Greek Goddess....
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Super Humans
A mysterious chest. A terrifying vision. Are their...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Fifth Well: Fate of the Future
Carter, Patrick, Amber, and Ryan discover a set of five...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dragonfell
“An adventurous dragon tale that delivers an emotionally satisfying ending.”...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Goddess and the Guardians Boxset
This digital boxed set includes all four books in the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Finley and the Foster Brother
When a social worker and a truancy officer show up...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Of Wolves and Witches
I messed up. I broke two of the Arcane Council's...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two Like Me and You
Edwin Green's ex-girlfriend is famous. We're...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Skyward
Spensa's world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

The Soul of Power (The Waking Land, #3)
 
5.0
"THE SOUL OF POWER is a strong conclusion in The Waking Land trilogy. While the first book focused on Elanna..."
Dragonfell
 
4.0
"DRAGONFELL is a fun middle grade that addresses being different and not fitting in easily in the context of a..."
Skyward
 
5.0
"Sanderson raises the YA sci-fi quality bar in this high-flying story of human survival, friendship, legacy, loss, and confronting enormous..."
Hurricane Season
 
5.0
"HURRICANE SEASON is a powerful middle grade novel that deals with some really important issues. Finola (nicknamed Fig) is in..."
The Afterward
 
3.7
"It's been a year since a team of knights, a mage, and a thief defeated a great evil. Hope sprung..."
You Are Light
 
4.7
"This elegant board book is a celebration of light with a simple lyrical poem accompanied by die-cut colored circles. When..."
The Lost Coast
 
5.0
"THE LOST COAST is lyrical, ethereal, and deliciously haunting. Danny has moved to Northern California with her mother, to a..."
Dia de los Muertos: Celebrate the World
 
5.0
"Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, teaches young readers all about this ancient tradition celebrated in Mexico and..."
So Many Sounds
 
5.0
"So Many Sounds is a fun bedtime story that will surly engage the child who doesn’t want to sleep, and..."
Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story
 
5.0
"Gittel’s Journey tells the story of a brave young Jewish girl immigrating to the United States from Easter Europe, all..."
The Flight of Mr. Finch
 
5.0
"The Flight of Mr. Finch is a sweet story about the power of friendship and the importance of self-sacrifice. Lovely..."
Meet the Artist: JMW Turner
 
4.3
"J.M.W. Turner was a landscape painter and student of the Royal Academy of Arts in 1789. As a young teen..."
We Rule the Night
 
4.3
"WE RULE THE NIGHT is an engaging YA fantasy that takes place in a world at war. Revna works in..."
Dragons in a Bag (Dragons in a  Bag, # 1)
 
4.0
"Dragons in a Bag is a whimsical, moving, and magical tale. Perfectly tailored to it’s intended audience, Dragons In a..."
Internment
 
5.0
"This book absolutely wrecked me. INTERNMENT is a YA contextual dystopian that takes place in the near future. Extrapolating from..."
The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe
 
4.7
"THE LAST VOYAGE OF POE BLYTHE is a fascinating YA fantasy/dystopian that is even better than Condie's Matched series. The..."
Night Music
 
5.0
"NIGHT MUSIC is a beautiful YA coming-of-age/romance that brings classical music front and center. Ruby Chertok is the youngest of..."
Cogheart
 
4.0
"COGHEART by Peter Bunzl is a thrilling adventure that blends a historical setting with futuristic elements. The author hints his..."
The Cruel Prince
 
5.0
"Having only read one book of Holly's I wasn't caught up in the hype of her writing a new YA..."
Through the White Wood
 
4.7
"THROUGH THE WHITE WOOD follows Katya, a young woman who has a power of ice and is feared by many...."