Welcome to our weekly special feature post, Author Of The Week!!

Each week we will be interviewing a different YA author and highlighting their upcoming release!

We will also be hosting a giveaway of the book we are highlighting!!




Introducing Karen McManus, YABC's Author of the Week!


Karen M. McManus is the #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying,Two Can Keep a Secret, and One of Us Is Next. Her fourth novel, The Cousins, will publish in December 2020. Her work has been translated into more than 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master's degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels.

You can find Karen at @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram



Meet The Cousins!

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You'll never feel the same about family again.

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they're surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point--not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother's good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it's immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious--and dark--their family's past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn't over--and this summer, the cousins will learn everything.


GoodreadsAmazon, KindleAudible,  B&N (Signed Edition)iBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

~ Author Chat ~


     YABC:  What gave you the inspiration to write this book?

I was reading an article about the Kennedy grandchildren, and started wondering what it would be like to have a last name that opens so many doors. Then I wondered what would happen if that legacy was taken away and then suddenly, inexplicably, returned. The Story family flowed from there: a prominent family whose matriarch disinherited all her children decades ago with a single-sentence letter—you know what you did—then invites the grandchildren she’s never met to spend the summer with her.


YABC:  Who is your favorite character in the book?

I can never pick a true favorite; it feels too much like picking a favorite child. But at this point in my career, having just finished a draft of my sixth book, I have written seventeen POV characters. That’s a lot of people to create! So I have an appreciation for characters who have strong voices from the beginning, because they make my job easier. In The Cousins, that character was Milly. Whenever I sat down to write her chapters, I could hear her clear as a bell.



YABC:  Which came first, the title or the novel?

They happened at almost the same time. As soon as I started to envision the story, I called it The Cousins in my head. My publishing team and I did consider alternate titles, including titles with numbers for consistency with my previous books. But the thing about that is, numbered titles have occasionally proved confusing! Many people think Two Can Keep a Secret is the sequel to One of Us Is Lying. Putting a “three” in the title for The Cousins could have led people to think it’s part of a series, or my third book instead of my fourth. Also, at this point I had already sold You’ll Be the Death of Me, and everyone loved that title. We knew the number pattern would break, and it made sense to break it with this book, where the cousins truly are the heart of the story.


YABC:  What scene in the book are you most proud of, and why?

There’s a scene toward the end involving Aubrey and her uncle that makes me tear up every time I read it. I can’t say too much about it, because it’s spoiler-filled, but it marks a turning point for Aubrey in how she sees herself and the world around her. Her character arc was very satisfying to write, and that scene represents the climax.


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

Don’t self-reject. I stopped writing in high school before I’d shown my work to anyone, let alone submitted it for any type of publication, because I decided I wasn’t good enough. Let someone else tell you no. And don’t get discouraged when they do, because publishing is full of no’s. Rejection isn’t failure, it’s a stepping stone to success.



YABC:   What do you like most about the cover of the book?

I love it all, but I’m particularly obsessed with the wallpaper. It’s the perfect combination of old money plus neglect, which is the Story family legacy in a nutshell.



YABC:  What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2021?

Queen Courtney Summers finding new ways to break my heart (and make me like it) with The Project.



YABC:   Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

Drafting, by a lot! I love the drafting phase and am almost giddy when writing a new story. I have come to appreciate revising, and the way it tightens and refines the narrative, but that part of the process doesn’t produce the same level of endorphins.



YABC:  What's up next for you?

I’m putting the finishing touches on my fifth book, You’ll Be the Death of Me, which will be coming out in Fall 2021. It’s like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off meets a murder mystery; three old friends try to recreate an epic ditch day that goes fatally wrong. And I just completed a first draft of my sixth book, but I can’t say too much else about that yet.



YABC:  What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2021?

That’s a really hard question because there are so many great looking books coming out next year! Really looking forward to Alexandra Overy’s These Feathered Flames, a retelling of the Russian firebird fairy tale, as well as A Dark and Hollow Star by Ashley Shuttleworth – I love stories about elves and fae, and this is the first f/f book about fae I’ve seen!



      YABC:  What was your favorite book in 2020?

Another tough one! I absolutely adored Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth – sign me up for sweet lesbian sword-jocks and prickly necromancers pretending not to be in love forever! I also loved Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust and Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas!


     YABC:  Which was the most difficult or emotional scene to write? 

There’s a scene near the beginning of the book when Remi’s father takes her into the city to meet a new suitor, hoping she’ll agree to marry him. Remi is not out as a lesbian to her family, and as they ride into the city, she reflects on what it might mean for her to tell them. She’s been raised in the more rigid views of the noble class and she worries that her parents will reject her. Then later in the scene, when she first meets Nolan, Remi is crushed by how seemingly perfect he is – good-looking, friendly, sweet – and she feels like something must be wrong with her because she’s immune to his charms. It was a really difficult scene for me to write because I also struggled to come out to my family, and felt for quite a while that there was something wrong with me for being uninterested in the same people as most of my straight friends. 


     YABC:  Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?

Revising! I actually find drafting pretty stressful because until I have a version on the page, I don’t always know if the story is going to work out. Sometimes, I can write a killer opening scene but not know where to go from there, or I have an idea for a character or a setting, but no real plot. For me, there’s always a hurdle at about the 15,000 word mark (40 pages) and a lot of projects fall apart at that stage. Once I have a complete draft, even if it’s 45,000 words long and needs to be expanded a lot, I know I can finish, I know how lots of plot threads will come together and it takes a lot of the unknowing out of the process for me! I don’t function well with uncertainty!






   The Cousins

   Author: Karen McManus

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: December 1st, 2020





Three winners will receive a copy of The Cousins (Karen McManus) ~ (US Only)



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