Emily Ecton is a writer and producer for Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me!,
the NPR news quiz. She has also been a playwright, a chinchilla wrangler, an ice cream scooper and a costume character. She lives
in Chicago with her dog, Binky.
Meet The Ambrose Deception!
Melissa is a nobody. Wilf is a slacker. Bondi is a show-off. At least that's what their middle school teachers think. To everyone's surprise, they are the three students chosen to compete for a ten thousand-dollar scholarship, solving clues that lead them to various locations around Chicago. At first the three contestants work independently, but it doesn't take long before each begins to wonder whether the competition is a sham. It's only by secretly joining forces and using their unique talents that the trio is able to uncover the truth behind the Ambrose Deception--a truth that involves a lot more than just a scholarship.
With a narrative style as varied and intriguing as the mystery itself, this adventure involving clever clues, plenty of perks, and abhorrent adults is pure wish fulfillment.
YABC: What gave you the inspiration to write this book?
I was actually supposed to be working on the sequel to my book The Lost Treasure of Tuckernuck when I came up with The Ambrose Deception. I was stuck in a traffic jam coming back from the airport and the cab driver kept taking detours to try to find a clear route. Every time he did I would see more cool public art, and I realized that public art would be really fun to use in a clue based mystery. By the time I got home, I had a basic plot worked out and was really excited to get started on it, but I couldn't, because I had to focus on the Tuckernuck sequel. So instead, I wrote down everything I could think of so I wouldn't forget anything when I was able to work on it.
YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?
I don't think I can pick just one! There are things I like best about all of the characters, but I did have a particularly good time writing the drivers. They weren't in my original plan, but when I started outlining, I realized I needed a way to get the kids around town safely. It was fun making each of them a foil to their particular kid, and developing the rivalries and friendships between them.
YABC: Which came first, the title or the novel?
The idea comes first, and the title usually shows up once I've figured out the details of the plot and actually start writing the book. By the time I finish writing the book, the title is pretty ingrained for me.
YABC: Thinking way back to the beginning, what’s the most important thing you've learned as a writer from then to now?
One thing I hadn't realized before I wrote The Ambrose Deception was how many pitfalls there are when you're writing about a real city. At least fifteen things that I'd featured in the book changed while I was writing and editing it -- locations closed, zoo exhibits changed, buildings were renovated. I was able to keep up with a lot of them, but you can't revise forever, so at a certain point I just had to cross my fingers that nothing huge would change.
YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2018?
There are so many cool books coming out in 2018, it's hard to pick! Two that I'm really looking forward to are Rescued, the latest Andy Carpenter book by David Rosenfelt, and Blink and You Die, the final book in Lauren Child's Ruby Redfort series.
YABC: What was your favorite book in 2017?
That's a tough one too! My favorite adult book was probably Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland's The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O., because I'm a sucker for time travel books. My favorite middle grade book was probably Jonathan Stroud's book The Empty Grave, because I loved the way it wrapped up the Lockwood & Co. series.
YABC: What’s up next for you?
Right now I'm working on a picture book idea, and also a middle grade heist book.
YABC: Which part of the writing process do you enjoy more: Drafting or Revising?
Definitely drafting! I really enjoy working out the plot in my head and getting it all down on paper the first time. It's like putting together a puzzle. I also like to revise as I go, cleaning up what I wrote the day before, so that I don't have such a huge revision facing me at the end of the book.
The Ambrose Deception
By: Emily Ecton
Release Date: February 13th, 2018
Three winners will receive a copy of The Ambrose Collection (Emily Ecton) ~ US Only ~
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
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