Interview With Lygia Day Peñaflor (Creep: A Love Story)

Today we are very excited to share an interview with Author Lygia Day Penaflor (Creep: A Love Story)!


Meet the Author: Lygia Day Peñaflor

Lygia Day Peñaflor is the author of Creep: A Love Story, All of This is True, and Unscripted Joss Byrd. She also teaches young Hollywood stars on television and movie sets. Her students have included cast members of Gossip Girl, Boardwalk Empire, Spielberg’s West Side Story, and others. She lives on Long Island, NY, where she rides horses and flies from a trapeze.

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About the Book: Creep: A Love Story

You meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in this twisted, tragic love story that follows Holy Family High School’s cutest couple—as told through the eyes of the classmate who’s stalking them.


Laney Villanueva and Nico Fiore are the perfect couple: beautiful, popular, talented, and hopelessly in love. Everyone looks up to them at Holy Family High School.

But Rafi doesn’t just admire them. She watches them. She’s drawn to them.

Intent on becoming their closest friend, Rafi weaves her way into their lives. She starts small: taking photos of the senior class for the yearbook, joining Laney’s club, and babysitting Nico’s little sister. And it works—soon they invite her to parties, take her on joyrides, and ask her for favors. Rafi’s actions quickly turn invasive, delving deeper and deeper until she’s consumed by their most intimate secrets.

When tragedy strikes the young lovers, Rafi’s obsession spirals, and she will do anything to keep the perfect couple together. Anything . . .





~Author Chat~

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

As a kid, I always looked up to the beautiful high school couples. I thought they were so glamorous, like celebrities, in a way. I realized I’d become one of those couples when I was in high school and a girl came up to me and said, “You have the cutest boyfriend.” I never forgot her. This book is the result of that brief encounter. Isn’t it interesting how a tiny incident can affect one person deeply and the other person maybe not at all? This theme runs through the novel. Sophomore Rafi is consumed by a run-in with seniors Laney and Nico, but they don’t give her a passing thought.


YABC: Who is your favorite character in the book?

That’s a tough question because I feel connected to each character, and I’ve been both Rafi and Laney on some level. But I really wanted to write a good boyfriend, someone happy and kind, a boy who expresses himself. Girls are often told not to expect boys to share their emotions. In movies, TV, and books, the distant, brooding boys are always made to be so appealing. But I think girls should expect words from a boyfriend. I love that Nico is communicative and just says how he feels.


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

The title of the Radiohead song came first. “Creep” heavily inspired my book. It’s intense and desperate, and the lyrics are crushing. I listened to it as I wrote–I can’t even estimate the number of times. It snapped me into Rafi’s headspace immediately. The song drove the tone of the novel: notice me, love me, need me, be with me, even though I’m a creep. That’s exactly Rafi.


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

The saddest scene that takes place on the roof (no spoilers) turned out exactly as I’d imagined. It feels real to me, and it breaks my heart. My editor said that this scene really makes her feel Rafi’s emotions. I’m proud of that.


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

I’ve learned to trust and love my unique voice. I’m a very instinctual writer. It if feels right, it is right.


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

It doesn’t look like other covers. That was the most important thing to me during the design process. I hope it will become one of those recognizable images that will make readers say, “Oh, Creep! I remember that book.” Thank you to my designer Julia Feingold and photographer Andi Bierlein!


YABC: What new release book are you looking most forward to in 2022?

Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas, about a football team on a winning streak and the secrets the team has been hiding. Also, This Is Not a Personal Statement by Tracy Badua: a girl gets rejected to college and then fakes her life as a uni student. Wait. Darn, that’s not out till 2023!


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

 I don’t know if it was the most difficult, but there’s a certain scene I was asked to revise because it was too sexy! TWICE. I don’t know what else to say about that. Oops?


YABC:    What is the main message or lesson you would like your reader to remember from this book?

I hope readers take away whatever messages they need from my books. I will say this, though. There’s been so much emphasis on the creepy aspects of this book since the stalker is the narrator. But ultimately it is a love story. Laney and Nico say, “I love you so much and forever.” I guess I’d like readers to remember that even if a relationship doesn’t work out, you can still love someone so much and forever. That can be beautiful in its own way.


YABC:      What would you say is your superpower?

Have you seen my flying trapeze videos on Instagram? Yeah. That!



Title: Creep: A Love Story

Author: Lygia Day Penaflor

Publisher: Clarion Books

Reading Age: 14+