ptbf_bloggerbannertrans3Welcome! Today I’m interviewing Gretchen McNeil, author of Possess, Ten and 3:59. Her new book, Get Even, will be out Fall 2014. You can meet Gretchen in person by attending the Pasadena Teen Book Festival!


Event date: Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 12pm-4pm
Venue: Pasadena Public Library, 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91101
T-Shirt sign-ups at CustomInk
Tue March 25 – Read Now Sleep Later – Spotlight on Catherine Linka
Mon March 31 – The Windy Pages – Spotlight on Gretchen McNeil
and Holly Goldberg Sloan
Wed April 2 – FangirlFeeels – Spotlight on Jesse Andrews
Fri April 4 – What a Nerd Girl Says – Spotlight on Margaret Stohl
Mon April 7 – What a Nerd Girl Says – Spotlight on Andrew Smith
Tue April 8 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Spotlight on Amy Tintera
Thu April 10 – The Consummate Reader – Bridge to Books Guest Post
Mon April 14 – Nite Lite Book Reviews – Spotlight on Sarah Skilton
Tue April 15 – Nite Lite Book Reviews – Spotlight on Allen Zadoff
Wed April 16 – The Reader’s Antidote – Spotlight on Elizabeth Ross
Fri April 18 – A Bookish Escape – Spotlight on Ann Redisch Stampler
Tue April 22 – The Book Twins – Spotlight on Carrie Arcos
Thu April 24 – Birth of a New Witch – Spotlight on Katherine Ewell




4145664Thanks for stopping by Gretchen!

Author of YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN, and 3:59, as well as the upcoming YA mystery/suspense series Don’t Get Mad, beginning in 2014 with GET EVEN and continuing in 2015 with GET DIRTY, all with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.Gretchen is a former coloratura soprano, the voice of Mary on G4’s Code Monkeys and she sings with the LA-based circus troupe Cirque Berzerk. Gretchen blogs with The Enchanted Inkpot and was a founding member of the vlog group the YARebels. She is repped by Ginger Clark of Curtis Brown


You write nail biting, fast paced thrillers. What other stories or authors have been your inspiration?
I’ve been a big fan of gothic literature since I was a kid. I loved John Bellairs (The House with a Clock in its Walls, The Figure in the Shadows) as a middle grade reader, and sort of escalated to Victorian gothic fiction from Le Fanu, Collins, Gaskell, James, Stoker, Stevenson, James, Bierce, Leroux, and of course, the masters – Poe and the Brontes. I’ve always loved that tingling feeling you get creeping down the back of your neck when you’re reading something deliciously scary and suspenseful, and I think that’s the aesthetic I strive for in my writing.

In 3:59, Josie is startled to learn that there is another her living in an alternate reality. And that world only opens at 3:59. If you were to find another Gretchen, what would this other Gretchen’s world be like?
What would I want it to be like or what would I actually find? I think if Bizarro Gretchen had grown up in a world as violent and paranoid as that of Jo Byrne, I’d probably be one of those tough as nails girl gang leaders, like in this insane 70’s cult movie Switchblade Sisters.

You are stranded on a desert island. Dr. Moreau, Dr. Jekyll and Dr. Frankenstein each stand in a boat waiting to take you to safety. Who do you choose to travel with?
Hmmm. There is something kind of sexy about the Jekyll/Hyde thing…right up until he strangles me. Yeah, Dr. Frankenstein. I feel like I could handle him.

How do you take your potato?
Fingerlings, pan fried.

Your first series, Don’t Get Mad, begins this fall. What challenges did you face writing a series versus writing standalone books?
I’m in the middle of writing the second book in the series right now, and I’d say the biggest challenge is taking the characters from where they were emotionally, mentally, etc. from the end of book one, and continuing their progression without (a) repeating their exact same character arcs from book one, or (b) having them make character choices that would not jive with what they’ve learned in book one. It’s…hard.

What are you working on right now?
Well, after I finish the sequel referenced above, I need to write about 20 more pages on a new horror proposal about a mind control parasite that turns people into cannibalistic serial killers. Basically, these teens explore an old mine left exposed by receding water levels in a nearby reservoir, and they end up bringing back a monster that was supposedly buried and destroyed 75 years earlier when the dam was built and the valley flooded. I’m really excited about it!


You guys can meet Gretchen!

You can follow Gretchen on Twitter @GretchenMcNeil or find her online at Gretchen



#1: ARC of A Girl Called Fearless
Winner may request personalization/autograph
Open to US residents only – ends 4/25/2014
Enter with Rafflecopter #1


#2: Choose from 1 of the books featured at the Pasadena Teen Book Festival


Winner may request personalization/autograph


Open to US residents only – ends 4/25/2014


Enter with Rafflecopter #2


#3: $50 Gift Card to Vroman’s Bookstore
Open to attendees of the Pasadena Book Festival only! – ends 4/21/2014
To enter, suggest a new, unique/clever/fun name for the Pasadena Teen Book Festival. Examples of other cool names for teen book fests include (already taken, unfortunately) Teen Author Carnival, YALLFest, and YABFest. What should we call our event from now on? Email your top 3 best name suggestions to OR fill out this form! A panel of judges will choose the best name from all of the submissions. The winner will be announced at the Festival!