Sassy's Blogiversary Bash Day Twelve - Gretchen McNeil + MEGA INT GIVEAWAY!

Happy Thursday!

Oh my god, it's the last day in my bash! I can't believe how fast that flew by! It's been such an awesome bash because I loved getting to interview other authors and to spread the word about their books! 

Today, for the last day of the bash, I am featuring the awesome Gretchen McNeil! She was so kind in sending me a copy of her book TEN for review and I can not wait to read it because it sounds exciting! Don't forget to comment below and show Gretchen some love and to also enter the giveaway to win a copy of Ten!

Title: Ten
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Genre: Young Adult, Horror, Mystery
Release Date: September 18th, 2012
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray

BUY LINKS: | Amazon | B&N |
Don't spread the word!
Three-day weekend. Party at White Rock House on Henry Island.
You do NOT want to miss it.

It was supposed to be the weekend of their lives—an exclusive house party on Henry Island. Best friends Meg and Minnie each have their reasons for being there (which involve T.J., the school’s most eligible bachelor) and look forward to three glorious days of boys, booze and fun-filled luxury.

But what they expect is definitely not what they get, and what starts out as fun turns dark and twisted after the discovery of a DVD with a sinister message: Vengeance is mine.

Suddenly people are dying, and with a storm raging, the teens are cut off from the outside world. No electricity, no phones, no internet, and a ferry that isn’t scheduled to return for two days. As the deaths become more violent and the teens turn on each other, can Meg find the killer before more people die? Or is the killer closer to her than she could ever imagine?

Hi Gretchen! I am so happy to have you stop by the blog today! Before we get the interview started, would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself? 

Well, I mostly write YA horror and suspense novels for Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins, including POSSESS, TEN, and 3:59, as well as the Don’t Get Mad series GET EVEN and GET DIRTY!  I used to be an opera singer, and a television animation producer, and a voice over artist.  And I occasionally sing with the circus.

1. What gave you the idea to write TEN? Was it a long time idea or did it just come to you randomly? 

TEN was inspired by a simple line of praise from my editor.  She told me that the creepiest parts of my debut POSSESS reminded her of the Christopher Pike novels she loved as a teen.  That inspired me to work on a Pike-esque book, and when I was thinking about his plots, I realized one or two of them reminded me of Agatha Christie’s masterpiece And Then There Were None.  BOOM!  The idea for TEN was born!

2. What was the most difficult part in writing it? 

All the red herrings.  One aspect of a successful murder mystery, which is what TEN is at its heart, is the always shifting spotlight of suspicion.  Everyone must be a believable suspect at some point in time, which means everyone needs motivation and opportunity.  Getting all those details straight and then organically inserted into the book can be tough!

3. Are there any parts in the book that you feel particularly close to? If so, what would it be? 

Well, the song Lori writes her supposed suicide note on (Barber’s “Sure On This Shining Night”) is one of my favorites.  I’ve performed it several times in recital, and I even recorded it (poorly) for the book trailer.  Integrating that song into the book was very personal to me, a little nugget not many people know about!

4. During the cover design process (I bet that’s always the fun part!) where you able to voice what you wanted/pictured? 

I had absolutely nothing to do with that amazing cover!  My publisher shows me a finished product, then I’m allowed to give input.  I had literally nothing to say about this one other than, “Wow.”

5. Do you have any upcoming projects? If so, can you let us in on a sneak peak? 

I can’t share any actual pages from my upcoming books because both of them are still in revision, but I have two releases in 2016.  RELIC, which was orphaned by the Egmont closure, will be published by HarperCollins’s Epic Reads Impulse line.  It’s a standalone horror novel about a group of teen who, while exploring an old mine, accidentally unleash a creature who was meant to remain buried. The creature is a parasite, and then teens don’t know which of them it’s inhabiting at any given time, and as it systematically hunts down everyone who knows of its existence and cannibalizes the bodies to keep its host body healthy, the teens need to figure out how to stop it before they all fall victim. 

After that, I have a YA contemporary out in the fall of 2016 with Balzer + Bray called I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL which is about a math-minded control freak who loses her boyfriend to the quirky new girl in school then sets out to reinvent herself as a classic manic pixie dream girl in order to win him back.

What a fun interview! Thank you once again Gretchen for stopping by and congratulations on your amazing book!

Gretchen McNeil is the author of the standalone YA horror novels POSSESS, TEN (2013 YALSA Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, a Romantic Times Top Pick, a Booklist Top Ten Horror Fiction for Youth, a finalist for Washington state’s 2015 Evergreen Young Adult Book Award and Vermont’s 2014-2015 Green Mountain Book Award, and was nominated for “Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel of 2012″ by Romantic Times) and 3:59, as well as GET EVEN and GET DIRTY, part of her mystery/suspense series Don't Get Mad, all with Balzer + Bray for HarperCollins. 

In 2016, Gretchen will publish two novels: RELIC, a YA horror novel, with HarperCollins/EpicReads Impulse on March 8, 2016, and in the fall, I’M NOT YOUR MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL, her first YA contemporary, with Balzer + Bray. Gretchen also contributed an essay to the Dear Teen Me anthology from Zest Books.


Happy reading!


  1. Great interview! I'm definitely going to add this book on my list. I need some horror in my TBR list. Also, congrats on a great blogiversary bash! It was great reading through the posts. :)

  2. Ten sounds really creepy and I love mysteries, too. Great interview! Congrats on your blogiversary and the event you have going on!


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