Meet the Newbies: Margot Harrison

June 4, 2016 Blog Tour, Giveaway 8

Meet the Newbies

This event is hosted by Rachel at A Perfection Called Books!
You can view the whole tour schedule here.

Meet the Newbies is a blog event dedicated to introducing you to the “newbie” published debut authors. In this event, expect to learn more about the authors, their books, and silly fun facts!

Author Most Likely to Drag Her Friends to a Scary Movie: Margot Harrison
( Website | Twitter | Instagram

margot harrison

Nickname: Memory
First Day of School: July 12, 2016
Homeroom: Disney-Hyperion
Grade: Psychological Thriller
Extracurricular Activities: Weird Film Appreciation Club, school newspaper, figure skating (badly), Netflix marathoning, improv comedy
Favorite Class: Creepy Literature from Poe to Stephen King
Favorite Quote:  “Looking for the answers to all of life’s problems? We recommend obstinate denial. Accept no substitute. Accept nothing.” — “Welcome to Night Vale,” Episode 42


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If you had to convince people to read THE KILLER IN ME in one sentence what would you say?

This is a book about a girl who goes on a road trip to find the guy of her dreams—and kill him before he can kill again.

Where did you get your inspiration for the novel?

I never thought I would write a book about a serial killer. As a horror fan, I saw serial killers in fiction as a trope that had already been done in every conceivable way. What new “shocking” twist could I possibly add?

Then, five years ago, a couple vanished from their home a few miles from where I live. No trace of them was found except for their abandoned car. A year and a half later, we learned they had been abducted and murdered by a man who told police he had traveled thousands of miles from his home to kill someone at random. He was later arrested for another murder, closer to home, and took his own life in custody.

I’d never read or watched a story quite like this one, and it took hold of my imagination. It was the randomness of the crimes and the distances involved that kept this killer under the radar. For most of his career, law enforcement didn’t know about him, because he didn’t court attention the way fictional serial killers typically do.

I wondered: What if someone became convinced she knew about a killer whose crimes were hidden from the cops, and even from his own family? What if she thought she knew exactly where he’d strike next, but she couldn’t prove a thing, or even speak up without seeming delusional? What if she doubted her own sanity, but she couldn’t take the risk of doing nothing? That became Nina, the protagonist of my novel.

Did you have to do any research?

A lot! I watched disturbing interviews. I studied photos of “murder caches.” I learned all about the tourist attractions of the Southwest, and I spent time hanging out at Home Depot to see how many murder implements you can purchase there. (I blame my lovely, utterly non-violent agent for that particular assignment!)

I also did a lot of research on guns. Many people in my area own firearms—legally, often for hunting—so I wanted to get the details right. I did not want my heroine to pick up a gun for the first time in her life and instantly know how to shoot like a trained markswoman.

What was your favorite scene to write? Most challenging? (No spoilers, please!)

Favorite: Er, let’s just say it involves an argument between two characters that leads to a tender moment. I am a sucker for Han-and-Leia dynamics.

Most challenging: A tense scene that takes place in the aforementioned Home Depot. Do you know how hard it is to make a well-lit big-box store seem like a menacing house of horrors? But that’s how it had to feel to my heroine. (By the way, I chose Home Depot because the name tells you what kind of store it is. No product placement was involved!)

What message do you want readers to leave the book with?

Face your fears, but don’t be ashamed of them. You can be anxious, or even scared of your own shadow, and still take action when it counts.

If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring writers what would it be?

Read, read, read—I can’t repeat that enough. And don’t just stick to your favorite genre—read anything that looks even remotely interesting. You will learn as much from what you hate as from what you love. You will learn so much about words and stories and their many strange and lovely permutations. Your brain will become your own thesaurus. You will learn which so-called “rules” you want to follow and which you can happily ignore. And you will have fun.

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About the Book:

THE KILLER IN ME by Margot Harrison
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 368
Release Date: July 12th 2016
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Young Adult

Hasn’t he lived long enough? Why not? I could take him like a thief in the night.

This is how the Thief thinks. He serves death, the vacuum, the unknown. He’s always waiting. Always there.

Seventeen-year-old Nina Barrows knows all about the Thief. She’s intimately familiar with his hunting methods: how he stalks and kills at random, how he disposes of his victims’ bodies in an abandoned mine in the deepest, most desolate part of a desert.

Now, for the first time, Nina has the chance to do something about the serial killer that no one else knows exists. With the help of her former best friend, Warren, she tracks the Thief two thousand miles, to his home turf—the deserts of New Mexico.

But the man she meets there seems nothing like the brutal sociopath with whom she’s had a disturbing connection her whole life. To anyone else, Dylan Shadwell is exactly what he appears to be: a young veteran committed to his girlfriend and her young daughter. As Nina spends more time with him, she begins to doubt the truth she once held as certain: Dylan Shadwell is the Thief. She even starts to wonder . . . what if there is no Thief?

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8 Responses to “Meet the Newbies: Margot Harrison”

  1. ShootingStarsMag

    Great interview. I can’t wait for this one to come out. It sounds great. I think serial killer stories are interesting, but it’s true that it seems like they tend to be very similar. That’s cool part of the inspiration came from a real life story – the truth is often stranger than fiction, as they say.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…#JustYouJune Insta Challenge + Bunbury Weekend

  2. Agus Z

    This sounds really interesting! I’m already intrigued about the story. I’m adding it to my TBR right now.
    That’s a great advise for aspiring writers, I’ll keep it on mind and I hope finish writting my book this year :D
    Great interview!

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