- The cover shoes belong to an art director at HarperTeen. Her shoes are also featured on the cover of Life By Committee. Now that’s going above and beyond for your job.
- Vista Palisades is a fictional town name that I used in my first ever manuscript that I wrote in 2006. The Happy Cheetah cartoon that Micah is watching in The Art of Lainey is also from that manuscript. No words are ever wasted. Keep everything. You never know when it might come in useful.
- Editorial wanted me to change the name of one of Max’s baby sisters at the last minute, and so I subbed in my cousin Jo Lee’s name. I haven’t quite gotten around to telling her yet ;-)
- I wrote Langston (I still don’t know if that’s his first name or last name) to be a combination of Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington.
- It took The Art of Lainey two rounds of submission and about four and a half months before it sold in May of 2012. I first-drafted this entire book in that waiting period (along with writing Belladonna) to where I remember telling my agent “If LAINEY doesn’t sell, oh well. On to the next thing.” If you’re a writer, keep writing. Don’t sit around and wait to see what happens with a manuscript. The more projects you have, the less-traumatized you’ll be if one doesn’t sell/get picked up by an agent.
- No cover is without its twin. Hey, at least it isn’t an iced coffeemaker this time ;-)
- The band name Kittens of Mass Destruction came from a Yahoo news article my mom sent me about a kitten that had traveled from a foreign country to California in a shipping container to be discovered alive after three weeks without food or water. “Isn’t that the greatest story ever?” she asked. “Probably some sort of biological warfare thing,” I joked. (I’m kind of cynical sometimes.)
- This book went through four separate endings, including one where Max basically shoots everyone who is guilty of anything and makes it look like they all shot each other and gets away with it. But as edgy as that ending was and as much as some people would like that, I ultimately decided it wasn’t Max and it wasn’t me.
- In the first draft, Parvati was the one who used a lot of profanity, not Max. I wanted to create a bit of role reversal with them, but ultimately I decided her sexual confidence was enough to convey her character and that the book felt more believable when she didn’t swear much.
- I dedicated this book to Dean Koontz, my all-time favorite mystery writer. Einstein and Odd are two of his characters. When my first work-for-hire book released, my mom wrote him a letter and invited him to my launch party. (#Awkward) His response was to send both of us signed books and write her back a personal note. #1 NYT Bestselling Dean Koontz took time out for my mom—that’s basically the coolest thing ever.
Since this post is revolving around LIARS. I thought it would be the perfect time to get my review out into the world, so here we go...
(Picture from my IG acc.. follow me @doodlesreviews!)
Since I was a big fan of LAINEY, I absolutely HAD to read Stokes' second book. Of course, I'm part of the street team as well, so with all of the promoting and such, the need to read it only intensified. Finally I got my copy, about a month after release, and I devoured it in one sitting. Talk about an intense reading experience.
LIARS, INC. is the story of Max Cantrell-- Adopted, outcasted, and best friends with Preston, the most popular guy in school. Max and his girlfriend have a good life, thanks to Pres' popularity, but everything takes a turn for the unexpected when the three of them decide to form a business. A business based on lies. For a lump sum, Max, Preston, and Parvati will lie for you-- call you in sick to school, write a fake doctor's note, give you an alibi if you want to have an uninterrupted night with your lover-- and it all works like a well-oiled machine.
Until Preston is the one who needs an Alibi.
Until he turns up missing.
Until the police find his body.
Now Max has to figure out just what happened to his best friend, and the truth turns out to be what he would least expect.
A mystery, suspense, and thriller all wrapped into one, LIARS, INC. is an unforgettable novel. With twist after twist, and twists inside twists, it leaves you guessing and confused until the very last page. I did happen to guess the endgame, but I didn't guess the HOW, or the WHY, so the story was just as interesting to me as if I had been dead wrong. I give LIARS a four straight rating, though I could've done without the sex scenes. All in all, it was a fantastic ride, and I'm super proud to be part of the street team, especially now that I've read the book! If you're a fan of mystery, and twisty turny thrills, go pick up LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes. It all starts with one little lie.