Rachel and Alice are an extremely rare kind of identical twins—so identical that even their aunt and uncle, whom they've lived with since their parents passed away, can't tell them apart. But the sisters are connected in a way that goes well beyond their surfaces: when one experiences pain, the other exhibits the exact same signs of distress.
So when one twin mysteriously disappears, the other immediately knows something is wrong—especially when she starts experiencing serious physical traumas, despite the fact that nobody has touched her. As the search commences to find her sister, the twin left behind must rely on their intense bond to uncover the truth. But is there anyone around her she can trust, when everyone could be a suspect? And ultimately, can she even trust herself?
JESSICA WARMAN is also the author of Breathless, which received three starred reviews and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, and Where the Truth Lies. The idea for Between came from an incident in her childhood, when a local boy went missing after a party on a yacht (he was eventually found, alive). www.jessicawarman.com
MGO: "When did you know that you first wanted to be a writer?"
Jessica: "I don’t remember ever not wanting to be a writer. It’s the only thing I’ve ever been interested in, career-wise, and I’ve pursued it pretty single-mindedly. I took my first creative writing workshop in sixth grade. After my high school boyfriend and I broke up, I nursed my broken heart by writing a book about the relationship. I was actually looking through my senior year yearbook a few weeks ago, and my husband noticed that every single person who signed it mentioned my writing – either they said “good luck with the writing,” or “I’ll be reading your books someday” or something similar. So my ambitions have always been pretty obvious!"
MGO: "Who would you say has been the most influential person to you while becoming a writer?"
Jessica: "Definitely my parents. They took me to the library and bookstore all the time. As soon as I was old enough to start putting sentences together, they made sure I always had access to a typewriter, word processor, and eventually a computer. (When I was a kid, people still used typewriters!) They paid for summer writing classes. They sent me to a private high school with an outstanding creative writing department. Once I started college as an English major, they never said “maybe you should have a back-up plan,” or anything like that. Now that I have my own kids, I realize how enormous their efforts were, and I cannot thank them enough!"
MGO: "Are any of your settings or characters based off of real life experiences?"
Jessica: "Absolutely! My first book, Breathless, had an enormous amount of loosely autobiographical material. I’ve noticed that, with each book I write, I seem to be relying on my own experiences less and less – it’s like I’m getting more courageous, so I don’t feel like I need the safety net that my memories have provided in the past. But even in Beautiful Lies, there’s plenty of real life material. For instance, the house Alice and Rachel live in is identical to the last house I owned, right down to the color of the carpets and the layout of the kitchen. The layout of their town is the layout of a town I used to live in. And the bar they work at – The Yellow Moon – it’s based on the bar my husband and I used to go to when we were first married. (The actual bar was called Red Star, so “Yellow Moon” seemed like a nice way to wink at it.)"
MGO: "I am always curious what authors read in their free time. What was the last book you read?"
Jessica: "A few weeks ago, I read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. I had the pleasure (and privilege) of meeting Mr. Saenz at TLA in Houston last April; he is a warm and wonderful man, and this beautiful novel is a reflection of his soul. I read it in one sitting, and I cried tears of happiness at the end. It’s magic. I cannot recommend it highly enough."
MGO: "Beautiful Lies came out on the 7th, do you currently have something else in the works?"
Jessica: "Yes! I’m actually working on something right now that I’m going crazy over. Nobody has seen it yet – not even my agent or my editor – and I’m so anxious to share it with someone… but not yet! I don’t want to say much about it, but I will divulge that it’s a psychological thriller, and I’m so excited about it that it’s been keeping me up at night."
MGO: "Which do you prefer, hardback, paperback or e-book?"
Jessica: "Definitely paperback. The physicality of books has always been very important to me. I love the way they get broken in after a few chapters. I love making notes in the margins and highlighting my favorite lines and passages. I love walking into any room of my house and seeing at least one pile of books. I have never read an e-book. My husband owns a Kindl, and I’ve never even touched it. It’s not that I’m opposed to e-books on principal – the format just doesn’t appeal to me right now"
Thank you so much Jessica for being here today and letting us get to know you a little better!!