Friday, March 23, 2018

{Blog Tour} IN HER SKIN by Kim Savage—Author Interview + Giveaway

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In Her Skin
by Kim Savage


Sixteen-year-old con artist Jo Chastain is about to take on the biggest heist of her life: impersonating a missing girl. Life on the streets of Boston these past few years hasn’t been easy, and Jo is hoping to cash in on a little safety, a little security. She finds her opportunity in the Lovecrafts, a wealthy family with ties to the unsolved disappearance of Vivienne Weir, who vanished when she was nine.

When Jo takes on Vivi's identity and stages the girl’s miraculous return, the Lovecrafts welcome her back with open arms. They give her everything she could want: love, money, and proximity to their intoxicating and unpredictable daughter, Temple. But nothing is as it seems in the Lovecraft household—and some secrets refuse to stay buried. As hidden crimes come to the surface, and lines of deception begin to blur, Jo must choose to either hold onto an illusion of safety, or escape the danger around her before it’s too late.
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Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery
• Pub Date: April 17, 2018
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Add the book on Goodreads!
Purchase: Amazon / B&N / Kobo / TBD / IndieBound

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with Kim Savage


LM: What inspired you to write In Her Skin?

Kim: In Her Skin is based on an episode on the life of the con artist Frederic Bourdin, who impersonated a missing teen from Texas. Bourdin’s con was totally improbable, but the missing boy’s family totally bought in. It made you wonder deeply about that family; why they were willing to believe what was clearly a lie? I’m also pulling from my own experiences as a writer, journalist, and actor: all three require an ability to get inside someone else’s skin.

LM: How did writing In Her Skin differ from writing previous books you've written?

Kim: Jo’s internal voice is directed toward Temple, who becomes her adopted sister once the con has been sprung. So the story is told in second person, which I guess is risky, but it was clear to me from the start that there was no other way to write it. Jo is obsessed with Temple from the moment she spots her in the Boston Public Library. Of course she would consume her thoughts.

LM: Tell us a little bit about Jo—who is she?

Kim: Jolene Chastain discovered her mother’s murder in Florida and fled. Raised by her mother to be a con, or, as she calls herself, an “intuit,” she uses her skills to get herself a new life off the streets of Boston by impersonating long-missing Vivienne Weir. Jo might like life with the Lovecrafts, but she’s not in it for the creature comforts alone. She’s desperate for family, and that makes her vulnerable.

LM: If this book had a theme song, what would it be?

Kim: Look What You Made Me Do by Taylor Swift. Think: I don't like your little games. Don’t like your tilted stage. The role you made me play. Of the fool, no, I don't like you. Keep listening and you’re wading into spoiler territory!

LM: What scene from In Her Skin are you most proud of and why?

Kim: When Jo tells you her trick for getting inside someone else’s skin. It’s one of the only times she directly addresses the reader instead of Temple, so you know it’s important.

She says:

Every time I switched schools, to avoid getting teased for my backwater accent or my short pants, I’d pick a certain girl—the girl whose laugh could leave you bleeding, the one who moved other kids around like chess pieces, the one teachers let get away with murder. I couldn’t copy clothes, or the smell of clean scalp, or a hard little chin. But I’d get good at the cool rhythm of her speech, her shuffle walk, her nonchalance. Eventually, it wasn’t enough to be on the outside: I wanted in. So I decided things. I thought she might be a late sleeper. That she liked salty over sweet. She tanned easy, and had a stripe of white underneath the woven bracelet on her ankle. The lines around both of us dissolved until I was looking through her eyes, and those eyes were fierce slits. When one of Momma’s boyfriends would block my way, I’d push past him, sweeping my shoulder like he’d shed something bad. If Momma limped from a kidney punch, I spat into the boyfriend’s scrambled eggs and coolly watched him eat. Momma’s scams were just games, games that I played along with because I wanted to, and I could stop at any time.

Inside the girl’s ferocity, I hardened.

LM: Which author(s) are you most inspired by?

Kim: Donna Tartt. She prioritizes storytelling like no one else. She is a masterful freak of nature (she won’t see this, right?). I also love Lauren Groff and Ottessa Moshfegh. All women; yep.

LM: Tell us what you enjoy doing when you aren't writing!

Kim: I’m not great at balance. Um: editing? Kidding. I love spending time with my female friends. They sustain me. Also, spooning my large dog. And my kids are pretty delightful.

LM: Tell us three random facts about yourself.

Kim: I don’t share soap; I am related to a world-class ballerina; the first book I ever wrote featured my dog Gretchen getting hit by a cyclone and falling into a coma. It could happen.

LM: Thank you so much for answering my questions today! Is there anything you'd like to add; anything you'd like to say to your readers?

Kim: Just that in your own skin is the best place you can be. Ask Jo!

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I was born and raised in Massachusetts, on the South Shore, which sounds beachy, even luxe. Think Winnebagos and chicken coops. My three brothers, 16, 10, and 8 years older, were teens by the time I became a person. Happiest around adults, who often forgot I was there, I spent days eavesdropping on gossipy moms in lawn chairs and nights listening under the table during tipsy Scrabble parties.

My dad read to me nightly. Eventually and early, I read to myself, everywhere. On top of an enormous freezer chest stuffed with meat. On drives until I grew nauseous. In bed until my eyes gave out. I read anything I could get my hands on. V.C. Andrews and Dickens. Black Beauty and the Bible. The Economist. Madeline L’Engle and Margaret Atwood. National Geographic.

I got a bachelor’s degree in English from Stonehill College and a Master’s in Journalism from Northeastern University. For a while, I worked as a business journalist. Instead of waiting for the Federal Reserve to release the Beige Book, I pitched story ideas along the lines of “Stigmatized Properties: When Murder Kills Property Values”. You see where things were headed.

Today, I live with my family northwest of Boston in a town a lot like Shiverton, near the real Fells reservation of AFTER THE WOODS. Born with dysgeographica—I’m directionally challenged—the fear of getting lost in that lovely, dark forest lives close to my skin.


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Huge thanks to Kim for answering my questions today!

Readers, please continue on for giveaway details! ~


a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks so much for stopping by! Happy Reading!

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