On YA Scream Queens, we love sharing some of our favorite YA horror authors with our readers. Kate Karyus Quinn broke onto the YA horror scene in 2013 with her debut, ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE, a dark, twisty novel described as Stephen King meets PRETTY LITTLE LIARS.

Kate Karyus Quinn, authoress of the dark and twisty.

Kate Karyus Quinn, authoress of the dark and twisty.

On a cool autumn night, Annaliese Rose Gordon stumbled out of the woods and into a high school party. She was screaming. Drenched in blood. Then she vanished.

A year later, Annaliese is found wandering down a road hundreds of miles away. She doesn’t know who she is. She doesn’t know how she got there. She only knows one thing: She is not the real Annaliese Rose Gordon.

Now Annaliese is haunted by strange visions and broken memories. Memories of a reckless, desperate wish . . . a bloody razor . . . and the faces of other girls who disappeared. Piece by piece, Annaliese’s fractured memories come together to reveal a violent, endless cycle that she will never escape—unless she can unlock the twisted secrets of her past. (Description courtesy GoodReads) ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE releases in paperback on April 22, 2014. (That’s TOMORROW, cats and kittens.)



Kate’s next book (DON’T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME, releasing on June 10, 2014, is sure to be just as spine-tingling. Welcome to Gardnerville. A place where no one gets sick. And no one ever dies. Except… There’s a price to pay for paradise. Every fourth year, the strange power that fuels the town exacts its payment by infecting teens with deadly urges. In a normal year in Gardnerville, teens might stop talking to their best friends. In a fourth year, they’d kill them. Four years ago, Skylar’s sister, Piper, was locked away after leading sixteen of her classmates to a watery grave. Since then, Skylar has lived in a numb haze, struggling to forget her past and dull the pain of losing her sister. But the secrets and memories Piper left behind keep taunting Skylar—whispering that the only way to get her sister back is to stop Gardnerville’s murderous cycle once and for all. (Description courtesy GoodReads)

(DON'T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME, releasing June 10, 2014

(DON’T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME, releasing June 10, 2014

I’m lucky enough to have known Kate for the past five years, and she is a remarkable author that you NEED to be reading. She was kind enough to sit down for a YASQ interview, and at the end, you’ll find out how you can win some goodies from Kate!

YASQ: In both ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE and your upcoming release (DON’T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME, you set up stories that feature psychological twists and turns and characters thrust into startling situations of murder and chaos. How did you find yourself drawn to writing about these characters and situations?
KKQ: I honestly have no idea how I end up writing about these things, or why I am drawn to such dark themes and events. Mostly I just try to throw the craziest stuff I can think of at my characters and then try to figure out ways for them to deal with it. So it’s not really the darkness itself that interests me, but rather the reaction to it and then having characters finally find ways to overcome it.

YASQ: For many of the Scream Queens, we all found our love of horror started at a pretty young, formative age. Was that true for you as well? What got you hooked on horror?
KKQ: My earliest memory of Nightmare on Elm Street was having an older girl who lived on my street telling a bunch us kids the basic outline of the plot. Every other kids reaction to this was, “OMG I have to see that movie.” Mine was, “OMG I can never see that movie.” With an unprecedented insight into my own psyche, I realized early on that horror movies and I would NOT be a good combination. The shit in my own head was enough to give me nightmares so scary they sent me scurrying to my parents’ bed in the middle of the night.
So until my late high school years the scariest movie I’d ever seen was Jurassic Park. But then the Scream movies came out and I was… intrigued. The reviews for the movie raved about how the movie deconstructed the genre in interesting ways. So I gathered all my courage, a few friends, some snacks to smuggle in – and headed to the movie theater. And to this day I still cannot even think about that opening scene with Drew Barrymore (especially not at night and especially especially not at night while standing in front of a uncovered window) without freaking myself out. Over the next few years I watched a few more horror movies with friends, but finally cut myself off during my sophomore year of college when the day after viewing Urban Legends I was too scared to take a shower in the dorm bathrooms. It was daylight and yet I could not shake the feeling that someone was going to spring out and KILL ME.
Now I can’t even stand to hear the music from a horror movie, without it instantly lighting up the fear centers in my brain and sending my stress levels soaring.

YASQ: Both of your book titles come from songs that are well-known. I can tell you, I’ve been in the car with friends singing the lyrics with my friends and having a great time. So to see them juxtaposed against these dark tales is startling. What are your thoughts on that and how did the titles come about?
KKQ: It’s funny you mention driving in the car, singing along with songs because this is one of my favorite things to do – with or without friends along for the ride. I also use car time for plotting or just planning the next move for one of my characters. And sometimes a song will come on and it will just plug in so perfectly to what I’m thinking or feeling about that book that it practically screams, “This is your title!”. For ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE that song was “Another Little Piece of My Heart” and for (DON’T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME, it was obviously the song of the same name (although I flipped the parentheticals, cause I like them better my way).

YASQ: So often, I’ll hear from other writers, “I’d love to write horror, but I’m too much of a wimp.” Do you ever find that it’s hard to put away the horror from your mind after you’ve finished writing for the day? Can you give us a little insight into how you cope with writing frightening material?
KKQ: I am here to tell the wimps of the world – you too can write horror. As you can probably gather from my answer to the second question – I am a HUGE wimp. I also cannot stand the sight of blood. I often cover my eyes while watching TV or movies that get too suspenseful. I sleep with a night light. And I honest to god do not understand what would make any character ever think it is a good idea to go into the basement.
And yet… I write sorta creepy books. Some readers have even reported needing to sleep with the lights on after finishing ALP. Which would make you think that I was freaking myself out while writing them, but I never freaked out even once. Maybe it’s because I was in my characters’ heads, or maybe I was too busy pulling all the strings to get myself worked up. I don’t really know, except to say that I am definitely a wimp through and through and if I can write a horror book then anyone can!

YASQ: Finally, who would you name as your literary godfathers and godmothers, and how have they influenced the writing of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE and (DON’T YOU) FORGET ABOUT ME?
KKQ: Oye, this is such a hard question, because there are SO MANY authors whose work I have loved and devoured over the years. Yet many of these like LM Montgomery or Susan Elizabeth Phillips – don’t really seem like direct influences for the types of books I’ve ended up writing. And yet, I have a theory that everything we read goes into informing who we become as writers. From THE BABYSITTER’S CLUB all the way to THE SCORPIO RACES – all of these books have a place inside my head (If not an equal place in my heart. Sorry Babysitter’s Club but you did not make the heart cut). Sometimes even the books we really dislike (1984, I’m looking at you) can direct how we write just because they are so much more difficult to shake. So I can’t draw a direct line between myself and any one or even ten authors, but anyone can check out my Goodreads page and see if some of the more recent books I’ve read (I’ve only become good about keeping track of what I’ve read in the last year or two). Then your guess is as good as mine in seeing how each book has influenced me.

YASQ: Thanks, Kate, for talking with us! We can’t wait to see what scares you dream up next!
Kate is so generous! She is offering up two SIGNED copies of ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE with bookmarks! To win a copy, leave a comment. You can earn extra entries by following YAScreamQueens and Kate Karyus Quinn on Twitter. Two random winners will be chosen through Rafflecopter.
Keep the lights on,

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway here!

Categories: Books, YA

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10 replies

  1. Great inverview! Can’t wait to read ANOTHER LITTLE PIECE, Kate.

  2. Vicious by V.E. Schwab! Okay, it wasn’t really “horror” , but it was definitely dark and suspenseful! I highly recommend it!

  3. (This is Darith L)

    The last horror book I’ve read is And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie. It was more suspenseful than horrifying. 😀

  4. I don’t think I have ever read a horror book before, but now I want to try one.

  5. I don’t read scary books, so much as suspenseful books but I do love scary movies. So I think I’d like horror stories if I read them. I also get super squeamish when I see blood. Sometimes just thinking about it to much freaks me out.

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