Interview With 2019 Debut Sarah Lyu!

In 2019 our goal is to work with as many debut authors as possible and spread the word about their debut novels. Follow us this year as we pick the mind of the 2019 debuts and chat with them. Also stay tuned for news of giveaways, Twitter chats and more!
Last year, we Tweeted about wanting to discover more debut authors and their books. We ended up finding Sarah Lyu and her novel THE BEST LIES, and we have been interested in it ever since. We are so excited to have Sarah on the blog today to answer some of our questions! 

About Sarah! 
Sarah Lyu
Sarah Lyu is a Young Adult Fiction author. The Best Lies is her debut novel and she's hard at work on another thrilling story!
Keep up with Sarah: Website / Twitter / Goodreads / Instagram / Tumblr / Facebook 


The Book Bratz: First of all, congratulations! How does it feel to be a debut author?
Sarah: Really surreal but also thrilling. I love this job and I hope I get to keep doing it for years to come! 
The Book Bratz: In your opinion, what is the best part of the writing process? What's the hardest?
Sarah: The best part of the writing process is when the words are flowing and it feels like you're completely in the zone. There's really nothing like it and it's what keeps me coming back to the desk. The hardest part for me personally is the bigger picture stuff like plot and structure. I'd like nothing better than to sit around writing two characters talking and hanging out aimlessly, ha.

The Book Bratz: Where did you get the idea for THE BEST LIES?
Sarah: There are actually two answers. I was most inspired by my relationship with my best friend. When I first got the idea for THE BEST LIES, we were in our early twenties fresh out of college sharing a small NYC apartment, and at the time, it felt like we were each other's whole worlds. Think Frances Ha or Thelma and Louise. It wasn't the healthiest! Then one day I stumbled upon Heavenly Creatures -- not the movie itself but its Wikipedia page, haha. That led me to the page for the Parker-Hulme murder, which was the basis for the movie, and bam!, I knew what story I wanted to tell: Two best friends who are each other's whole worlds and a person who threatens their bond. Of course that idea has evolved quite a bit but I think the core of it is still there. 

The Book Bratz: When you first starting thinking about the idea for THE BEST LIES, did you know how you wanted it to end, or did that shocking ending come organically as you were plotting or writing?
Sarah: I didn't come to this ending until maybe draft 4 or 5, almost a year after my editor acquired the book actually. So super late in the process. I really struggled with the plot and structure of this book (see the answer for question 2!), and up until that point, the story was mostly linear. Once I came up with the idea of the frame story of a detective interviewing Remy, the ending snapped into place. 
The Book Bratz: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest?
Sarah: Elise was my favorite character to write. She's so complicated that I think I could write about her forever! Even though Remy's the main character and the narrator, I relate to both Remy and Elise equally. They both have pieces of me and at times it was therapeutic to write about the two of them working through things together. The hardest to write was Jack! I went through so many different versions of him. It was hard to find that perfect balance of someone who was vulnerable and sensitive but also overconfident and just a little bit arrogant. 
The Book Bratz: What do you hope that readers will take away from THE BEST LIES?
Sarah:Most of all, I hope readers leave feeling satisfied by the story itself, feeling like reading the book was worth the time they invested in it. But I also hope that readers walk away questioning some of the ideas that are sort of taken for granted in our society, like "no pain, no gain" and "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger." The idea that pain has to serve a purpose, the idea that your pain can justify lashing out at the world, those were things I wanted to challenge in the book. 

The Book Bratz: Do you plan on returning to the world of THE BEST LIES in the future, or do you have other projects in mind? Can you tell us anything about them?
Sarah: Never say never, but I think I've said everything I could about Remy's story at this point. I'm currently working on my second book, tentatively to be released in 2021, about a group of Asian Americans at an elite high school who run a cheating ring :) 
Thank you guys so much for these thought-provoking questions! I really enjoyed doing this, and thanks for hosting a giveaway of the ARC. If I may, I'd like to plug a couple things. First, in place of a pre-order campaign, I'm doing a thank you campaign (basically the same thing as a pre-order campaign but it'll keep running after the pub date) where readers can get a mini-polaroid with a handwritten quote from the book with my signature on the back. And second, readers can win a chance to "meet" me via Skype/Hangouts and a Best Lies-themed gift pack that includes both Kill Bill films. Info on both here! Thanks again guys!



Title: The Best Lies
Author: Sarah Lyu
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: July 2nd, 2019 

Summary: Remy Tsai used to know how her story would turn out. But now, she doesn’t even know what tomorrow will look like. She was happy once. Remy had her boyfriend Jack, and Elise, her best friend — her soulmate — who understood her better than anyone else in the world. But now Jack is dead, shot through the chest — And it was Elise who pulled the trigger. Was it self-defense? Or something deeper, darker than anything Remy could have imagined? As the police investigate, Remy does the same, sifting through her own memories, looking for a scrap of truth that could save the friendship that means everything to her.

Thank you so much to Sarah for stopping by and answering our questions! We are super excited about THE BEST LIES and it's already out in the world now, so you can get it right this second! And don't forget to stay tuned for my review of The Best Lies, which will be coming later this week!

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