By: Cyn Balog
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Secrets. Obsession. Murder. Victoria is about to discover just how dangerous it can be to lose yourself.
Victoria Zell doesn’t fit in, but she’s okay with that. All she needs is the company of her equally oddball boyfriend, Andrew. She doesn’t care what anyone else thinks…until magnetic, charming, mysterious Z comes into her life, and she starts lying to everyone she knows in an effort to unravel his secrets.
And then something terrible happens. Someone is dead and it’s time for Victoria to come clean. Interspersed with news clippings and police interviews, Victoria tells her story to Andrew, revealing her dark, horrible secrets…secrets that have finally come back to haunt her.
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If you emptied out your purse, wallet, desk drawer, pockets, backpack, beach bag, saddle bag, or fanny pack, what would we find?
All the normal stuff! I am pretty boring. Although I am not one to clean out my bag or change it out often so I am sure you will find some Skittles in there from 2006.
What is your writing process? Are you a plotter or a panster?
I am both, actually! When I start, I am pantsing my way through. But after I get to about 1/3 of the way through, I know how I want the book to end so I start to plot the scenes that will get me there.
What is your number one writing tip?
Don’t give up. My 10-year old daughter said something yesterday to me: “I just want to stand out and be recognized for something I’ve done.” The thing is, we all want that. And with so many people competing for that recognition, it’s not going to be easy! I told my daughter that if it was easy, the end reward wouldn’t be as sweet! I told her that if it’s hard, that’s a GOOD thing, because the harder it is, the more people are going to pack it in and decide to go watch TV instead. It’s only the people who stick it out who succeed. That’s with anything, not just writing.
Describe you book in 5 words or less:
Madness, obsession, and murder.
What are some fun facts you can share about the characters from your book or the world you created for it that may or may not have made it to the final draft of the book?
Most people say the ending is shocking, and there is a lot of foreshadowing that goes into that ending that people might not pick up on during the first read. But originally, the ending was completely different, and from what I remember, had to do a lot with drugs, so when my agent suggested the new ending, I had to go through and change all the foreshadowing, which was quite the process.
Who was your favorite character to write and who gave you the most trouble?
I loved writing Z. He was such an overconfident a-hole that you just love to hate, doing almost everything that I’ve seen overconfident a-hole guys do in my lifetime. I had a lot of trouble writing Vic, though, because I wanted her to be sympathetic, even though she ends up doing things that make you want to scream at her.
If you could ask a character of your choice from UNNATURAL DEEDS one question what would it be?
I’d ask Z. what really happened, from his side of the story. Because Vic isn’t altogether that reliable.
What scene from the book are you most proud of (because of how you handled the atmosphere, characters, dialogue, etc)?
I love the final scene at the fence. I think it’s kind of eerie, and it was always part of the book, even though the ending changed.
Is there a scene that you had difficulty with and just had to “power through” to finish the book?
I always get stuck in the middle part! Yes, the whole darn 40,000 words in the middle, I was stuck on. I pushed through, but it did feel a little flat until I decided to add the Macbeth aspect. Once I added that, the whole thing (including the title, which is from the play) pretty much wrote itself!
UNNATURAL DEEDS is about obsession, love, lies, and how they interconnect and can overlap. Why was it important for you to tell a story that included this?
In my life, especially when I was an adolescent, nothing made me feel as out of control and obsessive as the feelings I had for another guy. I’m sure those feelings didn’t make sense to anyone looking at it from the outside, but I wanted to take a stab at getting the reader to identify with Vic’s obsession. We ALL have tied our every emotion to another person, even though we never seem to be understanding when it happens to our friends. I read a short story by Jorge Luis Borges called The Zahir, and it had the same theme—the guy is obsessed with a coin, but the reader is like, “What? Why?” Really, obsession is such a fascinating, powerful, personal thing.
Cyn Balog is the author of the young adult paranormal novels FAIRY TALE, SLEEPLESS, STARSTRUCK, TOUCHED, DEAD RIVER, and UNNATURAL DEEDS. She lives outside Allentown, Pennsylvania with her husband and daughters. Visit her online at www.cynbalog.com.
Find the author:
10/24/2016- Bibliobibuli YA– Interview
10/25/2016- Curling Up With A Good Book– Excerpt
10/26/2016- Wandering Bark Books– Spotlight
10/27/2016- BookHounds YA– Excerpt
10/28/2016- Fiction Fare– Interview
10/31/2016- Wanderlust & Books– Spotlight
11/1/2016- Literary Meanderings– Guest Post
11/2/2016- With Love for Books– Guest Post
11/3/2016- The Cover Contessa– Interview
11/4/2016- YA Book Madness– Excerpt
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