I am so excited to be taking part in the To Catch a Killer by Sheryl Scarborough blog tour! This is a suspenseful YA thriller that I really enjoyed! I was lucky enough to get to interview Sheryl about this fun story and you can check out her responses below. I also had a chance to read and review the book and you can check out my full review here! To Catch a Killer will be released February 7, 2017 from Tor Teen!
SHERYL SCARBOROUGH is an award-winning writer for children’s television. She holds an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, lives in Washington state, and has always had an obsession with forensics. When she was twelve, her home was the target of a Peeping Tom. Sheryl diligently photographed his footprints and collected the candy wrappers he left behind. Unfortunately, he was never caught. But the desire to use evidence to solve a great mystery was sparked inside Scarborough all the same. To Catch a Killer is her debut.
You can visit Sheryl Scarborough around the web here:
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Dark Faerie Tales: First of all, thank you so much for stopping by and answering a few questions for us today! Can you start off by introducing yourself and telling us a little bit about To Catch a Killer and where you got the inspiration to write if?
Sheryl: Hi. My name’s Sheryl Scarborough and I’m the author of To Catch a Killer. This is the story of sixteen-year-old, Erin Blake whose mother was brutally murdered when she was just two years-old. Creepy as it may seem, the killer left baby Erin in the house, alive. It was three days before the murder was discovered and she was rescued. Erin’s mother never told anyone the identity of her father, so she grew up within a storm of questions about her life. The book begins 14 years later, as Erin decides it’s time to find some answers. She wants to know three things: 1. Who killed her mother? 2. The identity of her father. And, 3. She desperately needs to know that her father—someone she shares DNA with—was not responsible for wrecking her life.
As for inspiration, I have always loved mystery and detective stories, the combination of forensic science and a high school biology class just seemed to offer so many possibilities I couldn’t resist trying to find my way through a story that used it
DFT: Erin is a smart, interesting and resourceful young women and I just adored her. I love that she took the tragedies of her past and turned it into something useful. She has many wonderful characteristics, but which one do you think is her best?
Sheryl: Well, as an imaginary human, Erin has experienced great loss, consequently the people in her life are very important to her. She will easily put her life on the line to protect or spare anyone of them. But, as a writer, I love working with Erin’s geek-girl addiction to science and forensics. It’s so much fun to write. Erin’s emotional side and her scientific side collide at times, but they are a sort of yin and yang to her complex personality.
DFT: Journey Michaels is a suspect in the murder of Miss P and he also happens to be the boy Erin has been crushing on for years! I pretty much fell head over heels for Journey right away and I can easily see why Erin liked him so much! When creating his character did you pull inspiration from a real person or is he just a figment of your imagination?
Sheryl: The wounded soulfulness that is the essence of Journey came from my imagination by thinking about what kind of boy Erin would be drawn to. But I do know young men who have experienced a deep loss and even though they are guys and keep their emotions neatly walled-up, it still shows. It creeps out in vulnerable moments. I tried to capture some of that vulnerability while creating the character of Journey.
DFT: If you can without spoiling anything, will you tell us what was your favorite scene to write in To Catch a Killer?
Sheryl: I have a lot of favorite scenes, but I think the one that really stands out the most for me is when Erin meets her forensic hero. Even though he’s her uncle, she never met him because he lives in Virginia and works for the FBI. But she’s patterned her entire forensic knowledge and investigation after him as a result of reading his books. So, that moment when he shows up and does something really impressive, he turns out to be the bigger-than-life character she always believed he was.
DFT: I was lucky enough to get an early copy of To Catch a Killer and it came with a cool fingerprinting kit. In the promotional material it mentioned that at a very young age you use to create your own fingerprinting kits out of household products! Could you tell us what you used and if you were ever successful in recovering any good fingerprints?
Sheryl: What I did when I was young was collect evidence left behind by a peeping Tom that plagued our house. He always let us know that he was there before he would run away. We would call the police and they would come out to investigate but they never caught him. The next day, I would go out and measure the footprints and gather candy wrappers and things he left behind. Then I would be on the lookout for someone wearing certain shoes and munching on those particular candy bars. I never came up with a viable suspect, either. But that didn’t stop me from trying.
DFT: I believe that To Catch a Killer is a standalone novel (correct me if I’m wrong), but what can you tell us about other projects you are working on?
Sheryl: Actually, there is a sequel to To Catch a Killer and maybe more if there’s enough love shown to these characters in book one and two. The sequel answers one main question left open in book one and opens a few new questions, as well. But, until there is an order for more, I’m working on a Zombie Queen destiny story and a contemporary middle grade with a Valkyrie. Can you tell that I love strong female characters?
Quick Fire Questions: (Which do you prefer?)
Reading: Mystery, Fantasy, or Romance? Mystery is my fav.
Bad boy, preppy boy, or nerdy boy? Always love the bad boys. Sigh!
Kick butt heroine, damsel in distress, or a smarty pants? Smarty pants who isn’t afraid to kick butt.
E-reader, Hardcover, or Paperback? E-reader. This way I have all my favorite books with me at ALL times.
Book, TV Show, or Movie? Always. Always. ALWAYS the book!
Available February 7, 2017 from Tor Teen
About this Book:
Erin Blake has one of those names. A name that, like Natalee Holloway or Elizabeth Smart, is inextricably linked to a grisly crime. As a toddler, Erin survived for three days alongside the corpse of her murdered mother, and the case—which remains unsolved—fascinated a nation. Her father’s identity unknown, Erin was taken in by her mother’s best friend and has become a relatively normal teen in spite of the looming questions about her past.
Fourteen years later, Erin is once again at the center of a brutal homicide when she finds the body of her biology teacher. When questioned by the police, Erin tells almost the whole truth, but never voices her suspicions that her mother’s killer has struck again in order to protect the casework she’s secretly doing on her own.
Inspired by her uncle, an FBI agent, Erin has ramped up her forensic hobby into a full-blown cold-case investigation. This new murder makes her certain she’s close to the truth, but when all the evidence starts to point the authorities straight to Erin, she turns to her longtime crush (and fellow suspect) Journey Michaels to help her crack the case before it’s too late.
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