Monday Funday with Paula Stokes: Interview

Today we’re glad to be part of Paula Stokes blog hop for Liars INC!


Let’s take a look at Liars Inc!


For fans of Gone Girl, I Hunt Killers, and TV’s How to Get Away with Murder.

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell forged permission slips and cover stories to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts Liars, Inc. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? In a story that Kirkus Reviews called “Captivating to the very end,” Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

Order your book!


Now to the interview with Paula Stoke!

1. How did you get the idea for Liars, Inc. and why did you write this book?

Paula:  I actually got the idea for LIARS back in early 2010, before I was agented. The idea for the business of Liars, Inc. came partly from an illegal lottery my brother ran in sixth grade and partly from a movie I saw in South Korea called The Alibi, in which a guy provides professional alibi services, mostly for men cheating on their wives. But although lying for profit is a fun hook, ultimately this book went in a darker direction.

I wrote LIARS for entertainment purposes, but just because it’s not “literary” doesn’t mean there’s nothing to think about. Like how well do we know people? How do we decide who we should and shouldn’t trust? How far are we willing to go to protect ourselves? How far are we willing to go to hurt others? Are there times when it’s better to always tell the truth? What is the true definition of family? My goal was to write a dark, fun book that’s compulsively readable and has a satisfying ending. I like the idea of giving people something to think about too, but I never really start a project with a big moral or message in mind.


2.What is your writing technique like? Do you have a certain spot you write? Do you drink coffee? Tell us your secret!

Paula: I write mostly at my kitchen table. Sorry, I know that’s not very exciting. Not only do I drink coffee, apparently I drink it super-concentrated. My mom just sent me a package that said:“Makes up to 40 cups” and I think it made about ten cups for me. Am I going to die from that?

Other than turbo-charged coffee, my secret is a lot of hard work. Most of you would be horrified to know how many hours I sit tethered to my computer each week. I also make lists and deadlines for everything. I haven’t had an actual publisher deadline since last year because I’m waiting on edit letters for both 2016 books and my 2017 manuscripts aren’t due until the end of the year. But I make my own writing and promotional deadlines every month to stay productive, and most of the time I meet them.


3.Are you working on anything new?

I’m always working on a multiple projects, so after LIARS there *might* be an indie NA book at the end of 2015—the fun variety, not the uber-dramatic kind. I go back and forth on really wanting to put out a second book this year and telling myself to slow down because there’s no rush and it’d be better to sell it to a publisher. But whenever and however it ends up releasing, I’m super excited about my first NA book. It’s full of best friends and romance and bromance and hilarious old people and travel hijinks all around Thailand. If that’s not win x 5, I don’t know what is 🙂

Then there will be both VICARIOUS and BAD LUCK CHARM in early 2016. VICARIOUS is a psychological thriller, the story of a high-tech Korean stunt girl who has to search worlds both real and virtual to find her missing sister. It’s dark, dramatic, and twisty. Perfect for fans of ALL OUR YESTERDAYS or THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. BAD LUCK CHARM is the story of an Irish girl who’s convinced she reflects bad luck on people around her. She crosses paths with a boy tennis pro who doesn’t believe in bad luck, and the two of them engage in a series of seven challenges designed to test her “curse.” It’s fun and romantic, perfect for fans of THE ART OF LAINEY or SINCE YOU’VE BEEN GONE.


4. Tell us something crazy about yourself!

It saddens me to realize most of my wild stuff is from long, long ago. But here’s something–I am the only person on the whole internet with my real name. My parents blessed me with a weird first name and a weird last name, neither of which I like >_< Paula is a nickname and Stokes is a family maiden name. What else? My sister and I once got interrogated by Customs agents who thought we had drugs because we were the last people off a cruise ship. I’ve petted a full-sized tiger and a full-sized gray whale. And a stingray. And a sea lion. And a monkey. And a dolphin. And a boa constrictor. And an elephant. I’ll stop now, but I could keep going 😀


5. Any words of wisdom for newbie writers?

Paula: Find your own particular way and don’t let anyone tell you it’s wrong. Before I started working for Paper Lantern Lit (writing Venom) I wasn’t on twitter or FB and I was only a member of one writing forum. I wouldn’t trade all the great people I’ve met (or e-met) since then for anything, but sometimes I miss that insulation. I miss having a quiet head that isn’t full of other people’s worries and accomplishments. So if you don’t want to be super-connected, especially before you get published, that’s fine. If you want to plot or not plot, that’s fine. If you write in chronological order or in “scene with most kissing to scene with least kissing” order (I prefer #2 :D) that’s fine. If you vomit-draft, that’s fine. If you revise as you go along, that’s fine. Sometimes what works will change from week to week or book to book. Yep, that’s fine too.

Also, find solid crit partners. A good CP sends feedback that energizes you to make your book better. If your feedback either convinces you that your book is perfect or makes you think you’re so bad you should just quit altogether, you need to find new partners. I mean, unless you really really don’t want partners, in which case that’s fine too.

Thank you so much for appearing today Paula!


About the author:Displaying Paula Stokes 2 web res.jpg

Paula Stokes writes stories about flawed characters with good hearts who sometimes make bad decisions. She’s the author of THE ART OF LAINEY, INFINITE REPEAT, LIARS INC., and several other forthcoming YA novels. When she’s not writing, she’s kayaking, hiking, reading, or seeking out new adventures in faraway lands. Paula loves interacting with readers. Find her online at or on twitter as @pstokesbooks.


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Until next time!


Love the Twins


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