Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the All Your Twisted Secrets blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to discover Diana’s favorite quote from her book, what characters she would want to write a crossover with, and some fun research that didn’t make it into the book! Plus, follow the rest of the tour and enter to win a print copy of All Your Twisted Secrets!
All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban
Published by HarperTeen on March 17, 2020
Genres: YA, Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
This thrilling debut, reminiscent of new fan favorites like One of Us Is Lying and the beloved classics by Agatha Christie, will leave readers guessing until the explosive ending.
Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.
What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.
Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?
Do you have a favorite scene, quote, or moment from All Your Twisted Secrets?
Yes, and I can’t tell you exactly what it is, because it’s quite spoilery. Let’s just say: The first line of the second-to-last chapter hasn’t changed since the first draft, and it was the most gratifying line I’ve ever written. It was a moment of sheer clarity — the moment everything came together.
What is your favorite piece of research you didn’t end up using?
While I can’t remember anything in particular I researched that I didn’t use, there’s this one scene where Amber, Robbie, and Sasha play Fortnite. In order to write that scene, I learned how to play and watched hours of streamer videos on YouTube and Twitch. Playing video games for research is a blast! But I probably sunk way more time into doing research for this one scene than I needed to.
What would you do if you spent the day with Amber? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Great question! If Amber and I hung out together, we’d listen to movie scores and eat lots of trail mix, which is her favorite snack. But I’d also want to spend time with Scott, the class clown who has a bit of a reputation as a stoner. He’s a goofball who makes up nonsensical expressions and has the funniest quips, and I’d want to hear what ridiculous things he’d say.
If your characters could hang out with other YA characters, who would they be and why??
Harry, Ron, and Hermione, because I selfishly want to write some crossover Harry Potter fanfiction. Thanks for planting that idea in my head. ☺
What inspired you to write this story?
All Your Twisted Secrets is about Amber, a 17-year-old aspiring film score producer who arrives at an invite-only dinner and is locked into the deserted restaurant with five other students. They uncover a tray with a syringe of poison, a bomb, and a note that reads: “Within the hour, you must choose someone in this room to die. If you don’t, everyone dies.” Determined to get everyone out alive, Amber orchestrates friends and foes alike to work together, grappling with the clashing personalities of her jock boyfriend, her nerd crush, her former best friend, the queen bee, and the stoner. But as the bomb’s timer ticks down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to uncover who locked them in… and who’s going to die.
My husband and I started speculating the shortest timespan you could set a book or movie to, throwing ideas back and forth. Could an entire book take place over just fifteen minutes? No way, that’s not enough time to accomplish anything. But what about an hour? What if you locked a group of people in a room for an hour? What if someone died at the end of the hour? What if the trapped people killed one of them? What if they had to choose someone to kill, or else they’d all die? We exchanged this look that was like, “Bingo,” and I raced to my desk and started scribbling down ideas for characters I could put into this crazy situation.
Can you share some things that we might not know about your characters?
A lot of people are calling All Your Twisted Secrets a cross between The Breakfast Club and an Agatha Christie mystery. And while yes, while you can associate each of the six characters with some classic archetype, they’re so much more than that. For example, Robbie’s the jock, but he’s also a nerd who loves telling cheesy jokes and playing Fortnite, and he desperately wants his dad’s approval. Priya’s the introverted loner, but she also joined the cheerleading squad and started a YouTube channel to show off magic tricks, and she fiercely wants to tear herself from her comfort zone. I hope readers enjoy getting to know each of these characters!
I’m Diana Urban, and I write dark, twisty thrillers for teens including All Your Twisted Secrets (HarperTeen, March 17th 2020). When I’m not torturing fictional characters, I’m a marketing manager at BookBub, a leading book discovery platform. Outside the bookish world, I live with my husband and cat in Boston, and enjoy reading, video games, fawning over cute animals, and looking at the beach from a safe distance.