A dark, sexy psychological thriller from a fantastic new voice in YA fiction.
Jane is found, near death, in a rosebush - a victim of hit and run. But as she's convalescing she realises that her friend's stories and her memories of what happened that night aren't adding up.
And now the only thing she does know is that one of her friends isn't so friendly.
One of them tried to kill her.
Sometimes the truth is a very thorny thing...
Michele Jaffe is the bestselling author several adult novels, including the thrillers Bad Girl and Loverboy. A native of Los Angeles, California, Michele and her sparkly shoes reside in New York City.
Author: Michele Jaffe
Question: Where did the idea for Rosebush originally come from?
Michele Jaffe: Rosebush was unusual for me because the original idea came from the publishers. They said "what if.." And I said "ooh and what if then [insert CrAzY idea]..." and they said "um, okay" and it went from there. So the good parts of the idea are theirs and all the twisted bits are mine.
Question: How do you ensure you have the right amount of suspense in your novels?
Michele Jaffe: I wish I could say they just popped out that way SHAZAM! All perfect and thrilling but one of the hardest (and most important) things I've learned is the value of rewriting. And rewriting again. And then one more time! This works best in combination with a great editor, which I've been fortunate enough to have. Also a good supply of chocolates because as hard as writing is, rewriting can be harder, at least on the ego. One of my fabulous editors had a technique she calls "kill your darling," by which she means that if there is a sentence or paragraph the writer really, really loves, inevitably it will be cut because it will be too mannered, too purple, too personal, too something to fit in with the book. And as much as I hate/have hated/shall hate/will have hated this idea, I have to admit it's true.
(But not to her face.)
(Because I don't want her to suffer from hubris. Really it is for her own good that I don't tell her she's right.)
(I am a bit like Mother Theresa sometimes I know)...
Question: What research went into ensuring Rosebush was the perfect psychological thriller for the young adult audience?
Michele Jaffe: I would say the bulk of the research into the potentially harrowing underbelly of high school life were done when I was in high school myself. Shoulder pads may come and go (and come back!) but cliques, the perils of popularity, and the appeal of bad boys are timeless.
Question: Do you have a preference in terms of writing adult or young adult novels?
Michele Jaffe: My writing preference is SELECT ALL. I love writing all kinds of different things because I learn from each genre, each age group, each format. I know that sounds cheesy but its true. For Rosebush I learned a lot about hospital procedure and what-happens-to-bodies-when-they-fly-through-the-air-and-go-splat. For the book I'm working on now I've learned a ton about monarch butterflies and the structure of memory and running in stiletto ankle boots (hands on research for that). For the first Bad Kitty book I learned about 100 ways to use eyeshadow. And from all of them I learn about writing. That is the best (and worst or at least most humbling) thing about being a writer: you can ALWAYS get better at it, the learning curve is infinite. (The same apparently true about running in stiletto ankle boots FYI)
Question: What is the main difference between writing young adult novels compared with adult novels?
Michele Jaffe: To me the basic differences between my young adult books and my older adult books are that the young adult books have:
1. Less kissing and
2. Better clothes
3. Worse skin
4. No bloody heads in lunch pails (or similar).
Interview by Brooke Hunter