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Author Q&A ft Jessica Bayliss | Ten After Closing Book Tour | Silver Dagger Tours Presents YA Thriller

Ten After Closing by Jessica Bayliss is on virtual book tour. The young adult thriller tops at the blog with an author interview. Enjoy! Be...

Ten After Closing by Jessica Bayliss is on virtual book tour. The young adult thriller tops at the blog with an author interview. Enjoy!

Be sure to enter for a chance to win the giveaway for a swag pack or $10 Amazon GC (1 winner each) and follow the Silver Dagger book tour (for other dates see the link at the bottom of the post).

What was your inspiration for writing this book?
Many of my books start out as concepts that I’m writing for my YA self. Back in the day, I loved thrillers and anything paranormal/horror. I LOVED the movie TOY SOLDIERS, which was also a book, though I didn’t know it at that time. I watched the movie back before I started writing TEN AFTER, and OMG, it was still so good. The thing that was always missing for me, though, was female characters. It took place at a boarding school for boys. So, I decided to write a book that contained all those deliciously tense moments I loved in TOY SOLDIERS that also added the swoony romance I felt was missing.

Winny and Scott come from different backgrounds, but both are in a similar situation at the start of the book—both have really big decisions in front of them, and they’re struggling to feel empowered to make those decisions and take action. Winny is stuck in a passive place—she’s let her parents decide much of her path thus far, going with the flow for so long, she isn’t sure how to shift out of that mode. Scott’s been quite active in trying to change his situation, but he’s struggling to see that the way he’s going about it isn’t working. Both are thinking about how others will respond if they put their needs first and are fearful of being assertive. Of course, the life-changing hostage situation at Café Flores impacts how they see things. I really wanted to show them coming to new decisions by the end of TAC, but I can’t say any more without spoilers.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?
This is a fast-paced hostage thriller, so I hope readers can't stop turning pages. But, after all the violence that has happened in recent years, particularly centering on teenagers, I also wanted to show a teen character who is in pain and has a chance to use violence as his means of revenge but who opts for a different route. I wanted to highlight the theme of abuse and, in particular, the perpetration of abuse across generations. As a psychologist, I work with trauma survivors daily, including people whose trauma situations, sometimes, involve things they’ve done that they deeply regret—they often have immense shame and anger, and they carry that, even when it’s not theirs to bear. Obviously, I’m talking about Scott’s story here. I really wanted to show him wrestling with the idea of letting go of the anger and blame he’s placing elsewhere, because that’s what will allow him to let go of the anger, blame, and sense of paralyzing responsibility he places on himself that isn’t his to bear. It’s about letting go of the darkness that fuels the painful emotions so that there is room for the good ones. Though this never pardons the person who’s hurt us, the process is healing. Forgiveness CAN BE for the person who’s hurt us, but it’s ALWAYS for ourselves. Therefore, it's also a story of forgiveness and a story about how we really aren't as different from our enemies as we think. Finally, it's a love story, so I hope readers will enjoy some swoony romance.

How does this book make a contribution to the Thriller genre?
AC is written using an innovative structure. It's told middle-out, in diverging timelines, so the reader can follow the hostage crisis Winny and Scott are stuck in as well as see the events leading up to the moment armed gunmen entered Cafe Flores. Even before that, this was the most momentous day of Scott's and Winny's lives.

What authors have particularly influenced your career and why?
This book was particularly inspired by the book/movie TOY SOLDIERS, which came out in the early 1990s, and which I loved (still do). I just remember sitting there, unable to breathe as all these intricate plans were laid out and carried out and, of course, went awry. I wanted TAC to have that feel--delicious tension, complex plans that one small error would ruin. I'm also greatly inspired by Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Maggie Steifvater, Molly Harper, Christopher Moore, and more authors than I can ever mention here.

Ten After Closing
by Jessica Bayliss
Genre: YA Thriller

10PM: Closing time at Café Flores. The door should be locked, but it isn't, Scott Bradley and Winsome Sommervil are about to become hostages.

TEN MINUTES BEFORE CLOSING: Scott's girlfriend breaks up with him in the café's basement storeroom because he's late picking her up for the big end-of-the-year party. Now he can't go to the party, but he can't go home, either--not knowing his dad will still be in a drunken rage. Meanwhile, Winny wanted one night to let loose, away from her mother's crushing expectations. Instead, she's stranded at the café after her best friend ditches her in a misguided attempt at matchmaking. 

TEN MINUTES AFTER CLOSING: The first gunshot is fired. Someone's dead. And if Winny, Scott, and the rest of the hostages don't come up with a plan soon, they may not live to see morning.

Told from both Winny and Scott's perspectives, and alternating between the events leading up to and following the hold-up, Ten After Closing is an explosive story of teens wrestling with their own challenges, thrown into circumstances that will test their very limits.

Jessica Bayliss is a fiction author with a Ph.D. in clinical psychology who loves all things reading and writing. Author of the young adult horror novella, BROKEN CHORDS, and her upcoming YA thriller, TEN AFTER CLOSING (Sky Pony Press, September 2018), she has been a lover thrillers and ghost tales since her days scanning VHS rental shelves—admittedly with eyes half-averted from the gory covers. She also loves to eat, cook, and exercise—in that order—and is a firm believer that coffee makes the world a better place.

She has authored thirteen novels and several short stories that appear in anthologies such as BEWARE THE LITTLE WHITE RABBIT, FRIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, and ZOMBIE CHUNKS and in such literary magazines as Sanitarium Magazine. Jessica is a Senior Editor for Allegory Magazine.

In the psychology world, she has more than fifteen years of experience and training in the cognitive-behavioral model. She’s a psychotherapist, a teacher, and a researcher. One day it hit her: Why not combine writing and psychology? Just like that, PsychWRITE, her series of lectures, workshops, and coaching services for writers was born. Her blog features motivational posts for writers that combine her passion for writing with her love of psychology.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

1 comment

Get carried away with love!