I’ve followed Diana Urban over social media for quite awhile, and when I heard that ALL YOUR TWISTED SECRETS was set to debut on March 17, I couldn’t wait to feature it. This is a great book for those who liked One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus or The Breakfast Club:

All Your Twisted SecretsWhat 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?


In ALL YOUR TWISTED SECRETS, most of the characters are stuck in one room. What writing challenges did this pose?

The challenge with All Your Twisted Secrets wasn’t so much about the confined space, but the time constraints. Most of the action in the locked room spans one hour, such a limited time to get to know each character. I thought interspersing flashbacks in the locked-room narrative would kill the tension as they confront this impossible choice, so instead I alternated real-time chapters with flashback chapters — all from Amber’s POV over the past year as she struggles to win over the intimidating queen bee (who’s drama club director) to score the school play and get into her dream music school. These flashback chapters get to the heart of the story: the characters’ relationships and how they deal with many of the pressures teens face today, from bullying to college admissions to losing a loved one — all while dropping clues about whodunit and who the victim will be.

Of course, this structure provided its own challenges. Each character’s arc stretches across two timelines, and each real-time chapter-ending cliffhanger feeds into the next flashback chapter, which spills into the next real-time chapter’s reveals and twists. Let’s just say, I learned the hard way that I should at least attempt to outline psychological thrillers first!

Sounds like a good lesson, and provides further evidence that outlining is key. In what ways does your cat Kitty act like a dog?

This is the most hilarious interview question I’ve received so far. I grew up with a dog, so I always thought I was a dog person, and heard plenty about the supposed aloofness of cats. But when my husband and I moved into our second apartment together, our lease only permitted a cat, not a dog — and I needed a fuzzball of some sort, so cat it was. And Kitty completely subverted my expectations. She’s such a little lovebug. She can sense when my husband and I are walking down the hall toward our apartment, and she waits by the door for us, meowing in greeting. She’s on our laps constantly. She rolls around on the floor, eager for belly scritches. When you say something to her, she literally meows back. Whenever we eat fish or chicken, she’s at our feet, begging for handouts (and we do always share). And my husband taught her how to shake paws. Like a dog. It’s… wild. In All Your Twisted Secrets, the feline character Mittens was definitely inspired by Kitty!

And all cats should aspire to be her! What are some of your current projects?

While I can’t get into specifics here, I will say that I finished revising two different projects in 2020 — both young adult thrillers. Stay tuned! Aside from that, since the launch of All Your Twisted Secrets is so close, I’ve been working on a lot of my own promotions — from Instagram posts to interviews like this to email newsletters. My street team has also been wonderfully supportive, and is still growing — anyone can join here.

Buy: BookPassage ~ Amazon.com Barnes & Noble ~  IndieBound

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