I’ve met Alexis Bass at a few author events, and recently saw her on a conference panel about mystery writing. Her book, HAPPILY & MADLY, is a thrilling story that would appeal to fans of We Were Liars.
Maris Brown has been told two things about her destiny:
1. She will fall happily and madly in love.
2. She could be dead before she turns eighteen.
The summer before that fateful birthday, Maris is in the wealthy beach town of Cross Cove with her estranged father and his new family–and the infamous Duvals. Since the youngest member of the Duval family, Edison, is back from college and back in the arms of Maris’s new stepsister, her summer looks to be a long string of lazy days on the Duval’s lush beach.
But Edison is hiding something. And the more Maris learns about him, the more she’s given signs that she should stay as far away from him as possible. As wrong as it is, Maris is drawn to him. Around Edison, she feels truly alive and she’s not willing to give that up. Even if it means a collision course with destiny.
According to your website bio, you are “a huge advocate of long beach vacations.” Is this what inspired the setting for HAPPILY & MADLY?
Absolutely! The setting of Happily & Madly was inspired by the many beach vacations I’ve been on over the years—beaches on both coasts as well Hawaii and South America. Even lake-beaches! Cross Cove is a fictional place so I was able to incorporate the best off all beaches into the setting.
What a beautiful way to capture setting! And even though the backdrop is idyllic, HAPPILY & MADLY offers a plot that hinges on concealed truths. What is the most challenging part about giving necessary information, but not revealing too much?
It’s definitely challenging to figure out how to divulge information, making it authentic to how the main character would receive it, while at the same time doing service to the story. I rely on a little bit of intuition and also studying how other novels I’ve really enjoyed have parsed out information and measuring if that will work for my particular story.
Going along with the plot, there was a music playlist for HAPPILY & MADLY on the Tor Teen Blog; how do these songs best capture the mood you needed for this story?
The playlist posted on the Tor Teen Blog perfectly captures the mood of the story—the fun of summer and living large, the desire of forbidden love, and the twisted parts of the plot.
Wonderful. What are some of your current projects?
I can’t yet announce what’s next for me, but I have a Young Adult project in the works that I will hopefully be able to discuss soon. I’ve also been working on and off on a novel written in second-person about a woman accused of murdering her wealthy husband.
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