Author Interview: Bad Things Happen Here by Rebecca Barrow
ICYMI thrillers about the world of the rich are all the rage for summer! There’s something about that world – power, privilege, resources – that lends itself to bad things happening (see what I did there). I loved Rebecca Barrow’s Interview with the Vixen and am thrilled to chat with her about her upcoming summer thriller, Bad Things Happen Here. Check out who inspired her and a little about her characters before it drops on June 28th!
Bad Things Happen Hereby Rebecca Barrow
Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books
on June 28, 2022
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
I Killed Zoe Spanos meets The Cheerleaders in this haunting mystery about an island town with a history of unsolved deaths—and a girl desperate to uncover the mystery behind it all.
Luca Laine Thomas lives on a cursed island. To the outside world, Parris is an exclusive, idyllic escape accessible only to the one percent. There’s nothing idyllic about its history, though, scattered with the unsolved deaths of young women—deaths Parris society happily ignores to maintain its polished veneer. But Luca can’t ignore them. Not when the curse that took them killed her best friend, Polly, three years ago. Not when she feels the curse lingering nearby, ready to take her next.
When Luca comes home to police cars outside her house, she knows the curse has visited once again. Except this time, it came for Whitney, her sister. Luca decides to take the investigation of Whitney’s death into her own hands. But as a shocking betrayal rocks Luca’s world, the identity Whitney’s killer isn’t the only truth Luca seeks. And by the time she finds what she’s looking for, Luca will come face to face with the curse she’s been running from her whole life.
Interview with Rebecca Barrow
Tell us about Luca. What are her main motivations in Bad Things Happen Here? What should readers know when they meet her?
Luca is motivated by a search for answers surrounding her sister’s murder, but also a larger sense of justice for all the girls who died before her sister who have mostly been forgotten. There’s also a slightly selfish sense of not wanting to be the next girl who ends up dead—in a place like Parris, that’s a real fear for anyone, let alone someone who deals with intense intrusive thoughts like Luca does. I think that when readers meet her, they should be prepared to meet a girl who’s desperately afraid for herself and those she loves, but who is also afraid to reveal that fear out of shame and an idea that people will simply call her “crazy”.
If you brought our main characters from other books into the world of Bad Things Happen Here, what would happen?
Audrey from You Don’t Know Me But I Know You would keep herself from thinking about all the death by taking pictures of every pretty thing she sees (which in Parris is pretty much everything.) I think the girls from This Is What It Feels Like would probably get into a million fights about what they should do: Dia would be confronting suspects and Jules would be trying to keep her out of trouble while Hanna would recognise a kindred sad spirit in Luca and be the only one to actually listen to her. But all of them would be completely out of their element among all these rich kids, too, and probably way more scared than they’d like to admit.
What other mysteries or thrillers inspired your work in Bad Things Happen Here?
I’m a huge fan of Megan Abbott, Kara Thomas, and Stephanie Kuehn—all of their thrillers are so tightly plotted but really heavy on interesting, complex characters, too. I’m a sucker for perfect places hiding secrets like in Big Little Lies, Pretty Little Liars, and Desperate Housewives. There’s something so compelling about those worlds where you know nothing can possibly be as squeaky-shiny-clean-pristine as it seems. There’s also just something about the world of the rich—The Accidental Bad Girl by Maxine Kaplan and People Like Us by Dana Mele are great examples of that, and then of course Sadie by Courtney Summers and its focus on sisterhood was a great source of inspiration.
Pride Month Giveaway
All month, we are hosting a giveaway on Instagram with 4 winners! Win a stack of 4 queer books by entering on the post below!