Author Interview with Kristina McBride, author of The Bakersville Dozen

Today, I'm thrilled to have Kristina McBride, author of the recently released The Bakersville Dozen, here to answer a few questions! While I haven't read The Bakersville Dozen yet, I have read Kristina's debut The Tension of Opposites and it was GOOD. So I can vouch that Kristina is one author who you need to keep an eye on, especially if you love mystery, thriller type reads. 

So without a further ado....


What are the top three reasons why readers should consider picking up The Bakersville Dozen this summer?

1. The Bakersville Dozen is a fast-paced thriller with lots of twists and turns to keep readers on their toes.
2. There’s a romance in the midst of the insanity, which balances out some of the creep-factor.
3. The book is set during the summer months and includes scenes at a pond, a park, and an ice cream parlor – nothing says summer like those three locations!

That list makes me want to run out and buy this book ASAP! I love a good thriller with a flare of romance! The Bakersville Dozen tells the story of Bailey Holzman. Would you mind sharing a little about her? Also, if you could give her any advice what would you say?
The book opens as Bailey is unloading her locker on her last day of senior year and finds a clue inviting her to participate in a scavenger hunt. She’s excited, sure that her boyfriend has planned the hunt as a way to distract her from a string of troubling events she’s been facing since the fall. She’s ready to welcome summer – Hello, Freedom! – but this year is weighed down by the troubling mystery behind an unflattering video-gone-viral, featuring her and twelve other girls from her graduating class. Each girl has been labeled with a scandalous nickname, which is bad enough, but to make matters worse, five girls have gone missing in the last five months. Bailey is struggling to balance the fear of knowing she could be the next victim against her desire to feel normal again by following the first clue in the hunt and then heading to the end-of-school party that’s been planned for the weekend.

My advice? Trust your gut instincts, Bailey. Someone’s close, and you don’t want to be the next target.

Good advice! I always feel that the "killer" in these types of situations is the person you'd least suspect! The aspect that really draws my attention to this book is the mystery. It reminds me slightly of the Pretty Little Liars series, which I'm a huge fan of. What inspired you to tackle a mystery in this? Did it present any big challenges?

I love the comparison to Pretty Little Liars – the series has so many layers of mystery, and I’m a huge fan as well. My initial inspiration for The Bakersville Dozen was to combine something fun and light (the scavenger hunt) with something dark and troubling (the video-gone-viral and kidnappings). It evolved and veered into darker territory as I brainstormed and then even more as I wrote.

I think the main challenge with any mystery is how to keep your readers guessing. I had some ideas of who the antagonist was when I started drafting, but I deliberately kept myself from making any solid decisions as to exactly which character was the one until I had arrived at the string of closing scenes. I figured that if I didn’t know for sure who the culprit was, the reader wouldn’t either. My agent and editor offered up some helpful suggestions as I moved through the editing process.

I can definitely see why the guessing portion could be a challenge! What’s your favorite scene or line from The Bakersville Dozen? No spoilers please!

Using the No Spoilers rule (which is the best rule to follow in moments like these), I think I’ll go with a scene from the opening chapters. When Bailey receives the first clue, she is ready to roll, heading to the first location in the scavenger hunt as fast as possible. When she arrives at her “summer’s most treasured spot” – a pond in the woods behind her house – she finds one of the missing girls . . . dead. This is when the story takes its first turn into dark territory. I really loved playing with the character’s emotions as they looked down at the body of this girl they’d known all of their lives, a girl who had just been missing and was now all the way gone. (While this might feel like a spoiler, I swear it’s not. This info is included in the jacket flap copy.)

Ooo sounds like a truly creep but equally thrilling moment! What was the hardest part of writing The Bakersville Dozen? The easiest?

The hardest part was not knowing who the kidnapper/killer was. I’m a plotter, so I like to know where I’m going with a book when I begin. I don’t always stick to my plan, but it helps to have a roadmap of sorts to kick off the project. Having so many options to pin the Bad Guy label on was fun in the end, offering plenty of time to play with the plot as I drafted.

The easiest part became that playing around, which feels odd to write since I’m a plotter, but it’s an epiphany of sorts. Not knowing who the bad guy was gave me a thrill of discovery and also the freedom to just follow the story where it led me. Maybe I should try to fly by the seat of my pants more often!

That's really interesting how you didn't know who the bad guy was going in! I feel like that would be a fun question to have in play during the writing. How did the title The Bakersville Dozen come to be?

I usually struggle with titles. Like, really struggle. With my last book, A Million Times Goodnight, we asked an assistant who worked with my agent to read a draft and offer title suggestions. Once I saw the list of ideas, I knew A Million Times Goodnight was the right choice. But before that point, I had been at a total loss. Oddly, when it came to The Bakersville Dozen, the title came to me without any struggle. I knew there were thirteen girls involved in the viral video, which is a baker’s dozen, and it just fit to name the town (Bakersville, Ohio) and the video in line with this theme.

I love the title so I'm glad that it came to you so easily! :) What is your favorite part about being an author? Least favorite?

My favorite part of being an author – I’d have to say starting a new project, sinking into a new location and getting to know new characters, figuring out all those little connections and twists and turns. There’s a little bit of something magical involved that I have no control over, and the feeling is one that nothing else can compare to.

My least favorite part of being an author – It makes me nervous to be honest about this one! I struggle with self-promotion. The “Here! Look at me! Buy my book!” side of this business makes me feel awkward on social media sites because it really does not fit my personality. This doesn’t mean I don’t love my readers – I do! So much! I’m beyond grateful to hear from readers and I love interacting online. I just don’t like to feel like I’m pushing someone to buy something. It feels icky.

I can definitely see your point there! I would feel awkward as well! I What’s up next for you book wise? Is there anything else you would like to add? 

I’ve had a rough year, losing my father to a cancer that hit hard and fast. Dealing with this and everything that came along with it has overtaken my life, which hasn’t left much time or energy for writing. But things have settled some, so I’m brainstorming now and cannot wait to begin a new project this fall. Hopefully I’ll have some book news to share in the near future!

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Kristina :( 


Still hesitant about The Bakersville Dozen? Check out the summary below! Word of warning: it's going to make you want to buy a copy ASAP! 
You have four days to locate five treasured trophies. Break the rules and you all die. Happy hunting!

Back in September, the town of Bakersville, Ohio made national news when a video went viral featuring thirteen of the high school’s elite in compromising positions. Now it’s May, and every month since the “Bakersville Dozen” made their infamous appearance on the national stage, one girl has gone missing. Officials are no closer to identifying the criminal.

Bailey “Like a Virgin” Holzman is getting really fed up with the scrutiny. She just wants to enjoy the rest of her senior year and have an epic summer before heading off to college. So when she discovers a note in her locker on the last day of school inviting her on a scavenger hunt, she thinks it’s just a sweet surprise from her boyfriend trying to cheer her up.

But following the clue leads her, instead, to the first official casualty. And another sinister envelope. The killer is close, and it could be anyone. Even the people Bailey’s always trusted most—her best friend, her perfect boyfriend, or the boy-next-door she’s always pined for.

With the clock ticking, she faces a terrifying choice: play the game by the killer’s rules—follow the clues, tell no one, and no cops—for a chance to save the rest of the missing girls, or risk becoming the next grisly victim.

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  1. Sounds like an exciting read. I really enjoyed the interview. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed the interview! :)

  2. Great interview! That comparison to Pretty Little Liars grabbed my attention right away since I'm a big fan as well. Makes me really want to go check out this series.

    1. Yay!! Thanks for stopping by, Suzanne! :)


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