Sunday, February 9, 2014

Lamar Giles

Lamar "L. R." Giles writes stories for teens and adults. He's never met a genre he didn't like, having penned science fiction, fantasy, horror, and noir thrillers, among others. He is a Virginia native, a Hopewell High Blue Devil, and an Old Dominion University Monarch.

Giles's new young adult mystery/thriller is Fake ID. From the author's Q & A with Ryan P. Donovan for the New York Public Library:

I really enjoyed reading Fake ID. What gave you the inspiration to write the book? Had you heard stories about families and teens in the Witness Protection Program? Did you have to do a little research into the topic for the story?

First, thanks for reading the book. I'm glad you enjoyed it. As far as inspiration, I'd read a non-fiction book by Gerald Shur, the man who founded WitSec (Federal Witness Protection). He told stories about witnesses who would join the program but not follow the rules. That gave the U.S. Marshals in charge all sorts of headaches, up to and including having to relocate the witness again. It felt like prime story material so I started drafting an adult thriller about a woman who'd ratted on her crime boss father and went on to cause some trouble in WitSec. That novel was terrible.

I was reading some great YA at the time and I had the wild idea to start over. This time I'd make my hero a teenager, and a boy, and I'd try not to suck. I'm happy to say what came together did not suck. I had a clean first draft in nine months and HarperCollins Children's Books bought it a little over a year later.

Most of the research came from Mr. Shur's book and a few scattered articles. At the time there wasn't much out there about the program, and for good reason. Lives depend on WitSec's secrecy. But, my book is as much a family drama as a mystery, so I drew upon my knowledge of a family dynamic that I felt was similar to WitSec families...[read on]
Learn more about the book and author at Lamar Giles's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Fake ID by Lamar Giles.

The Page 69 Test: Fake ID.

--Marshal Zeringue