So I don’t listen to podcasts myself, but I love when they’re incorporated into books. Girl Forgotten is one of these books and today I have a stop on the tour for this book hosted by TBR and Beyond Tours. The author was very kind and answered some questions for my interview today. So if you want to know more about this book and the author, keep on reading!
Girl Forgotten by April Henry
Genre: Young Adult Thriller
Publishing Date: March 28, 2023
Piper Gray starts a true-crime podcast investigating a seventeen-year-old cold case in this thrilling YA murder mystery by New York Times bestselling author April Henry.
Seventeen years ago, Layla Trello was murdered and her killer was never found. Enter true-crime fan Piper Gray, who is determined to reopen Layla’s case and get some answers. With the help of Jonas—who has a secret of his own—Piper starts a podcast investigating Layla’s murder. But as she digs deeper into the mysteries of the past, Piper begins receiving anonymous threats telling her to back off the investigation, or else. The killer is still out there, and Piper must uncover their identity before they silence her forever.
What inspired you to write Girl Forgotten?
For me, it started with the idea of a girl getting curious about the grave of another girl who died years before. I’ve always been attracted to the mysteries of a cemetery. I grew up next to one and I loved to wander around and look at the names and dates and imagine what the people had been like. This was before the Internet, so you couldn’t even Google. So I thought – what would this girl do if she googled and found out the dead girl had been murdered?
What has been the favorite part of your publishing journey so far?
This is my 28th book, and my 14th with my editor, Christy Ottaviano. One thing that’s different this time is that I’m on TikTok now. It’s such a great place to meet other readers and writers. I have an account for my books – @aprilhenrybooks – and another called @aprilhenrywritingadvice where I share all the great writing tips I’ve picked up over the years.
If you were a character in Girl Forgotten, what kind of character would you be?
I think I might be like Piper in some ways. I know what it’s like to grow up poor. Or maybe I would be one of the teachers. Both the English teacher and the journalism teacher impart some important lessons to Piper.
What is your favorite quote from Girl Forgotten?
“A scar just means you were stronger than whatever tried to hurt you.”
What do you hope readers take away from your story?
I’d like them to be thinking about whose stories society tends to focus on, as well as the tangled ethical issues of using true crime for entertainment.
Could you give us 5 random facts about Girl Forgotten (think the story, writing, publishing, anything that comes to mind)?
When I was learning how to podcast, I made a windscreen from a pair of pantyhose and a coat hanger.
I asked people who follow me on Facebook for suggestions for the name of the town Piper moves to.
When my daughter was a kid, she had a friend who ended up suddenly with a dad who had never really been in the picture. I used some of that experience for Piper.
Piper was originally named Aspen, but a voice-over artist I interviewed has a daughter named Piper who is a big fan.
To understand whether Piper’s school could forbid her from doing the podcast, I talked to an attorney at the Student Press Law Center. I put many of his words into the mouths of Piper’s dad and stepmom, who are both lawyers.
If this interview has you curious about Girl Forgotten and you want to know more, click here for the schedule. We have quite a few bloggers and bookstagrammers talking about this book this week.
About the Author
New York Times-bestselling author April Henry knows how to kill you in a two-dozen different ways. She makes up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by killing off fictional characters. There was one detour on April’s path to destruction: when she was 12 she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to noted children’s author Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he showed it to his editor, who asked if she could publish it in Puffin Post, an international children’s magazine. By the time April was in her 30s, she had started writing about hit men, kidnappers, and drug dealers. She has published 27 mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults, with more to come. She is known for meticulously researching her novels to get the details right.
After reading Emily’s answers I’m even more curious about Girl Forgotten. I’ll definitely be reading it soon. Do you listen to any podcasts? What are your favorites? Let me know in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.