Hello everyone! *waves* Are you excited? Cause we got a very special interview with Julep from Trust Me, I'm Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer! In case you're interested, here's a picture of Julep!
1. Are you a good guy or a bad guy?
I'm a good bad guy. Ha. See what I did there? It's true, though. I'm a bad guy, but I'm really, really good at it.
Your livelihood comes from conning the kids at your school. Do you like them at all, or are they just marks to you?
2. I like them well enough. *shrugs* You don't dislike a cow just because you plan on eating it later. Not that I look at them like food, because ew. Plus, I don't steal from them directly. The jobs I take are more of the "fixing" variety. My classmates pay me a fee for solving their problems using my somewhat unconventional methods. This set-up keeps me from poisoning the well, so to speak. Besides, I don't really believe that liking people and fleecing them are mutually exclusive. In fact, to be a truly gifted grifter, you have to love people. You can't manipulate someone if you don't know what makes them tick. And you can't know what makes them tick if you don't empathize with them on some level.
3. Tell us about one of your past cons.
I once "accidentally" set fire to a teacher's toupee to get a client out of presenting a senior thesis he hadn't finished yet. (In my defense, the toupee wasn't on the teacher's head at the time.) Of course, the arson itself wasn't the con. The con was that we chose the toupee as our target in the first place. No man vain enough to don a toupee would ever admit to wearing one, even with Dean Porter breathing down his neck for an explanation to his spontaneous class dismissal. Which means no investigation, no consequences, and an extra weekend for my client to wrap up his thesis. It's my variation of the embarrassing check scam.
4. Your dad taught you everything he knows, but he's got a bit of a gambling problem. Has he ever tried to go straight? Would you want him to?
Honestly, I don't know. I love my dad. Some of my best memories are of us working a mark together. But part of me blames him for my mom leaving. Grifting is generally a solitary occupation--rolling stone, and all that. Anyway, my dad's gone as straight as he can for me, even if he hasn't given up the game entirely. We settled in Chicago so I could go to St. Agatha's. That's not something a con man does lightly. As for what I want, well...I want to be a real girl, for whatever that's worth. And I want my dad to be happy.
5. Do you have any tips for us on how to avoid getting conned ourselves?
It's not exactly in my best interest to answer that question, but I'll say this: if it seems too good to be true, then it probably is, and nothing in this world comes without a price. If you're honest, you have nothing to worry about--you can't con an honest man. But if you're truth-challenged like me, then you're fair game.
Mary Elizabeth Summer contributes to the delinquency of minors by writing books about unruly teenagers with criminal leanings. She has a BA in creative writing from Wells College, and her philosophy on life is "you can never go wrong with sriracha sauce." She lives in Portland Oregon with her partner, their daughter, and their evil overlor—er, cat. She is represented by the incomparable Laura Bradford of the Bradford Literary Agency. TRUST ME, I'M LYING is her debut novel.
You Can Find Her At:
Fans of Ally Carter’s Heist Society novels will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.
Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.
But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.
You Can Find it At:Powells Books