A visit with “One of Us Is Lying” author Karen McManus

Karen McManus had never written a mystery novel for a Young Adult (YA) audience before, so she was just as surprised as anyone else when her 2017 novel One of Us Is Lying became an international bestseller that several critics called "the YA thriller of the year." In the book, five high school students walk into detention, and one of them doesn't make it out alive.

"At the time, it was just another idea," she says in a conversation with Amazon senior books editor Seira Wilson. "I thought, this seems fun, I'll run with it. Let's see what happens."

The book was so popular that readers began to ask, “What happens next?” So McManus wrote a hit sequel, One of Us Is Next. Will she write a third book set at Bayview High?

"I have imagined the different strands that a third book could follow," she says, but "I don't want to write something for the sake of writing it. I have to be really excited about the idea."

Fortunately for her fans, McManus has plenty of ideas she's excited about. Her fourth book, The Cousins, will be published at the end of the year, and her fifth, You'll Be the Death of Me, will come out in 2021. Both books are filled with the secrets and intrigue that readers love about her other titles.

Check out this conversation to hear more about how McManus writes her books, which one she had to rewrite twice, and which books she likes to read when she isn't writing them herself.

Virtual Kids Week activities are intended for children with involvement from a parent or guardian.