By Dana Granger
To pick up one of Kate White’s compulsively readable thrillers is to understand why she’s managed to ensure that Cosmopolitan remains the top selling woman’s magazine worldwide (she’s the editor in chief).
Simply put, she knows how to write in a way that keeps you hooked until the very end. And then makes you want to come back for more.
So fans of her Bailey Weggins mystery series, and her standalone thriller Hush, are in for a treat on August 2, which is when her newest thriller “The Sixes” comes out.
Readers who’ve gotten a sneak peak are already praising The Sixes:
“Kate White’s newest stand-alone is scarily good – a riveting, psychologically complex tale of mean girls, with a dark twist. You won’t be able to put it down. I loved this book!” according to Lisa Scottoline, New York Times bestselling author of Save Me.
The Sixes is set in a small college town in Pennsylvania, where Phoebe Hall is hoping for a new beginning, after being accused of plagiarizing her latest celebrity bestselling biography. Instead she finds murder, a secret society on campus, and ugly rumors of past crimes.
Recently, White took some time out of her busy schedule to talk about her writing process, the inspiration behind The Sixes, and why Phoebe Hall is a character that readers will want to know more about.
White launched her fiction career with the bestselling mystery series featuring Bailey Weggins, a crime journalist. The Sixes is her second standalone thriller.
“It was my publisher that first suggested that I write a standalone book. It had never occurred to me before that; I’d always wanted to write a mystery series, probably influenced by the Nancy Drew mysteries. But when she suggested that, it seemed like a great idea to step away from the Bailey Weggins books for a little while, so I could come back fresh.”
So how does she come up with the plots for her novels?
“I find that when I’m starting to plot a book, there’s always some little germ of an idea that grabs me, and in this case, it was the idea of, what’s it like to be disgraced, to have to leave town with your tail between your legs?”
That’s exactly what happens to the heroine of The Sixes, Phoebe Hall, who may have gotten a little too comfortable with her life as a bestselling celebrity biographer – until it all comes crashing down. With her life in Manhattan falling apart, Hall takes a job at a small private college in a small Pennsylvania town – but then the body of a coed washes up from the nearby river, and rumors tie her death, and possibly others, to a secret society of girls on campus.
When Hall begins investigating the murders, she finds out just how far some people will go to make sure that the truth stays buried.
“Phoebe Hall is funny, she’s irreverent, she’s had an interesting life as a celebrity biographer. But she’s got something in her past that she hasn’t faced, and I think we can all relate to that. I think that we can all be afraid to look too closely at things that we really need to confront. And in the course of the novel, she gets to confront what happened to her as a teenager in boarding school, and finally deal with it.”
“When you’re writing for a magazine, you have to be able to grab someone’s interest right away, and hold it. And that’s what I hope I bring to my novels.”
White has to juggle her demanding job as editor in chief of Cosmopolitan with being a wife and mother of two, and now, bestselling author. She writes a book a year.
“You just have to tell yourself, write well and write fast,” she said. “I’m basically a plotter, which I find very helpful. Writing a whole book seems so intimidating. Outlines really give you a sense that, yes, you’re really going to get there.”
To find out more about Kate White, or to purchase The Sixes on August 2, please visit her website.