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Stephanie Perkins

Photo of Stephanie Perkins

Photo: © Destinee Blau

About the Author

Stephanie Perkins is the New York Times bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss. She has always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. Stephanie lives in the mountains of North Carolina with her husband. Every room of their house is painted a different color of the rainbow.

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Author Q&A

You might know Stephanie Perkins best as the author of several romance novels for young adults, but she has a darker side. We recently sat down with Perkins to discuss her secret love of horror movies and her new book There Someone Inside Your House.

Editor’s note: Deadline recently announced that producer 21 Laps (“Stranger Things”) and James Wan (“Insidious,” “The Conjuring,” and more) are coming together to create a Netflix movie adaptation of There’s Someone Inside Your House.

PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE: You’ve switched genres with your new book.

Stephanie Perkins: I’m mainly known for my romance novels for teens, Anna and the French Kiss being the one most people know me for. My titles say exactly what they are — Anna and the French Kiss, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Isla and the Happily Ever After — so people have always known me to be this sweet, cheerful person, but I also have a very dark side. I think most people are more than one thing, and after a few years of only being known for this one thing, the other side started rearing its head. I’ve always been a huge horror fan, and it was just time for it to come out. After writing all of these really sweet stories for a few years, it was just time to kill some teenagers! (laughs)

PRH: The book’s title sounds like it could be a slasher film. Is that a coincidence?

SP: Oh, not at all. I love the title. It was really fun. My favorite kinds of horror titles are the ones that are very on the nose: “I Know What You Did Last Summer”, “All the Boys Love Mandy Lane” — that was a great title from a few years ago. I knew I wanted something like that. Normally, I think titles are really tricky and hard, but this one came pretty quickly.

PRH: What’s it all about?

SP: As you had guessed by the title, it is very much influenced by all of those teen slasher films that I grew up watching, like “Scream” and “I Know What You Did Last Summer”. It’s a very traditional slasher story: a killer with a knife chasing after teens. It was the kind of book that I’ve been wanting to read for a while. It is easy to find in movie form, and not so easy to find in book form. I had been complaining about that to an author friend of mine, and she suggested that I write it. It has all of my favorite tropes in it. It takes place around Halloween, and there are corn stalks … it was such a huge leap.

PRH: It must be difficult to write something that is genre-savvy like that without it turning into cliche.

SP: There were definitely challenges in writing this book, and a lot of those had more to do with craft. My other books, being romances, are more about character growth: It’s a slower, more traditional story arc. This one, being a slasher novel, was all about plotting. It was tricky in that way, as well as learning to write in a different style, and from a different perspective of plotting before character and then filling in the character around the plot. In terms of the genre itself, I feel like I’ve been preparing for this my whole life. I know this genre in and out. I put in there what I would want as a reader and excluded the things that make me cringe. That part felt very natural.



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